Nerdfighters

Just thought I'd try to get this group a little more active and so we can learn about eachother.  :)  

So basically you can just tell about yourself and your horses, or how they've played a role in your life, etc... anything else you want to add.

So to start off...

I've been a horse girl ever since I was really little.  I started taking riding lessons the summer before 6th grade, and stuck with it for about 2 years (regularly scheduled lessons, I mean).  At that point I joined the local Pony Club, and started to lease the mare that I am still with today, Dolly.  I started out being interested in jumping, but after going to my first PC dressage rally, I was hooked.  From then on I focused mainly on dressage, and qualified to go to Nationals 3 times.  But school took over more and more, and now, as a sophomore in college, I mainly just have time to ride on the weekends.  For a while I taught beginner lessons, but am currently student-less.  

Dolly was a 23 year old fireball when I first met her.  My instructor decided I was ready to move up from their old school-pony, and thought that my quiet, calm personality would work well against Dolly's fiery, crazy one.  And it did work.  Now, at age 30 we still go out on rides on the weekends and she is as happy as ever.  If it weren't for classes taking over my life, I would try to compete in the local dressage shows with her.  She's so young at heart, and still the prettiest mover on the farm.  

So that's me!  What about the rest of you?

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I have loved horses since... well for as long as I can remember, but we could never afford lessons. In 6th grade, I finally started lessons and I kept them up for around 4 years when we couldn't afford them anymore. Last year, (~1 year after I stopped lessons) some friends of the family let me come ride their horse Faith in exchange for help in the barn. I still do that over the summers, but I have a real job at a farm that is owned by some of our other friends. I have never showed or jumped or even galloped on a horse (I have ridden a horse that bucked around the arena every time you pushed her to go) but I am happy. It has been a few months since I have ridden, but I get to see my horses every day at work. :) I work at a breeding farm so I get so be around all the foals too!
Wow, working at a breeding farm sounds so exciting! I've never really had much opportunity to work with babies, that must be so much fun!
Let's see, where to begin...
I started riding when I was around 5 years old, taking lessons on a lunge line and walking out on the trails and such :) From there I just kept taking lessons on a weekly basis and gathering more and more experience! I started jumping and doing drill team and learning what it meant to get a horse "round".
When I was in middle school I went to a sleepaway camp that had a horse program where you get to take care of the camp's horses and ride a couple times a day! The two summers that I did that really improved me as a rider and taught me how much work it really is to care for a horse. After that I continued riding at the same barn and actually started working there teaching young girls to ride and mucking stalls.
My freshman year of high school, I discovered a therapeutic horseback riding barn nearby and began volunteering there every week being a side-walker for their hippotherapy classes. Seeing those kids open up and learn communication skills, how to be an independent rider, and make friends was an amazing experience! If you ever get the chance, you really should try volunteering at a therapeutic horseback riding facility.
From that point, I've just been riding a LOT! I leased a gorgeous 10 year old thoroughbred cross named Austin for almost six months and attempted to train him not to be so skittish :) Let's just say I'm no longer scared when a horse takes off full gallop across the ring...Or when they rear up on the cross-ties and break their halter and scamper off to the nearest open stall. Silly Austin :P
I'm 16 now and I've been riding at the same barn for most of my riding career, and quite honestly I've outgrown all the horses at the barn! I'm in the process of "barn shopping", it's so exciting! I'm looking forward to a new challenge at a new barn. Yay new ponies to play with!!
Um, the end? :)

Wow, I wrote a lot. Sorry that's such a novel!
I loved horses ever since I was little but my parents really weren't into the idea. When I was 12, after years of begging, they got me 12 riding lessons as a Christmas present to 'get it out of my system'. Fail! I got totally addicted and all pocket money after that went on lessons fortnightly. I then moved yards to help my best mate look after her loan pony and learned all the basics care, for a few years I saved and worked for rides, it just wasn't something we really had money for. Then my best friend upgraded and bought a cheeky 14.2hh gypsy cob called Rooney. HUGE character, HUGE buck but great fun to ride. I helped out with him a lot and borrowed him for lessons, basically fell in love. Then I got really lucky, she moved him to my village and then got a job, a which point she needed someone to ride and look after him, cue me. So yeah, he was basically mine for free at weekends, which then extended to 3 days a week plus weekends for another year. I never got to show him, that was her thing. Then I went to uni, where I am now. No one else would look after him so he went back on loan to the old riding school. I miss him so much but still see him in the holidays and borrowed him for a show over the summer. I recently got lucky again. Another friend is in the same situation as the first, and moved her mare to my village. And yes, jammy dodger me now has that horse at weekends whenever I'm home from uni. She's a 15.2 coloured cob, 5yo. She's got the sweetest temperament ever and as much as I still love Rooney, she suits my current riding style better. I really bonded with her this summer and have been using join up and done some bareback and free schooling. So currently don't get to ride for months at a time while I'm away but that makes it all the sweeter when I do get to.
So yeah, its now a luxury but I still live for it and will happily take on any free job that involves even being around them!
Sorry for the length :P
I started taking lessons when I was 5, from a guy who trained horses in movies like Hidalgo. Then we couldn't afford them. I started lessons with the same guy again in 5th grade. Then we just stopped. Then, at the beginning of 7th grade (my current grade), i started taking lessons with the same guy again. He showed me a horse named Skeeter (RS Slick N Dry), and let me ride. My mom said i could buy him. He is a 4 1/2 year old bay quarter horse gelding. He still has a lot to learn, and i'm still trying to find some sport of western riding to work towards... im thinking about reining. By the way, I'm looking for a new name for my horse (RS Slick N Dry sounds nothing like him) and i was thinking of something that has to do with nerdfighters...any ideas?

