I remember when I used to ride nearly every day. I rode around the pasture, down a hill, across a pasture, and through a creek. I can still feel Blackie underneath me as I rode him for the first time. It was at the dude ranch where my parents bought him. The owner wanted me to ride him and make sure we would go together. The ride went fine because I was following a rider in front of me. Looking back I should have rode Blackie away from other horses to see how I could handle him. But I didn’t know all that when I was nine and my parents were not horse people so in our ignorance I had a new pony to bring home.
In spite of not knowing much about horses, Blackie and I got along surprisingly well. I had a whole ten acres to ride on plus the neighborhood kids had horses and ponies and we all rode together. So it all went fine. I learned a lot and had a fun time.
Not sure of the first ride I took on Sandy. My dad bought her from a co-worker of his. She was a yearling. So I really got to learn from the ground up. All though in my case it may have been more the other way round; up on her and then on the ground. Someone else did the actual breaking her to saddle and bridle. Then I did all riding part. In spite of saying I was on the ground a lot, I don’t really remember ending up in a pile too often, a few times, but for the most part we got along incredibly well.
Sandy is the one I rode along the highway. Those rides were probably a little dangerous, but I don’t recall it being a big deal. There wasn’t a lot of traffic and what vehicles appeared would go by and around us slow.
We explored the whole neighborhood, stopping to see friends along the way. I’d take a friend for a ride and then head back home again. One time I over extended my time and was riding home in the dark. Somehow my parents caught up with me and followed me all the way back to the pasture. That must have been an agonizing time for them and slow. But I don’t remember getting into trouble over it, but it never happened again either. So it was probably understood, you don’t stay out after dark anymore.
The first time I mounted Poppy was at the dude ranch where I bought her, (another dude ranch hmm). I trotted and walked her in a big pen. We stopped and went forward. The only thing she wouldn’t do was back. I have since corrected that lack in her training.
I’ve had rides on numerous other horses, but these are memories of first rides on horses that were mine. I had a couple other horses too, but not for long. They both turned out to be too much horse for me and they went back to original owners.
I just watched a video of some people out riding. It was so pretty, no cars. They were on a trail that headed to an old homestead. What fun to ride and watch the scenery and then get to their destination. This is the kind of ride I would like to take every day or at least most days. I’d like to be like the cowboys and ride over the prairies and hills with no fences in the way. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era.
I know cowgirls and cowboys work on ranches hard and it isn’t all loping through the wild grasses and dreamy stuff that conjures up in my head at times. But I’ve read enough to know for the most part these people love what they are doing and it is their dream. I still dream about being on a ranch, maybe a working dude ranch. There I go again, dude ranches. I will have to blog about some of those types of riding places.
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