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Heres my story the wild horse project: My good old saddlethe wild horse project: My good old saddle
I've had one piece of tack for so long, it's taught me so much. Some times unconventional, but it's what started my career...
What's thing, or event, or what did you do growing up has influenced everything you do today with horses?
nicely written. Sounds like you had a dream childhood!
Well, when I was a child I would always read. Every horse book I could get my hands on I read. I was always super jealous of my cousin who got everything she wanted. A super expensive horse, lessons at a high class stable, and I honestly hated her for it. So I decided to be better at everything horse then her. I mean she always rode English and I always rode western, but she would always flaunt her stuff in my face. So I read until I could own my own horse, and then it happened. My grandparents bought me a quarab mare, ancient, 32 years old, and she taught me what she could. Sadly enough she died only 3 months after I had her, but she had lit a flame. Next I got a welsh quarter cross that had more attitude in his one hoof then I had in my whole body at the time. The first time I got on him at lessons, he laid down on me. But eventually he taught me what I can do today. He and I went on to win in bareback classes at 4-H, and he also helped me learn that I didn't need an expensive horse or a high class stable to win things, because everyone has their own place in the horse world, and mine wasn't at a high class stable with freakishly expensive horses. And then I rubbed my trophies in my cousins face :twisted: muwahahahaha!
I had two other good horses along the way, then one that shattered my confidence. She landed me in ER twice, fractured my ribs, and gave me a hairline crack in my spine, bruised my elbow and hand bones, and broke my nose. She was mean, charging me constantly, rearing, kicking, bucking, biting every chance she got. S I sold her and got my current horse, Frosty's Calipso, aka Hunny. I was so scared to be bucked off again that the first time I got on her I was shaking and had to be helped off. I bought her green. She was terrified of a round pen and would throw herself against the panels to get out. She would refuse to be next to men, and actually ran away with me the first time I had her out of the round pen. Luckily we decided to slow it down a bit, and now she is my soul horse! I absolutely love her and couldn't stand a day without her. She has taught me so much, and now we are going to start dressage together so we are constantly learning new things together :D
I grew up taking lessons, reading the saddle club, and the black stallion and dreaming about horses. When I was in 6 grade I met a couple of horse crazy girls. The one girl had just gotten an arabian pony and she let me ride him. I went bareback because she didn't have a saddle and galloped for my first time. I loved it! Shortly after my parents bought me a qh/morgan. They bought me a western saddle to ride in but I think I only used it once. I ran through the woods and jumped anything I could find. Sadly I let that horse go because I lost interest as a teenager and hadn't been back on a horse for 15 years. Then my daughter started taking lessons and then I started taking lessons and fell in love with a horse that I rode 1 time. So I bought him, of course. I have ridden him bareback a few times thinking that it is like riding a bicycle, but it's not. I can barely keep from sliding off on bends and could not imagine jumping or running down hills. I do not have the carefree bravado that I did as a young teen and am worried about getting hurt because if I can't work then I can't afford to keep my horse. So much changes with age. Some for the better and some for the worse, but I miss those days back then. When nothing in the world mattered except for me and my horse and caution was always thrown to the wind.
My life changing horse moment was actually a horse. I will give you some background. I grew up riding, in that aspect I was very blessed. I loved horses and naturally I loved being around them. I lived in the city my aunt and uncle lived in the country. I lived with them every weekend, school holidays and summer. They were childless so my brother and I were pretty much their adopted ones. My aunt was an excellent trainer and very good rider. She had some of the most beautiful horses in my state, she was also reclusive. I was never involved in a horse community as a result. She trained me to show in case she ever bred for more than just her own horses, she wanted to be able to up their worth by putting some ribbons behind them. So I spent most of my time in an arena concentrating on my seat on my ques, collecting the horse, perfecting everything, which of course it never was, there was always something more to learn something more to improve on. It was work plain and simple. I never went galloping across a meadow bareback with or without my friends, we didn’t do overnight camping, the only time we went trail riding is when we were desensitizing the horses. I was a perfectionist and I had to concentrate on making that horse dance a perfect dance. I don’t want to anyone to feel like I am complaining hey the horses I rode would make most people pea green with envy, I still miss some of them very much.
