My first 'horse' was also a rocking horse on springs. He was white with a red saddle and bridle and I thought he was so beautiful! I was about 4 at the time. I rode him with wild abandon...literally hopping him across the living room floor! Having a real one was the next step. I finally got one when I was about 8...a mean as a snake Shetland pony mare. I named her Ginger, after a mare in Black Beauty. When I outgrew her, Dad bought me a jet black half Morgan named Shinola and a Tennessee Walker named Jeff for himself. We rode together in the woods, which is my very favorite place to be in the whole world. Of course, I owned every horse book you could find, Black Beauty, The Golden Stallion series, Flicka, etc. etc. So if I wasn't riding horses I was reading about them. Anyway, I outgrew Shinola and before we could get another horse, my dad was laid off his job and had to start a new career in his 40's. My horse life was over in my teens. I didn't get back into horses until I was almost 50. Between college, marriage, divorce, working, remarriage, then having twins...I just didnt feel like I could take care of a horse financially or have enough time. I missed riding terribly! Finally, about 4 years ago, I decided to take the plunge again. My boys were in their teens and didn't need me much anymore...and I definitely needed some me time! I went horse shopping...and ended up with a gorgeous blue eyed quarter mare. I took riding lessons for about a year, but I found out quickly that unless I wanted to just walk everywhere, I needed a gaited horse. My knees just couldn't take trotting for very long. So...I put my mare up for sale, but was unable to find the right owner for her. My husband finally said not to sell her, he would ride her (I think he was tired of being left at home while I went to the barn). I went shopping again and found Little Rock, a spotted saddle horse gelding. I had signed up for a Best of America By Horseback ride in Alabama before I even found a horse, and bought Little Rock just 6 weeks before the ride. Even though I was fairly convinced it would be a disaster...we went, just Little Rock and I. He did so great! I was hooked! Trailridng in the woods is the best thing I know to do with your time! I have since found a group of friends (S.H.O.T. club) and we ride regularly together and invite others to join us at times. I don't really know why I love horses so much...I just do. I love to smell them, listen to them eat, lean against them and share their warmth, and I really love the freedom they give me to go where my own feet can't take me. When I have a bad day, I go outside and start petting my horse and immediately, my stress is relieved...I can almost feel my blood pressure and heart rate slowing down. When my friends and I ride...there is nothing better! I hope to continue riding Little Rock until he is too old to ride anymore. He is only 7 so I hope to have many more years of riding my boy.
the first pictures of me about 4 yr old in my cowgirl costume and my 6 shooters on my side and my trusty
rocking horse on springs, man I could get that thing to go. In my diary after I got older I had written in Big bold letters "IF I DON'T GET A HORSE SOON I THINK I WILL DIE" my folks couldn't afford horses and we lived in town.. my first rides were with the ponies in the round metal round abouts.. in Cambridge Ohio. My mom would give us a quarter for snakes at the swimming pool, but I'd just drink water out of the fountain and after our swim was over I'd walk into the park where th ponies were and ride a larger bright red and white pinto named queenie. I loved that horse.. it cost a quarter to take a few whirls around the ring. i was in heaven. would ride my bike out in to the country and sit on fence rails for hours petting and sometimes slipping on a will horse.. surprised I survived that. When I was 19 and working I bought my first horse a half Arab named Ember Glow and we rode for ever and I gave riding lessons to help pay my board. Backing up some, my mother finally gave me the gift of Riding lessons at a local Saddlebred farm. I learned to ride on a hot to trot Hackney/ Saddlebred mare. Got the gift at Christmas and was told i could start that spring, but there was no holding me back I started the first week of January (this is in Ohio) so my poor mother froze her butt off all winter watching me ride (and falling off on every corner) this was no laid back horse.. ha! another mother asked her if she was afraid I would get hurt and she would just say this is what she wants to do and there is no stopping her, so if she gets hurt she gets hurt or will die happy. Great philosphy for a mom! then the told me it would probably would be a year before I'd get to show.. and I said no way am I waiting that long to show.. so I did well and that April I hit my first show and there was no looking back for me. I now have 2 Arabian mares and an adopted Appaloosa now. Had up to 16 head of Arabian and Standardbred race horses that my husband and I trained to race.. what fun days those were. But, I'm happy with my 3 now and getting older.. just want to do some trail riding and enjoy. Like all of you, cannot imagine life without horses in it.
