Clover Ledge Farm is hosting this challenge for the month of November and since I’ve had so little to write about lately I figured I’d jump on in. And because it is the day after Halloween, you get a picture of Wyatt!
When and why I started riding.
Wow. Starting off with a bang here. For me this question is easiest to be broken into two separate riding “lives”: my younger years and my return as an adult.
I’m not sure if riding was a conscious decision or not. My aunt and uncle owned a horse farm two hours south of where I lived and my mom would take me there as a little girl. Pictures of a blonde haired, blue eyed miniature version of myself are floating around somewhere.
I loved everything about the farm. The animals, the dirt, the room to explore. My aunt began by giving me pony rides until I began begging to go faster. Faster. Faster. At that point my uncle threw me up in his big western saddle in front of him and we raced around the pasture on his saintly TWH mare.
It was only a matter of time until they added a pony to their herd for me which was later upgraded to my own horse. I adored my time spent there, begged my mom to let me spend more weeks with them and cried when I left. We rode from sun up to sun down, swam in the river and conquered mountain trails. It was a dream of a childhood.
Then the usual happened. I grew up into a teenager and became interested in more local endeavors. High school and then college came and went. I got married. I started medical school. Those were the horseless years.
In my third year of medical school something changed. I was doing a month long stint at the VA hospital and an attending was talking about her new horse. One thing led to another and I found myself invited to ride with her. That was beginning of the end.
The moment my leg swung up I felt like I was back home. I missed the feeling of horseflesh under my seat. The smell of horse sweat in my nostrils. The sense of freedom being on a horse gave me. Like I could fly. Like anything was possible.
The reason I started riding is because it was in my bones to do so. I can come up with no better reason. I never had competition goals. I never dreamed of running my own boarding or training barn. I just knew I felt at home in a barn, on a horse.
The reason I keep riding is the challenge to grow as a person, as a steward of these wonderful animals and as a rider. Even the bad rides make me yearn for me. For a redo. The good rides leave me riding a high for days. It’s an addiction. Its in my blood.