About Me

I’m A Horse Girl!

Yep. I’m a Horse Girl. I was born and grew up on the southside of Jacksonville, Florida in the beautiful Mandarin area. I attended Loretto Elementary, DuPont Junior High, and Wolfson Senior High.

Teri in Ocala, FL at the WEC showgrounds
At the Winter Equestrian Center (WEC) showgrounds in Ocala, FL

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

On top of my experiences with horse owning, I was a swimming nerd. My mom taught swimming lessons in our large natural pool built by my father, who also built our house (more on the house). I was our high school’s swim team’s backstroke swimmer; I also swam relays, medleys, fly, breast, and crawl (these terms date me, lol).

First Horse Owning Experience

When I was a baby, my mom had a horse, Glassy, who was so gentle that she would allow me to crawl around under her legs. I also had a baby goat friend! And always, we had three dogs that were able to run free since we lived way out in the country/woods.

I became a Horse Girl when I was just a youngster. I grew up loving horses, reading every book there was at the library on horses and having hundreds of plastic or rubber horses, ranging from palm size to maybe 16 inch tall model horses like they had in the 1950s.

I Would Walk 3 Miles …

When in elementary school, I would walk over 3 miles every Tuesday after school to ride at a rental barn; I also rode some of my friends’ horses. Finally, when I was 12, I got a horse of my own, a 14.3 1/2 hand buckskin, part quarter horse, to learn to care for and retrain from being wild and always wanting to run and jig to a horse that would walk and canter just from a lift on the reins. I did this from reading books and articles about horses.

My first saddle was a hard McClellan Army saddle (blech!) that I hated, so I rode bareback most of the time until I finally got Western saddle, then an English saddle in my later teens so I could jump things.

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My very first horse, Great Scott aka Scottie

This is when I really became a Horse Girl. After I got my first horse to own and care for. I was 12. I got him for Christmas. I had to learn how to care for him, feed, brush, saddle to ride. Stuff real Horse Girls learn when they own AND care for their horses or other people’s horses.

I would do everything on my horse, Scottie (short for Great Scott – I renamed him from Apache), riding for miles all around my family’s 30 acres in the woods of Jacksonville/Mandarin/Greenland/Bayard area, including going swimming bareback in the clear water of the barrow pits that were dug to build I-95 next to our land.

I would jump over 2 long pieces of skinny baseboard molding spread out over the long side of 2 sawhorses that I set up as a jump. I would gallop over a 24+ natural jump course I made of piled up tree limbs and logs, spanning a couple of miles, weaving in and out of trees, ducking under low-hanging branches, sliding down a steep embankment — generally being a adventurous, horse-loving teenager with a ton of Horse Girl Energy.

Nope. Not in Today’s World

I would run barrels and do pole bending and compete at a saddle club where I would ride to on Friday nights with a group of others. The saddle club was about 8 to 10 miles from my house. I would meet up with the other riders and fellow Horse Girls about 3 miles from my house and we would all ride together. Then, I would ride back home in the dark by myself – something you would never let a young girl do in today’s world!

More to read about Work History Preparing Me for My Web Design Career …

Teri Rehkopf

Keystone Heights, FL 32656
USA
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