When I was younger, I never had my own horse due to financial reasons. I rode anything and everything that someone would let me, and a wonderful trainer that took me under her wing to start training horses as a teenager. I bought my first horse when I was 16, but he ended up having to be put down from long term physical issues in just over a year. I was working some other projects at the time, but nothing great. I was glancing through horse ads in my parents office when I just said "mom, that is my horse". He was just coming 4 yrs old, dunskin paint gelding with minimal white. We went and saw him and the woman selling him turned down higher offers on him while we were there, saying that she agreed with me, he was my horse. We put tons of miles on together, riding through busy towns, cow pastures, woods, we traveled a good chunk of the country together before I was 20 and before he was 7. He's the kinda guy that could win a western pleasure class and a barrel race in the same day. He helps me train other horses and lead groups in parades. He always keeps me humble, and has put me in the dirt a few times when I start getting too cocky. But, at the same time, that single horse has been a key in building most of my business. He definitely knows how to ham it up when the right people are watching. I've had several people walk up and say that he looks proud when I get up on his back. He's one of those jerks that you can't help but love, he's locked me in feed rooms and thoroughly enjoys throwing water on me, but all in good fun. He takes his work seriously, always my right hand man when push comes to shove.
He and I now have a full barn to work. He gives me that look, everyday when I walk in the barn, that look that reminds me about what it was like when it was just the two of us. Sadly, its a rare occasion when he and I can go for a ride without a problem child to pony or an inexperienced rider to babysit. But, we both keep working, he takes on every problem horse that we get in, keeping the structure in the barn. He calms them down, gives them manners, and I teach them their skills. He is only 11 now, but I know he will always be here, the donkey won't let anyone else ride him anyway!