Wednesday, November 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo: Blogger Style!

Day 1 - When & Why You Started Riding

 My mom has pictures of me at the local fair, you know, the one that comes to the suburbs and sets up in a parking lot, not even in a field because there's no open field big enough, riding the ponies that go around the modified hotwalker at a glacier pace.

I was obsessed with horses for a long while. I pestered my parents enough that my birthday presents were often trail rides at the local-ish riding stable. And then finally a series of lessons through the summer program at the University of Connecticut when I was ten. And I'd beg to go to camps where I could ride horses.  I have a picture somewhere of me at Asthma Camp (no joke! lol) that happened to have horses and I got very attached to a nice morab.

Then a lady at my church kind of heard that I was horse crazy. She invited me out to her farm where I met Baron and Pooh Bear, an ancient chestnut morgan gelding and a nearly ancient spitfire little black shetland. She taught me how to groom them while my Dad cleaned their stalls. It was under the pretense that I would draw Baron and Pooh, since she had won that in a church fundraiser auction. I did eventually get her a drawing.

But then one day a new horse showed up. He was a big, beautiful bay Standardbred and we just... connected. He was off the track, but he had the most wonderful heart and personality. I was the only one who could touch his nose and his whiskers and he whinnied every time he heard my Mom's car.

I started riding him. And he was mine to ride. No one else's. Then Jane, the old lady, suggested that I join the Pony Club. They were Proper. She had already taught me how to groom the Proper way. 

So I joined the local Pony Club and started taking regular lessons. Jane would pick me up after school in her big red diesel truck and I would ride, either in her kind of grass arena or on the trails behind her property that connected to a local state park. I had miles of trail to explore. I was distance riding before I knew what distance riding even was.
My 'arena', not level, single dirt track, a couple of homemade jumps
 But I joined Pony Club and Clyde and I learned together. And we evented. Clyde LOVED cross country. Not so much dressage. He had trouble cantering and not pacing (off the track, remember) but we made so much progress together. He's who I credit with how well I ride now.

Standardbreds Can't Jump? I never knew that was a thing. This horse was excellent at it.

I threw my all into Clyde and Jane and Pony Club. They helped me survive my teen years. My one regret is that I wasn't able to take Clyde for his retirement. He lived out his days with Jane, she was forever homes for nearly all of animals so I know he was loved until the end. But she always said that I could have him if I had a place for him. I got Firefly too late. He had already passed.


  1. I love that your first horse was a Standardbred! Yay! They are the best horses! <3

    1. They really are! If I ever get another horse I'm getting an OTTSTB!