Pumpkin will be turning 21 this year. My family has owned him since he was 7 and I started riding him when he was around 15. He gave me a hell of a time. Being out to pasture all his life, and me with almost no previous horse experience, I had my share of tears and pain. Bucking, bolting, stopping, swerving and throwing me off were a common thing. He has mellowed out in the past year, though still will provide me with a few tests to see if I am on the ball. He is a great beginners horse - he will do anything to make sure you stay on, and have the greatest patience. But once you can competently canter, he will teach you to have the best seat by pulling those not so wanted moves. He has no intention of being loved on. He only wants your company. He is very dominant still, always testing your ability to be alpha. He has so much heart for doing things he loves, but it has to be his idea. If I say jump, he'll do it, but try to dictate how high.
He has been the best way for me to learn to ride and handle horses, even though I bit off more than I could chew. However he has taught me so many important lessons which are not only relevant to horse riding and owning. If I had to go through all the tears, pain, injuries and tough lessons again, I would.
We had our first competition last November, him at age 20, thanks to an amazing trainer that we could only be with for three months. The last photo is bad quality, sorry about that, but we are jumping one meter.