What is it about horses that first got you hooked? Is it the same thing that has you hooked still today, or is there something different now?
I had a hard time fitting in when I lived in South Carolina. We had a "safety day" at work. A few of the ladies asked me at the event "What are your plans for the weekend?"I said, "I don't have any. I'm tired of being at home, but I'm not really the "bar-meeting" kind of girl."
They asked me what sort of activities I liked. I explained I like to be outside & active.
One of them responded, "Do you like horses? D in R&D has them, and I bet he'd let you ride."
So, I went to D, explained I was sick of sitting at home alone, and someone else told me he had horses.
He said, "Oh yeah! Absolutely! My wife & daughter ride all the time. Give me your phone number." He wrote up this big map with directions to their boarding barn. I figured it was a big joke, and he wouldn't ever call.
The next morning, this lady calls me. Says her name is T, she's D's wife, and she heard I'd like to ride a horse. I said, "Yeah, I would love to!" She said, "Well, then use your map, and we'll see you at the barn in about an hour!"
I pulled in, they were standing by a picnic table. T says, "Is that you, Jennifer? Hi! This is our daughter, L. C'mon, we'll go get the boys."
T & L introduced me to catching a horse in the pasture, grooming, and saddling. We walked into the arena. T & L both rode their horses, Sparky & Moon. Sparky is a Tennesee Walking Horse, Moonie was a Paint. T & L showed me their trots, explained how they are different.
Then T walks Sparky up to me, hops off, and says, "Okay, it's your turn! C'mon & ride."I rode Sparky for about 20 minutes.
When I hopped off, we unsaddled, groomed again, gave them cookies, and sent them out to pasture. T says to me, "Hey, S, the lady that owns the barn, gives lessons. Why don't you ask her if you can take some, and you'll get to ride every week, and get better. You can ride Sparky anytime you'd like, as long as we're here."
What hooked me, was how friendly "the barn" was. Those people were always kind, always generous, and always willing to offer me a ride. I didn't have to go buy a horse of my own, or tack, for that matter. I had a bag of cookies in my car, and I was always welcome.
Now, it's not so much the friendly as it is the calming nature of a ride. Even a bad ride (when I fall on my rear end bad), I still feel like I can physically "get away" from all the stress of work & life.