I cannot tell you the very first time I rode. To me it seems as though I have ridden since I could walk, although as a young child we did not have horses. My mom and dad both rode in rodeo's in Louisiana, so I think I come by my horse craziness honestly. I recall that I always wanted my granny to take me to the local stable for a trail ride or to let me ride in the round pen, which she did do on occasion.
My earliest memory of riding was in Horton Kansas. My Step-dad's parents lived there and they had ponies. There was a girl who lived across the street, her name was Tina, and we were great friends. We broke one unbroken pony to ride, all on our own, with out the benefit of helmets or safety gear or adult supervision. Yup we got bucked off a few times. Then we taught him to pull a cart. There was another that could pull a cart too.
When I was in High School, I met a girl down the road named Sharon. She had two horses and could only ride one at a time, and so I rode one for her. His name was Jacket.
|This is me on Jacket and Sharon on Lady in the background. I was about 14 at the time. |
After I grew up and moved away, I rarely rode again for a long time, but I never ever lost my love of equine. I moved to Eloy AZ and my neighbor had several horses. I rode with him and his wife often, and helped them take care of their wonderful ponies. Finally in 2001 I got to have another horse. She was old, but wonderful. She would do anything you asked. She eventually died of Cushings.
When I moved to Wyoming, I swore that no matter what I was going to have horses again. That was my goal, and I have reached that goal...4 times!
Interestingly enough, I was often told that I was a good rider. My old cowboy neighbor in Eloy had a horse that no one rode but him. Yet he let me ride him any time I wanted. I knew another guy who had a crazy palomino that had not been ridden in years, and was bad about running off with people. He was afraid of the horse, so like a fool I got right up on him, and rode him back into a gentle horse again. Yet now I am learning that I was not a good rider. I was really good at staying on. I have a tendency to have heavy hands, and I knew nothing about leg cues until the last few years. Now I am learning to actually ride, not just stay on. It is a whole new world for me, but I am learning to get more from my ponies than I ever have.