What's your background?
So I frequently wonder, as I'm sure many of us do, "wow, I wonder what (insert name here)'s background is". I think it would be neat to hear how everyone experience (new and old) has shaped their knowledge. Anyone want to give up their background info or what they are currently doing?
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You first. :wink:
I'll work on it ;) I'm at work so I have to type a little, then look busy lol.
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Well after I deleted the novel I figured I'd be short and to the point!
I've always been fascinated with horses. I rode on and off as a kid, though my mother never had the money.
Almost 10 years ago I started volunteering at a therapeutic riding barn and quickly climbed the ranks as I showed an natural ability to work with horses. As I worked there I started riding several times a week. In no particular order I've taken tons of flat/eq lessons, jumping, a years worth of dressage lessons on a 2nd level horse, barrel racing, western flat and a few team penning lessons. Ultimately I've really settled into reining and I'm taking lessons with a well known trainer.
When I first started I worked with a belgian/TB that couldn't be caught, brushed, tacked, etc without a him shaking and causing a scene. Within months I had him standing quietly in the barn isle grooming him and tacking with without a fuss. That was probably my first exposure to ground work and I realized how important it is. I learn a lot from my boss about not taking any BS and laying down the law. I also did some parelli with some parelli die hards at the barn and have gone and audited many different clinics. I think my favorite had to be a man who came to work with the belgian/TB in the round pen and since I've always been a fan of round pen work.
Under saddle wise I've taken several horses from my barn and took them from 3 feet on the trailer to productive members of program! I've had some very proud moments with them! Typically if there is a misbehaver at the barn they ask me to hop on, I'm not petrified of a gate sour, bucker or a runaway and usually whatever else come through. Currently I'm working with my friends two TWH on making them bomb proof trail horses.
I also teach beginner W/T/C and therapeutic riding. I think my absolute favorite population to teach is the visually impaired. It's incredible how your other senses take over and I never ceases to amaze me how they can put so much trust into their horse and trainer.
Eventually my goal is to own and train my own reining horses. I'd like to become serious with showing also. Another goal of mine to pick on horses from the auctions and transform them into productive members horsey society.
Sorry its kind of all over the place and I'm sure it's not everything. Once I hit post I'll remember to add something else. Oh, and I pre-apologize for any spelling errors! ;)
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Started riding at 8 in 4-H (horseless horse), rode a huntseat horse western. THAT was an experience, lol. Pretty sure that's where I learned how to stay on any horse:lol: Next was a freshly rescued BLM mare.
Got my first horse at 10. He was the definition of bomb proof, unless of course you were being a smart a** and shoeing off to your friends, then he dumped your butt.
At 12, I got my first "trainer". An 8 yr old McCoy mare who had been drugged. I spent a little over a year w/ her. She was afraid of her own shadow, and basically not ridable. By the end I was able to ride her in an indoor, safely take her in a halter class (riding was out of the question), and I had an offer to train in Germany with a Dressage clinician. One of my biggest regrets is not being able to go, but there was no way my parents could afford it. I later found out my parents had taken out a loan so I could just GO to a trainer with the mare. The fall of '93 we sold her as a broodmare. Last I heard, her babies were world champion pinto-arab halter / saddle horses.
In '93, I bought Odie as a 2 yr old. He's still with me, teaching my daughter:-). We did EVERTYHING!!.
At 16, I started working dressage and jumpers for a trainer. After that, I started working at a paint barn, that I ended up managing while I was in high-school. And by managing, I do mean monthly billing, ordering feed, maintence, etc. I also worked and finished several horses (mostly barrel horses) there and started giving lessons. I was also on 2 judging teams, winning a few individual awards.
After high school, I still gave lessons and finished a few barrel horses. I also finished and promoted a stud on the state open and breed circuit.
In '05, I took a forced break from horses since my new job took over. I was only able to ride 4 times in 5 years. Thankfully, Odie was already retired so I didn't feel AS bad:-(
Finally, 2 years ago I started to get back into it.:-) I leased a mare with some issues, and got pretty far with her. But I had to return her due to financial reasons. And now I'm saving my $$ to get my next horse, giving my daughter the occasional lesson, and giving a few others lessons on the side.
Here's a pic of the stud I finished. Can't wait to hear what everyone else's story is:D:D
^^ I should of done mine like that darn! Lol.
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I grew up riding 100% Western with bareback thrown in there for fun. My family did strictly pleasure/trail riding. During summer breaks, I was able to fly to my uncle and aunt's reining farm in CO and learn to work with reiners, WP horses, and HUS horses. My primary learning horse at home was our Paso Fino, a hot but completely bombproof horse that I still have and show today.
Three years ago, at age twelve, I cleaned up my mom's old English saddle on a whim and rode my gaited horse around on the trails, immediately falling in love with English. And so the search began for an English horse.
Of course, the first horse I went to look at was a beautiful brown 6 yr/old OTTB mare I found on Craigslist. Her owner was terrified of her. She was well-trained by her off-track trainer but shuffled from home to home after her training, becoming ruined in the process. She was hot, crazy, and in my barn the next day. It was a learning curve, but we worked through it, and now she is a lovely dressage horse and the absolute best fox hunter you could ask for.
