Let me start by saying I am new to blogging and so please forgive my blogging skills 🙂
I started riding horses when I was eight years old. My very first horse was a $200 quarter horse my mom found in the local newspaper pet classifieds. I was horse crazy from the moment I saw a horse for the first time. Lucky for me my mom rode horses when she was younger so making the decision to buy her horse crazy daughter one was an easy decision. My mom barrel raced and mostly rode cheap grade horses and learned as she went, no trainers, no lessons, just trial and error. That is how I started as well. I loved my $200 quarter horse. I like to think I was a natural, I just jumped on and started riding, no fear or trepidation, just pure joy and exhilaration!
When I started riding it was mostly just trail riding. One fateful day my mom and I were out on a trail and we came across a little ditch that we had to cross. Most horses would have just walked right across as it was small enough to just step into and then out of but Moon decided he would much rather leap across it. So it begins, my love for jumping. Just the feel of being on a horse who is at one point completely off the ground was a feeling like none else. I loved it so much I had him go back a forth a few more times until he just decided to walk normally across the ditch. So my mom decided that it might be time for me to take proper lessons.
We lived in Las Vegas and didn’t have the internet back then and I am not sure how my mom found trainers but I ended up taking lessons with a Quarter Horse All Arounder type trainer. Although I can’t be sure of the timeline I know somewhere in there I took lessons from a few jumping trainers but none I can clearly remember. My beginning riding years were mostly in an all around barn and I learned english, western, and showmanship.
Fast forward some years and I have progressed far enough and accomplished many things that it was time to find a new trainer and a more competitive horse. The pickings were slim at the time in Las Vegas for all around trainers that showed nationally so we chose a trainer in California and we would drive up once a month for lessons and I would end up spending my summers staying with my trainer and taking lessons every day. The best part about this new trainer is that she taught jumping as well! Her name was Avis and my riding really excelled under her guidance. We bought my first nationally competitive horse through her and stayed with her for many years until her untimely passing.
There were a few horses between Moon and Goodie but I want to save you some time and I still haven’t arrived to the point of this blog. Maybe someday I will do I post about all the horses that led me here. I am finding it is very hard to sum up 23 years worth of riding in a single blog post!
I rode on the APHA circuit from 10-26 years old. Adulthood came crashing down on me and I struggled to stay competitive in my 20’s with a full time job and little to no money. Eventually I made the hardest decision of my life and sold my horses so that I could get out of debt and get ahead in life. I could write a whole post on that period of my life but again it will have to be for another day. It took about four years but my husband and I did it! We got out of debt and it wasn’t long after that he was offered a really good job in Northern California. So we packed up, moved and started on this new adventure. I was now able to fully dedicate myself to riding again!
So here I was 31 years old with a clean slate. Do I go back into riding and showing paint horses? I wasn’t sure that is what I wanted anymore. I had to ask myself if I start riding again what was the most fun? It was jumping. So now I have arrived to my point finally. I wanted to jump and only jump. No more showmanship, no more western pleasure or hunter under saddle with a few jumping classes sprinkled in. Just let me jump! It was an incredibly freeing decision. I felt light and happy. So I went out and found myself a new trainer. I took lessons for 6 months and felt that I outgrew the lesson horse and I desperately wanted my own horse again. My trainer found me a 10 year old grey thoroughbred gelding. I named him Greyson and his show name is Valyrian Steel.
This blog is dedicated to my journey into the Hunter/Jumper industry, the highs and lows and all the things I am learning along the way. My current goal is to show in the 1.20. I hope you follow along as I try to reach that goal and as I learn to show in this discipline.
*It has been about 1.5 years since buying Greyson and I will do a post about what we have accomplished so far.