Cathryn at Two and a Half Horses started a fun blog hop: Tell me the story of your first horse.
My first horse was actually a pony. A delightfully adorable, stereotypically naughty Shetland pony named Daisy.
My parents were married for a few years before I was born. During that time, my mother decided to pursue her childhood dream of horse ownership. She and my father lived on sixty-odd acres in rural upstate New York and went whole-hog on farm life: they had cattle, hogs, all manner of poultry, and two horses. My dad’s horse was a even-tempered chestnut Quarter Horse mare named Tammy. My mom’s horse was a half-feral Arabian gelding given to her by a coworker under the condition that she had to catch him, load him into the trailer, and transport him home. (It took my parents eight hours to do so.) My mother took riding lessons at a local stable and both of my parents rode their horses around their farm. When I was born, I was placed on the back of a horse long before I could walk.
When I was four years old, my mother saw an ad in the local newspaper for a Shetland pony mare that was being sold with tack included for $350. My parents thought it seemed like a good deal, so on July 4, 1990, they brought the small gray pinto pony and her tiny western saddle home.
Daisy was exactly what a pony is rumored to be: small, ill-tempered, impatient, and generally grumpy. She was fairly well behaved while being led, but when turned loose, she took advantage of her young and inexperienced rider. She bucked me off several times; once, she galloped away as fast as her small pony legs could carry her. Some neighbors far down the road found her in their yard. She’d evidently rolled or hung the saddle on something- it was broken enough to merit professional repair. Daisy once bucked my father off when he decided to climb aboard her after she’d dumped me. My father is not a big man at 5’5 and weighed perhaps 160 pounds at the time, and he was sent sailing through the air with a flick of Daisy’s gray rump.
When we moved to Tennessee in 1993, we gave Daisy to one of my elementary school classmates whose mother ran the local 4-H horse club. My classmate periodically wrote me letters with updates about Daisy, and she had a good home for the rest of her life.
Since Daisy, I’ve never owned another pony! I rode polite, well-mannered ponies at both the riding stable in New York where I took my very first lessons and in Tennessee until I acquired my first horse-sized horse. I never felt like I was missing out on ponies until recently- all the nice sport ponies out there make me wish I were a pony-sized person again!