Jane, I've loved horses since I was a little girl but never had the opportunity to own one or even be around them much. I had to make do with reading every horse book I could find.
In 1977, my husband and I went to a dude ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and this year we'll go out there for our fourteenth trip. I get to be a cowgirl for a week and ride twice a day if I want.
Over the years, I've had lots of good horses at the ranch; sometimes I get to ride the same horse for several years in a row. My all-time favorite was Carmen, a little mare who was getting on in age. She was a sweetheart and easy to ride. I'm not a very good rider, but Carmen's lope was smooth. A slow lope is usually the fastest we ride out there, but there were a couple times when Carmen had the chance to open up, and she did! I loved it. We even got to "circle the wagons" once. There's a meadow in the valley where the wranglers will sometimes let the guests form a circle and ride 'round and around as fast as we can. I really enjoyed that with Carmen.
I rode Carmen for three summers, but lost her when she became a kids' horse, and she's no longer at the ranch, probably has gone across the Rainbow Bridge. But I'll never forget her.
Jane your story is very touching about your horse adventures. I have had ponies and horses through out my life. I lived on a farm that raised Shetlands when I was 3-7 years old. My favorite was a very small shetland gelding named Prince. He was a pinto. My secone favorite was Lady which I have a picture of me riding.
Then when I turned 11 my Mom got me Maybelle. She was a pinto pony about 13 hands high. At age 12, My Uncle found me an aged,retired Thorobred gelding, Big Red. He was the best ol horse a kid could ride. He passed away that winter due to kidney failure. The next spring I traded Maybelle for a horse. She was a 16 hand Saddlebred mare, and she was as hot as they come. They had used her as a racehorse down south. I got hurt on her the next year, when she fell on me. I traded her for my sister's Black Tennesse Walking horse mare. I didn't know it then, but Blaze was THE best horse. When I turned 16, I deceided I wanted a jumping horse, so I sold Blaze and got Tara. She was half Thorobred and half arabian, called an angloarab. I loved her so much. She had to be put down due to complications while pregnant. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I had a few other horses after Tara, that were fill ins but nothing much to speak of. Then in Jan. of 2002 I found Endy. He was my dream horse. He was actually a Large draft pony, his father a Haflinger, his mother a Percheron/Arabian. He was like riding a tank. I loved him so much, and thought I would never let him go. In August 2006, I got bucked over his head, and hurt my back pretty bad. I did a lot of soul searching and prayed that if the Lord wanted me to sell him to send the right person. Sure enough, the Lord sent an angel of a woman named Annie to take Endy as her's. He is now a show horse and does eventing and dressage.
I ended up getting two aged horses from a rescue club. The Standardbred mare is wonderful to ride, as she is gaited. It is so nice on my back. I also have a shetland mare (Stormy) who is a dead ringer for my first pony, Lady.
Hey folks, so glad I found my way to this group! I've always had a passion for horses much to my parents chagrin!I never owned a horse growing up but my grandparents neighbour had an appaloosa mare called Duchess that he needed help exercising. We used to go out for 5-6 hour cross country treks everytime I had days off. I was in 7th heaven. When our second daughter turned 9 she decided that she wanted to learn to ride. I sent her to a one week live in camp experience and low and behold the horse she started riding was an appie mare who could have been cloned from the horse I had been riding 20 years earlier! Well, of the 7 kids in the camp, mine was the only one who came home still wanting to own her own horse and ride. As she got more experienced she began to ride a palomino quarter horse mare called Victorian Brandy. They were soulmates and she rode her almost everyday. They began to compete cross country and jumping. When she turned 16, we gave her Brandy for her birthday. I'll never forget the look on her face when she finally realized that Brandy was all hers. My husband called it the boyfriend control program and it worked for 5 years. It was wonderful to be able to share my passion with my daughter. We both ride Brandy, her style English and mine, Western (but with English hands).
I had broken my foot 4 years ago and couldn't go with her to the barn, she came back to inform me that she had bought another horse (she was now working and making her own money, while living at home)! Our second mare is a Hanovarian/Thoroughbred cross called Enchantress of Avalon, Chance for short. It took me 2 weeks but she soon learned to come when called. Actually, of all the horses in the barn, they boarded, our two are the only horses that come when called. Sure makes it easy when it's rained and they are way out in the paddock! Chance is now 16.2hh and at 5 years her growth is almost finished, so this summer our project is to get on with her formal training. Next year Lauren plans to show Chance. I am loving every minute of this, I ride whenever I want and have two wonderful mares to love and love me. Aren't we so fortunate to have these magnificent animals in our lives?
Thanks Jane for starting this group, it is so nice to be able to talk with like minded gals. As soon as I get this picture thing figured out, I'll post some pictures of my girls.