I reckon the love of horses, is in my blood. When I was bout three, my father done some work for this man, who paid by letting me and my sister, (more like my sister, since she was older) pick out a pony from his stock. We went home with this 2 year old WILD Chicateaque pony. Bootsy ( that's what we named her) had never been handled until that day. I was told not to mess with her, since she was wild. Obviously, I didn't listen. I couldn't lift the saddle up, so, I would ride bareback. (I always got caught - cause I would get bucked off). That never stopped me!!! I'd just get back on. My fondest memory is when I was bout 6, I was goinna run away from home. My mom packed me a lunch, she even helped me gather me some extra clothes (my mom was playin along) but when I went out to saddle up Bootsy, my mom put her foot down. I was told, I could run away, but I was not aloud to take Bootsy, she stayed. Obviously, I couldn't leave my pony, so I had to go inside and unpack AND clean up the MESS in my room. (that my mom helped me make)
My first memory was running around my tree in the front yard pretending I was a horse. I nay just like a horse running in the wind. Later my mom, realized I too needed a rocking or spring activated horse. It was a black and white horse that could talk when you pulled it's string. Not sure if it was to imitate "Mr Ed" or not, I'm guessing not since it was black and white.
My first pony ride was a the Memphis Zoo, my uncle worked there and we visited him often just so I could ride the ponies. Later on I used to go to a riding stables to rent horses, in Inglewood. Right now that stables name has left my memory. I use to go as often as my mother could afford to let me go. My mother was a single lady trying to raise 4 kids by herself so it was very hard. One day, my mother and father dicussed it and agreed I could finally have a horse of my own. Well my father was suppose to send money for my first pony, but he died 3 days later. My mother still decided that I could have a horse. My friend at the time was Lana Burnett. She boarded her horse at WENO Ranch in Madison, it was a radio station. Not sure how the two connected together but had lots of fun riding there and visiting the station. Any way Lana had her horse there and we found what we thought was an abuse black pony. We took it to the barn and loved and clean it up and fed it. Well this man came to the barn and said it was his and he just bought it at an auction. Well my mother bought him, he was a stud pony. Wow, what a first pony. He was too little and I knew that from the start, but I had to take care of him until I could find something else. Well we looked every where, I couldn't believe my mother was so understanding. Then finally one day, there was an add for a horse for sale at Happy Hollow Riding academy of all places. I walked into the barn and she was in a feeding stall and I saw her from the butt and I said I want her. She was a black and white spotted saddle horse. I guess my rocking horse came back to me. I named her Susan's Fire of Fury. She was one of the starter horses for the National Spotted Saddle Horse Association. She was full of Fire and Fury. She was just a young thing I don't think she was even two years old yet. She did have a few rides on her from someone else on the farm, but I guess you could say we learned together. That horse could barrel, poles, trail, cows and boy could she gait. It was a shame I didn't get to show her but at a hand full of shows. We didn't have a trailer, so that was out of the question. I did show for other people and occasionally they would take her with us.
I use to ride her bare back all the time, I didn't even own a saddle until I was almost thirty. But as I got older, I realized it was getting harder and harder to run and jump on her. She lived to be 32 years old.
I could go on and on but I know this is already too long.
I now have 8 horses. It is too many but I love them all. They all have different personalities.
But my favorite to ride is my spotted saddle horse. I went all the way to Strawberry Arkansas, to purchase her. She is 15 years old and she is my love, she protects me on the trail and in the show ring. She knows what I want before I do. She will never go any where else. I just pray she holds up as long as I do. I now am 51 years old.
