Horses

I’ve been riding since I was 7. After an overdramatized gymnastics accident, I convinced my mother to let me try horseback riding lessons. My first barn was a dump, honestly. And I was only there for less than a year. But that’s all it took for me to develop a relationship with this animal that would last a lifetime and help me through tough personal times, including my parents’ divorce and a fractured family life.

I was the girl that people would deem the “barn bitch.” My parents couldn’t afford to buy a horse or lease one, so I worked hours upon hours in order to have an extra hour or two in a saddle. Before I knew it, I was pulled into the showing world.

Shows are expensive! But my parents did the best they could to allow me to show as much as possible. I was doing Hunter’s for a long, long time. Toward the end of my high school years, I discovered the world of jumpers. Love at first sight. Get over the jumps as fast as possible without knocking any down. Way better than the prim and proper, subjective, judge-pleasing world of hunters. (No offense to any hunters out there, it just wasn’t for me and my Appy.)

My horse, Glitter Bug, and I splashed into the jumpers scene. We kind of rocked for being a misfit team: a girl from a no-name barn and an Appy mare that was always the shortest and scruffiest looking equine out there. Sure, there were still riders and trainers (and, horses, for that matter) with egos out there but it didn’t matter because the blue ribbon wasn’t really based on a judge’s opinion. The adreneline rush. Ah. This picture above was when her and I jumped the biggest jump that we had both ever done- 4 feet. Best day ever.

I went to Centenary College for my freshman year, majored in Equine Studies, and joined the Intercollegiate Horse Showing Association Riding Team. I was point rider for a few shows and loved the competition! This picture is from a charity event I went to– a barn that was helping out brought their draft horses and let me and my roommate hop on for a quick ride. Amazing breed! Anyway, college was going great except for a bad, bad relationship I was in (see my body image story page for a little more on this.) I ended up deciding that going into Equine Studies was not for me in the grand scheme of things and transfered out into a new colleg– closer to my boyfriend.

To make a long story short, my father bought a boarding barn, where I kept my horse, Glitter. The business ended up being foreclosed on and, despite trying to for a year afterward, I couldn’t afford board, rent, college, food, gas…you get the idea. After a six year relationship with my gorgeous Appy mare, I had to sell her. I lost a part of my life when I sold Glitter. I’m still empty today. The day I sold Glitter was the first day of a whole year of no riding. It’s also the year I started disordered eating. It’s taken me a few years to finally realize that that was not a coincidence.

I started riding at a couple different barns once a week but I still could not afford it. Now, as I’m just about graduating from college, one of my main goals is to reunite with horses. I don’t want to show again (I got VERY competitive…and very stressed) but I do want to have a horse to go on trail rides with and generally spoil him or her. I’ve gone too long without animals in my life and I can’t wait until horses and I are back together.

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