Share a memory from:
1. The first horse experience that you can remember.
2. Your first 'aha' moment - when something really clicked for you as a rider.
3. Entering the Ring. Could be your first show, or another time when simply entering the arena could be considered a 'debut' of sorts.
I saw this and thought it would be a fun idea. I'll look for more to do when I don't have as many things to write. :) Right now, I actually have quite a few drafts in the works; I just randomly decided to add this in here right now. Haha.
1. My first horse experience I can truly remember....gosh, it's hard to remember. I remember always wanting to learn to ride. Most of my first "experiences" weren't with real horses though, or even with toy ones. I read ALL the time, and my mom bought me a book called "A Horse Called Wonder". It was the first book in the Thoroughbred series, which went on to include 72 (I think?) books, plus a couple of side series and some special editions. I owned all of them up until a few years ago, when I decided to give them to teacher friend (along with all of my Nancy Drew books) who didn't have a lot of books her students were interested in reading.
While I have some mixed views on Thoroughbred racing now, after learning a little more about what it can really be like when not done properly with the horses' best interests in mind, at the time, as a young girl, it made me want to be a jockey. I've still never even run a horse, but the desire to learn to ride well enough to be able to is still there. The books also made me want to be a trainer, which in some way may still happen one day as a side hobby. A lonnnng time from now. When I know a LOT more and have a LOT more experience. At the moment, Orion and I are still stumbling along and finding our way through the training process in all things a little bit at a time.
2. My first "aha" moment...is not one that's hard to come up with. Hands down, it's the day that Orion chose to join up with me. There have been a lot of "aha" moments since then, but that was really the first and the biggest by far. It took a lot of work and patience, but it all paid off when he made that choice to be with me rather than stay away on his own and do his own thing. That whole day, I stayed out there. I worked with him on a few things, and he tried so damn hard to do what I wanted him to, as soon as he was asked. And when I took his lead, and eventually halter, off of him, he followed me around like a puppy.
That was the day I knew that as long as I was patient and didn't give up, I'd be able to do any of the things I wanted to with him. I had learned about join up through reading the Heartland books when I was younger, a few years after I began reading Thoroughbred. For all those years, I had always imagined what it would be like to join up with my own horse one day. I never thought it would actually happen. So when it did, it was an amazing feeling.
He has his off days and his stubborn days, but the majority of the time, he tries to do whatever I ask him to. And he's too damn smart for his own good, so he's got the intelligence to learn anything I throw at him - quickly too. I taught him the cue to back up in five minutes. We worked on it longer than that just to make sure he really understood and would remember it, but he had the gist of it down in five. He learns quickly at everything else too.
3. I have never shown in my life. Ever. I have, however been in the 4-H arena up the road from where I keep Orion. We rode up there this past spring to prepare the horses for the ride we'd be doing there to get their shots when the 4-Hers had their clinic a few weeks later. The practical reason for the ride over was to make sure the horses were familiar with everything and to get an idea of where any trouble spots were going to be (dangerous stretches of road, fields alongside the road with other horses, along with Orion's worst fear - cows [not kidding, when they're by the fence, he crosses the road to get as far away from them as possible]). The recreational reason was to work/play in a real arena. There was a smaller one inside as well that I practiced lunging in for a bit. Orion and I really didn't know what to do with ourselves in the huge outdoor arena. We're not used to having that much space when we ride, and at the time, I didn't have a whole lot of confidence built up yet. It's something I still have to work on every time I ride, but I had even less back then.
I guess you could call that my "debut". It was also the first time I jumped a horse on purpose (Orion popped me over a brush pile at the last second and almost gave me heart failure last winter). There were a couple of tiny jumps set up that I took him over twice. We stopped after the second time, 1. because he's really not supposed to jump and 2. because I almost impaled myself (I don't recommend jumping in a Western saddle. Ever.). Fun/terrifying. I wouldn't mind doing it again in small doses for his health's sake, especially now that I have an English saddle. But that consideration isn't ever going to be in the works until I can actually stay IN the saddle. I'm pretty sure the Western was the only thing that kept me from landing on the ground before Orion did.
Well, that was fun. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings!
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