When I was 19 I took a summer job as a trail guide. I was excited about being able to work and make money with horses. They basically told me that even if I brought my dressage saddle out I would not be welcome to use it except on my off time which there wasn’t much of. I had never studied western riding, I think if I take a wild guess I was in a western saddle 7 times prior to this all involving a horrible camp experience, and me being very very uncomfortable all ‘enclosed ‘ on a horse. So to say I was bit unnerved about the riding aspect of it would be a slight understatement. I remember my Aunt telling me on the day I was leaving, ‘If you come back with bad habits don’t think I won’t get after you.’
So I arrive 27 horses 3 trail guides and a boss. First thing boss does throws me on the 2nd worst behaving horse they have to see what I can do. Here’s me, knees to my chin (which was my nickname after that ride I think I would I still respond to ‘Hey knees to your chin’) desperately trying to collect this horse, Trail Boss laughing so hard he nearly fell off his horse, at my attempts to ride the thing. Well under the guidance of one of the other guides I got it all settled out shortly, I was horribly uncomfortable but it wasn’t like I was going to come off. Boss says I’ll do. I am beaming just a little on the inside when they introduce me to my horse. Of course he would be the worse horse in the barn!
He’s is currently lame should be fine in 2 weeks, is what they tell me. Next thing I find out is he’s thrown everyone there on multiple occasions including trail boss and nobody wants to deal with him. His name is Tracker he is all of 5 years old snorting and kicking at his stall during this intro. My only thought was ‘oh good God what am I going to do now.’ So every day for two weeks after I finished my chores and rides I would take out Tracker, I do round pen lessons with him and just start treating him like he’s a colt at my aunts farm that is being broke. From the round pens we start going for our daily walks and he spooked at everything I learned rather fast to take a long lead and let out line vs trying to dangle off the end like his personal puppet. By the end of week one suddenly the world wasn’t so scary. By the end of week two we were so bonded together that if I left on rides with other horses he wouldn’t stop screaming for me until I got back. When I mucked out the stalls every morning and every night I would have him loose in the barn isle following me from stall to stall. He never cared if he hung out with the other horses or not he only wanted to hang out with me.
When I started riding him it was like this connection I had never had before with a horse, I would start to think I want to do this and he would already be doing it. It was amazing, things I worked so hard to accomplish on other horses came as natural as breathing on this horse. He was a one man horse and would bare with another rider on a ride if I was there but would not tolerate any other person to ride him if I didn’t come along. I never needed a halter and lead rope to have him out and about with me he would follow me regardless of whether he was ‘caught’ or not. He changed my entire view of horses it was no longer a job that although I enjoyed I still had to get done. It became a burning passion inside me, not everything needed to be so strict and ridged there was a whole different kind of dance to a horse other then perfecting a pirouette.
When I left at the end of summer my first order of business was to try and purchase Tracker, the owner said that would be fine but then at the last minute refused to sell him to me, neither me nor my trail boss could figure out why this was, I was to say the least heartbroken. Trail boss called me a month after I left and asked if I could come out, Tracker apparently had stopped eating and wouldn’t let anyone near him, I once again tried to purchase him and once again was given a cool refusal by the boss. I went out and feed him took him for a little ride then handed him over to the trail boss. The boss kept in contact with me for a while. Tracker was not ride able for 3 months after I left, trail boss finally had enough and started taking him out himself and forcing him to work, Tracker eventually got over me I however still haven’t got over him. Not having him with me is still a loss in my heart that makes me want to cry. Every time I pass a trail outfit I get out and start looking for him. I would pay whatever exorbitant price tag someone laid on him just to get him back. He taught me to love riding and relit a passion about it I hadn’t had since I was a 6 year old walking out to meet my first pony. There is still something to this day about an unexplored trail that makes my heart beat a little faster in anticipation of the unknown lying ahead.