Many horses have gone and passed in all my years and I too have had my back broke and toes broke and even took a break from riding for awhile, due to the fear of getting buck off and breaking back, but my love for horses have never never gone from my heart and they never will. If there is another life I would pray I could come back as a horse, taken care and love by someone.
God let there be horses in heaven, and dogs too!
When I was 2 years old we lived next to a pasture with horses. One day my mom was hanging out laundry and had me playing near her. She turned around to check on me and I wasn't there. After frantically searching the yard she looked out in the pasture and to her horror, saw me sitting on the ground with 3 horses standing over me as I pulled grass and fed it to them. Not knowing anything about horses and not wanting to scare them and have them step on me, she went in the house and got a box of cookies. She stood at the fence and shook the box and yelled at me that she had a cookie. I got off the ground and walked right under one of the horses and toddled back to the fence with the horses following behind. I got a cookie and so did each of the horses! :o) Of course you couldn't keep me away from the fence after that and the horses always came to see me. When my mom could finally breath again, she told the neighbor about what I had done. A few days later he brought down a pony for me to ride and I've been hooked ever since!
when a year old my momma bought a bouncy horse and sat me on it, twas a favorate mount for years. But then I got too big for it (i remember feeling kind of sad when it finally broke as i rode it like a buckin bronc at around 8 YO) and horses lie dormant on the brain till I hit about 20 and suddenly bought a mule on a whim, knew nothing about horses but I started researching and digging. Getting internet really helped increase the info base. Otherwise I spend my time at mechanics (every time I turn around something else needs fixing) agriculture (growing food) but still making money selling trees, Clearing land for an apple orchard now and selling pulp wood. Skid steer I'm using to push brush and load logs quit lifting, seems to be a valve problem, more fixing needed. Having researched horses for a long time, studied training, adopted a few BLM mustangs to play with, I find myself gravitating toward the smoothest riding and fastest horses I can find, a rare line of paso finos I've come to know that are about the caliber of a speed racker but just a bit smoother to ride I think, along with a super good disposition. The paso fino show system specializes in a horse with super fast footwork with slow groundspeed, along with a hot temperment that frequently isn't too good for trail riding. The ones I like won't be seen at a normal paso fino show usually, for some weird reason the show crowd dosn't like speed, even though they seem to love speedy feet.
Actually the horse I'm after is a grandson of one of the foundation sires of the singlefooter breed, Coral LaCE, along with the other sire Falcon Rowdy who is sire of most of the fastest speed rackers. Falcon may have been faster, however I think Coral was overall higer quality.
I owned a mare that was in the Coral Lace line. Smoothest thing on 4 legs and could back up as fast as she could move forward. You could hand me a full glass of water and I would put her through her paces in every gait she had and I would still bring you back a full glass of water. Man what a horse! She was my first Paso and she is what made me love the breed. I still own her son, her daughter and her grandson. I have owned many breeds through the years but none compare to the heart and ride of a good Paso Fino. The first word I spoke as a baby was horse and I image the last will be that too. I love everything thing about them. I even don't mind shoveling their poop. In fact even that can be relaxing after a stressful day. I reared my only child around them because I knew they would keep her out of trouble when the time came for her head to turn toward boys. She never let a guy come between them and her time with her horse. Now that she is grown and married she is blessing me in June with my first grandchild and I have already bought him a little tri color paint pony. Winston Churchill once said "man runing his hands along the outside of a horse will make him a better man on the inside". I truly believe that too. I know my love for horses has made me a better person to my fellow man.
For anyone who is interested in a great book about horses and and how a young boy was taught his lifelong leadership skills from a horse and a savvy old man, read: "Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership" by Mark Rashid. Great reading!!!! I was reminded of the book as I read everyone's story about what makes you love horses so much.
They are BEAUTIFUL and SWEET! They bring so much joy to my life and haul me to some of God's most beautiful places! I have loved horses since I was old enough to know what one was. My Dad always had horses and mules, but wouldn't let me ride. I started riding when I was about 27 years old and have loved it ever since! There is nothing I love better than being on the back of one of these wonderful creatures, enjoying God's beautiful earth!