What have you accomplished with your horse? Do you compete in horse shows or help teach other riders? Even if you and your horse have never won a blue ribbon, you still have accomplished something by trying your best. If you have an interesting story about the achievements of you and your horse, send them it, don't be shy! I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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I've been riding for 8 years, but I guess I never really understood the real, and most important, pleasure in owning horses is just having them. I could go a month without riding, but a month without my horse would kill me! I love every little thing about owning my horses, and even though on cold, rainy days I might complain alittle, I still know that it's all worth it.

I've owned horses now since March 7, 2006 when I got my first horse, Candy. Candy is an ex-harness racer (racing name was Casino Sweetie) and she has taught me so much that I didn't learn in the 7 years prior to that. In my first few months of owning her I had more falls than ever in my life of riding! She was not at at all sweet. As a matter of fact, she was the most ill-mannered horse I knew and didn't seem to care about anything. She walked all over me when I led her, took off with me, and basically did as she pleased. But we got through the hard times and learned to trust each other. She taught me to be patient and that any horse just needs a little love to get them on the right path. Now she is the sweetest thing, in her own funny way. Most people wouldn't understand her, but I know how she is and I love her for it. I know that right now she could very well be at slaughter because so many people (especially around where I live) don't understand the real love of horses or have any patience.

At my first horse show on Candy (which was actually my very first horse show) I met a guy named Frank who I've become good friends with. He bought me a beautiful 1 1/2 year old Saddlebred x Draft cross filly for Christmas. I named her Back in a Flash aka Flash because she was so fast. She was a gorgeous chestnut with a sturdy build, and I would have done eventing and western speed with her. She was nearly wild when I got her because she was apparently slightly halter broke and turned out in a pasture. But she learned to trust humans and was so sweet and affectionate. She loved to be cuddled and kissed. Sadly, she died on July 7, 2007 when she got botulism. It started on the 6th and we thought it was colic, but the next day she started shaking and when I called the vet, he told me that's the first sign of botulism. We finally had her put down at 11:30pm on the 7th and my best friend (and riding buddy) Caitlyn was with me.

This is a poem I found that I personalized for Flash:

I held her in my arms so tight,
Through the darkness of the night.
I pushed a lock of hair into its place;
I knew that she would not win this race.
As I brushed my tears away,
I thought fondly of our first day;
Why so soon had it come to our last?
She was so young, so happy, so fast.
As she took in her final breath,
I knew that she had a fast death.
As I shut her eyelids tight,
She disappeared into the quiet night.
I saw her soul gallop off happy and content,
As I whispered into her ear "Goodbye, my friend."

Since Flash died I had been hoping to get another horse, and on September 15th I found an amazing little pony. I was glancing through the Classified Ads in the local newspaper when I came across an ad that mentioned a 6 y/o Mustang Gelding for $600 and a 3 y/o QH filly for $800. We called up and after going over to look at the horses, the lady had mom pretty convinced we'd better go with the QH (since my mom mentioned wanting a good, calm horse). I had my heart firmly set on the Mustang, and after talking to my parents, we went to look at him the next day. I test rode him for an hour and knew I just had to have him, and we got him for $500. I named him A Knight's Tale. Now I've owned him for over 2 months and have been taking him to lessons and some shows for experience. He does need an experienced rider since he crow hops every now and then and takes off if something spooks him. But we get along good and he is starting to trust me more. He is so sweet and willing and sometimes will just follow me around like a puppy! I plan on doing eventing with him, but since he was never trained properly, I'll probably only be doing dressage and jumping by summer. But he is a fast learner and has a positive attitude. At lessons, so far we're working on reaching for the bit, bending, and have jumped him one foot. And hopefully this week we will be jumping him higher to get him to actually jump. But both Kendle (riding instructor) and I think he is going to be a great pony for eventing.

I take lessons on Knight every other Wednesday at Brittany Commons Horse Centre with Kendle, and on Fridays I work and take jumping lessons at Saddlebrooke Stables with Deana.

I ride both English and western. My goals are to become a John Lyons' Certified Trainer and to go to the Olympics in eventing, and also to become a professional barrel racer.

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