Lives2hope....that was an incredible story and probably a story that most of our dreams are made of! I would be in paradise if I could get my horse that bonded to me. You should make a movie!
Beautiful story!! I read the whole thing! (probably the most I've read since school got out!)
I have a story to tell, too!
When I was 5 years old, a very nice man let me ride one of his ponies. I fell in love! My parents got me and my little sister our own pony later that year. She was a 'free to a good home' Shetland pony, but any pony was perfect to us! I still remember the first time I saw her. She was scared to death of people, 3 years old, and never touched in her life. She was so hard to catch that it took several people to corner her so one could get their hands on her. I was determined, though. My sister was scared of her, but I spent hours just sitting in the pasture, waiting for her to come sniff me. Eventually she became easy for me to catch (not other people, though!)
I was a half-crazy 6 year old when I decided to hop on her back. After eating dirt a few times, she became the perfect riding pony! (I never had a lesson, but we learned together :P)
I made this video of old clips a while back that pretty much sums it up...
Sorry that was so long... :?
Thanks hberrie, I would be tempted if I thought that would entice whoever has him now to bring him back to me. I am not much of a crier but got to confess putting our story into words defiantly made me tear up. I was just talking about connection with another instructor. I think that most riders have had bits and pieces of that connection with their horse. I get it often with my horses now, but it was not like Tracker, with him it was every ride.
My Aunt and my Uncle actually bought Magic for me to snap me out of the depression and to get me back in the saddle after I lost tracker. My Aunt who doesn't own a single piece of western equipment went out and bought this 'Trail pony' prospect and my mom bought a western saddle and headstall . She handed me the horse and said 'We bought her for you, so you will start riding again. You can take her out on trails and even in a western saddle.' It took a long time for Magic and I to mesh because my heart was very much somewhere else.
I still have hope that I will one day get my tracker back.
I have a story.. Not quite as touching as yours.. But a story, nonetheless.
I got started with horses when I was about 9. I was an EXTREMELY shy kid. I wouldn't look anybody in the eyes and when I walked, the ground was all I saw because I was always looking down. Not only was I shy, but I was awkward. I had a few friends I guess, but not like the other kids who would have sleepovers and such.
Before then, I had never shown any interest in horses. I loved animals in general, especially dogs, and would spend my Saturdays watching dog shows on tv. One day, as I got home from school, I got a call from my aunt. She asked me if I wanted to join 4-H and ride a horse. I was confused, but I semi hesitantly agreed.
Within the next month or so following that phone call, I rode my first horse ever. It was actually the first time I had even touched a horse that wasn't in a fence. I remember walking into the big barn and there were three horses tied up and waiting. There was a flea bitten grey named Fudge, a brilliant bay named Hatika, and a haflinger named Delilah. One of these horses was chosen by my 4-H leaders for me to lease. They chose Fudge for me because they said our personalities matched very well.
The first ride was interesting, to say the least. I can remember how much of a death grip I had on the saddle horn, with my little hand wrapped completely around it. I was terrified out of my mind. If you hadn't known better, you would've thought that I thought the horse was going to eat me.
I stuck with it and, as time webt on,became increasingly comfortable around horses. I could've (and would've if they'd have let me) groom and play with Fudge all day long. I was still very shy, but I gained confidence by the day.
Now, 8 years later, I'm very outgoing. I talk to anyone and everyone. I'm on student council as well as many other social activities, and I'm surrounded by too many friends to count. I also have a good herd of horses to call my own. I do well in 4-H with ponies that I've worked with myself, and I've won the mental attitude award in my 4-H group 2 years in a row now.
You could say horses changed my life, but that would be an understatement. Now I can't imagine life without them.
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horseofcourse I love your story isn't it amazing how animals effect us?
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