Thursday, October 9, 2014

STFS Blog Hop: Why I Do What I Do

  Stories from the Saddle has offered up a timely blog hop - "Why I do what I do", entertaining stories of how you found "your" discipline of choice.  I say this is timely for me because I am at an emotional cross roads with my riding right now.  Things are going great under saddle, that isn't the issue.  The issue is that I feel confused as to what I want to be doing with my horses right now, and if I want to continue on with my current preferred discipline.

 It all started with this woman.  Who has loved horses forever - and gave up riding and horse ownership when she had my sister and me.  When I was 6 years old my mom asked me if I wanted to take riding lessons - something which had never entered my mind.  I wasn't one of those kids who was born horse crazy.  I didn't really have an interest in horses at all...until my first lesson.  I will save you long horse ridden trip down memory lane but that was all it took.  After my first lesson I was one hundred percent totally horse crazy.

my first show with Esther
  It wasn't long after that I got my first pony Esther.  Esther was pretty much the Devil incarnate but she sure taught me how to ride.  She was pregnant when bought her - much to our surprise and so the search was on for another pony for me - and that is how we found Snapple.  You can read about her through that link.  With Snapple I did everything.  Hunter, jumper, dressage, western gaming, western pleasure - you name it.  She was a super pony, totally versatile and very talented.  Through Pony Club I learned about Touch A Rainbow Horse Trials and we referred to it as - "THE Event".  As if there were only one in the world.  I guess in my 11 year old brain and before the Internet I had no idea what this land of "eventing" was all about.

  I took Snapple to Touch A Rainbow for the first time when I was 11.  I think we placed 2nd, and the year after I took her again and this time we won.  We won this awesome wool cooler and a nice big ribbon.  I remember driving home from the event and saying to my mom that I wished there were more shows like "the event" around.  So much better than hunter and jumper shows.  She said there probably were and if I wanted to do just that type of show I could.

  And that is how it all started.  My mom found out about the OHTA and I started solely eventing Snapple.  I became the eventing enthusiast I am today.  From then on I read all the eventing books, watched all the movies, and was completely obsessed with it.  Things were different back then.  There was no internet and no way to connect with the sport or upper level riders.  Watching the Training level riders I always admired them so much and hoped some day I could be there.  They seemed so out of reach and I was just longing to be that good day one day.  I met a girl who also had an Appaloosa as she was stabling at my friends house for Hawkridge Horse Trials.  We went to watch her, she was going Training level.  I remember thinking this was the coolest chick and horse on the planet and my new goal in life was to event at Hawkridge.

water at Hawkridge

Stadium at Hawkridge
  Luckily enough, I did get to event there - Pre- Training level several years later.  It ended up being the last year they had the event but we spent a lot of time at Hawkridge with the Pony Club.   The absolute most amazing place to event.  When I outgrew Snapple I moved onto my first "horse" Westy.  It was eventing Westy that really sealed the deal for me.  The horse was absolute cross country machine and went from Entry level to Training in one season.  We upgraded to Prelim after two years and he carried me around safely and clear in my first Prelim and it was a day I will never forget.

Our first event together - Entry level, that we won

in the warm up at Fiddlers Green
  These moments, the thrill, the time spent training, the memories or events come and gone - and the rush of a clear round are what keeps me engulfed in the world of eventing.  It has been a good ride....we will have to see what the future holds for myself and the world of eventing.


  1. You have so many great stories of your horses! I love hearing about them.

  2. Will your mom adopt me?

    I love Snapple. I love the color scheme. I love the fierce look of determination on your face.

  3. what a great way to get into the sport!

  4. Snapple is the MOST adorable! Love your story!

  5. You look so young and tiny jumping those huge jumps!!

  6. I was thinking the other day that you looked like a badass at your last event, but these childhood photos have sealed it for me. Great story! :)


Please leave a comment if you have something to share!  I love hearing from readers <3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...