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RMR's Horsepeople's Forum


My First Horse


In the September and October 2011 issues of Rocky Mountain Rider Magazine, we featured a story by Heather Smith Thomas about her First Horse, Possum. 
You can click here to read the article.

Can you relate to this story? Tell us your Experience.


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Friday, July 26, 2013 6:18:55 PM


I do not own a horse, but am interested in their welfare

Growing up in the congestion of New York did not afford me many opportunities to ride. Occasionally my best friend's mom would take us to a stable for an hour or so of trail riding. But, like so many little girls, I dreamed of someday having my very own horse. In 1971, at the age of 18, I relocated to Colorado to attend Colorado State University . There I met 2 young girls around my age, Natalie Riehl and Lori Hehn. They had both grown up in Ft. Collins and they both had horses. The 3 of us went riding all the time, however, their horses were really more appropriate for experienced riders. Which, of course, I was not! With summer approaching, Natalie and Lori planned to take a month long pack trip up in the mountains and they purchased an older, gentle, somewhat sway back paint named Patches to take with them. When they returned they presented me with a most wonderful gift-Patches! My very first horse! To me she was the most beautiful and amazing creature I ever laid eyes on!!! Unfortunately Natalie, Lori and I lost touch. I had heard that my beautiful friend Lori lost her life. Over all these years I have never forgotten either of them. Today, July 26th,2013 I celebrate because I have found Natalie. My greatest desire is to be able to renew the deep and caring friendship we had all those years ago!


Monday, December 5, 2011 6:38:23 PM


I own 6-15 horses

Goldy was out of an Indian Stallion and my Dad's gentle ranch horse named Pet. She was about 1/4 draft was already 11 and a working ranch horse when I was born. My folks had me on her as a baby standing still holding on to my leg. Then I graduated to riding behind my dad as soon as I could hang on to him. By age five I rode Goldy alone. Goldy was very wide and I rode only bareback. My folks felt the most dangerous situation for a kid alone on the mountain would be to get hung in a stirrup. We lived in the mountains where I live now, at Eden Valley Guest Ranch and I learned up and down balance fast. I thought all horses were like Goldy. When I got over balanced she moved over to keep me on and kept going even if we were chasing cows at a gallop. If I fell off, she stopped and waited for me to get the reins and lead her to a stump or other mounting aid and off we went again. By age 10, I could bring in the cows and calves about a mile by myself. When I was in college telling stories to my friends, my dad interrupted to correct my story. He told all my friends the only reason he sent me WITH Goldy was to open the gates. Goldy died many adventures later at age 37. Today, I have a guest ranch and trail riding business probably a little bit because of Goldy.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011 9:35:35 AM


I own 1-5 horses

One of my first horses, (being raised on a ranch I had several) was Sally. Sally was a tall, blaze-faced chestnut who was part thoroughbred and had once had a brush with sleeping sickness, which didn't affect her much except she was a little slow for cow work, hence, becoming a kids horse. I was only about five when I started riding, and I was 'littlest cowboy on the biggest horse' as Sally was probably around 16 hands tall. One of my fondest? memories of Sally was once when we were moving cattle, and came to a reservoir. Sally decided to wade in for a drink, and came close to getting bogged down in the black mud. "Jump off," my dad yelled as Sally struggled to get out. "No. I'll get my new boots muddy," I yelled back, gripping the saddle horn in a death grip. Sally finally stuggled to shore, and I kept my new boot clean. Cynthia J. Rhoades


Tuesday, October 4, 2011 5:36:58 PM


I own 1-5 horses

I was 11 years old and I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on my horse. A friend pointed him out to me because he was for sale. He had a little girl on him and I went over to meet him. I swear it was love at first sight. I was supposed to buy another horse but I went home and told my mom that I had to have this horse that I had seen today. His name was Nevada and I bought him in 1976. He was 10 and I was 11. He was a beautiful liver chestnut quarter horse with a perfect white star on his forehead. I would spend from sun up till sun down at the ranch hanging with my horse and my other friends. I mostly rode him on the trails. I wanted to see him every single day. I dreaded when we would go away because I would constantly worry about him. I didn't go away to college because I couldn't imagine leaving him behind. He had the deepest knicker and we used to talk to one another all the time. I found out he loved Hawaiin punch, red vines and jolly ranchers. He would just lift his head high and I would pour the Hawaiin punch in his mouth. He couldn't get enough. His lips and tongue would be so red and he licked his lips for minutes trying to savor the flavor! Nevada and I spent 27 wonderful years together. He spent the last 10 years of his life at a beautiful retirement facility with 1 1/2 acres of irrigated pasture, a girlfriend and a nice stall with shavings. Even though he was 45 minutes away, I still saw him 5 to 7 days a week. He had a stroke but lived to be 37 years old. People used to ask me why or how he lived so long and I told them that he probably thought he was already in heaven! Nine years has passed since he left me, but not a day goes by that I don't think about him and about how much I miss him!



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