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I’m not one of those lucky people that got to grow up with a horse. My journey to equine might be a bit different than most but that doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter how you found equine in your life wants matter is YOU found them!
I thought my opportunity to learn to ride horses was way over and I certainly never dreamed I’d be driving horses! Nor did I ever imagine I’d be teaching them fun tricks and playing fun liberty games with them! Certainly never ever imagined they would improve my fitness and health!
Horses and Donkeys have given me so many positive things that have improved my life! I think they can shine a light and be a positive influence in most everyone’s life!
Do be warned though. Horses can work their way into all parts of our lives it seems! Although I got into horses as an adult I’m no more immune to the spell of the horse than a horse crazy 15-year-old!
I’ve always thought horses were the most beautiful animals. Like most little girls that grew up on a farm, I wanted a horse. My horse dreams got shot down in my youth quickly so I honestly never thought I’d want or have the opportunity to have one as an adult, let alone have my life taken over by them!
Born a Farm Girl
Growing up on a family cattle farm I was a country girl in every sense of that word. Not afraid of getting dirty, loved going fishing and being on the back of a tractor! There was plenty of land, hay fields, big old barns and dirt roads that would have been amazing for riding. There were also plenty reasons I was told I could not have a horse… like they eat too much… they are to much trouble…they cost too much… but my favorite reason, I’ll never forget it, was, horses will be mean to the cows!
Really? It was clear I was not getting a horse!
For a brief moment in my childhood, we did have a pony on the property. I remember how exciting it was to run out see it! It was bought for my (unappreciative) younger cousin but kept in the pasture right across from my house! So, I mean, surely I’ll get to ride sometimes!
Uh, nope! My ever bratty spoiled cousin declared no one could ride his pony!
That was my only real exposure to horses as a child… pretty sad huh?
Farm Girl gets a second Chance at Horses
I grew up, moved out, married, lived in town, had a child and a fairly long belly dancing career. Horses were just not a part of the road that life was leading me down.
In 2010, my husband and I bought 38 acres… long story short, we built it into a self-sustaining farm producing over 90% of our own food. Nice right? For some yes, but it wasn’t the life I saw myself leading. Goal accomplished though! and then…
I decided a good way to de-stress would be to take up riding… a donkey! Since I already had donkeys to guard my poultry it would be perfect! I LOVE my donkeys! So why not take advantage of our rolling hills, logging roads and beautiful TN scenery with riding one.
Riding donkeys is a thing you know! I saw it on the internet! 🤣
I’m going to make another long story short, no one teaches donkey riding lessons in TN! I did find an excellent riding instructor to teach me about tack and riding horses with an open mind to help me once I bought a riding Donkey… and buy one I did! That’s an even shorter story! He was not long for our farm but, it was too late, I had fallen in love with riding and horses at the equestrian center where I was taking lessons!
Four months later I brought home my mare Bianca. Many other equines make their home here now and I have a life I don’t need a vacation from.
Donkeys Guard my Horses!
Taking riding lessons and horse ownership are two different things. Their safety had to be considered on my farm. Horses can fall prey to coyotes and running loose dogs in my area. Luckily I already had some wonderful guard donkeys and the horses fit in effortlessly to their herd. Donkeys are excellent guardians for many kinds of livestock they work perfectly to guard horses! Donkeys to Guard Horses. For more info on Donkey care, you can check out my Donkey Care Primer and some other Donkey Uses.
The Joy Of Miniature Horses
Miniature horses were an unexpected joy to add! They can make a great addition to most any farm I believe. There are been many days where pulled muscles or just being tired I can’t get up the energy to ride. A driving horse was the perfect answer to that problem for me. It wasn’t hard to get into with miniature horses. They learn fast and are so much fun. They are also great workhorses too! Don’t let that small size fool you! These guys are strong and willing to work! I’ve put together a simple plan and learned to train them to drive myself too! You can read more about that in the Willow Stories
Check this out too Miniature Horse for Driving and Pets
The Horse Life Dream, Its never too late!
So as you can see, learning to ride (or drive) horses as an adult isn’t so hard! If I can do it so could anyone else. Its never too late to live your dream. Even a Horse Life dream! You can be a horse trainer, horse lover and a horse caregiver at any age. There is no age limit on these things!
Horses have added so much enjoyment to my life and an element of beauty like nothing else on my farm. They have fueled my drive to be healthier and because of them, I’m in the best shape of my life thanks to horses! A post on my journey to fit over 40 Starting an Equestrian Workout Plan They help keep me motivated and I’ve come up with ways to incorporate them into my fitness activities and get some training done as well! I share those things on this blog too.
So many positive things have come from adding equine into my life. It’s a good life. Horse Girl Life…
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