How Did You Get Your First Horse?

This can also be: how did you get your first steady ride.

How Did You Get Your First Horse?

  • Was it easy or  hard?
  • What did getting your first horse involve?
  • Did you already know something about horses?
  • How old were you?

17 thoughts on “How Did You Get Your First Horse?

  1. Getting My first horse involved me calmly (though tearily) accePting the fact that the horse I had leased for about a year and a half was getting sold. I knew it was better for him, and though heartbroken, i wanted him to have the best life he could. My mom ( who adamently said NO when his owner gave her first refusal and said not to even let her think about it) also really liked him and was getting attatched. Finally she realised that she would feel terrible if someone else bought him (its bound to happen you know… He was on the market) so we scheduled the PPE and signed the papers just about 3 months ago 🙂

  2. The first horse I owned was a little appy I got at 15. He was a yearling. I know, I know, it’s not the way to do it. But for us it worked.

    He wasn’t the first horse though….. I was horse crazy from the time I was two. When I was about 9, the dairy farm behind us acquired a welsh pony mare and her foal. They thought their kids would ride them but not one of the 5 kids were interested. I was.

    That mare was n-a-s-t-y. If there was a low hanging branch (and there were plenty), she’d launch herself at a gallop and knock you off. If you passed by her too close, you lost a chunk of skin. It would take a bucket of grain and 2 – 2 1/2 hours to catch her. Once, she reared up and went over on me. Luckily neither one of us were hurt. Oddly enough, she never bucked.

    I loved her to death.

    She taught me to ride (okay, maybe just to hang on and not fall). She taught me that love has to be unconditional. We became good friends.

    After I got my little appy, the farmer gave her to a family with kids. She went on to win a lot of blue ribbons (the family could ride) and lived a long life.

    Her name was Princess.

  3. I was 21 when I got Mosco. I’d taken riding lessons since I was 14, and had desperately wanted a horse since I was 4. At the time I was in college, double majoring, planning a wedding and working part-time. My best friend had just started vet school and offered to let me free lease her big goony 6 year old greenbroke TB for the school year, since she didn’t have time for him (and I obviously did, heh). I had ridden him once, in a lake, on a camping adventure that involved him panicking while tied to the trailer, freaking out and cutting open his head. Oh, and it had taken an hour to load him in the trailer when it was time to go. Clearly, he was just perfect for me *sarcasm*.

    Somehow I managed to find time to at least work with him on the weekends, and I went from being mildly terrified of him to deeply in love. When I started working with him, he was a 17hh goofy looking horse who spooked at EVERYTHING and knew two things about riding: reins mean stop and leg means go. He had no steering, no brakes, had never ridden in an indoor and was WAY beyond what I could handle, but we managed. By the end of the year, he had gotten his steering and brakes installed, moved more like a horse and less like a neurotic giraffe and had calmed down a bit. When my best friend called to arrange having him hauled back, I was inconsolable for weeks. A few months after he’d left, my fiance asked me what I thought about getting a horse. I answered back about how it would be a stupid thing to do; we had no money, no place to keep one, no time, etc. He responded, “Well, I bought Mosco for you”. My best friend had called him & offered to sell him to us for a deeply discounted price. It turns out Mosco wasn’t happy apart from me either. The rest is history.

  4. When I was ten, my dad told me I could have a horse when I could get one myself. Shortly thereafter, he amended that to “buy one,” since I kept bringing home magazines with “win a horse” contests in them.

    Four years later, we softened him up by doing a half lease. Then one of the horses in the barn came up for sale.

    He was, to be honest, not my favorite horse in the barn. I was cleaning stalls to help pay for the lease, and he had been on stall rest for six months, recovering from a tendon injury. In the best of circumstances, he was a total pig in his stall. On stall rest? I was unamused with him.

    But when he came up for sale, my trainer approached my mom first to discuss the injury and his prognosis. She convinced my mom that he might be a good match for me. Then they had to convince me.

    I took some convincing. He was a pig in his stall, and that’s all I knew about him. Well — that he was a pig, and if you left his door unlatched, he’d open it and escape.

