[All photos of SB's horses below are courtesy of her, and I have her permission to include the details of her life here.]
First, we both got our riding lives re-started with amazing thoroughbred mares. Duchess is the most wonderful horse imaginable. And it was a total twist of fate that got me to her. I was Facebook friends with a guy I knew from grad school who posted a picture of his cat "reading" a book. The cat was on a saddle pad. I immediately was like IS THAT CAT ON A SADDLE PAD OMG I WANNA RIDE A HORSE. I was so sick of being a grad student and just wanted to do something I knew I was good at: riding. My friend was all, "Yeah, my girlfriend rides." He hooked us up right away and within a day I was riding the wonderful Duchess. His girlfriend Shelly became one of my dearest and most important friends. I will never be able to thank her enough for getting me back on a horse. The credit is shared equally between her and Duchess, who never does anything remotely bad and just loves to be adored, as she deserves.
SB ended up riding Cassie, the mare she grew up riding. She got back into horses as an adult and rode Cassie, an off-track TB mare like Duchess. If I recall correctly, she also leased Cassie in high school. I'm not sure how similar the mares really are, but they both got us back into horses, and for that we both owe them a lot.
|SB and Cassie|
|Look how great SB and Izzy look here.|
SB deserves props for making the best of a tough horse.
|I miss her so much. All the time.|
Upon the times SB and I were each realizing we weren't going to be able to make things work with our mares, we sort of accidentally wound up with the world's two leading grumpy old man chestnut horses. Both of these boys are diamonds in the rough. Not everyone could see how cool Cuna was, but SB knew right away that he was the one for her. Similarly, Red was dumped by his owner when he injured his leg. A friend of mine took the best care of him she could, and when she knew she couldn't manage him the way he needed, she passed him along to me.
|Redmond, back when he was even thinner.|
|Cuna, the best horse in all ways.|
As you know if you read SB's blog, Cuna passed away. The world will always miss that wonderful guy, even those of us who never met him in person. He came alive for all of us through her writing, and is thus immortalized. I am fortunate to still have my big red guy, as we're just beginning our journey, and enjoy riding him every day. He's always got something to teach me, and I look forward to doing a couple little jumper shows with him eventually.
Both Cuna and Red are fans of trail riding.
And in general being totally adorable.
|I need people to come over and take pictures, dammit.|
And then, finally, we found the stripey-faced young thoroughbreds who we have the pleasure of bringing along. First SB got Courage, and now I have Mo, who I hope will be half as good as Courage is.
|Kissable Nose #1|
|Kissable Nose #2|
|Everything about this is maximum adorable.|
May the trend of wonderful horses continue for both of us and all of you. And for those of you who want or need a Grumpy Old Man Chestnut, we'll send our GOMC vibes your way.