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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002


    I really don't know where the horse addiction comes from, but both my sister and I had it from as long as I can remember.

    I am grateful to my parents for driving us to weekly lessons, paying for our horsemanship and riding tests, paying for shows, etc.

    I am grateful that my mother let me go on riding even after, when I was 12, she saw my horse coming full speed back to the barn - without me on his back. She jumped in her car and found me sitting in a puddle, holding my broken arm. She still didn't object when I wanted to keep on riding.

    I am grateful to my aunt who loaned Sis the money to buy her first mare, since I shared that mare with her.

    I am grateful for my husband who always supported my addiction and even bought me a horse instead of an engagement ring (after I told him that if he did buy me a ring I would sell it to get a horse). I'm grateful I have a job that allows me to support my horse habit.

    I am just grateful I get to care for, ride and enjoy my horse every day!
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by TarheelJD View Post
    I have a similar story to KateKat. I fell in love with horses at my summer camp in NC. I was there for 7 or 8 weeks every year, and rode 6 days a week, as many times per day as I could. I was a habitual barn squater.

    My mother couldn't have been less supportive at home, and none of my family were "horsey," so I would pretty much bide my time through the rest of the year until I could get to camp again.

    I rode my feshman year of college, and then quit for about 18 years. When I started again, my husband could not have been more supportive. He is an excellent horse husband at shows, serving as an extra groom, boot wiper and resident show food caterer for our group. He never complains about the money I spend, and the long hours at the barn - he even comes out with me sometimes. My mom, on the other hand, still doesn't "get it," and constantly tells me it's too dangerous and "it just seems like a lot of work."

    My horse's barn name, Tajar, comes from a series of stories we'd tell at my camp. I wanted to give him a name that was related to the place where my love of horses/riding was born and flourished.
    Can there be more than one summer camp in NC that tells stories about the Tajar?!

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2010
    Arlington, VA


    Grandma. One of our very last conversations was about the horse I had started leasing after taking a seven-year break from riding. I will never quit.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    At the back of the line


    My great-grandmother. She grew up when u had to have a horse to get somewhere and she loved all of them. Im sure she never wore a helmet and did all kinds of crazy stunts while staying alive. She was full of storyes. Some were probably true. She died at the age of 85 and Im sure if she hadnt been as wide as she was tall she would have tried to ride the fat grety pony I showed her once.

    Have to give cudos to the rents. Mom still thinks horses stink but Dad tried to learn to ride with me. they paid for lessons as long as I wanted. Never got me one of my own but I forgive them.

    Now Mom helps with DDs horses. Shes perfectly happy to not come to the barn and just send a check. Works for us.
    “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2010


    My aunt, for first putting me on her horse when I was 2.

    My mom, for being the most supportive pony-mom and really letting me enjoy every moment during that time.

    Lastly, but probably who I'm most grateful to.. my former trainer who taught me true classical horsemanship where the horse comes first -- not just "how to ride". He not only put the fire behind my pony career, but also took the little 9 year old me into the ring with him while he coached the GP horses & riders.

    It may sound cheesy, but he always included me, teaching me right there on the ground as the horses & riders went around us, everything he was looking for/at. It gave me the greatest sense of value.. even if it was just because I was asked to raise a rail for one of the GP horses in the schooling ring. He gave me my own "team" weight to carry, took me seriously, and willfully offered so much of his training knowledge to me at my young age, it's really what fueled my passion for horses, and continues to inspire me to carry on his legacy. Ok.. cheese over.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007

    Default What a sweet thread!

    I think mine started with my older sister's riding lessons. My mom said I'd wander into the field, age five, and offer carrots to a field full of horses crowding me. It terrified my mother, but I obviously loved it.

    Later, my best friend's mom (a horse person) convinced my parents to send me to pony camp with her daughter. The rest is history.

    Major kudos to my parents for letting me follow through with it. My mother is still fairly terrified of horses and once I got to a certain point in my riding lessons she couldn't watch anymore and would read in the car. My father liked to come to as many lessons as possible and on the car ride back would ask me what my trainer was telling me.

    I came home from studying abroad last year and told my mom I wanted to go on a trail ride in a nearby state park. Imagine my surprise when she booked spaces for all of us!
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2008

    Default the "sickness"

    in my family we call it the "sickness" and i have always been infected!

    my grandmother did grand prix jumpers when she was younger until she broke her back on a young horse and had to quit riding. she then had seven children, six girls and my dad, and my aunts all grew up with ponies and most of them rode, foxhunted and evented a bit.

    my mom says as soon as i saw a horse i was hooked and i rode for the first time at sea island stables when i was 4.

    later on, my dad leased some land to a hunter trainer (hunt tosh's mom!) in gray, GA and she (jo beard) was my first official instructor. my aunts theresa and susan cemented my love and obsession by letting me ride their horses when i went to visit them.

    i definitely have to thank my aunts and my first two trainers, jo beard and jon conyers, for putting up with my enthusiasm and taking the time to teach me the basics very well and correctly. i still use the things they taught me on a daily basis and literally, i will always be grateful to them for teaching me classically correct equitation and how to ride pretty much anything decently. also, i really appreciate the horsemanship aspect that they taught me. how to groom correctly, clean tack, etc.

    last christmas, my aunt susan gave me my grandmothers dress boots for christmas, i didnt even know she had them, and when i put them on they fit me like they were custom- so they are very special as well and i wear them for dressage in shows only. i wish i had pics of her riding- she quit long before i was born and died when i was young, but i like to think that she would approve of my horse centered lifestyle!
    Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
    Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar. 15, 2009


    Dad had a really rank little paint pony when he was a kid, his dad was a farmer and they had cattle and horses.

