Slice of Life Sunday – Horseback Riding

If you read my Slice of Life post last Sunday, you know that I can’t ride a bike because I rode horses growing up instead. Today I’m going to share a little more about that.

I feel so blessed to have been a little girl who got a pony. I don’t have any photos of her on my computer, but her name was Lady and she was a black and white Shetland paint pony. I learned basics on her, and then I got Chester.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Chester was one of the loves of my life. His picture is on the top of the post, and I got him when I was 13. I had him for 14 years, and if you think about the tumult you go through between the ages of 13 and 27, well, Chester was always there, with his quiet, comforting presence. We had to put him down when I was 27; he was 35 years old at that point and I hadn’t ridden him in a couple years, but was gut wrenching. I still have the loafers I was wearing that day (I had to go straight to the ranch from work) and he kissed one foot before the vet told me to back away. To everyone else it looks like a dirt smudge, but I know what it really is.

This is Maddie – we bought her for Hubby and had her for 10 years.

She was a former racehorse (there was a tattoo identifying her as such inside her upper lip that she would show you) and the most accident prone horse I ever owned. But completely sweet. She passed away last Christmas.

That is Izzy, my crazy Arabian, and this is one of the few times I’ve been on her. I got her after Chester died, before I had kids. We sent her to a trainer for some additional work, and by the time we got her back I was pregnant. And I wasn’t going to risk getting on her. And I’m scared to risk it since – she’s just a little too unpredictable for me, and I’ve got little ones who need me now.

So now I ride Major.

This picture is about a month after I had Bean – so excuse all the voluptousness!

Notice I also wear a helmet now? Major was formerly a feed lot horse, working cattle, but he is retired from that. I ride him occasionally, but he spends most of his time like this now.

And yes, he does have one brown eye and one blue eye, which some people this is creepy and I think is cool.

And though I don’t ride as often as I did in high school (which was daily), I do so enjoy this view.

My view while riding

So, do any of you ride? Or do you have a pet with a special place in your heart?

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  1. says

    Hi! I follow your blog on my reader – love your posts. We have 3 horses. Xena, mainly black (white back stockings and blaze) is my love and main ride. She has 1 brown/1 blue eye, too! I completely understand the quiet comfort they provide. The 3 of them were my solid comfort thru my mom’s stroke, 2 year nursing home care and passing away in 2009. I spent many hours brushing them and brushing away my tears at the same time. I trail ride with a bunch of wonderful friends and find there is nothing more satisfying than being on my horse! Thanks for the great post.


  2. says

    oh I love horses so much! We never owned horses but my mother’s family in Guatemala always has. My grandmother rode a horse daily to get to her teaching job back in the 50’s and 60’s. I’ve taken riding lessons and I plan on getting back to that soon. I’ll probably celebrate my next birthday by going on a trail ride. Thanks for sharing those beautiful memories of those beautiful animals.

  3. says

    I am so envious (but in a good way). I used to have 3 horses when I was in college, but had to sell them when I moved to Austin. I had a friend who boarded horses in Pflugerville and she would let me ride her horses all the time, but she moved and I haven’t had a chance to ride for several years. I miss it so much. There aren’t too many places in Round Rock that offer western horseback riding. One day I will have horses again (hopefully sooner rather than later)!

  4. Rachel B says

    I have never owned my own horse, but I love to ride. We used to go at least once a year as a family – I have some great memories of that. I was never given a pony, but I was given riding lessons once for my birthday when I was young. I also worked on a guest ranch one summer during college so I got to ride quite a bit then. Thanks for sharing this slice of your life!

  5. says

    Hi there!
    I follow your blog as well but I had no idea until I was flicking through old posts today that you were horsey. I have a chestnut mare who is incredibly social and cuddly. She’s the grand daughter of a Melbourne Cup winner but didn’t even get out of the box on her trial. She’s slow and sweet and I love her. I grew up riding as well but she’s the first horse I’ve owned in 6 or 7 years. I’m moving from one side of Australia to the other next weekend but I’m taking her with me because you just can’t replace temperament. I’m glad you still ride – I hope I can when I have kids of my own as well :)

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