A History

Side note - For the most part I wont be posting names of places, people or businesses that i'm interacting with. I'm fine to share some personal information about myself, pictures, and what not & obviously my interactions with horses in my day to day life, but I also wish to respect other people's privacy, and wishes, so it's best to just keep names - of places, people and horses, out of it, as much as possible. If you have any questions about me personally, don't ever hesitate to ask, i'm pretty open in that sense! =)

Side Side Note - I'm a rambler... prepare yourself.

This is little baby me in 2000, on my first horse at my Ranch-camp, Minnie.
She was pretty mean, and ended up with a metal muzzle on her mouth most times in the stall with me, I remember crying a lot, but also some really precious moments of older riding leaders and counsellors holding my hand and teaching me the basics of brushing, saddling and riding that summer.

I am a 20 year old Canadian, and since I can remember i've been totally, and completely horse crazy. The first time my butt was in a saddle was when I was 6, and I began attending a western riding camp when I was 8. I later became a counsellor there, then a riding leader and finally, stumbled unwittingly into the role of Barn Boss. So, i've grown up, horse-wise, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, trail riding and soaking in the summertime. Not a bad life.

Harry, who put up with me constantly feeling as if I was riding around in a dainty little basket in his english saddle, attempting to neck reign him, taking him away from his herd and bringing my puppy along for it all. He was a special horse.

After my second summer of being a counsellor, 2009, I decided I wanted to actually ride horses throughout the year, not just dream about them constantly and find myself on one or two for a couple weeks in the summer. Serendipity met me in the form of an add for a horse named Harry needing a rider, namely me. The lady who owned Harry was pretty much a saint, I had never ridden "English" and she patiently explained to me what was going on, she also allowed me to ride Harry on and off for two years, even though she was, at the time, looking for someone to half-lease him. (I didn't really understand the concept of a "half-lease" at the time) The deal was riding in exchange for chores, and except for a couple times I farm-sat, and cleaned out the tack shed, I barely ever did any chores for that poor family. However, Harry was my first outside of camp horse, and we spent lots of time together in -20 c weather plodding along in the back pastures. He was recently sold, and I hadn't seen him for quite some time, I sure hope he found a family to love him and cuddle him and give him lots of cookies.

Poco Dee and I, probably one of the fastest horses I have ever ridden.

The summer of 2010 I somehow found myself riding younger and greener horses, and I enjoyed it immensely. So, with an inflated ego and a sense of "Oh ya, I can do this" I applied for a job during the fall of 2010 riding horses at a woman's quarter horse breeding ranch, (with a broken arm - no less). I had a lot of fun, and learnt a lot, and decided to go back in the spring of 2011. This time, I stayed in a bunkhouse with various other trainers, and felt like I was really getting the total, horse training experience. However, I was no trainer, that much was blatantly clear and although I could "ride" a horse, I wasn't teaching my horses much at all. I struggled with a boss who would rather talk about my abilities behind my back than assist me, and by the end of June I was in shambles. I had come close to loosing all confidence I had in my abilities even around horses, let alone on their back, and any natural ability I may have had felt like a massive joke.

Jingle and I, this is the man of my dreams. Our story is nowhere near over.

Then, in one of those serendipitous moments, my fairy horse-god-mother walked into my life and asked me to come out to my ranch camp during the spring on weekends to train to be a riding leader. I was ecstatic, and happily followed her around on horseback chasing horses into from the hills and chatting her ears off about the horse industry. For what I lacked in ability, this woman somehow saw past it and put her trust and faith in me, and it was that trust and faith that enabled me to not only begin riding and building a solid bond and foundation with a skittish horse named Jingle (Also known as, my baby) but also introduced me to her horse, Jed, a cutting horse, and allowed me to "work" him on a mechanical cow, twice. I was hooked.

Jed and I, not only is he cutting horse supremo, but he is one of the most amazing ranch horses in the world. He did a lot of my training for me during my first weeks as a Riding Leader at the ranch, that's for sure.

Thus, here the story turns from "I love horses, maybe one day I'll have one that I trail ride on the weekends" to, "I want to show cutting horses one day". Big aspirations, little girl. That's me.

So, with my FHGM having trusted and relied on me for a summer, I felt a little more confident, and a lot more ballsy and was resolute on the fact that this was the year I was getting some frickin' lessons. (.. because to get to the show pen, you kinda have to know what you're doing..)

Another Riding Leader horse and I, Sis, or Texsis, depending on who you're speaking with.

Once again, in the fall of 2011, fate sauntered into my life, I began volunteering at a stable trading hours for lessons. The stable was a fancy rehabilitation barn for show horses with injuries. I was a fish out of water, and was faced with a boss who expected more from me than I had to offer. It was a massive struggle of heart and head, and I wanted so badly for it to work out, but I just didn't have the knowledge base to cope with what was going on around me. After months feeling like complete garbage, and basically downward spiralling emotionally, I left. It was one of the hardest decisions I've honestly ever had to make - giving up something your so passionate about because you simply can't function at the level someone wants you to, and is not willing to help you get there, is something I hope never occurs in my life again.

Speaking the same language with my baby, Jingle.

The job had fallen through, but so had my "riding lessons". I had found that riding at the aforementioned barn had also left me in shambles, all of a sudden I was a nervous and tense rider. I had literally lost myself somewhere along the line. A friend of mine offered up one of her horses to ride and take lessons on. The beautiful Quiz, who helped me regain a bit of the nerve, courage and stillness that I had before I lost it all at the previous barn. Riding a well broke, willing horse, under the guidance of my trainer, taught me a lot, and gave me confidence. My trainer also, unwillingly, sparked an interest in me about Western Pleasure - it has to be all those bright blingy jackets! So now, add that to the list of things I want to try one of these days.

Little princess baby face.

Now, I find myself a horse-owner, and my days are full of all new horse-complications - attempting to train myself, and my pretty untrained, trail-horse, ponyboy - Jingle. I have no idea where we're headed, but for the moment, I am happy on whichever road we're heading together.

So this is it, time spent in the saddle, learning, re-learning and trying again, and time spent on the ground, whether that be mucking out stalls, reading training books, watching horse shows, or simply looking at a horse, and thinking, "my god, I love these animals." This blog will also showcase my interest in Western culture, rodeo lifestyle, horses from around the world, and i'm sure some personal "real-life" emotional crap will make it's way into my writing, it always seems too.

I'm struggling to find a position in the horse world, but I'm determined to find a way. Not only to learn to become an ever growing better rider, but to find a place in the horse industry in the future. & frick... to one day work some gosh darn cows!

So, hopefully you enjoy my ramblings, and, hopefully I get to hear and read some of YOUR stories (whoever, you, may be). =)

Soren, the horse that broke my arm - but also stole my heart, in the summer of 2010.