We lived in Oregon when I was a small child. Had 11 acres, which seemed like half the world to a kid. When I was two, my dad brought home a Silver Dapple Shetland Pony mare. My folks were not horse people, but thought since we had all this land, we needed a pony. Princess turned out to be a nice pony. I don't really have many memories of her, as that was forty *cough-cough*six years ago. The neighbor kid down the way had been dumped and dragged by a stirrup from a full sized horse, and refused to get back on ANY horse, except Princess. So, we sold her to them, and it got him back riding again. We had bought a 'bigger' pony for me.
This is Princess with my dad.
I was 5 when we got Harvena Rose, and Jody Hardian. Both registered Welsh ponies. Rosey was registered as a grey roan. Not a color I have seen listed anywhere since. She was to be my pony. And Jody, was a blue roan, and my sisters pony. Both were two years old, unbroke. But, my parents had the sense to send them to a local trainer, who broke them right, and also, put me in lessons on their nice Shetland pony, until Rosey was broke enough for me to ride. Rosey and I went everywhere. We'd go across the fields near the house, over to the neighbors to visit, and I had a friend less than a mile away that I'd go ride with. I had trouble putting the saddle on Rosey without help, so I rode bareback almost all the time. If I got off, I was creative in getting back on. If I could not find some steps on a neighbors porch or something, I'd wait for Rosey to drop her head to eat, lay across her neck, tap her face, and when she put her head up, I'd slide down her neck, and swing my leg over her back. I was to be home before the street lights came on. While I thought I was out there on my own, I am sure the neighbors kept my mom updated as to where I was. When I was 9 years old, I started in the local 4H program, and showed Rosey at all the 4H shows and County Fair.
Rosey and I when I was Six and a half years old.
Before we got a horse trailer, I'd ride her alone from our house, to the fairgrounds, which was about 3 miles away, but right through town. I loved the winter time, because my parents would board the pony at the fairgrounds for a couple months, and we had the indoor arena to ride in. I'd get dropped off after school, and picked up hours later after riding, cleaning the stall, and messing with the pony. I think my next horse came along when I was about 11, and Rosey was sold to a nice family, looking for a first pony for their kids. I heard later, they kept her until she died as a very old pony.
So, I know I was blessed to have been started with horses very young, especially since my parents had no interest. My mom took me to my lessons every week in a neighboring town, sat there and listened, and tried to help me between. She took me to the shows, and sat in the grandstands through all my classes.
I never went through that phase of 'wanting' a horse, because they have just always been there. I have sometimes wondered what I'd have ended up doing with my time if horses had not been part of my life. I think figure skater or gymnastics would be out. . I did a little bit of band, and I prefer to listen to music, rather than make it. So who knows. My life has sure been interesting having horses as such a large part of it.