The first horse I ever sat was a lead pony for one of my paternal Grandpa's thoroughbred race horses. Somewhere there is a picture of Grandpa, my Dad and lil Gordie atop the fiery steed. I was less than a year old.
The next time I sat a horse, I actually rode him a little bit. His name was Dan, and he was a large draft horse on a farm where my brother and I used to board for the summers, after my father died. My Mom had to work, and sent us out to the country for the summer school holidays. Dan and Betty were the two draft horses, and they were used to haul hay wagons and a few other implements - most of the work was done by tractor, of course,
I had to climb up to the top rail of the pasture fence to get on Dan's back and had to be held there until I could get a grip on his mane. I wasn't allowed to go very far, and the farmer, Harford Wardell, or one of his girls, would walk alongside, just in case. I was somewhere around 7 or 8.
Dan was a huge horse - not one of the famous working breeds like Clydesdale or Percheron. I think he was either a Belgian or an English breed. I'm not an expert on horse breeds. I decided then that I was gonna become a cowboy.
Thanks for reminding me of some pleasant days in my youth.
Ever consider the BLM wild Horse program? Just out: a $500 year-end stipend to defray your costs if you adopt (not applicable in all states, unfortunately) If you and your horse survive, it could be a good deal...