I bought Excel shortly thereafter from the same trainer Molly had originally been sent to. He had been off the track for less than a month but had an excellent temperament. I test rode him and brought him home. We've successfully competed in hunters (2'6"), jumpers (2'9"), dressage, pony club rallies, and have schooled training level eventing. I've fox hunted him first flight and he is a fantastic and brave hunter pace mount.
Two years ago, I re-started a Percheron to be my mother's trail horse that had severe mounting issues and large holes in her training (such as not being able to canter under saddle) from the ground up. I've spend countless hours on groundwork with her. She's now a push-button trail horse that is 100% dependable and safe.
This summer, my uncle and aunt decided to downsize their reining herd and shipped a fantastic Arabian reiner (Varian bred) and a promising colt from their own stallion. I've brought the colt along considerably and am excited to start showing him next year as a five-year old. Estrella V, the mare, is an absolute dream to ride. She taught me most of what I know about reining.
I'm involved in 4-H (but very loosely, as the way it's run makes me cringe) and started Pony Club this year. I haven't had the chance to do anything more than my D3 ratings yet but aspire to earn my H-B in horse management before I graduate from the program.
I didn't have much exposure to horses growing up. Rode at camp once and did a couple of pay to ride trail rides.
6 years ago, my wife asked to "just go look at a horse". That's where it all started. We got the horse but had no clue what we were doing. The first year, I learned as much as I could about working with horses but I'm still learning today.
When we took her horse to a stable, they were giving away a filly that had an injured back leg. They were ready to put her down if we didn't take her.
A few months later, we were offered a colt that was in with our filly. When he turned 2 1/2, I started him. Went from knowing nothing to starting a horse in 2 years.
We've acquired 5 more since getting those 3. 3 we got from friends. One we bought at a benefit auction for $60, our new colt. The last we got for $1. They were going to give him to us but decided to make it that they sold him to us. I had another thread on here about him. He supposedly has some issues of bucking riders off. I've rode him 3 times so far and haven't been bucked off.
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I remember as a small kid, maybe 5 or 6 riding on our fence LOL I would put a blanket over it and tie it on the fence, make stirrups out of a rope and pretend I was riding!
Then when I was around 10 there was a trail riding stable on the edge of city, we lived in the city.....every weekend I would get my parents to drive me there Sat. and Sun. for the day to groom horses, clean stalls, help with whatever I could.
Then when I was around 12 my parents bought a small acreage with nothing but a stuble feild. The following year I got my first horse! He was a QH gelding, not tall but I loved him. I rode every day! I never used a saddle although we had one but always rode my horse bareback with a hackamore bridle.
Right around before I was 18 my parents sold my horse, my sister had one but had no interest in it and her interest was boys/parties. So they figured I would be losing interest too and sold my horse! I was so heartbroken!
Then life took over, I got married, started a family and we lived in the city which I hated!
Twelve years ago my hubby (I got divorced and remarried) and I moved out to a small acreage just outside of the city. I fell in love with the place as soon as I saw it....it wasn't for the house LOL it was run down, sat vacant for years but it was the land I fell in love with.
Almost 10yrs. ago my we were at a auction in a town not too far from us and I got talking to a man about horses. He said he had a appy mare/foal that I could try out if I wanted. I was so excited, I talked hubby into going and seeing them. We came home with both but because of so many years being away from horses and not taking lessons/etc......I couldn't handle the mare but we ended up keeping her baby. He was 6 weeks old when he came here with his Mom and I haven't looked back since! He is now going to be 10 this spring in May. His name is Chips, here he is at 6 wees old when he came here.
This is him now at 9....
He's a big boy and I have a friend that has been coming out and riding him for the past 3 1/2yrs.
Then 3yrs. later I went to look at a 3yr. filly who had 30 days of riding on her. When I went to see her, she was at the back of the herd peeking over the others to see but wouldn't come up where I could see her. There was something about her face I fell in love with and ended up bringing her home. WTH was I thinking, at that time Chips was 2 and she was 3 and I hadn't ridden in over 30 yrs.! I have this skittish, afraid of everything (she had been out in pasture till she came in to train at 3) little red roan filly!
This is Spice 2yrs. ago at 8yrs. old, she will be 11 in the spring.
For the first 3yrs. that I had her I rode her with a bareback pad and her halter. We learned to trust each other and now I couldn't ask for a better trail partner!
Then when Spice was 5 I bred her to a neighbor's stud who is a solid black paint and Street came along April 2009.
This is Street at 5 months old getting his first bath from a girl at a camping/riding weekend we went to.
This is me on Spice with Street in the round pen.
I started him under saddle this fall and he's off for the winter, he will be 4 next April. A good friend is helping and he works with him in the round pen with a saddle and bridle and I work with him with a bareback pad/halter in the round pen.
Here I am riding Street and him walking for the first time with the squeeze of the legs to go!! I was so excited, I pulled out my camera and video taped us LOL of course since then we have worked on the whoa with him, he backs/stops/turns nicely....come spring he will be back to work!
I also have another horse, a 18yr. QH mare who is a retired barrel horse. She was left to me by my best friend when she passed away this May. Her name is Sugar. Right now a girl who is going to be 16 comes out and rides Sugar for me so she gets exercise.....
I also have one horse boarded here, he will be 5yr. in March and has been here since he was 6 months old......his name is Starbuck.
I've come a long ways in the last 10yrs., learning on how to train horses and doing tons of trail riding with Spice!
Hmmmm the video didn't work????? Will check it later, time to make supper.....looking forward to hearing others stories!
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