I love horses.
I have loved them for my whole life.
My first experience with a horse when I was an infant, my family took me out to the pasture and placed me on a horse's back.
From then on I loved riding. When I got older (4-5) I would spend most of my time with the horses.
My horse, whom I have had since I was two years old, died this past year.
His tendons dropped (they stretched so much that he had a hard time moving) and he was in constant pain. We had him on heavy pain medication, but one day he just lay down and died.
Our horses were trained in the Pat Parelli natural horsemanship method, which is all about your relationship with your horse.
I never liked the strict horse training disciplines such as dressage, showing, jumping, etc.
My favorite way to ride was with no tack; when I was 10-12 I would go out with no bridal, no saddle, and sometimes no clothes.
It was wonderful, just me and my horse, Ellaruso.
Although no-tack was my preferred method, I would sometimes ride with a bridal and saddle, especially when I wanted to go down the park road for a long trail ride.
One day, when I was six, I was riding Ell alone in the pasture. We were doing great, I was relaxed and comfortable, secure in my new black western kid's saddle.
My father came into the pasture to check on me, he watched me for a while, then left through the big, metal gate.
A few minutes later our horse, Avalon, bolted out the gate my father had accidentally left open.
Ell quickly thundered after Avalon with me unwillingly clinging to his back
I can remember bouncing up and down saying "Woah" and trying to hold onto the saddle horn to keep from flying off.
Ell had completely forgotten that I existed, and about half way through their run (they only ran up and down a long strip that was cut for power lines), Ellaruso stumbled and I tumbled off into the wild Yaupon bushes.
Luckily, the horses were fine and I only walked away with scratches, bruises, and a tetanus shot.