Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sunday Stills Challenge: The BEST challenge of all; Horses (HAPPY THANKSGIVING!)

I've been gone for a few weeks from Sunday Stills, but just reading this week's challenge, I know I needed to post; no way out of it. I've decided to make this into my "Thanksgiving" subject for the year...

I started loving horses as soon as I could express that I did. My loving parents signed me up for weekly riding lessons (or, for the first year, "pony rides) when I was four years old. I rode at that same barn for a total of eight years before moving on a to a half-lease with my cousin's horse, then my own horse. I've ridden many different horses over the years, and recently sat down and wrote them all down. I've ridden (though some are excluded on this first picture) 55 horses.

Horses have taught me so much. It's so cool to get on a horse and ride them and try to figure them out; they are all so different, the same thing doesn't make them all "tick". They all have different personalities, like people do, and all have things they love, hate, fear, and are good at.

The first pony I ever rode was named Sunshine, or "Sunny". I went on to ride 2 other horses with that name...but anyway. I'm not sure what breed Sunshine was, but he was a great pony...I rode him for a long time. When I was older, and barely fit on him, I'd get on him again...he was a blast. What a good boy. The next four pictures are of him...the first one is me on him, the *FIRST TIME* I was ever on a horse at all. Ohhh, joy. :)

As soon as I learned to control Sunny myself, I moved on to Dusty. He was a real horse, I'm guessing quarter horse, and an old boy, but very good. My parents threw a party at the riding barn for me when I turned five, and I felt really special; all my friends were led around on the ponies; *I* got to ride all by myself on the big horse. :)

I even sat on a police officer's horse one night in the city...One career I'm interested in (to the dismay of my friends and family, who think it's dangerous :P (It is)) is mounted police work...but we'll see. However, at least I can say I've been on a mounted officer's horse, right?

Next pony I rode was named Oreo. Apparently, he was a real brat, but I don't remember him very well.

Now. Until Patchy and Daisy came along, this next horse was my favorite. Dancer, a snowflake Appaloosa. He was so much fun; well behaved, and great at games. I had a blast whenever I rode him.

My Aunt Daniela had a horse named Gitano when she lived in Germany...soo, when I visited, I got to ride. He was HUGE, as most horses in Germany are. But very cool. Germans feed their horses stale bread, something I give my horse, too. It's second nature; growing up, people in Germany pretty much always have a bag in the pantry for the stale bread for the horses. It's funny when I tell riders in the US that; they give me the funniest looks :P. Daisy loves stale bread, as long as it's not white bread. :P :)

The next horse is named Little Girl, born and raised at the barn I took lessons at. She was eventually sold...I liked her. I remember my first reaction after getting on her was "Wow, she's sensitive!"...But I grew to like her.
Now, the next pony. How can I explain him? Patchy was a really green pony, but my riding instructor had me ride him. I ended up spending many lessons simply working on stopping with him, and argued with him quite a bit...I learned loads from working with him. I don't care what you think, you can learn the most from problem horses. Patchy of a kind. I loved him to bits, but I knew I'd outgrow him so I'd never buy him. As I've said before, he was what motivated me to buy Daisy; I got on her to test ride, and found a personality much like Patchy's, and wanted her. I'm not completely sure what's happened to Patchy, now...I'm hoping to find out.

Our family moved out to the country in 2005, at which time I made myself known to neighbors with miniature horses, and ended up spending a lot of time with the minis, who I was allowed to visit whenever I wanted. Below are two pictures of Reba (and I)...I can only look back and laugh; love my pants! :P

And, almost exactly a year before I bought Daisy, I got to know another family with minis, and went on a horse show, showing Doc (aka, "Top of the Hill Drop of Medicine"). I look like a little cowboy.

This is just a portion of all the horses I've ridden...and I could have gone on and on. In any case, this year my "thanks" subject goes a few ways. Thank you to my parents for fostering my love at an early age and allowing me to ride. Thanks to my riding instructor, who taught me SO much over the years. Thank you to each and every equine I've ridden; each one has taught me something new. And thank you to my dear friends who've allowed me, over the years, to ride their horses and teach me. Horses are a big part of my life. I love them so much.

This concludes my long Sunday Stills post.

I hope you all (ERR, all that live in the US and celebrate Thanksgiving!) have a Happy Thanksgiving, eat lots of food, and get tons of rest! :) Thanksgiving's one of my favorite holidays, right up there with Christmas. :)

*Note*: photos came from different sources, generally my mom. I'm not sure if this really counts as a Sunday Still because *I* didn't take the photos, but it is Sunday (err...Saturday) and they are Stills...soo...Also, I had to take pictures of paper copy's of pictures, which is why some are blurry :P.


Ed said...

Very cool post..:-)

Anonymous said...

naww i want the pony in the first series of photos! :)
looks so friendly & gentle

Anonymous said...

naww i want the pony in the first series of photos! :)
looks so friendly & gentle

Anonymous said...

Very nice post! It reminds me so much of my daughter's progression with horse lesson and riding. She is currently riding a very green horse at the barn where she takes lessons and while I was skeptical about the whole situation because I wondered where the lessons where headed, she has learned so much from that experience. Thanks for sharing!

Rick said...

What a wonderful photo set and post. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I loved seeing this nice selection of horse/pony shots. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. :)

Tammy said...

What a Life With Horses! Good post!

Sandy from the Heart of Texas said...

Enjoyed reading your post and your pony photos! Wow! did you say 55 you have ridden! Amazing! And Happy Thanksgiving to you! (thanks for visiting my blog)

Sand "From the Heart of Texas"

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I would have given anything to have had the opportunities you've had with horses, my dear. You are very blessed and fortunate, indeed. You have a vast and wonderful history with horses. But I don't see that you've ridden any horses named Baby Doll or Dolly, though. ;D


Shirley said...

It was fun travelling through the years with you.

allhorsestuff said...

AWE!!! That was great to get to see all(but not all) of your equine partners in the past there Mell!!
I loved this Post!!!
Be well and Blessed sweet sister!
Kacy yours~

Ebie said...

What a great post, and through this, I have come to know you and your adventures and your love of horses. Your mom surely did saved all memories!

Don't even mention about the pants, cause I had one of them too!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Lori Skoog said...

I (along with all the others) also love this post. A great collection of photos...lots of memories for you.

flowerweaver said...

Nice to see your progression with horses. I hope you make the mounted police force someday, sounds fun to me!

Lydia said...


Yes, I actually typed in the web address in the URL box and am looking at your blog! I know, amazing, right?
Anyways, that first pony is so cute! I love the expressions you have in all the pictures. You look very happy up on horses. Well, duh... :P



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