Saturday, July 28, 2001

Candi asked me to write about how I got started riding horses, so here we go :)

I don't remember just when I started loving horses. I do remember when I was in the hospital when I was 2, I colored the picture of the horse in the coloring book because it was my favorite, so the love must predate my memory. My first time on a horse was when I was 3 or 4. A friend of my sister had a horse, and I rode him around the tree he was tied to, and was convinced I was off to a fantastic start in my riding career. When I was about 8, I suppose, I got to go on my first trail ride at a place called Krazy Horse Ranch on an appaloosa gelding named Rodger. I was in heaven. I spent the next several years riding at the local trail places, and though I may not have learned much about "correct" riding from all those trail rides, I learned a LOT about riding different horses. I'd guess I had to have ridden about 30 different horses over those few years, and I bet I remember at least half of them.

Finally, when I was 12 or 13, I met a lady named Jill Menz at a yard sale. They had a stuben-zeigfried english all purpose saddle for sale that we were both looking at, and we got to talking about horses. She invited me to ride at her house some time, and a few days later, I did. I ended up taking riding lessons from her for several months, and finally learned *why* I was supposed to ride the way I did.. I learned to groom and tack a horse.. I walked, trotted, and eventally loped as much and as often as I could, all on a wonderful appaloosa gelding named Prince Adi Ambro (Prince!) After about 6 months, I suppose, Jill moved about 5 hours away, and so ended my lessons. I went out to visit her for a few weeks each summer for the next two years, but that was basically the extent of my riding. The summer after I graduated ('99), I decided I NEEDED to ride again. Need like one needs oxygen. And so when I ran across a riding lesson business card at a tack store, I decided there was no time like the present, and gave the lady a call. A lesson was set up, and when I arrived that night, I met the horse I would ride- a lovely little chestnut gelding. Being so out-of-practice, I was anything but the picture of grace that night, but I really liked the horse I rode, and the teacher, and made plans to go back soon. And so began the great friendship of Crystal & Susie, as well the famous relationship with that wonderful little chestnut gelding. About a year later, I found out that precious horse I rode for most of my lessons was being sold to a lady named Janice. I cried. I bawled. I sobbed. You get the picture. Well, Janice didn't spend much time with her new horse, and so because he was boarded at Susie's, I struck up a deal with her. I would pay for the horse's shoes and worming if I could ride him whenever I wanted. She accepted, and I was the thrilled owner of a little bit of a horse. Well, his shoes at least :) Within a few months, Janice finally decided to sell him, and I bet you can guess that I jumped at the chance. And, obviously by now, if you haven't guessed, that fantastic little gelding I rode for my first lesson at Susie's is now my own precious Emmett. And although I seem to have gone off on a tangent here.. did I answer your question, Candi?

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