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They were use to getting their exercise chasing each other around the field, now they were going to enjoy trying to get me off their back.


When I first started training horses by myself, my previous encounters of riding did not really prepare me for the Horses that I got hired to train to quit bucking and to mellow them out.


I was thirteen years old, and the horses had not been ridden for more than three years, and they had not been outside of the arena with a rider on their back as long as the owner could remember.


They were great horses, they enjoyed the brushing and feeding and care I provided.  They picked up their feet well, and after the second day, I had even saddled them all and rode them around the arena.


I was beginning to think that this would be a piece of cake!  then the second week, it was time to take them outside.

The first horse bucked a little bit once outside of the arena, but settled down real fast and started enjoying the trail that I took them to.  The next two horses were great!  No Bucking, just an enjoyable ride.

The 4th horse, Sonny,  burst into a bucking bronco routine as soon as his body was outside of the arena!  He was telling me that he didn’t care too much for my idea of going exploring away from everyone else.

I landed hard on the ground, managed to hold onto one rein, and as soon as I was off of his back, he stopped and looked at me.  I thought he was laughing at me.  I got up checked the saddle  and reins, then got back up on him.  He let me on easy, but tried to head into the arena.  I was quite a bit more weary, ready for the jumping and twisting, but I was not quite ready for what he did next.

You see, about 50 feet away, there was a 5 foot retainer wall made of old railroad ties, and we were on the uphill side.  As we got about 10 feet from the wall on our way down the driveway to go onto the trail,  Sonny decided to go into his routine again.  This time I thought I was ready, until while he was kick up his rear legs, he slipped over the railroad ties, but was able to stop right away.  My saddle had slipped a bit during the exercise, but I was able to jump off quick.


I was blessed that Sonny stopped with his front end on top of the ties and his rear legs on the lower section.  I removed the saddle, then coaxed him down to the lower level and walked him back up into the arena and checked him out. I think he was a stunned as I was that neither of us had gotten banged up at all!

I place the saddle back on him, and we walked around the arena for a bit to make sure he was ok.  His legs all felt the same, no temperature difference between any of the legs, no bumps, no cuts, Just a healthy excited horse.


Now me on the other hand, I was ready to take a break for the day, but the owner of the horses came out and told me good job on the ride, and to make sure that I got back on right away.  Oh well, I thought, we both (Sonny and I) have to learn together the hard way I figured.

This time, I checked all of my rigging outside of the arena and got back on.  I was tense as was Sonny.  I was not ready to trust him, and I was sure that he was not ready to trust me.


We made it down to the trail head, started out for a “real short ride” so that we would end with a good “win”.  As soon as I clicked to ask him to speed up, he started bucking again.  This time I stayed on and he decided that he would allow me to ride him.  Went back to the Barn, brushed him down, walked him out and spent some time talking to him and thanking him for starting to trust me.

That was the last horse of the day for me though, I think I had grown more than Sonny had as far as understanding horses.  I was a bit rattled with all of the bucking and drama associated with it,  but it also showed me my purpose with these horses.  The end goal was to be able to have anyone ride them on the trail, but the way to get their was to be able to build a relationship with them and get them to enjoy the “Ride”.


Sonny would still buck every now and then, so on trail rides, I would go with him.  It took me about two months before I trusted him enough to relax.  That is probably why it took Sonny about two months to also quit being tense and start to enjoy our time together also.

Since that time, I have learned how to build a relationship with the horse that I am working with, as well as learning how to run a farm in a profitable way.  From horses to growing Produce, there are many ways to make your farm and Ranch not only pay for itself, but allow you to build the life of your Dreams.


I hope that you too will enjoy the “Ride”.

Tell me about your first time on a horse, and share with others your journey!

Turning Your Dreams into the Life of Your Dreams

Chris Downs, the Caretaker

Founder and Ambassador of Natural News and Sustainable Living on How to Live on