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I haven’t posted about Red in a while

He’s doing great at his retirement! I miss him like crazy - he was such a perfect horse. He IS such a perfect horse! He’s not dead, he’s just not with me anymore. 

I get to see him once a week at least, but it’s still weird. I’m hoping soon I can go out and groom him and give him lots of love and treats. 

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The International Horse Show in Omaha, NE

If anyone from Tumblr is competing in or watching the International Horse Show in Omaha, Nebraska, USA this weekend, I’d love to meet up! I will be volunteering at my horse rescue’s booth, and I would love to get a chance to meet some Tumblr equestrians, especially since I know a lot of you are really talented riders. 

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memorialred365:

The first picture is of me riding a schooling pony, Missed A Spot (owned by Quail Run Riding Centre), at a B show, the North Hills Hunt, about 4 years ago.

The second picture is me riding Red outside for the first time. 


Day 5!

I started taking lessons when I was 6. I started at this kind of sketchy, small, dressage barn. I rode there with some other girls a few years older than me for about 5 years. Issues with the owner of the barn and the owner of the horse my cousin (who I rode with) was leasing caused the group of us who rode together to all disband. At that point, I decided that I wanted to ride hunter and jumpers instead. My aunt, who works at a well known jumper barn in OK, recommended Quail Run to be my new barn.

I started taking lessons with a really nice woman named Angie. She trained me for years. Probably about 4 years. I went to shows once or twice a year, I only rode lesson horses. What really sucked though is that because it was such a competitive barn, that because I couldn’t own or lease a horse to go to shows, I was considered to be a second class citizen. They put up with me for 2 hours a week and then sent me on my way. I never felt that way with Angie. She always made me feel like I was a good and improving rider. 

Angie ended up getting married and moving away from Quail. So I started training with the barn owner’s son who is a competitive and well known rider around here. We trained  hunters together for about 2 years. I was riding this pleasant QH named Darby who worked well with me. He was kind of an asshole, but he was my favorite asshole. It got to be about a month before the biggest show I’d ever go to - the North Hills Hunt Riding Show. Dan, my dad and I all decided that Dan would pick which classes Darby and I would do together. So it got to the day of the show, I went to the show only to find out Dan had entered me in all showjumping rounds… something I had never tried before. I did three classes that day and I did terribly. Falls, poles down, refusals, the whole shebang. Darby was freaked, I was freaked and Dan was freaking out at me. I got back to my lesson that next week and Dan told me that I wasn’t good enough to be showing and would have to take years of more lessons to get good enough to show for them. How unfair is that? I let my trainer pick my classes because I know no better and he puts me in classes that I had no preparation for. I didn’t even know the difference between hunters/equitation/jumpers until now!

When Dan told me that, I decided then and there that I wouldn’t be taking lessons from them anymore. I tried going to other barns, and I found some really great ones… but my heart wasn’t in it. My heart was broken by this barn that I thought wanted the best for me who just through me under the bus. I stopped taking lessons. I stopped having hopes for owning a horse.

Tomorrow: More about why I gave up, I guess!

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memorialred365:

This is a picture of Red playing in the snow.
Day 3!
I’m completely snowed in today, so I wanted to post a picture of Red playing in the snow. I was going to go to the barn today, but everything in Lincoln is shut down due to massive amounts of snow. Plus, I don’t really want to try to drive my little car through all of that slush. Next weekend I’ll go see him, all though now I’m going on 4 weeks of not seeing him :(
Tomorrow: My riding history, I promise!

memorialred365:

This is a picture of Red playing in the snow.

Day 3!

I’m completely snowed in today, so I wanted to post a picture of Red playing in the snow. I was going to go to the barn today, but everything in Lincoln is shut down due to massive amounts of snow. Plus, I don’t really want to try to drive my little car through all of that slush. Next weekend I’ll go see him, all though now I’m going on 4 weeks of not seeing him :(

Tomorrow: My riding history, I promise!

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memorialred365:

This is a photo of me riding Red for the first time. 
I know, I should be wearing a helmet. Especially when test riding a horse. I’m not proud of riding him without a helmet, please wear helmets and protect your brains. We all like your brains too much.
Day 3!
So after I brought Red in from the dusty old dry lot, I worked my brushes over him. I loved putting my bright purple halter and saddle pad on him. The purple and chestnut just worked so well together! He got all tacked up, and I led him into this little arena.
Side Rant About the Conditions At That Barn: It was small, and definitely not the highest quality. The arena was encased in concrete, and there were a few windows and a gate to leave from. While I was riding, there was one other girl on another horse. There was a eight year old riding a blind, five year old QH stallion. She wasn’t wearing a helmet and her mom was just letting the girl do whatever she wanted. This girl didn’t have any knowledge about riding, so I really had to work around her. ANYWAYS.
I got on Red and we started walking around. What surprised me was that he didn’t feel old. He was supple, he had a great pace and he instantly came down to the bit and worked with me. I had taken tons and tons of lessons and was always on these really stubborn horses. I had been working on a supple roundness in my lessons up until I quit. So imagine me getting on this completely unknown horse, giving him a few cues and having do exactly what I wanted… my mind was blown! 
We walked, we trotted, we cantered, we worked over poles. As I rode, I just remember one thing Missy said, “Well, look at you. You’ve got him perfectly in position. It’s too bad you aren’t at a show with him right now”. I just smiled and trotted on by. It was perfect. Everything was perfect. He’s perfect.
Tomorrow: My riding history!

memorialred365:

This is a photo of me riding Red for the first time. 


