When I was about two or three years old my father used to take me riding at a barn in Danbury, Conn. I don’t know what possessed him to do this — my father is NOT an equestrian by an stretch of the imagination. Maybe I begged. I’m sure that later he wished he had not started me off on my riding career.
It was a place that rented out horses by the hour. Horses decked out in old Western saddles and with no supervision.
I clearly remember the day that my horse decided to trot. To me, it must have been like a wild gallop as I had never gone faster than a walk. I have a vivid memory of slipping down the side of that horse inch by inch. I was holding on for dear life but with no avail. I remember the smoothness of the horse’s shoulder, how the reins bounced on his neck, the smell of horse as I slid down his side, and then landing in the grass. I wasn’t hurt and I don’t remember being scared; just surprised.
Thinking back, I’m surprised that ever wanted to get on a horse again.
I still drive by the place where that horse farm was located. Years ago the barn was pulled down and a church was built in its place. It’s a lot more manicured than when I rode their 48 years ago, but I always glance over at it when I drive by, remembering that moment. Somewhere I know my mother has a photo of me riding there. I’ll have to get her to send it to me so I can add it here.
2 thoughts on “One of my first memories of a horse”
I think I was around the age of 3-5… there was a small children’s carnival going on in the (very large) parking lot of our church and they had rented pony rides. “Strawberry” from my memory was oddly brown, probably dark bay, smally and furry. Probably a Shetland. I was led around, grasping the little western saddle horn and I got scared when she stepped down off some uneven concrete.
Likewise when I was about 6 my parents also went to one of those rental places and led me on trails on a chestnut QH. And then on a spoiled white pony who threw me (bucked) because he wanted to go back to the barn. Oddly I laughed after falling off.
After those experiences I was hooked and my parents found suitable stable giving actual riding lessons.