Back Then…

My first pony, Blackie.
My first pony, Blackie.

When my parents bought my first pony for me the western style riding tack; saddle, blanket, bridle, halter with lead was included. I never had a thought about it except it was all pretty and sure made me feel like a real cowgirl. The leather creaking and my feet in the stirrups and my hands holding the reins, my pony and I rode the pasture chasing dreams.

The Simple Life

Life was simple back then. I saddled up my little Welsh/Shetland mix pony I’d named Blackie and rode for hours all over the ten acres. At times we drifted over onto the neighboring property when I rode with friends who had ponies too.

Big Dreams

I dreamed of herding the cattle on the big ranch, a handsome cowboy figured in the dream there someplace too, though he was only that, just a dream. Oh, well who needs a cowboy when you have a pony?

I worried our milk cows a time or two with my pretending. If I wasn’t driving cows, I was tracking down the band of outlaws. What ever the story going on in my head, the last thing I thought about was the comfort of the riding equipment on my pony.


Back then, in my ignorance a saddle was a saddle and bridle and bit the same. I had no idea my pony might be uncomfortable, the saddle might not be fitting him properly, or the curb bit might not be the right one to use or wasn’t adjusted to his mouth correctly.

My buckskin mare, Sandy
My buckskin mare, Sandy

I went through the same scenario a few years later when I owned a beautiful buckskin mare named Sandy. All I can say is I don’t recall any serious wounds or sores on my equines. They were healthy and I feel lucky that my ignorance didn’t cause undo pain. It still remains that if I would have known and been more educated about horses at the time my pony and mare would have been more comfortable.

How It Is Now

I can’t do anything about my pony or buckskin mare now and it breaks my heart when I think about it. All I can do is take as good care of the mare I have now with the knowledge I’ve gotten since those days back then.

When I bought a new saddle for Poppy, the mare I have now, I learned how to measure her back and get the correct measurments so the saddle would fit. I had a more knowledgable friend who helped me with choosing the right bit and bridle. I can ride with more confidence, knowing I have done the right things to ensure my horse is comfortable. She is easier to manage as well. This tells me she is fine with her saddle and bridle and we can both enjoy the ride.

Poppy and me ready for a ride.
Poppy and me ready for a ride.

This has been a slice of my cowgirl life; how it was for me and the fun times I had with both my pony and mare. What’s your story? I’d like to hear. Please share if you’d like.

Thank you for stopping by my hitching post. Please leave a comment or ask a question. I'll do my best to answer. 

4 thoughts on “Back Then…

  1. What’s your opinion on bitless riding? I know it’s a very contraversial topic for many equestrians, but I’d like to hear your viewpoint. Thanks!

    1. Hi Katherine,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment and asking for my opinion.
      I have never ridden using a bitless bridle, but I am interested in giving it a try. I’ve been reading up on it and have found this bridle is a gentle way of communicating with your horse. The features of a bitless bridle give control where others don’t. Because of your query I think it would be a good idea to write a more indepth post about them. I will research more and do just that.
      Thank you again for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Hi Judy, I adore this post, especially the phrase: “my pony and I rode the pasture chasing dreams.” What a lovely insight into your world as a little girl. Your writing style is beautiful and so emotive. You have the ability of creating a movie in my mind… and a longing for “the simple life”… love it.

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Oh, my thank you for such a wonderful reply. This is what this site is about, taking people back to their dreams and what more life has to offer, the simple things. Thank you so much for your kind words. 🙂

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