I was born loving horses. My parents caved and let me buy a pony when I was 11. After he was dropped off, my parents and I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to put the bridle on before we gave up and drove to the seller's house to ask him which end was up. Bandit, the world's best pony. ~1980 - 07/05/2006 I'll never forget you, buddy.
I liked to think I learned most all there is to know by reading books and picking up scraps of info here and there. I mostly taught myself, and was "training" horses by the time I was 16. I bought a green QH gelding when the pony was outgrown (Dad let me keep the pony, too!). I guess you could say it was a bit of a "trial by fire." Pecos Cody, aka "Cody" foaled 04/01/1989. The best teacher a horse crazy girl could have, now enjoying well deserved retirement!
I've never been what you would call a fearless rider, but I remember doing things as a kid that I'd never do now: galloping a green horse through the open field, attempting jumps with no training whatsoever, etc.
I had a few incidents, but it seems that anyone involved with horses for any length of time has their share of spills and thrills. My QH was a bit of a runaway, which led to a concussion from fall on a blacktop road during my pre-helmet days. A big gelding I was "training" for a friend dropped to the ground when we were attacked by ground bees and I ended up breaking my tailbone trying to dismount (the gelding "helped" by jumping up and taking off bucking, leaving me in a pile of large, sharp rocks. This time at least I was wearing a helmet... so the helmet cracked instead of my head).
After I moved away for college I'd still get home a time or two to ride. A friend gifted me a 17 year old recently gelded Arab that had never been ridden and somehow, someway I gained his trust and was soon riding through the fields, reliving my childhood. SB Royale Heir, aka "Royal" 05/09/1983 - 03/06/13. My heart horse... my soul still aches from the loss...
Life got busy, as it tends to do, and I decided to retire my two remaining horses (the Arab and the QH). For a time I tried to get back into the swing of things. I was asked to train by a woman who I'd met by giving advice in the local tack store. That ended badly (after all, I was in no way qualified to train professionally) but during that process I ended up rescuing a straight Egyptian Arabian gelding who had sold for $50K as a yearling (my purchase price was $250 bucks). The Desert Splash, aka "Mirage." 1990 - 01/03/2007. For such a short time you touched my life, but you left a lasting legacy.
Five or so years passed with my butt never seeing a saddle. Every year I would attend one County Fair show per year on Labor Day Weekend and spend the rest of the fall searching online for that perfect horse I was going to buy to make my entry back into the horse world.
On September 29, 2013, I bought a 7-year-old, greener than green, pinto gelding of uncertain heritage. He is big, beautiful and, to put it mildly, a whole lotta horse. Oskar Blues, aka "Oz" foaled ~2006. Our journey is just beginning.
When I began to take lessons for the first time in my life, even though I'd been riding for over 20 years I still anticipated that there would be a lot to learn.
What I didn't anticipate was the fear.