My Trail of Hoofprints
 By FreeRein   •   23rd Aug 2011   •   2,886 views   •   13 comments
Horse StoryIt was August 5th, 2001. Gianna was four years old today. She got up, stretched out and pulled the sheets off of herself. She grabbed her beloved cheetah stuffed animal that she had already had for two years. “Ready for breakfast, Cheetah?” she asked smiling down at her worn out toy. She nodded its head as though it were answering her with a big yes.

If you looked at Cheetah, you would have thought it was a weasel. There were no spots or fuzzy hair. She was just plain worn out from all of the washing and playing.

Gianna went downstairs. She smiled at her dad. Her parents were divorced and because it was her birthday, she woke up with her dad and went home with her mom. She sat down and pestered her dad about presents and cake and her party. She was just plain excited about her birthday as all young children are. After all, it only comes once every 365 days.

During that day, her dad took her for a five dollar pony ride. It turned into a 15 dollar pony ride because she wanted to keep riding the little chocolate palomino gelding named Sneakers. Unfortunately, Gianna had to learn that all good things must come to an end and before she knew it she was on her way home with Cheetah in her arms.

Little did she or her father know that this pony ride that lasted five minutes would turn into a love for horses that would last a lifetime.

That one pony ride led to countless more. Gianna soon began taking lessons every two weeks at the barn down her street on the little chocolate palomino gelding. Sneakers was the best little pony any girl would dream of having. He was quiet, he listened, didn’t spook at anything, totally bomb proof. When Gianna showed in the Kiddie divisions at the barn, sneakers would always do his little half trot half canter and Gianna’s Cheetah spotted walls soon became covered in Ribbons.

When Gianna was turning six years old in 2003, she had a huge surprise in store for her. Her parents bought a 34 year old buckskin mare. They bought her because she was a perfectly good, well-behaved, bomb-proof Quarter Horse that was going to slaughter. It didn’t matter to Kieran that she couldn’t ride this 15hh mare everyday, it only mattered that she had a horse that she could enjoy a nice leisurely ride with and call her own. On the way home the day she got her mare, she hugged her worn out dapple grey Beanie Baby stuffed animal that she had already had for two years…

Sandy was Kieran’s pal, she was her friend. She was the best horse ever. She did enter her in a Kiddie competition here and there but she mostly went on long walks and would sit on her bareback in the pasture. Sandy had the good life of a nice retired horse who would know she was safe. She would know everyday that there would be a little girl running to greet her with carrots and apples. Everyday until May, 2004 when Kieran was told her beloved mare passed away very peacefully out in the pasture. Sandy was 35 years old.

Gianna continued riding. Another year passed and she got pretty hooked on barrel racing. She entered many shows on a brown horse named Pappy. One day, Gianna pressed the button on her remote and the Animal Planet came on. Gianna stood there, mouth gaping and eyes wide as she watched Beezie Madden and her horse clear six foot jumps and soared through the air. Now, this is what she wanted to do.

Gianna enjoyed another year of barrel racing before she finally convinced her dad to move from her “strictly western” barn to a barn that was “strictly royalty”. Each stall had glossy wood and shiny black metal bars with huge tack boxes in front of them. Three aisles were located in the main barn and there were several acres of pasture, outdoor-wooden stalls, and one more aisle of “amazingness”. It included four wash stalls and six indoor grooming stalls as well as two outdoor washing areas. It included two indoor arenas and five outdoor arenas as well. There was a grand total of 148 horses and 150 stalls.

Even the lessons were royalty. Her trainer, Lonneigh, was an Arabian trainer as well as all-around horse trainer. She also was an instructor and taught me the basics. Every lesson was on a lounge line and no stirrups and no hands until She could post without stirrups as well as stop and go without her reins. Then, she let Gianna begin to use her reins and stirrups. Due to a back problem, she switched to only training horses.

Now, after two years of riding English, Gianna was riding fairly well in English. She was jumping cross-rails and spent all day at the barn. When she switched horses to a Morgan named Cory, she absolutely loved him. She was about nine years old when she went to tack him up on Christmas Eve and his big brown head peered out of the stall revealing a red bow strung onto his halter. Cory was hers!

Now, she had MANY adventures with her Morgan. Cory never spooked at anything and loved to please. He taught Gianna how to jump (story for another time… XD) and was just so happy to be a horse for a little girl. They were happy together until July, 2009, when he spooked in a thunder storm, fell and broke his leg…

Gianna kept riding. If she wanted to follow her dreams, she would have to put her grief aside and ride. If she quit riding, it was going to be like quitting breathing. Gianna rode two horses, Rocky and Rowan trying to forget the love of my life was gone. The day Gianna really put him aside was August, 2010 on her 13th birthday when she received her grulla Quarter Horse pony, Cash.

That pretty much brings you guys up to present day on MY life and my journey with horses. I wanted to share it because I think it’s pretty cool how a pony ride turned into my life today. And if you were wondering, to this very day, my horse and Cheetah stuffed animals sit side by side on my spotted pillow in my room where purple walls are covered with horse posters and ribbons.
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T W I  
Aww, what a great article!
  Aug 23, 2011  •  2,253 views
haha, i was going to tell the story as me with a different name, but changed it and forgot three parts in the middle paragraph where i called myself kieran.... oops
  Aug 23, 2011  •  2,132 views
Stay Untamed  
cute story :)
  Aug 23, 2011  •  2,158 views
Prarie Rose  
You have such a great story! I loved reading it. :)
  Aug 24, 2011  •  2,169 views
Warped Faith  
great article i really enjoyed reading it
  Aug 24, 2011  •  2,127 views
cute story :D It was great to read.
  Aug 24, 2011  •  2,162 views
Your a great write with good detail!
  Aug 24, 2011  •  2,167 views
I loved it!
  Aug 25, 2011  •  2,126 views
Set Free  
Glad you kept riding after you lost your horse I have a friend who quit riding after they lost there horse.
  Aug 28, 2011  •  2,174 views
Deleted Accounts  
wow, that was amazing:} i think im going to do one like this about my riding journey!
  Aug 30, 2011  •  2,136 views
Great article! :)
  Aug 31, 2011  •  2,166 views
Awesome article :)
  Sep 9, 2011  •  2,147 views
Deleted Accounts  
aw, this is such a cute story! mine was something like this
  Apr 4, 2012  •  2,165 views
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