Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Horse Story

I started this draft months ago. Life got in the way of the post.

Arlene, who writes the Gray Horse Matters blog, posted this meme which originally was sent to her on Facebook. I decided to play along for the benefit of all of the horse friends I've made through my blog. The rest of you, just talk among yourself. If anyone decides to play along, let us know.

1. How old were you when you first started riding?

Although I've been on horses a number of different times during my life, I took up riding as a serious hobby when I was 48.

2. First horse ridden:

Probably one at an amusement park when I was five. The same day I met Zippy the Chimp, who slobbered cheese on my hand (there's an 8mm movie somewhere.) The first one of the school horses I rode was probably Loblolly at Pierce College. I developed a relationship with an old guy named O.P. there before I got Ace.

3. First horse trotted on:

O.P., one of the Pierce College school horses.

4. First horse cantered on:

I'm still working on that! Actually, it's Ace. Often when it is his idea and not mine. I'm a big coward and speed still scares me.

5. First Horse fallen off of:


6. Most recent horse fallen off of


7. Most terrifying fall:

Not the one where I broke my arm, although that wasn't any fun. The one where the breath was knocked out of me two years ago and resulted in a bruise the size of Nebraska on my hip. Man that hurt, but not being able to breathe terrified me.

8. First horse jumped with:

That's not going to happen. Ace doesn't even like cavalletti very much.

9. First horse who ran away with you:

His name was Scooter and he belonged to my writer friend A.C. (Ann) Crispin. I thought I had gone 100 miles and he only went about three strides after he got bit by a monstrous horse fly.

10. First horse that scared the crap out of you:

My friend Lira's mare Lark, a huge Holsteiner with 24/360 PMS.

11. First horse shown :!)

Hasn't happened, since showing isn't my thing.

12. First horse to win a class with:

See 11.

13. Do you/have you taken lessons:

Several times a week, actually.

14. First horse you ever rode bareback:

Ace, on my own on day. I didn't fall off, but it was a dumb idea to do it for the first time when there was no one around and I clearly had no idea what I was doing.

15. First horse trail ridden with:

I did a trail ride back in college on Long Island and managed to stay on because I was too stupid to know I didn't know enough to be riding on a trail. I took another such ride for two hours in Yellowstone National Park a few years later. I was fine until the wrangler told us that the camera I had slung over my shoulder and under my arm was the most worthless thing I could be carrying. He was right, but in retrospect, I think riding without a helmet was even dumber.

16. Current Barn name:

Independence Ranch.

17. Do you ride English or western?:

I ride in a western saddle with an English attitude.

18. First Horse to place at a show with:

See 11.

19. Ever been to horse camp?:


20. Ever been to a riding clinic?

Yes. I've been in a clinic with Harry Whitney several times. I've done Rod Bergen's bomb-proofing clinic lotts of times.

21. Ridden sidesaddle?


22. First horse leased:

I skipped over the lease and went right to ownership.

23. Last Horse Leased:

See 22.

24. Highest ribbon in a show:

See 11.

25. Ever been to an 'A' rated show?:


26. Ever competed in pony games/relay races?:


27. Ever fallen off at a show

No, but I did at a clinic--I passed out in the saddle.

28. Do you ride Hunter/Jumpers?: 29. Have you ever barrel raced?


30. Ever done pole bending?:

Not really--I don't go that fast.

31. Favorite gait:

Sitting trot on my very smooth Arab.

32. Ever cantered bareback?:


33. Have you ever done dressage?:

Working on it. The horse knows more than I do.

34. Have you ever evented?:


35. Have you ever mucked a stall?:

Almost every day since I bought the horse.

36. Ever been bucked off?:

Nope, none of my falls has been that interesting.

37. Ever been on a horse that reared

Yes, and stayed on.

38. Horses or ponies.


39. Do you wear a helmet?:

All the time.

40. What's the highest you've jumped:

A ground pole.

41. Have you ever ridden at night?:


42. Do you watch horsey television shows?:


43. Have you ever been seriously hurt/injured from a fall?:

Broken arm.

44. Most falls in one lesson:


45. Do you ride in an arena/ring?:


46. Have you ever been trampled by a horse?:


47. Have you ever been bitten?:

Yes. Ace was a yearling and I was visiting my friend Melinda, who bred him. We were having a conversation outside of his stall. He took exception to being ignored and took a piece of my shirt and upper arm. Ouch. Melinda smacked him so quickly, I couldn't believe how fast she reacted. He never did that again, and I decided to buy him anyway three years later.

48. Ever had your foot stepped on by a horse?:

Yes. Who hasn't?

49: Favorite riding moment:

The first time I cued Ace to the canter and we did a complete circle.

50. Most fun horse you've ridden:

Ace is a great deal of fun.

1 comment:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Thanks for playing along. It was fun to read your answers and get to know more about you and Ace.