A Journey of a Hundred Horses

At some point in my horse crazy youth, I read the advice to “ride a hundred horses before you buy one.” My non-horsey parents thought this was a fantastic idea – they figured they’d be off the hook for a few years at least! I took it more as Ride 100 Horses = Buy One. So I began the countdown in earnest.
Every time I tried a new horse at a lesson, or went vacation trail riding, or cooled out a horse for my trainer, I was taking names. There was my first love, Star, the neighbor’s pony who was aptly described as more of a giant hamster with hooves.
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While we’re on ponies, I should mention Meatball, my first lesson pony. No further description required.
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But my all-time favorite pony ride was bareback on Blacky, a Welsh pony who won me an impromptu race up an Irish hillside.
They were often named for colors and markings: Sapphire, Gunsmoke, Shiny, French Blue, Casper, Blackjack, Freckles, Red, Smudgy, and Pearl. Food seemed to be on the mind as well: Snickers, Muffin, Applebutter, Keebler, Sweetpea, Cupcake and Cookie. Some had obvious personalities: Do All, Diablo, Skeeter, Trouble and Buck. There were multiple Mistys, Harrys, Barneys and Caspers. But there was only one Perfect Harmony, the first horse I leased, and my favorite mare with an unforgettable canter.
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My parents calculated the equation well; however, and I didn’t ride number one hundred until after college. I was out warmblood shopping with my trainer when we got a call about an Arabian we might be able to use for our lesson program. Having never outgrown my Black Stallion days, my ears perked up and we decided to swing by on our way home. It was an overcast November day with a chill in the air, so he was a little fresh at the canter. But he had that fun springy Arabian movement, a deep chestnut coat to match my hair, and an unfailingly kind eye.
His name was Sam, and he became my first horse.
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I don’t count anymore, but I think that for anyone who has dreamed of owning a horse, the journey of a hundred horses has made it that much sweeter. I still pinch myself most days, even though I’ve had Sam for seven years, and now own two more to boot! It was an amazing learning experience, and I would absolutely follow the same advice if I had it to do all over again.

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One comment on “A Journey of a Hundred Horses
  1. Michelle Nobles says:

    I seem to remember a lot of those horses too!! Love the flash back to being horse crazed kids…..those were the days!!!

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Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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