I figure it's time to give my readers a little bit more about me and my history - just for fun.
I started riding around age 12. There are a lot of pics I've lost over the years, but I do have a few that I found and scanned a while back.
This was Harry - he was a grey ArabX that was a school horse - and as you can see the first horse I ever went to shows with. This was a schooling show in Orillia, ON the second summer I was riding. We did flat classes at this show because I had my very first fall in the lesson right before the show - I got into the warm-up for the jumping classes and got scared, so 3 flat classes for me. I learned at this show that not only is flapping your elbows unsightly, but it's also a good way to make the judge DQ you because he thinks you're beating the horse with every stride.
The other 2 girls in this one are my younger sisters - the littlest one is Shauna, Felix's Co-Owner. She's 19 now.
After this I had a few more years of regular lessons, and even tried to show again the following summer - however "my" horse was diagnosed with moonblindless just the week before show season was to start, and I had not yet clicked with any of the other school horses. This fun little horse, named Casper was just purchased by the farm, and after 2 years of lessons I guess I was considered on of the more experienced students, and was the second person at the farm to ride him. He's an adorable little Arab, so I was thrilled by getting to ride him - that is untill I asked for canter the first time and got do do 3 laps of the arena at a gallop before I could bring him back.
At this pont my very first coach was fired on quite short notice from the farm I had been riding at, we followed her to another barn, who had quite a mix of interesting school horses. There was Jack, who was an OTTB retired Dressage horse - he's the horse that taught me how to properly ride a horse "in a frame", and was just a joyful experience. Then there was Jasper, a cute little black Arab who had the bounciest canter I have ever ridden - and also was the only horse I've ever ridden that just could not jump. He jumped like a goat - sort of straight up, then land on all four feet on the other side, not exactly fun, but an interesting experience none the less. The last horse I rode here that was memorable to me was a little dun QH named Silver. He was a little greener, and taught me that just because every other horse you've ever ridden will let you duck under his neck in the cross ties does not make this a good idea. In fact, he taught me a lot about proper horse handling on the ground, as he had to be handled very correctly in order to remain safe.
Not long after this I took a nearly 3 year haitus from riding, partially because my coach was fired from 2 barns within about 6 months, and we just couldn't follow her around from farm to farm anymore, and partially because my father's buisness was being divided up between partners and there was little money coming in for a while (I came to know this later, I was not privy to it at the time of course).
At 17, I actually came back to the original farm I had been riding at, with the new coach that was teaching there - the coach I will never, ever quit, her name is Sandy.
This was one of my first rides back - Chance was a retired hunter show horse that had done very well back in his day.