Girls Horse Club Blog

Realizing Your Horse Dreams: How to Get Started

Published by • Jun 24th, 2007 • Category: by Julia, Horse Advice

Originally published June 24th, 2007, Realizing Your Horse Dreams: How to Get Started was written by GHC’s first Junior Blogger Julia. Although she retired from the roster in March 2008, Julia continues to contribute as a guest blogger. Here she shares some practical advice for turning horse dreams into reality…

by Julia, age 13

Let’s face it. Dreams involving horses can be the hardest to turn into reality. Whether you’ve never ridden before in your life and just want to experience that wonderful partnership between horse and rider at least once; or you’re planning on taking home the gold in the Olympics one day, it’s not going to be easy. However nothing is impossible.


I think one of the hardest parts of getting the chance to ride or spend time with horses is simply the fact that it can be expensive and riding barns are becoming scarcer, especially in the city. I’m lucky because I live fifteen minutes away from a fantastic lesson barn and I can muck stalls in exchange for free riding time as well as participate in regular lessons. But what if you can’t get to a barn or can’t afford to take lessons? There still has to be a way to live out your dream, right? There definitely is. I’ve been reading magazines, books and Internet sources and I’ve come up with ideas that could bring you closer to your goals.


1) Riding Camps: Most riding camps you can board at for a week or so. If you’re willing to learn you can probably go to the campsite without enrolling in the camp itself. Then, help younger kids out by being a counselor, mucking stalls, preparing horses for lessons, etc– in exchange for free riding time. In order to this though you must be experienced in horse care but I’m sure you can find a book, instructional video or a teacher to teach you all you need to know without actually using a horse.

2) Horse Rescues: I discovered some horse rescue organizations need people to help them retrain abused or neglected horses. The rescue needs volunteers of all riding levels and horse experiences to prepare horses for a new home where anything is possible. I’d really love to do this because what a great feeling of satisfaction it would be to say “I rode that horse and prepared him for a rider like me!” It may not make sense now but every rider and horse is unique.


3) Show It Off: You’ll never know who can discover your love for horses. Try to incorporate horse related topics into your schoolwork (like creative writing) and don’t be afraid to let everyone know you’re horse crazy! Someone who owns a horse might notice and let you ride or share their knowledge. Basically, don’t leave any rock unturned because you never know what’s (or who’s) underneath.

4) Start Small: Save up money for lessons, trail rides, horse shows, events, etc. The more experience you gain the better off you’ll be. Don’t try to raise a billion dollars for a horse of your own, just be ready if the opportunity comes knocking. It’s easier to reach smaller goals but those goals build upon each other until you’re wearing the Gold at the Olympics.

Never give up on your dreams and use every chance you get. Even these ideas are just ideas–you have to get out there and make an effort to ride. So with that, any other brilliant ideas on how to gain riding time?

Editor’s Note: Below are links to some resources that may be helpful. Any other links we should include, particularly for Europe, Australia and Canada?

North American Riding for the Handicapped (NAHRA): Learn about this wonderful non-profit association and search for a center in your area that may need help.

Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA): Another great non-profit organization with centers throughout the U.S.

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  1. You did such a great job on this blog. Now, i have the confedince to go to the Olympics and live my dream.

  2. Thanks, Tori and horsejo. Thanks GHC for the images, they’re perfect.

  3. I really have to agree with you Julia :) When I do writing at school I always include what I love best; animals, in my stories. Lately I’ve realized a classmate of mine does riding too and each time I go trail-riding a gain a whole lot of experience. These opportunities are so great to encounter.

  4. I dream it, I believe it, I do it. I love horses. Julia, this is just an awesome blog. Keep up the good work!

  5. My dream came true and rode a horse for the second time in my entire life today! Remember that when you try really hard and really want something it’ll happen sooner or later!

  6. Madelina, I finished school but for my last report it was all about horses. I even included one of my poems in it and a blurb about Maggie. My teacher’s daughters ride too. Just about everything horsey in my life inspires me.

    That’s wonderful Marisa!! I hope you get to ride a whole lot more.

  7. I love the blog!

  8. I hope so too!

  9. I love the pictures in your blog! Did you get to choose them yourself or was it the GHC Editor’s job?

  10. Marisa, I agree, the pics are beautiful. It was the onderful work of GHC editors.

  11. They are great at choosing pictures!

  12. I totally agree Julia. You have to work to get what you want. I mean, it would be cool if the horses just came o our door with a sign that said “Ride Me” around there neck, but that doesn’t happen.

    My dreams came through thanks to endless begging for lessons. If GHC posts it you can Read about it in my new story Knicker Knob. Good job writing this blog Julia!

  13. I beg my heart out! lol I might be going again in August hopefully! I rode a beautiful palimino gelding named Sunny. He’s sweet but stubborn sometimes!

