Memories

OK everyone, I need your help here.

What is your best childhood, horse related memory? Was it being gifted your first pony, or an activity you used to do? A competition?

I`ll start us off.

When we were little, and had been good in the lesson, or if it was someone`s birthday, we`d mumble and argue (in the style of Oliver Twist) until someone got up the courage to ask our instructor if “we could gallop to the top”.
Inevitably we were given the go ahead, and at the end of our lesson we would exit the arena and turn right, instead of left towards the yard, and head into the school field. The large 10 acre field on the hill behind the school. The horses started jigging as they knew full well what was about to happen.
“Wait until you get round the corner!” Was the final, useless instruction we received, and, usually before the word “Go!” one horse would bolt, with the rest of us close behind. There was a bit of nudging, and jiggling as we negotiated the turn and then we were off! We galloped to the diagonal top of the field, pulling our horses up just before the large hedge in the corner.

It was great fun, and we were always buzzing and laughing on the walk back down. The horses loved it too, they knew exactly what to do and always stopped in the corner before walking calmly back. The only problem was that if the horses were in the top field, and we wanted to ride bareback up to their field, we inevitably had to gallop into the top corner before turning left and walking to the other gate!
I believe this tradition still happens all through the summer, but unfortunately now Health and Safety doesn`t allow me, in my riding school, to do anything like this, and I think the net result is that kids don`t learn to balance and just sit on their galloping pony, don`t get that buzz from racing their friends, or get that “this is why I ride” feeling. Even now, when I go hacking with friends, we have that cheeky race up a field or along a path, it brings back memories of the first time I galloped to the top with the “big girls” and felt oh-so-important.

11 thoughts on “Memories

  1. capitalcowgirl Nov 30, 2013 / 1:20 pm

    A good gallop on a trail ride with my best friend or Pony Club camp!

  2. aspireequestrian Nov 30, 2013 / 10:19 pm

    Reblogged this on NewsBook by Aspire Equestrian Riding Academy and commented:
    My only childhood memories of horses are being terrified of them and wanting to spend every moment with them anyway 😉 My only consciously amazing memory is from when I was about 15 years old and started having serious jumping training. I loved every minute of it.

  3. kshai1715 Dec 1, 2013 / 1:27 am

    So many wonderful memories of the horses in my “early years”. Even the bad memories (like my first bolt/fall off) are ones I still cherish.

    However, the most precious memories are from my truly special first horse.

    http://willowtreephotos.webs.com/ladysstory.htm

  4. Katmah Dec 1, 2013 / 9:08 pm

    Sitting on my first lesson horse bareback, and then later on owning the same horse and galloping into flocks of geese resting in fields and watching them scatter. Fearless!

  5. riderofchaos Dec 3, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    Taking the ponies swimming in the creek at pony club after a games practice.

    • therubbercurrycomb Dec 4, 2013 / 11:08 pm

      I`m yet to take mine swimming. That and a trip to the beach is on my bucket list 🙂

  6. Becky Dec 4, 2013 / 10:07 pm

    I have so many. From really simple ones like being made to stand and pat our ponies to thank them before dismounting after a lesson at one particular riding school and (at the same place) all of the kids decorating our helmets for the last lesson before Christmas (my dad helped me to make a paper cover for my jockey skull to transform it into a Christmas pudding).

    But the best ones are summer afternoons full of laughter on our loaned ponies, hopping around the special paddock filled with miniature cross country jumps, figuring out how to go down drops and up steps, cantering through the pretend water jump and over tyres. As another commenter said: fearless.

    • therubbercurrycomb Dec 4, 2013 / 11:07 pm

      I agree! We were all pretty fearless. Either that or terrified of refusing to follow our instructors orders!!

  7. Jessie Dec 8, 2013 / 5:16 am

    Yes! The best memories were doing what felt natural, what was fulfilling and helped us to feel most connected, most free. And not necessarily safe, but in some ways it was safe, when we were so deeply connected.

    My memory, from an essay published in Hair Trigger 30 (http://jessietierney.wordpress.com/writing-2/education-i-got/)

    I liked to ride bareback out between the cornfields where there was a narrow patch of tall grass so when I was on Glenbrooke, it would tickle the sides of my thighs through my jods. It was good for her leg muscles, I’d decided, for her to be trekking through these dense weeds. Her boots would be full of seed pods when we’d get back.

    We’d make our way slowly away from the huge white barn, and it would get small, hard to see the peeling paint and rugged green shingles leaving patches in the roof when I twisted around to make sure my parents didn’t see me ride without a helmet. When we were far enough, I’d turn back around, and she’d move freer cause my twisted torso wasn’t resisting anymore. Her sides a little too fat between my thighs, but that was okay, rocking my dangling feet through rows and rows of corn and grass, and my mind would just sit there, riding along on the back of my horse, and that would by my education. How the muscles on her neck lobbed back and forth and her black mane glistened like wet and I sat heavy behind her withers and sunk in with each step. How the land dropped off quick next to the irrigation ditch so I’d guide her to stay to the left. How I’d stop her and lay myself back onto her croup, just above her tail, my hair flat against my head, ribs stretching out, and the sun would burn my grinning face and she’d lower her head, pretend I wasn’t even there, and grab a chunk of grass with her bit in her mouth, even though she knew she wasn’t supposed to. I’d let her.

    And we’d return home, in a sort of slow-moving bliss that happens when you’re out in the sun for so long, rocking with the wind-waves through the grass, and I’d rub the oval sweat marks from her back and I’d massage a towel on the corners of her foamy mouth where the bit was, and I’d brush her off once more, lazily this time, swinging long strokes across her body, and pick the packed dirt and rocks out of her feet and turn her out to pasture. If I didn’t feel like going back into the coldness of our air conditioning, I’d swing a leg up and over our white pasture fence and sit there a while, eyes lining the backs of my three mares with heads sloping to the ground; the only suggestion of time the shadows of blades of grass, my Glenbrooke a copper penny in the sun.

      • Jessie Dec 14, 2013 / 5:24 am

        Thanks! Yes, very very fortunate and grateful for it! Horses are so healing!

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