It was June of 2013 when a really big event happened in my life. Or at least I thought it was. It has changed my life completely and I’m really glad that I decided to do it. But I definitely didn’t think so at the time.
I was shivering, and my hands were shaking. I had never ridden such a big, scary creature in my life. I felt like I was a mouse that just got caught in a trap. There was no way out of it. Ever since I found out that I was going to be riding a horse for the very first time, it was like there was a big weight on my shoulder. I just wanted it to go away.
“Are you ready to go?” my dad asked.
“Sure,” I replied, “let’s get going.” As I put on my boots, just the feeling of putting on the shoes that would soon be encountering one of my greatest fears ran through my mind. My family was all waiting in the car while I tried to take a moment to calm myself down and picture how I was overreacting. It couldn’t be that bad, or could it?
But of course my dad had to ruin the silence. “Are you almost done putting on your shoes? We are going to be late if you don’t get moving.”
“Just a minute. I’m not going to make us late. I will just make us not so early,” I yelled.
On our way there, all I could think about was how tall the horse would be, and if I would fall off, and if it would be mean and……...
When we arrived at the horse riding place, there was an old looking barn. It was brown with old, but nice looking wood working around it. There were some cobwebs in the corner of it, but other than that, it looked like they kept it clean and well cared for. I really didn’t want to be there. I thought about running back to the car, but my parents said it would be good for me to try something new. Sure, I thought. Sure. But would it really?
As we walked into the building to pay for the rides, all I saw was horse butts, and then I glanced out the window and I saw the cutest little ponies ever. “Mom can I go pet the little ponies. They’re just outside the window. Please?” I begged my mom.
“Yes, but make sure that I can see you,” she replied.
“Ok.” I opened the door and walked to go see the ponies. My sister decided to tag along.
There were two ponies. One was all white with a little black dot on its nose, and the one I really liked was light brown with white spots, and it had a blond mane.
“Aw. They’re so cute,” Samantha said.
“I know I want to take one home,” I squealed.
Those were the only horses in that area so of course I thought that I was going to be riding one of them. As I was petting “Princess,” (that was the name that I came up with for the pony I liked) I felt all of my fear go away because how hard could it be to ride such a tiny little pony? But all of the fear came rushing back to me like a river, when I heard the girl that worked there say, “Abby this is the horse that you’re going to be riding today.” As I turned around, I saw that it wasn’t a pony that I would be riding. It was a big, gray horse. How was I supposed to ride something that was as tall as a skyscraper?
The girl motioned me to get onto the horse. I walked over to it and she helped me get on the horse. Once I mounted, I looked at the ground and it seemed like I was ten feet above it. The rest of my family all got on their horses and off we went. I was right behind the trail leader. The trail ride was in a little forest on a hiking trail. It had lots of trees and there were little streams that ran through the trees. You could also see beautiful butterflies floating in the sky.
During the ride my fear calmed down a little bit. It helped that we were just going to be walking the whole time. I definitely wasn’t ready to trot or post. The horses that we were riding are so used to going on that trail, that they just followed each other the whole time. It made it easier for me. While we were riding, the trail leader started talking to me.
“So, Abby what grade are you in?” she asked.
“I just got done with third grade and I’m going into fourth grade,” I responded.
“That’s cool. Have you ever rode a horse before?”
“No. This is my first time.”
“Well, since this is your first time riding a horse, I want to tell the two most important rules when it comes to horses.”
“Ok,” I said.
“The first rule is to never be scared. Just do it. The horse can sense your fear, so be confident. It will just make the ride smoother and it will make everything easier. The second rule is to never walk up right behind a horse. If they can’t see you, they probably don’t know that you are there. If you scare them they will take their back leg and kick, and it will probably be you that their hoof comes in contact with.”
“Thank you for the advice,” I said.
“You’re welcome, anytime,” she responded.
The rest of the ride the girl was just talking to us and giving us advice on horses. When the ride was over I realized that during the ride I didn’t even think about being scared. I was too caught up in controlling my horse, looking at the scenery, talking with the leader and just enjoying the ride. Once we got back to the barn, I honestly didn’t even want to get off of the horse. I loved the ride and I realized that you don’t need to be scared. You just need to do it and get it over with. The main key is confidence. Ever since that day, I have loved horses and they will always be part of me.
Recently one of my dreams has come true. My grandma just bought a horse and she shares it with me and my sister. His name is Ace and he is brown with a black mane and tail. If I wouldn’t have gone horseback riding that day, I would have never started chasing my passion. I thank my parents for making me try new things and if it wouldn’t have been for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.