Hello from Pennsylvania everyone!
My name is Caroline, and I finally decided to join the forums, and give you guys a little backdrop as to who I am. First the easy stuff, I love art, writing, and horses. I don't own a horse, but still classify myself as horse-crazy. I am taking Hunter/Jumper lessons.
(If that is all you need to know, feel free to stop reading now)
On to my partial life story!
The first time I fell in love with horses was when I was six. I went to The Land of Little Ponies with my cousins for a day. I immediately became attached to every miniature horse I saw. To cool off from the hot air we went into one of the petting stables. Inside was a little black and white miniature pony. I immediately ran to it, it's name was Oreo! That was my favorite food! I stood there petting him for a very long time, when finally the poor pony got annoyed and very lightly nipped me on the arm. I thought it was a kiss, so I automatically assumed it was destiny for me to be with horses. ()
So when I was seven I was lucky enough to be gifted riding lessons for my birthday. I chose to Jump, because I figured it was fun. If the name Phyllis Frankhouser (Jerre's wife) means anything to anyone, that's who my instructor was. I started off on a little white Welsh Pony named Wales. He was quite the lazy pony, but I loved him for his quirky attitude. Within a year I was jumping cross-rails and floating on cloud nine. (For crazy hat day in school I wore my helmet, got the most looks!) I started participating in local competitions. My first competition I won one blue and two red ribbons.
Another year or two later I graduated to Jerre F. Now I rode in group lessons with teenagers. I also rode a new horse now, named Suzee. She was just learning to jump as I learned to get used to her larger gait. I thought I was so cool, being so much younger then my classmates. Now I jumped simple oxers and verticals. This was when a majority of my falls happened. My instructor told me, "You are not a pro rider until you have fallen seven times," or something of that nature. I began to keep track, seeing as I fell more frequently. Either way, If there is one fact to know about me, I am a perfectionist. When I went to competitions, and only got Reserve Champion, I was upset. Now riding was about winning, not enjoyment of my passion.
At the end of fifth grade I quit. I had had enough of the frustration with Suzee, myself, and not being perfect. After my last lesson I cried on the way home. I knew I had given up.
Four years passed and I turned fourteen without me even looking back at my jumping history. Just recently (last week) I realized how much I missed riding. My friend took me to watch a horse race and I was so giddy to see the horses up close again. Inside I felt my inner conscious kicking myself for quitting. Later I also saw a video a classmate posted on Facebook of her and her friends taking their horses out for a trail ride. I immediately pictured myself riding. I almost broke down to tears. How long had I really missed horses without admitting it to myself?
To end this very long story (you actually read this far?) I am now starting Jumper lessons again. I had to make a few sacrifices monetary wise, but it is completely worth it. Soon enough I will be back in the saddle, where I always belong.