|Me in 1968 with my dear Half-Arab, Pooh |
(Azur's Tarquin, a Raffles great-grandson.
Mom was a reg. Appaloosa.)
I started riding horses when I was 4 years old.
I've ridden (and shown) Western, English, bareback, Dressage, Hunter-Jumper, Cross-country, trail riding (short and long distance) and driven a single and pair.
I played Broom Hockey, synchronized riding to music and did first level stuff like the Lipizzaners at the Spanish Riding School do (piaffe, etc.) with other riders.
I've ridden, driven and shown mostly warm-bloods: QHs, Arabs, Appies, TBs off the track (didn't like them), Welsh ponies. Arabs were always my favorites. I did have some contact with draft horses, but not much and it was all driving.
I have shown locally, at Nationals and QH Congress.
I've learned from, worked with, competed (and sometimes won) against some of the best Western Equitation riders in this part of the country.
I've taught beginning teen and adult riders and disabled riders.
I only "broke" 1-2 horses using easy, gentle methods, but I did a lot of "gentling" in my time, of foals and skittery horses. That was not much more than sitting on an over-turned bucket in a stall and just hanging out (usually bundled up in tons of clothes with freezing feet, thinking, "Oh why are so man y foals born in January!") I'd speak softly, maybe a few treats here and there until they got used to me then I add some challenging stuff like grooming, a blanket, the saddle etc. I loved working with the pregnant mares and the wee babies!
I was a little girl riding big horses and had to learn to use my "energy", body balance, etc.
I'm not saying this to brag but I never used a spur. Not once. To me, spurs were really, really old school (and I'm older than most of you) and something the way older guys from out West used. I haven't put a leg over a nag in a long time...but I can't imagine using spurs even now.