Day Four : A ride that Impacted Your life.
Man, this is tough.
I guess I could go with that first ride I took with the girl that boarded at my boyfriends house... It was kinda what made me want to start riding in the first place. Except I really didn't like her (thats a story for another day) and she was so irresponsible (we galloped across a field when she knew that I had only walked on a horse a handful of times... in hindsight I think she wanted me dead so she could move in on my boyfriend. So I don't think that story is worth impacting my life, even if that is the reason I started riding.
I can see why this is an Equestrian 'Challenge'. There honestly isn't a single ride that stands out as 'impacting' my life.
With Oreo...she was a super smart horse. She was so smart, that she would play mind games, and have you crazy before you even realized why you felt that way. She belonged to a family that moved away, but left her horse where she was, which was boarded at her moms house (her childhood home). It was a cute little barn, and the woman that lived there was older and just had heart surgery, so they wanted someone who would muck the stalls and feed a few days a week, and in return I got to ride Oreo.
She hadn't been ridden since her owner moved away very often (they had moved away about six months ago, but they were up most weekends to see her mother). The first time I went out to ride oreo she was sooo sweet...but the second I was alone, she started playing games with me!
If you said 'ho' or 'whoa' to her, she would feign being deaf. But if you said 'whooooa' in the deepest voice you could muster, she would slam on those breaks so hard you'd be over her head.
I don't know when It happened, but sometime her lope got TERRIBLE. I had been riding for maybe 5 or 6 months, so I was comfortable but still not secure in my seat. And suddenly, I was afraid to lope her!
However, after about a month of loping her for a lap in each direction and then stopping, I finally decided it was a day to lope, and I loped her. I did maybe three or four laps and then voila! Her lope was a beautiful rocking horse canter. I guess it was that she was stiff...and it took her a little while to fall into her lope nicely. I found out later that on the weekends it was the owners daughter that had been riding, and she never cantered before....of course the dang horse is stiff if it never gets loped!
I think that ride really taught me that blood sweat and tears pays off. Doing something your afraid of, pays off. I would sit on her and cry because I was frustrated and I didn't know where to go from there...and I would know I had to do something, but I didn't know what! I have learned soooo much from then! Its tough though, because I was there alone riding her, with no instruction, in a little arena, and that was it. There was no round pen, no lunge line, no trail access, no one to ask questions.