Barn Buddies.

I have ridden at four barns.

Tall Timbers was my first barn.  I started riding there at the age of nine and continued until I graduated high school.  It was your typical lesson barn, with a ton of kids milling about and several lesson horses.  While there were two girls that I was close with and that I enjoyed showing with, I didn't have any real friends until I met the girl who would become my bestest bestie my freshman year of high school.  I invited her out to ride and we spent the next four years riding together at that barn until she went off to college.

Bestie and me.  Poor Spike... we were not little people.
I took several months off from riding when I started college and I'm not really sure why.  I think money and a slowly developing identity.  I got back into riding the second semester of my freshman year of college, when I had the opportunity to be on the equestrian team for my college.  The barn affiliated with the team became my second home.  I worked hard for them and took lessons as I could.  My trainer was a friend, but we never really rode together.  And, of course, my bestie rode there throughout college, until she moved away.  And there were barn kids here, too (fuckers are now in college!).  I'll never forget summer days spent cantering through the woods, sunburns and scrapes.
And we were both in a skinny cycle!
Bestie with her horse and me with the Archer.
Archie might be bi.
From the bliss of the Augusta barn, we moved to the privately-owned hellhole here in Savannah.  I was mostly alone.  There was the brief period that BB and her leaser rode there and occasionally we rode together.  But, yeah, it was really just the Archer and me.
Okay, so the leaser took this photo.

But it was really just us.  Swear.
So while this isn't a new experience, it feels new.  I'm excited about planning stuff with OR and the Eventer, even if it's just a little trail ride.  I like chatting while we ride and taking turns over fences and sharing photos that we've taken of each others' ponies and talking shit about random grievances.  I'm not confusing this with a real friendship - I don't know their birthdays and I don't think that I would turn to them for a non-horse crisis, nor vice versa - but, sincerely, appreciating that there are horsewomen in my life again.

In the Ponykins front, we jumped last night for the first time in like, two weeks.  It was a little grid that the Eventer had set up.  For her, it was four trot poles to a vertical and one stride to an oxer.  For us, it was four trot poles to a crossrail and a rough stride to a trot pole.  The first time I took him over it, I don't think he saw the crossrail until we were right up on it and he slammed on the brakes and then walked over it, one leg at a time.  The second time was better, with him cantering through after jumping the crossrail.  Our little issue with the jarring left lead has resolved as well - I'm pretty sure I was shifting my seat too much to the outside and he couldn't compensate.

So here's to a long weekend!

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  1. Archie says 'heeeyyyyyy" I do lament the fact that we didn't become barn buddies :/

  2. Hey, I met BFF at the barn. We've been friends and ridden together and she is my family now for the past 7 years (omg), even though we do not board together anymore. Although I will never forget another woman we rode with who once said to us, "Well, it doesn't matter because we are not REAL friends, we are just BARN friends." It's still a running joke years later...because my horse friends ARE my real friends!

  3. Barn buds definitely make the experience a little something more :)

  4. Its really great when you can have barn friends. I rode very alone my last barn in CA (a 100 years ago) i knew no one and though i loved my time alone with my pony.. it can be lonely

  5. Riding friends add a whole other wonderful element to horse time.

  6. One of my besties is the first person I met the first day I rode at my last barn. We were co-lesson students together for about nine months, until she got her boy and left. I myself remain a humble lesson student, and not even much of that these days, but my buddy and I are still the best of pals and her horse is the only one I'm riding right now. OTTH, I made another friend there, a lady I really liked, and I haven't seen her in years now - so I guess she just was a "Barn Friend." But we had a good time together back in the day! Yes, having people to talk to makes a big difference and someday when I have my own horse (or at least am leasing), it will be at a place with friendly folks who I can hang out with. I definitely enjoy that aspect of the horse world!