Have you seen Black Beauty a thousand times? Do you have breed posters covering your walls? Do you dream of flying on your big white steed? Then you just might be horse crazy. There is nothing you can do to make this go away. Once you are bitten by the bug, you are doomed for life. But what do you do now? Well here's how to turn your young girl daydreams into grown-up realities.
You've probably already covered. Your domain. You've got the posters, the horse bedding, the DVD collection, the Breyer models, etc.
Get out and do it! No, I don't mean run out and buy a horse. Check out your local barns on the internet and find some riding lessons. But what kind of lessons are you looking for? There are three different types of "seats": Saddle Seat, Western, and English. Each "seat" includes "disciplines". English can include Dressage, Jumping, and "rail" classes which is riding around the show ring at a walk, trot and canter. Western "seat" opens you up to "disciplines" such as Reining, Western Pleasure, Trail, working cows or even rodeo events like barrel racing and roping. Do the research on what interests you the most before starting your search for riding lessons. This will give you a personal goal for your riding.
Pay attention to instructor bios so you know what kind of experience the person who will be teaching you has. Even after that, travel to the barn to see the facilities and meet the instructor in person. If everything clicks, then schedule what days and times work best for you. Riding twice a week is recommended.
Education. Even if you have been riding for years, your learning never stops. There are tons of educational DVDs and books on the market. Start building yourself a library of material you like. When picking out material, however, be open-minded. There are many opinions out there on horse training and riding. Make sure when you are watching a clinician or reading a how-to book you are forming your own opinion that is always to the best interest of the horse.
Taking lessons and reading books won't prepare you for caring for the real thing.
Find a friend who has horses that will let you assist in caring for their horses such as feeding, etc. If you've been taking lessons for a while now, the barn may let you work out some kind of internship. Prepare yourself for a lot of poop shoveling!
If after ALL of this you decide you still want to own a horse of your very own, do not by any means rush into it! Horses are very expensive, and you need to be absolutely sure that you have budgeted well before considering purchasing one.