Started riding while in utero. Seriously, my mom was still riding the week I was born. She is a very tough lady. Continued riding with either my mom or dad (sitting in front of them) until I was old enough to hang on to my own horse.
I am the smaller one on the right.
Once I graduated to my own horse I was ponied around until I could steer. I am not sure how old I was, but I think it was 3ish.
I am the wee one on the back.
The next big move up was when I started riding Jethro. He was a big (might not have been all that big but the little me thought he was) bay and is probably the reason I managed to survive my own stupidity. He was a fabulous baby sitter. I could get on him bareback no halter or bridle and if I got off balance he would just stop. We were holding bunch (aka people on horses sitting around 500+ head of cows) and I got tired and crawled under him and went to sleep. My mom found me and he was just standing and not even stomping at flies. I could go on and on about him, but he was my first love. Sadly he died of a heart attack when I was in late elementary/early middle school (have you noticed I am terrible with dates yet?).
Jethro is on the right (my sister is on him)
The next major horse was Mandy. She was a little bay mare that was hot hot hot. My oldest sister pitched a fit when my mom said I was going to start riding Mandy. My sister was sure the mare was going to kill me. Mandy had a nasty rearing habit when she was younger. Luckily we got along fabulously. We both had the same amount of crazy and it worked. I had my worst fall off her, but also got my need for speed fix from her. She was quick and catty and loved to work cows. I actually showed her in 4-H. Some how even with our speed demon ways we managed to win some things.
I have no idea who is in the middle.
I may or may not be related to them, but I don't recognize the horse.
I am pretty sure we won all around horse one year and I know we won reining and probably some other classes. Obviously the reining was the only important one to me, because it is the only thing I remember for sure. By the time I was in high school, she was starting to get arthritic and my last year in 4-H I showed my sister's horse. She was much more the typical western show horse and we killed it. I don't remember what all we won or didn't win. Sadly I do not have any pictures from this period, because I was excellent at ducking the camera.
Nippers who was the first horse I started.
I was not really into showing western. I loved reining but that was it. I liked working cows, but I knew that I didn't want to ranch long term. When I was in high school riding took a backseat to basketball. When I went off to college I was on an academic and basketball scholarship, so I didn't ride unless I was home on vacation which was rare. I should mention that the summer between high school and college I worked on a dude ranch in Wyoming. That in itself is a story for another time.
Moving cows with my dad in the awkward years.
When I was in grad school I was feeling a bit lost and picked a place off the internet (it was the only one I could find a price list for) and started dressage lessons. The original plan was to get the basics then jump, but I got hooked once I got tangled up with D. D matched me up with a mare Nikki, who I loved dearly. Unfortunately, that story does not have a happy ending. But she taught me so much in the time I knew her.
First starting back pre D. I can't remember this mare's name I only rode her once.
Once I moved, I struggled to find a place to take lessons. I knew enough to recognize bad instructors but I was limited to places that had lesson horses. I had to beg S to take me on because her schedule was already full. Luckily she has trouble saying no and I landed at an amazing barn. I rode a few different horses before I started looking for my own.
The final horse that has played an important role is my favorite little Pongo. He taught me so much and gave me so much confidence. He was the first horse I ever did cross country with. He was the first horse I rode in a jumping clinic. He gave me confidence that I can put the basics on a green horse and have them be a solid citizen.
Such a fun little guy!
So the bottom line is I have a ton of hours in the saddle and have ridden tons of different horses but haven't done much showing. And I am fumbling my way through learning a new sport and teaching my horse. PS this is a terrible resume because I couldn't shut up and keep things brief.