I remember thinking that Flame was the smartest horse on the planet. My godmother would ask her how old she was and Flame would patiently count to sixteen. Every time. I would make her ask over and over again.
I remember standing on a stool or bucket beside Flame and learning how to swing my kids' size saddle up onto her back. I was so excited when I got to my lesson (of which I only remember one or two, how weird is that?) and found that my godmother had bought a kids' saddle for me to ride in. Sadly, that was near the time when I found out that my godparents were going to be divorced.
I also remember riding with my godmother down the road from her place to an open area. It was the first time (that I remember) riding to someplace other than their yard. I know that she had hopes of me barrel racing (at least that's what my mom told me), but I do vividly remember setting up spools in the closet of my bedroom and running the pattern with my Breyer horses.
Who knew, all those years ago, that I'd never out-grow my horse craziness?
From talking to my mom, I do know that I learned to ride, first and foremost, bareback. Doing all sorts of crazy balance things: airplane arms, laying down back-to-back with Flame, twisting my torso to touch Flame's butt with my airplane arms. All the same drills my mom puts the grandkids through. I don't ever remember falling - if I did, it wasn't traumatic enough to remember. In fact, the first time I ever came off a horse, I was a pre-teen and it was a damn pony with an attitude. Though I don't remember my lessons, my godmother and Flame gave me confidence in my balance at a young age.
What are your earliest horse memories? Did you start riding at a young age or were you an adult before you were able to ride?
Don't forget about the High Country Rendezvous! It's right around the corner. Click on the link or the tab at the top of the page for complete information.