I totally meant to do this like two days ago, but spaced out and forgot! Better late than never, right?
So in honor of this first hop, the theme is: debut. No one is born knowing how to ride so all of us have memorable firsts.
Share a memory from:
- The first horse experience you can remember.
- Your first “aha” moment–when something really clicked for you as a rider.
- Entering the ring. Could be your first show, or another time when simply entering the arena could be considered a “debut” of sorts.
Here are my answers:
- The first horse experience you can remember. I have a few fuzzy memories and can’t remember which is first, so I’ll tell all three of them. I remember my fat gray Shetland pony Daisy bucking me off, then bucking my dad off, then galloping off at top speed. I was probably about four. Daisy ran clear off to the neighbors’ farm and managed to break my tiny western saddle along the way. Around the same time, I remember riding a very ill mannered pony named Heather at the local stable where my mom had signed me up for riding lessons. She always had a pissy expression on her face, and I distinctly remember not liking her. I also remember the first time I got to ride a “big” horse at this stable (Heather was probably off trying to kill another student)- he was a bay gelding named Buster, who was probably only about 14 hands or so, but I thought he was huge.
- Your first “aha” moment– when something really clicked for you as a rider. I was surprised at how many people answered that they didn’t have an “aha” moment! My first was when I learned a mnemonic phrase to recall which diagonal was correct when posting- “Rise and fall with the leg on the wall”. I had a lot of trouble with diagonals and when someone (a Pony Club instructor, I think) related that phrase to me, diagonals suddenly clicked.
- Entering the ring. Could be your first show, or another time when simply entering the arena could be considered a “debut” of sorts. My first show debut was at the county 4-H show on May 18, 1996 when I was nine years old. I was riding my instructor’s pony Ginger who was considerably better tempered than Daisy or Heather. I won first place in the novice walk/trot class. I still have the ribbon (it’s hanging in my living room). Somewhere, there is a picture of an adorable girl in paddock boots and garters holding a cute chestnut pony with a ribbon hanging on its bridle, smiling with excitement and pride. While my show career hasn’t been as successful as its launch would indicate, I think of that nine year old and how happy she was whenever I get frustrated at my lack of progress on canter departures or shoulder-ins.