Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Flashbacks: Learning To Ride

I had a very unique childhood because I grew up on a ranch.  I didn't learn to ride through lessons.  I learned to ride by getting tossed up on a horse and getting told to stay in the middle.  In fact I can't remember not riding and I only vaguely remember when I wasn't riding my own horse.

My mom has worn her hair the same way my entire life

My mom was riding right up until I was born and after I was born she frequently packed me around with in a backpack.  Once I was too big for that I started riding in front of her or dad depending on who was riding the steadier horse #safetythird.  Eventually I graduated to lead line, and occasionally they would have to drop the rope go chase cows and then come back for my sister and me.

I am the wee little midget on the front of the paint

After I got big enough that I could be trusted to follow along behind the halter rope got tied to the saddle (just in case) and we were always left at the back of the herd to push the cows along, while mom and dad worked the front and middle.

I wore that floppy old hat so much

The country we were in was rough to say the least, I am quite certain as an adult I would not be brave enough to tackle some of the trails that were used to drive the cows up to the national forest.  We also had to drive the cows up a two lane highway each spring and fall.  At the time I was too young to understand those added dangers, but I do remember my mom being very upset about some near misses.

Riders had to be scattered throughout to keep the cows moving steadily 
so there weren't any build ups that could cause cows to be pushed off the trail

We also did 4-H and the one year my sister was trying to date a guy and she discovered that if she showed horses she could see him weekly instead of once a month.  So she begged and begged and begged to show horses.  I wasn't interested in it, but my mom insisted that if my sister was going to do it I had to do it too.  I am sure my mom knew that my sister wasn't interested in horses and was determined not to haul the daughter with minimal interest in horses around and leave the one that actually liked horses at home.

I guess I always was all about the matching.

So in middle school (oh the ever awkward years) I started having my first pseudo lessons.  Really the guy didn't have much to say besides slower, because I was a bit of a speed demon.  My first serious lessons didn't happen until much later as in about six years ago.

12 comments:

  1. Ok I am officially jealous of your cowboy childhood, I rode a bit with my dad's friends (random bunch of cowboys) before I had any lessons but it was just ditchriding mostly.

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    1. There were also times like trying to find calves in blizzards or being woken up in the middle of the night for a calving emergency. Never ever getting to sleep in

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  2. Thank your sharing this! Such a different way of life than here in New England. I love that story about your sister and the boy too! Ha!

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    1. I’m sure she would be delighted with me for sharing it. Good thing she doesn’t know about the blog 😂

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  3. I am so incredibly jealous of growing up like this, it's too damn cool.

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    1. Maybe I’ll share some stories that will make you not be so jealous

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  4. That is such a different horse background than I had! That explains why you seem so calm when Stinker has meltdowns, riding must be as natural to you as walking! It would be easy for me to say I am jealous too but I'm sure there are downsides to the way you learned to ride too.

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    1. I’ve found that the natural feel I developed outweighs the cons.

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  5. Very cool! Thanks for sharing the memories!

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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m planning a few more posts since I dug out some old pictures.

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  6. Uh well my previous comment about skin and lives still applies.

    So.

    Good thing we're friends haha.

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    1. 😂😂😂 you are welcome to it this weekend

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