Some summer long ago: I found an all round sort of camp with horses, and dragged my younger brother to it for a week of.... fun doesn't seem to be the right word. The only part I liked was the horse part, and that was substandard to say the least. There were two horses, and two bike helmets. Each person would take a turn, and some time around the Thursday of that week, they asked us if we wanted to trot. Without an answer, they said it would be bumpy; hold on, so hold on I did. They were right, it was bumpy, but I loved it.
Spring 2006: For some random reason, my dear old self got tired of dreaming and decided to take some action. I'd always been interested in horses, but had never really ridden. I suppose I just couldn't stand it any longer, for after doing as much research as a kid my age could (I would have been 11 or 12) I found a barn I liked the looks of. After much discussion with my parents, a couple weeks later we drove out there and I was in love! I was so impressed with the girls trotting around on their clean pretty looking ponies, and I instantly knew I wanted to be one of them. My parents agreed to let me go to the barn's summer camp, and promised that if I liked it, I could have some lessons.
August 2006: The week before school started up, I got to go to riding camp for a week. I think my parents must have had a momentary lapse of rational thought when they told me I could have lessons if I enjoyed riding camp. I'd known from the second I set foot in the barn that I wanted to have lessons, I wanted to be able to trot and post up and down (not that I knew what it was called) like the girls I'd seen in their lessons, and I wanted it bad. I hated being stuck with a leader, and walking/trotting around like a kid at a pony ride. Patience may be a virtue, but that didn't mean I had to put it into practice! After the week of summer camp was over (as to be predicted) I wanted lessons.
End of Oct 2006: I started english riding lessons! Yay! I really enjoyed it, and was practically in love with my coach, Jocelyn. She was strict, and made you work. I put as much effort as I could into my riding, and I think it payed off. I loved the feeling of improving, getting something right, and riding all of the different horses; I also especially loved getting to develop a relationship with a horse, learning to read their body language, and spending every waking hour of the day thinking/ dreaming about them. Attention: I'd officially been bitten by the horse bug.
February 2007: Sad times. I had to stop riding as my Mom and Dad were going to work in Australia for 6 weeks, stop by New Zealand, India, and Egypt, before heading up to the arctic to work out the remainder of their 5 months sabbatical, and I was going with them. There aren't many horses in the arctic.... none to be exact.
September 2007: My old coach had left the barn *sniff* so I was in with a new coach, Rebecca. My riding lessons continued, and at some point in my sporadic riding while we were traveling, I'd 'learmt' how to jump. Everyone else was jumping, so I was told "its easy, just go into two point." so I did. That's where my my jumping issues started. Throughout the year, I entered into my first show (in barn flat) fall off for the first time (and second time) did my first one stride, first vertical, first cantered jump, and first oxer.
September 2008: In 2008, through some bribing and good marks, my parents agreed to letting me do twice a week lessons. I learned a lot, but this post is rather long so we'll get on to the summer.
Spring 2009: I was now finishing middle school, and preparing to head into high school. My school housed kids from age 3 to grade 12, and I'd been there right from the start. However, my parents weren't satisfied with the academic standards of my school; they wanted me to go to a different high school, and I was torn. While I was really interested in switching schools, I didn't want to leave my friends, and the intensely tightly woven community of my old school. However, as I'm sure all you parents out there know, when in doubt, bribe! They agreed to let me part board a horse, if I switched schools. I, being me (naturally), gladly took the bait, and took the leap. I spent may-june looking for the perfect horse, and just when I was loosing hope, I found him.
July 2009: In July 2009, I started to ride Artax aka Arty, a 14.1hh flea-bitten grey arab mix. The second I got on his back, I knew he was for me. He was green and energetic beyond belief. He was an 11y/o trail horse ridden in a hackamore (with a shank) because if you had a bit in his mouth, he tended to grab it in his mouth, stick his nose straight up in the air, and bolt. Not generally classified as safe, when you're out on the trails. I was (correctly) told that to keep him in a walk, I'd need to really hold him back, and since he only listened to rein aids, I kept a death grip on his face. After probably 20 minutes, we started to trot. I loosened my reins by a 1/4cm, and off he went into a paso fino-esque trot. We went around and around the arena, attempting serpentines and circles, and sort of failing miserably since it was the first time he'd been ridden in the arena for... four years? Five? But I came away from that ride happier than I had any ride before. I was in love, and it was with an exceptionally green eleven year old pony, who was barely sane enough to keep me on his back. I worked on keeping him calm, teaching him half halts, and eventually starting him over fences. half way through September, we entered in a little local show's 18 inch division, and came away with a 6th place ribbon! Not bad for three weeks of jumping. It both Arty and my first real show, so we were exceptionally pleased with ourselves.
(our first show)
(cantering in august)
(Arty's third or so time jumping, first time cantering fences)
August 2010: Arty and I found someone who would change our lives... or at the very least, our riding. One of my dad's friends recommended a coach, Lynda, who has changed my riding so much I hate looking at pictures of one month ago! I don't know how much arty likes her.... but his topline sure has improved!Sept 2010: For the first time ever, I don't head back to my trusty old schooling barn for lessons. :'( However, I do get the chance to start part boarding a horse Lynda recommended for me. Bailey's a 16.2hh 8y/o TB x Percheron gelding. I love him dearly, but he ain't my pony!