We had horses when I was a kid. But as I grew up, Motorcycles, fast boats and faster cars all came into my life. Through college and my early adult life, I was hooked on both Snow and Water skiing. And there is still something to the adrenaline rush of going 60 mph down very steep mountains on two thin boards strapped to your feet.
In the early 80's the Forest Service began shutting down more of the old logging roads and access roads that ventured into the back county. Where we used to drive a truck/camper into camp for Deer and Elk hunting was now 7 miles past the end of the road. About this same time in my life, I started to be much more successful at harvesting big game. And I can tell you, it was serious work to hike 7 miles up the mountain early in the morning, kill and elk and pack it 7 miles back to my truck. It only took once for me to decide that there had to be a better way.
Hence my true association with horses. I bought a horse to go hunting with. Ride up the mountain on the horse, and let the horse carry the deer or elk off the mountain later in the day. All too quickly I learned that I needed to use the horse more than just for hunting season. In order to be any good during the hunt, the horse needed to be worked all summer. Beside the exercise and conditioning aspect, you are not going to load a bloody elk carcass onto a that don't have a relationship with.
So my adventure began with working a horse all summer to get him legged up and have him trust me. So you can basically say, "I own horses so I don't have to pack heavy dead animals off steep mountains" But they became so much more than that. A way to escape the heat after work on a summer evening, get on a horse and ride to the top of the mountain where the temps were 20° than home. Trips into remote lakes to catch wild trout. Weekend camp outs with my daughters and trying to keep up with the girls as they raced over a mountain trail.
And while I still use the horses to ease the burden of packing heavy loads off the mountain, they are used more now to just get out and enjoy a sunny afternoon away from home. I have a friend who was a marine sniper for 13 years. He often says, I've seen most of the world while in the marine corp, But I have seen the most beautiful places on earth while riding horses with me.