Sunny, my 20-year-old Welsh Pony, is special for so many reasons. For instance, our bond with each other has left us best friends for life. I share all my emotions with him, and he seems to share them with me. Sunny was my first horse and because of him, I own two more. Sunny is old but his heart, soul, spirit and mind are still young. There are still many reasons why Sunny is special but these are the best. -Makayla Dahley, Internet
Over the years we have had our ups and downs, but we have a special bond and I think the world of her. Last year was our first show season together and we did very well. We qualified for districts at our local 4-H show, and did well at the open shows we entered. I’m looking forward to our future together in the show-ring but mostly out. -Delanie Casselbury, Pennsylvania
Tarbender, my 13-year-old Leopard Appaloosa gelding, is more than just family–he’s a part of me. I was 12 years old when we bought Tarbender (Tar) at a sale barn. Now he has arthritis, even at his young age, so I don’t ride him a lot. He’s helped me through some pretty rough times, and when I need someone to talk to, I know I can always bury my face in his mane. I’ve brought him to two different schools for demonstrations, and anytime we have beginner kids he’s the one we choose to put them on. I want to use him for more demonstrations or maybe some therapeutic riding, but for now, he’s my best friend and companion. He truly is my guardian angel, and without him my days wouldn’t be so bright. He’s my best friend, and always will be. -Micala Hunstable, Minnesota
Rudy, my 9-year-old Paint gelding, is a special part of our family because I love him so much. He isn’t much of a show horse and my parents actually begged me to sell him and get a beautiful Thoroughbred mare, but I insisted that Rudy was much better even though he’s still green.
He’s been my dream horse for as long as I can remember. I would always ride my pony by his pasture where he was at stud and fantasize about riding him. You can imagine my excitement when I received him as a present for my 12th birthday. Since then, I’ve showed him in a few local hunter/jumper shows and I even taught him to shake hands. He my best friend and definitely the best brother I could ask for! -Tori McMahon, Internet
My horse, Migo Magic, a 26-year-old Arabian mare, is a special member of the family for many reasons. In her own way, she teaches every kid she meets everything they need to know about a horse. We got her for my older sister, Jess, when Magic was 16, but Magic was given to me when my sister out grew her. Magic is the type of horse who, even at an older age, can out run, out smart and out maneuver all the younger horses on the farm, making me the happiest girl in the world to own her.
The first time I took her to a horse show I was 8 years old and so scared that I was debating scratching my class, but my dad assured me Magic was a pro and would take care of me. She did just that, out of a class of 15-20 riders we trotted out of the show-ring with a third place ribbon. I was smiling from ear to ear. Magic had shown at Class A shows her whole life before we bought her, and she has taught me how to show and what to do. Any of my friends could hop on her and have a blast riding around the pasture. As a result, some of them have started talking about wanting to get horses of their own because of the joy and fun they had on Magic. My dad will even get on her now and then and go on a trail ride with me (which is quite a funny site since she is a small Arabian mare and he is 6 foot 1 inches tall.) After a scary riding accident, my mom was afraid to get on a horse. With Magic’s calm and loving nature the two of use persuaded Mom to go for a short ride. I boosted her up on Magic and away she went. I was so happy and so was my mom. Magic is a sincere member of the family for all of these reasons and more. We all love her very much. Even though she is now 26 and retired from being ridden, we still wouldn’t ever consider trading her for a younger horse. -Tiffany Faughn, Missouri
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