Another old picture from the archives that my mum dug up.
This is me aged about 11, jumping bareback on my little Arab gelding, Samsi.
If you look closely, you can see that my toes are even pointed up and in (in cowboy boots, no less!) How diligent I was about form, if not about dress...or tack!
Arabs are notoriously bad jumpers, and Samsi was terrible. Look at the way he pops up over the jump, all braced hindquarters, wary ears and awkward angles! The popped-up tail is a dead giveaway.
But Samsi was my most versatile horse and he would do anything I asked of him, absolutely anything. He would show English, Western, jumping, dressage, even an egg-in-spoon class at the 4-H if that's what the occasion required.
Coincidentally, both the animal loves-of-my-life have been named Sam (at least for short). Samsi the little bay Arab, and Sampson, a small brown heeler/corgi mix pound dog. I have yet to entirely get over either one of them, come to think of it. Even though they both lived long, vivid and love-filled lives.
Here's to you Sam...and Sam!