Noah and his buddy James.

Noah and his buddy James.

Today, we celebrate equestrian children and young horse junkies in our first Official HJU Kids Day!

Feel free to share your stories and photos on our Facebook page or by tagging us @HorseJunkiesUtd on Twitter!

Noah is HJU blogger Amy Vodraska’s 14 year old son. He has been taking lessons for 3 years and has just recently started to ride James, an OTTB that has been teaching Noah a lot about how his form influences how a horse performs.

My Riding Experience, by Noah

I ride an ex-racehorse. He’s a dark bay Thoroughbred named James. He’s light-skinned and very sensitive. I’m still learning to ride, so sometimes the sensitive part can be a challenge. However, James is so sweet you have to love him.

Sometimes though, that racehorse training will show. For example, when I’m beside another horse, he’ll walk faster to get in front. When my mom and I trot our horses out in the fields, he always sticks his head out and trots faster. Also, he’s not as quick to slow down as other horses. When he spooks, it can take me a while to get him comfortable and under control again.

Lately though, we’ve been having more and more good rides. I’m improving because, well… I have to! James has helped me improve my position a lot and now I can help him become more balanced. We’re getting better.

 Also, I’m the only guy of my age in the barn. There is another boy that comes down every once in a while, but that’s still only one that I know that rides. I’m highly outnumbered. Due to the fact that riding in this country is primarily a women’s sport, it is not always easy to admit that I ride horses. People always look at me like “You do what?” My friends like to tease, so except for one particular friend, I really don’t let them see me in my breeches and boots.  I made the mistake of letting another friend see me in them and let’s just say I won’t be doing that again.

Despite the “challenges” I face, riding is fun for me. I learn to communicate with someone without talking. I learn to read expressions and body language. I also get to hurl a half ton animal over several obstacles at a time with me on its back. And that’s my riding experience.