I can't remember a time when I didn't love horses. When I was little I would draw stick ponies and play with Breyer figurines. When I was 8 or 9 I started lessons at a lovely little beginner's barn. When I outgrew that I moved around to other places until I ended up where I am now. (I won't bore you with the details, but imagine your average, suburban, middle class family who live 45 minutes away from the countryside and have a horse-crazy daughter.) Currently I have a beginning education in dressage (I can ride a horse just fine but I don't know all the fancy half-passes and shoulder-ins and such) and a basic understanding of general Western riding. I've never owned or leased a horse or showed, though I did tag along with my instructor and helped out at a few dressage shows. At this moment I don't ride nearly as much as I'd like (monthly, if I'm lucky) but I do get my horse fix elsewhere. Like a few other Nerdfighters have mentioned, I work at a therapeutic riding stable and absolutely LOVE it. I turn out horses to pasture in the morning and muck stalls on the weekend and lead a pony around for a hippotherapy class.

Thanks for reading this, it was cool to read everyone else's posts! I had no idea therapeutic riding was such a hot volunteer opportunity for Nerdfighters!

I'm the "horse girl" when you talk to my friends. I've been around them my whole life. My mom was a riding instructor while I was growing up, so I was constantly at the barn. I always liked horses, but really began to love them when I was about 6. I was obsessed, and still am. I mostly ride saddleseat with saddlebreds and morgans, but I've been working with my retired show horse on trail. Zeke (my horse) is now 18 years old, but has the spirit of a horse much younger. He is a big, black, five-gaited, american saddlebred. I've had him for almost 6 years and gone through almost everything with him. I showed him for a little over a year in five-gaited when he tore his suspensory ligament. I spent almost every day with him for a year rehabbing him in almost every way possible. Eventually he went back to work, but was injured soon after. Now I can just enjoy spending time with him and working toward trying to relax on a nice trail ride. 

I found out after several years of talking to other people in the horse industry (through my older sister, who is now a trainer) that Zeke had been abused as a colt. We had always suspected this from some of his scars, including one on his tongue. When we got him, he was not unfriendly, but a bit distant. It turns out one of my sister's friends had him for a while after he was practically given away by his abusers. At the time that they got him, he wouldn't let anyone in the stall with him and was full of hatred towards people. Now, he's practically like a dog. I love taking my friends who have never been around horses to see him and let them groom him, and two years ago he was an ambassador for the saddlebred breed at a the San Diego County fair. 

I like to think that Zeke and I were meant to be together. Before me, he never had anyone that truly loved him. He just went from one person to another without a real home. Before him, I never really knew what being responsible for someone else was like. He makes me feel better on even the worst of days, and I hope that I do the same for him. I've loved other horses in my life, but Zeke will always be mine, truly mine.

I wasn't actually the first one in my family to want horses- that was my older sister. But since group lessons were cheaper, I had to take lessons, too. Guess who they stuck to? :)

I rode regularly from the time I was eight, getting regular lessons in year or two intervals between not having an instructor. I basically had one for a few years to learn to ride, two years to jump, and another two where I was SUPPOSED to advance with my jumping, but we only ever jumped in my last lesson... So, so useful. Not.

Our first horse was a 15ish year old Quarter Horse named Buster, who has since semi-retired to a 4H horse at my old leader's house. My own pony, Sparky, is a now-15ish Haflinger-Welsh cross. He looks exactlyu like a Haffy should, just... roan! We do english, western, dressage, jumping, reining, bareback- but only at fair. We almost never get the chance to go anywhere cool.

I am an Equine Management major at Ellsworth Community College now, so if anyone might possibly have any connections to an internship-preferrably paid- let me know :)

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