14 August 1986
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My name is Emily, and I'm 20-years-old. This is where you can read about my experiences with horses.

I've always loved animals, so I suppose that it was natural of me to have the urge to ride horses. My cousins both grew up owning horses, so I was exposed to them at a young age. Then there was Ghostbuster and Ginger. My family moved to a classy neighborhood when I was about 5-years-old. There had been a boarding and training facility there in previous years, but the owners had grown too old to take care of it. There were two retired horses that weren't really cared for by the owners. They were left to eat grass and roam the fenced in field for the rest of their lives. I visited Ghostbuster and Ginger after school nearly everyday. I always brought them carrots and apples, too. I grew older, and so did the two horses. One day, they were gone. I have no idea what happened to either of them, but I do know that the owners had sold the property. I don't know if they moved them... or what. Those two horses will always have a special place in my heart, though. I grew up with them.

I had been on ponies at birthday parties, and my cousins had let me ride their horses before, but I had never really ridden. I started going to summer camp when I was 9-years-old, and they offered horseback riding as one of the activities. So, I learned how to ride on an old horse named Hickory. Then I started to ride a mare named Lady. Eventually, I could ride well enough to get on some of the "harder" horses, although none of them were very hard to ride at all. I finally talked my parents into letting me take lessons when I was 15-years-old. I rode at a small barn with a not-so-fantastic instructor. I didn't really learn much while riding there. When I was a little over 17-years-old, I was sent to a boarding school. I was sometimes able to go on trail rides there, but it was all Western. I returned from school in November of 2004. I didn't ride again until August of 2005 when my dad's friend took us to the stable where she kept her horse. I started taking lessons again. In December, I somehow managed to talk my dad into looking at horses with me. I tried out a young mare where I rode, and I hated her. I tried out an older mare, and I liked her, but she was too old. Then we found Calvin, a 14-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse. I did a 2' course for the first time in my life when I tried him out, and he took care of me in spite of my mistakes. I fell in love when him, and my dad felt like he was a good horse to buy, so in December of 2005, Calvin became my very first horse.

With Calvin, I began attending my first show season. I rode him in Beginner Equitation, and by the end of the season, we had already acquired enough points to win the division. I attended my first 'A' show with him, and I went in expecting not to get a single ribbon. We actually ended up placing pretty well, though! I met many new people at the barn, and I made great friends. Calvin was my gateway to a new life after being in a slump for about a year.

In September of 2006, Calvin developed severe Laminitis without warning or reason. Our local vet treated him, and when we saw that Calvin wasn't getting better, we moved him to a facility in Charlottesville. He wasn't improving, and the vets were not very optomistic about him recovering. I was sitting in the office when Benny called downstairs and asked me to come upstairs. I knew what they were going to tell me even before I walked upstairs. I just had a feeling that Calvin wasn't going to get better. My trainer was bawling when I walked up the stairs, and nobody even needed to tell me. I just knew. Calvin wasn't doing well, and we had to make a decision. We had Calvin trailered back to the barn, and we organized a funeral for him to be held on October 15th, just 2 days after he came back home. Alison, his old owner, and I spent those 2 days spoiling Calvin rotten. He was groomed constantly. He had his itchy spots scratched. He got as much food and as many treats as his little heart desired. There were probably over 30 people at his service. It was a very fitting funeral. Calvin would have loved to know that we were all there for him. He was cocky like that, you know? We had him buried right by the trail entrance, and we planted a tree not far away from his grave in his honor. I miss him terribly, and I still cry. I don't think that I'll ever stop crying over him. He was my 1st horse, and there's never another 1st horse. He was my love. He was my best friend. He was Calvin.

The search for a new horse wasn't easy. Some just weren't right. Some didn't pass vet checks. There were a few problems, but after almost 4 months, I found Blue. We had been looking for something extremely quiet, but Blue wasn't quiet. He took care of me, though. We are just now starting to get to know each other. I've only had him since January 13th, though. So far, however, he's been awesome. I love him. He was most certainly worth the wait.

Just to catch up on this biography... a little addition. Blue has grown up so much. He is wonderful... and QUIET! Not at shows without working him down a good amount, but at home, he's fabulous. He's sweeter than ever, and I am so lucky to have such a great boy. I love that horse more than I can even express. And everybody that knows me and that horse - well - they know just how much I love him.