    But because of his injury, he was cheap. Cheap as in — even I, at fifteen, could afford him. And I was dying to own a horse. All that was left was convincing Dad… but he had said I could have a horse when I could buy one, right?

    The rest is history. Jim was one of the best things that ever happened to me. He humored me, he tested me, he taught me lessons that changed me then, and he taught me lessons I didn’t fully understand until years after he crossed the bridge. I’m still figuring some of them out.

    And my dad never again used the “when you can buy one” line on any of us kids…

  5. Got my first horse when I was 13 loved horses from the age of 2. Told my parents we could keep a horse in the apartment hall. Dad finally gave in. Did pony club learned alot of about horse care and riding. First horse was bought from a horse lot and he was named Dr. Pepper. That was 40 years ago. Have had horses off and on. Now have 4. Feel very lucky. First memory about horses was Roy Rogers and Triger, all the westerns on TV.

  6. I got my first horse at the age of 27 at an auction so that she wouldn’t go to slaughter. It was super easy since no one wanted her. I knew nothing about her, and what I was told was a lie. She’s the love of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  7. How Did You Get Your First Horse? – I was 10 years old and had been riding since I was 6 years old. It was my birthday and I was in love with one of the new lesson horses at the local hack/lesson barn, a chestnut Morgan/QH cross named Tally Ho.

    Was it easy or hard? – I begged, I pleaded, I promised everything. I even used my own money and bought a grooming brush from the tack shop up the street from my house and slept with it for weeks to prove how dedicated I was.

    What did getting your first horse involve? – See the above answer. Also, my parents decided it was a good way to keep me out of trouble.

    Did you already know something about horses? – I’d been taking riding lessons since I was 6 years old. I’d read every book about horses in our library at least twice and anytime someone at the barn let me do more than hand the horse back to a stable girl after a lesson I took them up on it.

    How old were you? – 10 years old.

  8. Ok, I think I have to turn my responses to these questions into blog posts, because I’m having way too much fun writing them…. so go visit my blog for my response 🙂

  9. I don’t have a horse. I’ve always wanted one though. Some days I still do. Some days I know there’s just too much else going on to take on the financial and physical responsibility of a horse. Some days I’m okay with that, some days I’m not.

    I think I was 12 when I got my first riding lessons though. My mom or dad found an instructor for me. I assume it was my mom, because I think she’s the one who told me about it, but neither one of them really ever said anything about how–just one day, mom said she would take me to riding lessons. I was too overjoyed to care about the details of how it came about.

    Mom drove me out to some barn in the country, probably a good 20-30 minutes from home. And once a week, every week for the summer, I was in heaven. I got to learn how to tack up and groom the horse and scrape bot eggs from its fur. I remember once my instructor chased her horse around an arena, trying to catch it for my ride. When she went to get an apple-bribe I stepped into the area and clucked to the horse–and he came to me straight away. I was very impressed with myself.

    I had been horse-obsessed ever since I remember being able to read. Anna Sewell was my hero. I read every Marguerite Henry and Walter Farley book. I watched old black and white Western movies on TV because they had horses. When I discovered a cabinet in my library full of pamphlets on different horse breeds, I didn’t just read them–I studied them. All of them. I had at least two dozen Breyer model horses. Each of them had their own name and personality. I could spot a horse a mile away. (I still can. My husband calls it horse-dar.) So yeah. I knew a little about horses by the time I got my first regular lessons.

    Sometimes riding (and later, horse camp; and later again, working as a stablehand) was easy, sometimes it was hard. But even when it was hard, I always loved it. The only thing that ever discouraged me away from horses was getting injured. A spooked horse ran into me and I twisted my knee pretty badly. To this day it still doesn’t feel right. That was actually years ago now, and I’ve been on and around horses a little since then.

    I could go on and on…and probably will in my own blog.

  10. I was totally spoiled. 🙂

    I was 8, and had been riding since I was 6, but horse-obsessed before then. My mom had started taking riding lessons, too, and we had a lesson together each week. My parents knew that many horse obsessed little girls grew out of it, and so they decided if I still wanted to ride horses when I was 13 I could get my first horse.

    Then someone with a horse for sale found my dad and noticed the “SUCKER!” label on his forehead.

