I have been riding since I was 7 years old, and I’m 16 now. At first I just sat on the horse while other people walked me around, but eventually I learned how to steer, and then to walk and trot on my own.
I first fell off when I was about 7 ½: I was on a newer horse, and it spooked when we went past a bush. Being the amatuer rider I was, I fell off as soon as the horse reared. It started bucking as well but luckily I managed to avoid the horses hooves.
I stopped riding for a few months, but the longer I had stopped, the more I wanted to start again. After I moved to England, I started riding again.
England was better for riding than America; before I knew it, I was trotting and even cantering every lesson. I would go once, later twice, a week. The first stable I went to was known as Snowball farm. I don’t remember it much, but I remember this giant chestnut horse that I used to love. Eventually, the person who had been teaching me left the stables, and I began to have a new instructor every lesson, and so I moved on when I was 12.
My mother had heard a recommendation for the Spanish Bit: a stable that was only 15 minutes away. I was nervous at first, because I had never ridden in a group lesson. I immediately loved it- the harder exercises, the independence of getting out horses on my own, the people who loved horses as much as I do. I rode there until I moved, and almost every holiday I would go to an “Own a Pony Day”, which is when we basically worked as stable hands and then did a lesson for a day. I started riding more difficult horses, and my riding improved until I could even ride Basil (who bucked every time anyone sat on him wrong).
About a year and a half before I left, a new horse came. Everyone talked about it for days, because we were allowed to choose the name. The only rule: it had to be the name of a plant or fruit. At one point, everyone was sure Bay Leaf was going to be his name, but eventually Banana stuck. He was pretty mischievous, even going so far to lie down with his saddle on right before a lesson! Then Fig came about 6 months before I left: he was a pony, but he could canter faster than any other horse (and I should know, we had a mock race!)
And then I moved to San Diego when I was 15. I looked around and found a good stable about 30 minutes away from my house. I had always loved jumping, and Concord came with the promise of jumping every week. I started doing 3 to 4 lessons a week for Independent PE, and felt accepted into this new community almost immediately. We started doing jump courses whenever we could, and I swear that jumping is like flying.
Although juggling robotics and horse riding can be difficult at times, I wouldn’t change it for the world, because both of them are more than worth it.