― Winston Churchill
I am a fourteen year old girl living in Missouri. I currently only ride western and compete in western pleasure (and events similar) and barrel racing (and events similar) at the local level. I have only sat in an english saddle once and that was to walk my sister's horse back to the barn. I have hopes of trying to learn to ride english this summer (:
My story started when I was three. My sister owned a stubborn pony named Daisy which she would let me ride as she led it around. One day she started leading my over the ditch in our yard as a "jump". Long story short, Daisy bucked me off, and I broke my wrist. I swore to myself that I would never ride a horse again.
When I was ten my 4-H leader convinced me to ride a small, painted pony named Copper. To this day my mom refers to Copper as "the one who started it all".
I suppose you could say I took "lessons" on Copper. (We didn't pay the owners anything, they were simply happy to teach me) We had planned to lease, and then buy Copper, but several issues prevented either of those things from happening. The main one being that he had worn his teeth down so low when he was young from chewing on wood that he could only eat special chopped hay, which would be EXTREMELY pricey to feed, Copper was simply not an option.
At the time my sister had bought a barrel horse, and because "she wasn't fast enough" was selling her. My sister convinced me to try to ride her. Even though she was very mareish, that Christmas I bought her with my own money.
Wildfire, 1996 Quarter Horse mare
I won the beginner division at a local playday my first year, and the amateur division my second. At one point I was running faster times than my sister on the horse "that wasn't fast enough".
When I was twelve I asked my parents if I could buy a yearling colt from my sister. My parents instead bought me that colt for my birthday, and trust me, it wasn't the brightest moment any of us had. To this day I regret buying him as an inexperienced twelve year old.
Gunsmoke, 2009 Missouri Fox Trotter x Standardbred/Saddlebred? Gelding
Then, just a year ago in August 2011, I purchased my third horse after working with him through the summer for my sister in exchange for training on Gunsmoke. It was love at first canter. I pondered a long time about buying him, and finally did.
Buckshot, 1996 Missouri Fox Trotter gelding
Added to the above three, I am also working with a Arabian mare named Sugar in exchange for moolah' ;) and a Quarter Horse colt named Clover Kid resides at our house as my 4-H club is raffling him off for a fundraiser.