    This was the summer I was 8. The riding school had a summer camp where I rode 5 days a week, plus I had a group lesson on Saturday mornings as well. So yes, I was riding 6 days a week without even owning a horse. See disclaimer at the start of this post. Because I was very small for an 8 year old and took riding very seriously, I was the #1 candidate for horses who were problems for other kids. Sometimes an instructor hopping on a misbehaving horse wouldn’t be enough to make that horse behave and they needed another kid to be able to make the horse behave. So for the summer, Kim’s Bay was my ride as I taught her she had to behave for small kids. One Saturday morning my mom was sick so my dad took me to my lesson. There was a girl who was going to college in the fall who was there for a lesson, and she heard about me – and knew I would just be perfect for her horse. So she told my dad what a great rider I was, and how her horse was the same size as the one I was riding, and how well I’d do on her horse. How she was so sad she had to sell her since she was going away to college.
    Had my mom been healthy, she would have said that she and her husband had agreed I wasn’t allowed to have a horse until I was 13. However, dads love hearing wonderful things about their little princesses, and before I knew there was even a chance, I had a new horse!

  11. I started riding lessons when I was 50 (no, not 5 – I mean 50), and at 52 was ready for my own horse. My instructor brought in a 14 h 3″ palomino for me to look at, with the caution NEVER to buy the first horse you see. Too late! Bless his heart, Cedric, as I named him, was about 25 per the vet, and I got him at a discount. His main virtues were beauty and great feet, and energy (which was also his main vice), and I rode him for 3 years, nursed him for two (cancer, cushings, old age), then buried him in our back yard. It was a short, wonderful love affair, and his end was the end of my horsey adventure. *Sigh*

  12. I was 32. It seemed like I was working toward that moment forever. I had just got a new job and we were moving to a new place. Rather then buy furniture for the ‘formal’ living room I bought a QH. When people came to visit and saw the empty room and ask where the furniture was he would simply say ‘it’s in the barn’. 😀

  13. I had been leasing a school horse for a year, and taking lessons for a year before that. My instructor had, unknown to me, talked to my parents about getting me something “a little more challenging.” My dad turned around and bought an unbroke two year-old. My mom was SO mad! My instructor seemed to take it better – she had us do TONS of groundwork, turning us into showmanship stars.

    Besides being an unbroke two-year-old, her name was “Call Me Trouble.” My previous leasee was “Experience Not Required.” In the end, it turned out alright, but mostly due to a fabulous instructor!

  14. I was 26 after a lifetime of longing. I got sick of waiting and started shopping. Long story short, this totally awesome boy came along and handed me a check to make my dream come true (yeah, I kept him too). I ended up with Solo and the rest is history. Every day since then has been a gift and a treasure beyond measure.

  15. I was 20. I had to move out. I was working for board and some spending money on a small warmblood stud in Mudgee, NSW. The boss’ husband was farrier, but had lost his driver’s license for DUI, so I was driving him around to his jobs after I finished with the feeding and mucking out on the property. One of his clients was an unwanted animal collector. She had everything – goats, ducks, pigs, donkeys, sheep. I was chatting with her as I was helping the farrier with her horse and she mentioned that she needed to find homes for them all soon ’cause she was moving back to Sydney. I mentioned I was looking for a horse. The horse I was holding had foot problems and back problems, and while he was lovely, I couldn’t afford to take on vet bills like that. I told her so, and I think she appreciated my candor and understood. She said she had another horse that seemed fine. She’d got him from an old guy who couldn’t afford his car rego, so she paid it and he gave her his horse. Gave her some papers too, but they clearly weren’t this horses papers, as they were for a registered QH stallion, and this horse was an unbranded arab gelding. The markings on the papers were pretty close, though. She said I could take him for a month to test him out, so we picked him up the next day. At the end of the month when I said I’d like to keep him, she asked me how much I could afford to pay. I said I could scrape $200 together right at that time and she said that was enough. I think she was just happy with the way he was going with me and the fact that I had clearly already fallen for him. He was my favourite thing in the world for nearly 10 years, the I had to find him a good home because I was moving to Melbourne for work. My saddler keeps tabs on him and lets me know how he’s doing when I visit back home.

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