    Uncle Mel, who had the most fabulous black TWH and bought me my first riding crop.

    Great-grandfather on my moms side- he built buggies and carriages.

    Mom doesn't like horses, and to this day she hates me being around them.
    Stallions are from Mars.
    Mares are from Venus.
    Ponies are from Hell!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2004
    Sunny Sonoma, CA


    I was born with it!!

    I had a lovely neighbor that had children who were not at all interested in riding the pony or horse that she had. My mom mentioned my horse love and neighbor taught me to ride her POA when I was nine. By 11 I was riding her Arab.

    I never knew where I got it though, until a recent dig into my family tree revealed that my fourth great-grandfather was a blacksmith and a carriage maker and was always "especially fond of horses"! It did come from somewhere!
    Founding Member of "I Kept 'Off Topic Day!' Open"

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2011
    Coastal Marsh of Texas


    A neighbor friend who at age 9 was getting all her girlfriends to the barn turned into a life long love for me. We have lots of equestrians in the family, so when the bug bit, it was over.

    Very supportive parents. Lots of driving to and from the barn. Love ya Mom and Dad!!

    And three women trainers, what inspiration and love of horse and ride!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by LulaBell View Post
    Can there be more than one summer camp in NC that tells stories about the Tajar?!
    It was a pretty common "Tajar Tales". I learned them at Rocky River Ranch in Wimberley Tx.

    I would have to Thank my Mother for encouraging and enabling my love of horses. She loved them from afar her whole life. When my sister was 10 and VERY horse crazy and I was 4, she bought an old mare that she'd watched a little boy play on, thinking she would be suitable for some kids to learn on. And she was.

    My Dad learned to ride in the Norwegian Calvary in the 1930s. He had more knowledge and he also helped but Mother was my cheerleader.

    I have to thank one other person. Sandy Bateman at said Rocky River Ranch. She took a girl with some ability to ride and gave me the opportunity to show her horses. I am just one of many that she helped in this way. After my parents she is the person who had the most influence on me and helped shape me into who I am.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 2010
    On The Farm In New England


    Toni Prince in Norwich, VT!

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by furlong47 View Post
    I honestly have no idea where it came from - no one else in my family rides or is even especially fond of horses. In fact, my Dad tried to discourage it when I was younger because he and my Grandfather thought it was too dangerous I found a work in exchange for riding deal when I was a teen, and aside from my Mom dropping me off and picking me up before I could drive, they really weren't involved.
    Me too. Pretty much exactly. Our family was together just this past mothers day for dinner and my mom was saying that she still has no idea what fostered my love of horses.

    I do think they finally realize that it's not a phase I'll grow out of. Considering that I'm 51 that's probably a safe bet.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2009


    I too was born with the horse gene. My cousin, a year younger, and I are the only ones in the family who have it. It was just there from birth and we never outgrew it. Always played "horses" as kids and would even ride our bikes across town just to stand outside a paddock and watch horses for hours. Her Dad bought her first horse for her birthday. I saved up for over a year to buy my own for $100. who, by the way, turned out to be the best "first horse" a kid could have. Maybe we were horses in a former life?

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006


    The horses themselves. Growing up we had a couple of farm horses that all us kids rode. But me and one sister seemed to have the "love" for the horses themselves. The other siblings just liked to race them around.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2009
    On the buckle


    I think I was born with it, but I'm so grateful to my parents, especially my mom who finally found a way to afford my first horse. Also Patty Ruffner, my instructor at age 8, and Jane Marshall Dillon.
    Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)

  17. #37


    Wonderful stories!

    I thank my mom, also non-horsey, for driving me 45 minutes one way to Ronao Stables in New York for me to take riding lessons, buying me a horse when she couldn't afford it, and facilitating my habit as best she could. Her dream was I would be feminine and like the ballet, but she rolled with the barn boots!

    Back then in the late 60s horse stuff was EXPENSIVE and there weren't discount places, at least in upstate NY. As a divorced mom, she struggled to support my passion. I still have the bit I used on my first horse, who tragically died in the barn fire that destroyed that farm. It's funny, I had a great pony hunter from Canada that the trainer picked up on a buying trip. No papers, he never said much other than she was a great kids packer, and she was. I was showing in walk/trot at shows, and one of the other kids at the barn asked if she could show her over fences one day, just as a catch ride -- she won every class that day. I always wonder now what her breeding was and how he came across her. Probably an Arab/TB cross? I will never know.

    I remember when I decided I liked horses, and got the "sickness". We were at a friend's house with their little girls, my age, seven years old. They had a book about horses and some china horse figurines. Something just went click and that was it. I have been horse obsessed ever since! It is weird that it would happen all at once, like that, but it really was instantaneous love at first sight.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden


    this is a really wonderful thread!

    i thank my parents; supportive 30+ years ago about my equine obsession in its infancy, and still supportive today! after all, they are the only non-horsey people in my life who will listen to me ramble, ad nauseum, about my horse, and be thrilled to do so!
    Last edited by goosejumps; Jun. 4, 2011 at 01:55 PM. Reason: MY ANTI AGING MATH - wow, 30, not 20 years! EEK!
    Atlas: Jag älskar min häst!

    "Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2006
    South Korea


    Firstly, my dad's friend, who took me on my first trail ride on her 30+ year old gelding. She got me hooked

    After that I started taking lessons, and I am so grateful for everything I learned from Eric Sundberg at Hollow Brook Riding Academy in Putnam Valley, NY. I looked forward to every lesson and although we worked hard, we also had a ton of fun mixed in. I miss that place.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2006


    Walter Farley for the Black Stallion series.
    Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis for King of the Wind and others.
    The writers and producers of National Velvet and of course, Elizabeth Taylor.
    Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.

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