Have you ever, for what ever reason said you were no longer going to ride? Only to be drawn back for a new reason? This is what is happening with our daughter.
Almost 2 years ago her pony had to be semi retired due to Lamintic changes that made doing his job at her level impossible. We leased him out for a year to a little up down rider and after that lease was up decided to fully retire him here at home. The past 3 months were the worse with more changes and it got to the point that we had made an appointment with the vet to have him put down. 2 days before our farrier came out and worked his magic with some special shoes, epoxy rubber fill and pads. One month later and he feels like a new pony. During this 2 year period my daughter refused to ride with the exception of hoping on my horse a few times as a favor to me. She had lost her will to ride and swore she would never again. I didn't push, although I was very sad. Fast forward to a month ago. I found a little project horse clear across the country. Site unseen I bought this 3 year old off of a video. When he finally got here, I had hoped it would ignite a new spark in my daughter. It didn't at first, until she saw how much fun I was having with him. I asked if she would be the first to jump him for me so I could take pics....well guess what? She fell in love. While he is far from a world beater, he has the best brain and heart. She has ridden him everyday and even has started him over fences. It does my heart good that she let her wall down and is enjoying being back in the saddle. I am so thankful that our little project help her realize that, while he will never replace her pony, she can take the skills her pony taught her and share with another horse. Now she is getting back her muscle memory and into riding shape all while riding her new green bean.
I have included a few pictures of him and a quick video where sheis working on cadence and letting him find a good distance. It has only been 3 weeks that he has jumped with a rider. So proud of both of them. http://youtu.be/Pr8IuWkwtR4
I would love to hear others stories of how you got back in the saddle after a period of time off.
Congratulations on your new horse, and your daughter's return to riding!
I come from a big horse family. My grandfather used to train and race steeplechase, he met my grandmother at the hunt ball, my mother was on horses before she could walk, and I even had the wonderful expereince to learn to ride at the same barn my mother did. We even shared one isntructor and one VERY hardy little pony. I don't think I was bitten by the horse bug, as much I inehrited the horse gene. I think several things contributed to my decision to stop riding, over several years.
I started showing much more competitively in high school, and suddenly my riding became a job, and not the stress relief I dearly needed while becoming a young adult. I eased off the show circuit, and I stuck with riding a few more years. My sophomore year of college, I worked at a summer camp teaching riding lessons, with some horses that were, shall we say...not suitable lesson mounts? Two concussions, soem bruised ribs and a dislocated shoulder later, and I wanted nothing to do with horses. We had just retired my show horse before the camp started, and I think my break from horses seemed very final. I became VERY busy through college (graduating early with a double major and two internships does that) and barely missed riding. After graduating, I started thinking about horses more, but didn't have the means.
A few years later, I was doing freelance work, and had a good amount of free time. I started taking lessons at a local barn, and then started leading some of their trail rides, then moved on to the occasional lesson, and eventually became a full-time instructor with their show team. Being around a dozen little girls who were as horse-crazy as I used to be certainly got me back into the "OMG! Ponies!" mindset, haha. Nearly six months later, I was out scouting some lesson prospects for the owner when I came across a bag of bones OTTB, and instantly fell in love. I bought him without hesitation. We've spent the summer throwing weight on him, growing in nice, new hoof and learning about not being a racehorse. I couldn't be happier.