Saturday, April 30, 2011

Horseback riding in Washington

My parents got me my first horse when I was ten. Well, he was not so much horse as he was pony. Rainbow was a Pony of America of about 12 hands or so. Just tall enough to break one of my friends' arms when she fell off of him one day, but no one blamed poor Rainbow for that incident. He had been a rescue pony that had been badly abused by a riding crop, and we did not realize that until someone had one in their hand around him and he freaked out.

It was decided by my parents that a horse that was unpredictable was not the right horse for their youngest daughter, so they sold Rainbow and got me another pony. I'll never forget him as my first pony though.

Since my parent's little ranch was in the middle of cattle country in north central Washington, the tack was all classic cowboy western style, none of that fancy english horse tack - I could ride sidesaddle, but it was simply a way to relax during a long ride rather than any formal riding style. One of my favorite methods of riding was to simply stretch out on my horse's back and let them pick where they wanted to go, meandering through the woods and up logging roads into the mountains and back.

I had ponies and horses fairly consistently over the next few years, up until I was sixteen and went off to trade school, then my parents sold the ranch in Washington to my sister and after I graduated we moved back to Alaska full-time, so having a horse became a luxury that could not be afforded.

Still, I love horses and have a dream of one day being able to afford to keep a horse once again. Maybe when I make it big as a writer I will do like my parents had for a while and keep a ranch in the lower 48 where I can vacation and go riding. That would be nice.