I suppose its best to start at the beginning. Shortly before my junior year in high school my horse Risky had to be euthanized due to a tragic paddock accident that broke his left front leg. Risky had been the perfect first horse. An older chestnut Thoroughbred who had been retired from the Dressage arena. Risky had been an excellent babysitter for a teenage girl who thought she knew everything. I felt the loss of him greatly.
My grandparents became concerned that I would give up horses all together and in the hopes to keep that from happening my Nana called one day to tell me it was time to buy another horse and that she and Papa had saved some money for me to do so. Over the years I have received many gifts, but this one will always shine in my mind as the greatest.
I found new hope in my search, a new spark so to speak. But being a teenager and still hurting I decided to only look at horses that were drastically different. No more quiet older horses for this girl. I was ready for something different. I was ready to try something new. So instead of the English style horses I had always ridden I went on the hunt for a stock horse. It was on this hunt that I found Sequoia. A short and stocky Appaloosa gelding who his owner had been training for the western pleasure ring. I knew he was the one from the moment I looked into his soft brown eyes and rubbed his his amazingly mottled ears.
The first show I took him too he dumped me twice, but we won two classes so overall I decided it was a win. My instructor offered to find him a new home but I wouldn't even think of it. He and I were an excellent team, we were still just working out the bugs. By the end of the first summer I was riding him bareback with just a neck collar through the trails behind the barn. By the end of the second summer we were winning in classes for halter to English please and trail. (I gave up on the western pleasure, Sequoia always liked to move out better)
At some point I decided to become a riding instructor and Sequoia followed suit training young riders and carrying them safely into the show ring. He would dazzle them with his antics and bow for treats of all kinds, but Nacho Cheese Doritos were always his favorite. On an average show day he would compete in three divisions and it was not uncommon for him to come home champion in more than one.