The horse is the animal I own that is the most amount of work, costs the most to have and is the most dangerous, yet the most fun to own!
Humans domesticated horses over 6,000 years ago. We used horses in battle, for our transportation and to help us to farm and hunt. Horses have truly shaped human history.
Today, there are two different major styles of riding, Western and English.
Western is the style that evolved from ranching. The saddle is larger and has a horn. It was designed to be more comfortable for long days on horseback.
English style riding evolved in Europe and is considered more traditional. The saddle is smaller and lighter and designed to have the rider be in more contact with the horse.
Both types of riding have many different disciplines within each style.
I grew up riding English, took a 15 year break and now ride Western. Both disciplines are great in their own ways, but I love the more relaxed style of western and I discovered my new passion of working cattle on horseback.
For me, being on my horse feels like a connection to the past, while having to be completely in the present. My worries disappear as soon as I am in the saddle. To have a connection with a 1,000 lb animal is profound for me. Of course I love the thrill of riding but I even just love the sound of them eating their hay as I muck their stalls...
If you are interested in getting into horses and have no prior experience, a good place to start is to locate a barn near you where you can take lessons. Below are a couple good resources.
Photos by Lauren and Abby Ross