  14. Thanks Horsecrazzz, It would be nice if that’s how life worked. If it did I’d have a whole stable by now. ;)

  15. I’m new to posting here, but I have something to say. I have worked hard in saving up money to buy my own horse, and I now have enough to buy the horse itself, but just need to work harder to be able to afford it’s keep. It just goes to show if you want something that bad, you’ll be willing to work hard for it and one day you might just achieve your dreams.

  16. Hey I just want to say thank you because this made me believe in my dream: WORKING W/ THOROUGHBRED RACERS. Most of my family members are like “no, no dont do ANYTHING w/ horses it doesn’t pay especially not thoroughbred racers. But your blog made me believe and realize I can’t be a Triple Crown winning jockey right away but I can start small like helping out at the local track, hot walking horses, mucking out etc. So again THANK YOU!

  17. This is an amazing blog and it’s soo true. I’ve been riding for 3 years now, but before that, I had to do a lot of work to acheive that. My first attempt was to join a horse camp. My mom saw how much I loved it and a few months after, she said she’d get me into riding at a place called foxbay farm. I loved it with all my heart. But money problems had occured and I had to quit after about 2 years. I waited forever to get back on a horse and made it pretty obvious to my family and friends (2nd attempt). Finally one of my friends said that they had 4 horses, so I began riding there on weekends and after school and stuff on a gelding named Lucky. My friend had moved all the way across the world to Australia, so I couldn’t ride anymore. It broke my heart to know my friend and riding was no longer possible. I started to give up my dream, but it still didn’t give up my love for horses and I continued to learn more and more about how to care for horses, health problems and how to help them so they won’t occur, different kind of tack and what they are used for, genders, colors, breeds, equine body parts, proper riding clothes, equine diets, ect. My family started to realise that I was really ready and serious about riding again. So, on my brother’s birthday I was up in my momma’s room watching flicka and my mom came up and told me to pause the movie. I paused it and looked at her and she told me that grandpa was willing to pay for all my riding lessons and to just tell him when we found a stable we wanted to ride at. About a month had passed by and we couldn’t find a good riding stable until this one lady reffered us to a stable and I’ve been riding english (dressage & jumping & occasional hunter) there ever since for about a year and I love it. By the way one of the friesian mares had her baby and the filly is adorable!!

    Anyway, I just wanted to share that as proof that this whole blog is very, very true.

  18. Mariah, I began riding at a stable about 15 minutes away from my house. But then the first instructor was fired. My next instructor I got attatched to and really liked. But then she got fired for something different. The last insturctor I hated. She was so nasty to me and would yell and scream at me when I couldn’t get Cinnabun (the horse I was riding) to canter. I was so hurt because she told me I would never be a good rider. But Later I realized the horses wern’t being fed properly and my favorite horse Calvin, went blind because no one payed attention to the deep gash on his face. I left the barn altogether, pretty discouraged. But I found a new barn and now I love Jazz! I get better and better at riding because all the horses and students are friendly and helpful. The horses are fed well (If not to well ;)). So now I’m living out my dream for real. Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for complimenting my blog.

  19. Julia, It’s terrible that the people at your old stable treat horses like that! :'(

  20. Yes, Julia! it is a terrible thing for any horse to be treated unfairly. We want to be treated fairly, right? Well, I believer that if we want to be treated like that, the horse’s want to be treated like that too. So I think that all horses should be equal to horses. I mean, they are very wonderful animals. Every horse is a true beauty. Every horse is a true wonder. Every horse is really wonderful. Let us never forget that from now on. Also, from no on, let us all be fair to every horse, and every animal, for that matter. Because all of us are wonderful and no horse deserves to be treated unfairly!

    I rest my case.

    Thank you for reading my little speech. I just had to say that anyway, and saying it in a speech was just an easier way of doing it. I hope I made my point clear. I also have another speech, but that can wait until later . . .

  21. Yeah, I know. But I needed a pair of new chaps and when I was at the tack store I met a girl who boarded her horse there. When she realized the horses weren’t being fed or watered she and many others pulled their horses out all in one night. They got sued for not giving 30 days notice before pulling them out but they’re fighting the charges. This was after I changed barns.

  22. Julia, those people deserved to be sued for being unfair and not nice to the horses. (Note my speech)

  23. Actually horsejo, the girls who owned the horses were getting sued. Not the owner of the barn. But I really hope the horses’ owners won because I would pull out my horse (if I had one) if it wasn’t being fed.

  24. Go Horsejo! I really don’t understand what cruelty to animals is all about! We are all beings, equal and the same value. I mean, we are primates you know, and primates are a type of animal.

  25. I know, Madelaina! Horses are mammals and we are mammals to but still, some how we are treated better then horses. I just don’t understand that. In fact, humans are treated better than any animals (except for rich people’s pets) and that just isn’t fair! Do you know what I mean when I say this, gals?

  26. Wow! That was exellent! I like the idea of saving money slowly for lessons and horse shows. I have at least 23 fictional and non fictional horse books. Incase I ever get a horse(or pony) at this age(im 11) then I would know something about it.

  27. i love this blog it made me realise that i’ll probally be able to own a horse(if my ma lets me).

  28. its all right to dream, right? 8-}