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Rider Insider: Summer Memories

Share one of your favorite memories of summertime with horses.

February 24, 2014

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Any season is good when it's spent with horses, but there's just something about summer. It doesn't matter if your preferred equestrian activity is on the trails, in the show ring or hanging out at the barn with your friends, those days between Memorial Day and Labor Day offer endless possibilities.



Were you one of the lucky kids who spent your summer vacation at horse camp? The memory of a special camp horse or an inspirational counselor is part of many lifelong riders' formative experiences with equines. Those weeks spent at summer camp are also a rare opportunity for kids from the city or suburbs to immerse themselves in the equestrian experience.

Are your summers devoted to competition? Fall may be the setting for the big championships, but for most equestrians, the bulk of the season takes place in the summer. Think back to those blazing hot days and surprise afternoon thunderstorms, punctuated by blue-ribbon victories and valuable learning experiences. There's nothing quite like the summer show circuit.

Is summer your prime time for trail riding? With daylight hours at their maximum, there's plenty of time to explore new trails and see wild places that you could never reach by car. Warm nights open up the possibility for horse camping and moonlit rides. You can't beat that.

Whatever your summer activity of choice, we want to know about your favorite horsey summer memory. Shake off these remaining cold days of winter and warm up with summery thoughts. Click "Submit a Comment" below and share your story. Some of the editors' favorite responses could be featured in a future issue of Horse Illustrated!

Mesh Gloves This month, Noble Outfitters is sponsoring the Rider Insider column in Horse Illustrated with a prize of Cool Mesh Gloves for the selected featured response. If you'd like to be considered for a prize, make sure to include your contact info in the email field of the comment form (emails will not be publicly displayed.)

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Reader Comments

Amanda    International

8/24/2014 8:46:17 AM

My favorite summer memory was definately going to a small local show. I was riding a spooky appaloosa named Cherokee and was half expecting to fall off. At first he was a bit nervous, but once we got into the ring he came alive! We sailed our way into a third, and even a first place ribbon in the flat classes. Then, just when I thought we were unbeatable, he knocked down a jump in our over fences class. I barely even noticed and came out of the ring with a huge smile. I
could'nt believe how good Cherokee had been. I will always remeber this day as
the best day of my life.

Stacey    Ocala, FL

7/7/2014 9:15:22 AM

Hands down, my absolute favorite part about summer is just being able to spend quality time with my sister and our horses. When we are both away at University during the school year, riding without her just is not the same. When summer rolls around and we get to spend some precious time together, we make the most of it by trail riding, maybe some local shows, but most importantly, just being together.

Dara    Manton, MI

6/29/2014 2:39:51 PM

My favorite summer ride was a surprise to all who rode on it.
WE(two of my friends and I,)went on a regular trail-ride (or so we thought). On our way back we saw a herd of yearling calves loose. Our horses were terrified. But we knew they had to go back and we knew where they lived. So after persuading the horses we chased them across the field to their pen.It was incredible!My horse even neighed to them afterward.
None of us knew how to herd cattle,and we all were English riders,on horses who had no experience.
The whole ride home we were proud of ourselves(the horses and us). We were having trouble with the horses before but they just walked home with their heads held high,literally.

MS    Etna, CA

6/12/2014 11:21:42 PM

Without doubt my favourite summer memory is my first hunt on horseback. Riding my young OTTB filly we were an inexperienced pair and both full of enthusiasm and energy.

Riding a racehorse we scarcely managed not to break the rules and pass the Master of the hunt. As we galloped over the rolling hills of the beautiful New Zealand countryside, jumping over spars (wooden jumps built into wire fencing) and fording through streams, I never felt so alive and joyful.

Even though we had to pass up on a few bigger jumps and lost our way once (oops!), never have I enjoyed anything as much as that first feel of the excitement of galloping with other horses and riders and feeling the communal thrill of a shared love of horses and adventure.

I wish I could do that for the first time again!

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