I couldn't find any of our subscribers willing to share a story about themselves so you'll just have to here about me, boring stuff really.
Well, I grew up with a horse loving family. My aunts had horses and my mother had horses on and off. I the summers I would stay at my grandparents where my aunt's horse Honey lived. She was my best pal. Because I wasn't really allowed to ride her, I learned how ride without any tack so I could quickly slip off. When I was feeling gutsy I would sneak my aunt's saddle and bridle out of the basement and gallop around suburbia. It was great, sometimes I would dress us up as an Indian girl and her pony and all the neighborhood kids would watch in awe.
My neighbors always had horses too. This is were I first rode an off-track thoroughbred. Karen worked for the SPCA and would often get starved and neglected horses. One old mare was in really bad shape, hundreds of pounds underweight, lice and a nursing colt. After a few months with us she really blossomed. Even though she was in her 20's she acted like a spring filly.
When I was 13 my mom found a free Appaloosa gelding named Niki. His owners couldn't keep him in his feild which consisted of a 6+ foot stone wall. I begged my mom to bring him home, contructed a fiberglass pole and single strand hot wire around our house and home he came. Sure he would get out everyweek and galavant around the countryside but he was a great friend. At our first show with no previous instruction, we placed 2nd out of 17 riders in the Novice Horse and Rider class. I came home from school one day to find my mom had sold him and that was the end of that.
When I was 14 I started working at Watermark Farm owned by Bill and Anne Rawle. It was right down the rode so they came and picked my up after school and on the weekends. Needless to say I was never home! They had two daughters around my age which made it even better. In exchange for my work I got lots of instruction and was able to ride Anne's old Grand Prix dressage TB, Valentino, fondly refered to as Wart (Wiggle Wart:). I soon graduated to another TB gelding named Gulliver who soon became my favorite horse of all time. Years after I worked there and he was gone I would lay in bed and just sob at the mere thought of him. The Rawles were nice enough to pay for all my horsey needs. Pony Club, camp, lessons, boots and attire, and horse shows. We mainly did low level eventing and dressage and it was a blast! I will forever have a place in my heart for that farm, family and horse. The knowledge I received from that place has been invaluable to me. Sadly, the Rawles lost their oldest daughter, Emily, to a tragic and mysterious illness last month.
After highschool I moved away from home and worked at a nice hunter barn, Burning Tree Farm. There I rode another exracer named Simon. Unfortunately the hard work took it tole on my hands. I developed tendonitis and had to quit.
Next I moved to Lancaster and found a job driving carriages for tourists. The nice part was I learned how to drive and harness a team. The bad part was that it was extremely hard on the horses. After the summer I had to quit. I just couldn't take it anymore. I would also stongly urge anyone visiting Lancaster County to not take a buggy ride.
I decided then to get out of the horse business for awhile but, as anyone who's been bit by the horse bug, you can't keep away for long. In the evenings I gave beginner lessons at a local Quarter Horse barn and was given a young palimino gelding to play around with. At our first show we won a reserved champion. The owners decided they would rather him go western so I was taken off him and in my frustration I left the farm.
After that I rode at a few other local barns, mostly on school horses. Then I just decided that it wasn't for me and that I wouldn't get back into riding until I had a horse of my own. Last fall I found out about Pewter's Bill on the Equine Rescue Mailing List. He had just retired from a long racing career with a bowed tendon and he need some time off and a good home. It was love at first site and I had to have him. It's been a trying 10 months but we are finally getting on track and starting Bill's retraining. I found myself with tons of questions about exracers and started the Retraining Thoroughbreds Mailing List and Homepage. It was one of the best things I've done on the net. We have well over 100 subscribers and I feel like it's turning into a nice little horsey family.
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Pewter's Bill's Page
My Equine Art Page
The Horse in Art