Childhood Horse Photos Part 2

I wasn’t thinking there was going to be a part 2… but then my mom sent me a whole bunch of photos! Awesome! 

Part 1 was basically my western years… I started out riding hunt seat, but I changed to western, and I think the casual influence of that rubbed off on me a bit. Hince the no helmet, sneakers, and terrible form. Part 2 is when I started riding at an english trainer, but there’s still the influence from the western years…

Ex 1 – Jumping in corduroy pants and sneakers.

I had no idea what I was doing, I just wanted to jump. No training, no experience teaching jumping, but just did it anyway. Notice the jump is made out of cinderblocks and flower pots. Also, Vinnie looking pretty damn good!

I didn’t have an arena at my house, so I just rode in our lawn.

First of all, I can’t believe this video even exists – I feel like the file would have corrupted by now. I think this was 2003? Second, it’s actually not as bad as I would have thought. I’m kind of impressed by younger self. Good job, Courtney. Bring that confidence out now.

Quite possibly one of my least flattering looks ever.
My Mahm and I trail riding. Mom rode Clay for a little bit, but I don’t think horseback riding was really her thing. I’m also racking my brain trying to figure out where this trail was, it doesn’t look familiar at all. 
My dad visiting with Vintage. She’s not huge, but he’s 6’7″, so she looks super small here!

After I’d been riding with a trainer for a bit, Vintage and I got significantly better, and we were ready for our first show!

I remember this being the most stylish and SERIOUS EQUESTRIAN I had ever felt. I’m pretty sure she was braided, my outfit felt totally on the mark, and I had even borrowed my friend’s velvet helmet. It was the wrong shape for my head, and didn’t fit at all, but I was so proud.

Up until this show, I’d been pretty fearless with Vintage, but during the class, I got tossed. She refused a fence and then exploded over it from a standstill, and it really shook me. It took me a long, long time to gain back my confidence, and even now I get nervous about what to do if a horse refuses. I don’t have a video of the refusal, but I have the video of schooling the line afterward…

The first jump had been an oxer, and that’s what she refused. It looks like the back pole had been dropped for me to school it. When Vintage jumped it, she apparently jumped so high she cleared the standards, and I popped right off upon landing. I’ve had friends mention it years later how high she jumped over that oxer. It may have been an exaggeration, but I also know this horse jumps out of pastures at a standstill, so might not have been. 

This all just reminds me just how much I love this horse. She’s been a great partner, and she really is my heart horse. It makes me sad that she’s not sound to ride anymore… except for the obvious injury, she still looks great for being so old, and she’s still got her sass. Part of me still wishes I could clone her, but I think opening myself up to other horses and spending as much time with them as I spent with Vintage would likely result in a great partnership. I took Vintage everywhere to do everything because she’s what I had. And it made her all the better.

If I get more photos, I’ll be sure to post them. I’m enjoying reminiscing! 

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  1. That trail might have been the one that went around the dump in Leesburg. Or it may have been the back side of our property

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