A First Time for Everything

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Skill. Determination. Passion. Those three words describe horseback riding. And horses are my life.

I was only three years old the first time I rode a horse. At about forty pounds, the horse weighed nearly twenty-five times my weight. With one move that thousand pound animal could have ended my life. But she didn't, and my life with horses began.

The day still stands out in my mind. We had just gotten a sweet mare named Jasmine. She was willing to do anything asked of her. As my older brother and sister took turns riding her, I stood patiently by the gate with my mom. Watching them, I longed to be able to climb up into the saddle and ride. After what seemed like ages, my siblings were done riding. I always liked this part because I got to help groom Jasmine when they were done. I often pretended that she was my horse and I was the only one to take care of her. As my siblings walked towards us my mom leaned down to me and asked,

"Jamie, do you want to go for a ride?"

"Yeah," was all I could say as I nodded my head up and down vigorously. I could barely contain my excitement.


My sister held onto Jasmine as my mom hoisted me into the worn leather saddle. I held on tight as my mom led me around the field. The grin on my face stretched from one ear to the other. Around and around we went, with me asking for just one more trip around each time.

Finally I agreed to climb off, with a promise from my mom that I would be able to ride again the next day. That next day I was riding again, as well as the day after that, and all the days that followed.

Horses became my thing. No matter what was going on in life, they were always there. Although my brother and sister quit riding, I continued riding, progressing to a small pony, and eventually a show horse. Lessons and shows came and went. I worked hard to be the best I could be. Heels down, sit up straight, chin up. I have heard those phrases to many times to count.

I am now almost sixteen years old and horses continue to be a huge part of my life. I own a four year old who I have been working with since he was two. During the summer months I show almost every weekend. As well as showing my horses, I am also actively involved in Horse Judging and President of my 4-H Horse and Pony Club.

It is interesting for me to look back on that memory. I have learned so much since that day as a three year old, but my passion for horses has never failed. They have taught me so much and as I get older I will continue to show. Horses are and will continue to be a constant part of my life.





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