How Horses Changed My Life - Part I
 By Hikari   •   22nd Jan 2012   •   2,582 views   •   3 comments
How Horses Changed My LifeI didn't begin my life being obsessed with horses. I didn't look at them and think they were beautiful or cute. I looked at them and saw stupid beasts who would try and hurt me. I wasn't alone, all my friends felt the same. I come from quite a rough area in Bristol, England. I had no respect for anyone except the people who were tougher than me. Not even my own family. I was constantly involved with things that I knew were both dangerous and illegal. By the age of 11, I was already part of a gang. For people who don't have much experience with gangs, we like to show off to each other. We do stupid and reckless things to gain respect from the other members of the gang. This was how I got involved with horses.

A man who lived in our area owned several horses, who lived out in the feild in all weathers. When I was 13, a boy in our gang came up with the idea to jump over the field fence, run up to a horse, climb onto it and see how long we could stay on. Because we all wanted the respect of our gang leader, we all had a go. Unsupprisingly, none of those horses really appreciated 2 or 3 reckless teenagers jumping onto their backs at the same time and hitting them with sticks to try and get it to buck. It was cruel, it was stupid, and above all, very dangerous. But did we care? The danger made it more fun, and made us look more daring. By some miracle, the only serious injuries we had were 2 broken noses and one broken arm. But that didn't even stop us.

Several month's after starting this, we were caught by the owner. The others all saw him first, and ran off without warning, leaving me and two of my friends wondering what on earth was going on. We realised too late that the owner was already behind us, and there was no time to get away. He knew the parents of one of us, who was quick to tell him the telephone number of my parents. As a punishment for trespassing on his property and abusing his beloved horses, the three of us were told by our families to help the horse owner look after his horses, 3 times a week for the next month. Needless to say, we were not partically happy about this new arangement. We still believed that we had done nothing wrong. The owner of the horses, however, was determined to change that belief.

It took a while for us to get the hang of horse care.

We hated it.

The grooming, the catching, the poo picking. All of it. The horses hated us as well. Not really that supprising, after what we had done to them. After a week, Matt (the owner) decided to get us to ride them. Not climb onto their backs and whack them with sticks, actually ride them the proper way with saddles and bridles. I'll never know what possessed him to trust the girls who had been abusing his horses only a week ago to safely exercise his horses, but he did, and his reckless trust in us was what changed my entire perspective of horses.

When tacked up and in the yard, with people who weren't scaring them, his horses were fairly calm and well behaved. He owned 4 out of the 6 horses in the field, so we all got one horse each to "bond" with. He decided to give me a horse called Skylar, a very pretty mare, and the first beast I ever learnt to respect. Unfortunatly, I had to learn that respect the hard way. He started us out in a smaller feild teaching us the basic position and aids. He was an instructer, so we basically recieved free lessons. By the middle of the month, we were all able to canter off the leading rein. The other two bonded with their horses after only a few lessons, simply because they had always been more calm and willing to accept change than I ever have been. I didn't bond with my horse until I did my 2nd canter off the leading rein.

Skylar was going slow, and I wasn't trusted enough to be allowed a riding crop, so I had to use my legs. To my frustration, Skylar just ignored my constant flapping, until I really lost my temper. I suddenly kicked her as hard as I could, and smacked her hard on the shoulder with my hand. She suddenly reared up, then bolted off, leaving me lying on the grass feeling dazed. After a few minutes, I saw a hoof apear scarily close to my face, then a muzzle gently nudging my shoulder. I looked up at Skylar as she nickered at me, and our eyes met for the first time.

The next time I rode her, I tried to consider her feelings a bit more. I was more gentle with my legs, and listened more to Matt, determined to get everything exactly right. It began to work, Skylar really tried hard to do what I was asking her to do, and for the first time in my life, I respected a horse.
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Dark Star  
Your lucky, Wanna know what would happen if you tried that crap on horses I know?
If you had been on my uncle's horses doing that, You'd be arrested/mauled by a very large/aggressive rottweiler.
If it had been my gelding, he would've tossed you in the mud and trampled you out of pure anger that you tried to ride him, not even considering the smaking with sticks. (He threw a buck when my brother kicked him to walk)
My mare would throw you so far you wouldn't even consider walking back.

You are lucky all you got was that. Those are better horses than any I work with, you would probably be dead if you hit my mare with a stick, she nearly killed someone for smacking her lightly on the neck.

At least you learned is all I can say.
  Jan 22, 2012  •  1,854 views
Truly if it was my horses, you would never get near them again. Never mind take care of them.
  Jan 22, 2012  •  1,867 views
Cruisin Past Curfew  
If it those horses were mine, you would never be near them ever again. If my trainer or any of the girls saw you doing what you and the gang were doing, we would call the police and whip you guys with a dressage crop. I guess this guy has a little too much trust in him for me :/

But it is a nice story, you learned trust the hard way. Horses are pretty magical, I have to say.
  Jan 23, 2012  •  1,859 views
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