***This post contains terrible quality old photos - you've been warned!!***
So it’s been brought to my attention that I was very quick to introduce Clarkie, however I haven’t introduced myself!
For those of you that know me, feel free to get a refresher course. For those of you who don’t know me, sit down and grab some popcorn, because we’re gonna go way back.
So I think it all started when I was two years old and my parents moved to a place that was right across the road from horse paddocks (told you we were gonna go way back). From that point forward I was that annoying kid that constantly asked if we could go pat the horses.
My grandpa kicked it up another level when I was 5 and he took me out for my first riding lesson. I have a vague recollection of sitting on this little chestnut pony and shaking the reins because I thought that was how you make a horse go…I’m still embarrassed.
So fast forward a couple of years and I had been doing the basic kick-go, pull-stop lessons on and off for a while. I was by no means talented, and there had been plenty of tears along the way, but I could pretty much walk, trot and canter.
Mum and dad were still living across the road from horse paddocks, and there happened to be a horse there that needed some TLC. Enter Sunny. This guy taught me more than any instructor could – specifically how to stay on.
My first time riding this guy after getting some weight on him was bareback in a halter…and that pretty much never changed. I wasn’t old enough to work and couldn’t afford a saddle, so bareback was my only option.
After a couple of years of not missing a day of visiting this horse, my parents started to realise with dread that this horse thing might not be just a phase. I think my dad was one of the few parents that were disappointed when I didn’t find boys in my teens and lose interested in the horses.
At the age of 19, I moved to college and my horse activities took a back seat for a little while. By this point, Sunny had passed on and I had a young QH x TB that, just like Clarkie, was everything I didn’t want or need in a horse (like Clarkie though, he was also perfect). In a nutshell, he had been sold to me as a highly educated 8yo, however when I got the dentist out to see him the following week, he told me that I actually had a (very) freshly broken 4yo. Like Sunny, this horse was a massive learning curve!
So over the next few years I was riding on and off while life got in the way. I graduated from university and had no idea what to do after that, so I skipped off to the USA for a summer in upstate New York. Came back and fell into a job that I REALLY didn’t like and then started a Masters degree to escape from it. Terrible reason to do a degree, I know.
So by this point I was 24 was working a grown-up job at IBM, a big IT company, while doing a full time Masters degree. So of course, this was the point where I did what any mature adult would do, resigned from my adult job, and the day after I finished my Masters, jumped on a plane to fly to Colorado to work on a ranch.
This was really where I got back into horses full time. I was back riding about 25-30 hours a week, got introduced to western (think boots, chaps and cowboy hats) and got well and truly addicted. What was supposed to be one summer, turned into 3 summers, 3 falls (autumns) and a winter. Sorry Mum.
Going off topic for a second, almost everyone I talked to in the States seemed to think that Australia was full of things that want to kill you. I’d like to point out (Mum, I really hope you’re not reading this…) that I came a lot closer to dying in Colorado than I ever have back home! I was charged by a moose, found myself on a bridge with a black bear 5 feet behind me annnd probably should stop the stories right there… My point being, Australia isn’t that dangerous so come and visit. Just watch out for the drop bears.
Back on topic.
So after spending 2 years longer commuting between Australia and the USA than I initially meant to, I finally find myself back home. Of course I haven't been able to sit still for long, which is where you guys come in! From here on in, you all get to follow along this crazy scary/exciting/nerve-wracking journey that is Green, Gold and Blues. Enjoy the ride!