I thought maybe before I started writing different things like dressage and liberty, I should probably tell you my horse story and how it started at the beginning. The beginning of my passion for horses.
Both my Mom and my Nana rode when they were young. My mom was a barrel racer and she also goat tied. That, really, is where it all started. Basically, you could say that my mom’s passion was passed on to me. When I first started riding, I was nine years old. The first horse I remember that I rode was a little pony named Bunker. Bunker, if you can believe it, was 35 years old when I was riding him. He was a great pony! The best memory I have of riding Bunker was when my lesson teacher stuffed chocolate Reese’s into a little mailbox and I had to ride over to the mailbox and open it. When I opened it there was a delicious surprise inside. To say the least, that was the highlight of all my lessons.
Me and Bunker:
The next best surprise I had was when I was about 10 or 11. We had just moved to a different house and my nana was taking us out to see her new horse that she had just bought. We got to the farm where her horse was boarded and there was a sign in the barn saying, “My name is Reba. Please love and take care of me.” I did not know what was going on, but I knew it was going to be something amazing. I walked around the corner of that barn and to my surprise there was a horse standing right in front of me with a purple ribbon around her neck. Her name was Reba and she was a Quarter Horse/Thoroughbred Dun. She was beautiful and I think I almost cried! Reba took me through many ups and downs. My first fall was on Reba, so she definitely helped me regain my confidence. For a while after the fall, I can admit that I was pretty scared of not only horses, but I was scared of Reba. It took me a long time to regain my confidence.
We had owned Reba for a couple of years and she got hurt. She hurt a joint in her hip and no matter how many medications she was on, it just didn’t get better. It was very disappointing not being able to ride her anymore. I didn’t ride for a long time and I think that was the big factor that dipped my confidence. When we decided to move again for my dad’s job we had to figure out something that we could do with Reba. We found a children’s horse camp and we are leasing two horses to them out at the camp. They are very happy and she couldn’t be in a better place!
When we moved, I started looking for stables that I could ride at and went to many stables before finding the right one. I rode at about four stables and none of them, I felt, were the right for me. One day, my friend, told me the stable she rode at and that the trainer was an amazing teacher. I got in touch with this trainer and started taking lessons at the stable. It has been an incredible experience and I have loved every minute riding there. I also discovered a love for Dressage. I have learned so much and I am still learning a lot. Dressage is an art and is beautiful when done right. It looks easy when watched on TV, as I have realized, but is much harder when working on it by yourself. Now I have my own horse named Sky and she is incredible! I love her so much and couldn’t imagine my life without her!
As you can tell, it took a long time, about 5 years, to where I am at now. I didn’t give up even though there were many times I thought about trying something else and quit riding. But if I had quit riding, I wouldn’t have discovered a love for dressage or have my own horse. The lesson I want to teach everyone is that if you don’t give up, you can get somewhere. You can accomplish great things! You just have to try harder and push with all your might and you will get there, someday.
XO – Keeley