I know, I should be wearing a helmet. Especially when test riding a horse. I’m not proud of riding him without a helmet, please wear helmets and protect your brains. We all like your brains too much.

Day 3!

So after I brought Red in from the dusty old dry lot, I worked my brushes over him. I loved putting my bright purple halter and saddle pad on him. The purple and chestnut just worked so well together! He got all tacked up, and I led him into this little arena.

Side Rant About the Conditions At That Barn: It was small, and definitely not the highest quality. The arena was encased in concrete, and there were a few windows and a gate to leave from. While I was riding, there was one other girl on another horse. There was a eight year old riding a blind, five year old QH stallion. She wasn’t wearing a helmet and her mom was just letting the girl do whatever she wanted. This girl didn’t have any knowledge about riding, so I really had to work around her. ANYWAYS.

I got on Red and we started walking around. What surprised me was that he didn’t feel old. He was supple, he had a great pace and he instantly came down to the bit and worked with me. I had taken tons and tons of lessons and was always on these really stubborn horses. I had been working on a supple roundness in my lessons up until I quit. So imagine me getting on this completely unknown horse, giving him a few cues and having do exactly what I wanted… my mind was blown! 

We walked, we trotted, we cantered, we worked over poles. As I rode, I just remember one thing Missy said, “Well, look at you. You’ve got him perfectly in position. It’s too bad you aren’t at a show with him right now”. I just smiled and trotted on by. It was perfect. Everything was perfect. He’s perfect.

Tomorrow: My riding history!

(via into-the-constellations)

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memorialred365:

This is a photo from when I told my dad that I was in love with Red

Day 2!
My family made the half hour drive across the river and into Iowa where this mysterious horse would be. After about a half hour drive, we pulled into a long and dusty driveway with a few horses standing around in the space near by. The barn itself was not in the nicest condition. It was old, kind of broken down, and just not what I was expecting (I really don’t know what I WAS expecting, as I had no clue about this horse at all!) I went into the office and stood next to my dad as he asked to speak with Missy, the women selling Red. She stepped forward and had us follow her to his dry lot. She told me a little bit about him - that he was a chestnut thoroughbred, and his grandsire was Affirmed. As we stepped into this dry lot, there were two chestnuts. One was this gleaming, glorious, thin legged beauty trotting and prancing about. My heart started to pound. And then Missy said “Oh, look at him showing off. That’s Red over there. Go get him”, as she pointed to the other horse. He was very very furry, dusty, and had his hip popped out just to be lazy. I started to feel this incredible sense of disappointment. What had I gotten myself into?
Then he turned around.
There I was, face to face, with these beautiful brown eyes. He pushes his nose into my hand, quickly finding the carrot I had for him. I was still worried, but all of my fears began to fade. He was beautiful. I could see that he was gloriously chestnut. I could see that he had a lot of spark left. 
First impressions can truly be misleading. If I hadn’t given that dusty rump a chance, then who knows where he, or I, would currently be.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about what it was like riding him for the first time! 
Have a great day!
E+R

memorialred365:

This is a photo from when I told my dad that I was in love with Red


Day 2!

My family made the half hour drive across the river and into Iowa where this mysterious horse would be. After about a half hour drive, we pulled into a long and dusty driveway with a few horses standing around in the space near by. The barn itself was not in the nicest condition. It was old, kind of broken down, and just not what I was expecting (I really don’t know what I WAS expecting, as I had no clue about this horse at all!) I went into the office and stood next to my dad as he asked to speak with Missy, the women selling Red. She stepped forward and had us follow her to his dry lot. She told me a little bit about him - that he was a chestnut thoroughbred, and his grandsire was Affirmed. As we stepped into this dry lot, there were two chestnuts. One was this gleaming, glorious, thin legged beauty trotting and prancing about. My heart started to pound. And then Missy said “Oh, look at him showing off. That’s Red over there. Go get him”, as she pointed to the other horse. He was very very furry, dusty, and had his hip popped out just to be lazy. I started to feel this incredible sense of disappointment. What had I gotten myself into?

Then he turned around.

There I was, face to face, with these beautiful brown eyes. He pushes his nose into my hand, quickly finding the carrot I had for him. I was still worried, but all of my fears began to fade. He was beautiful. I could see that he was gloriously chestnut. I could see that he had a lot of spark left. 

First impressions can truly be misleading. If I hadn’t given that dusty rump a chance, then who knows where he, or I, would currently be.

Tomorrow I’ll talk about what it was like riding him for the first time! 

Have a great day!

E+R

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memorialred365:

This picture is from the first time I met Red, almost exactly 3 years ago (February 7th was the day we met)
Hello! And welcome to Day One of Memorial Red 365. 
Today’s story: How Emily came to own Red.
I had been riding in lessons for years and years with the promise of as soon as I turned 16, I’d be getting a car and a horse. I trained at one of the top hunter/jumper showing barns in my area. But because I didn’t own a horse, I was treated pretty poorly. (Another story for another day). I quit taking lessons when I was fifteen. And that year, I sunk into a pretty bad depression. I only had one thing that kept me from completely losing myself… nope, not Red, but my trombone. 
After not riding for about 6 months, I decided to start looking on Craigslist for a horse. Desperate searching was yielding no results, so one night I broke down to my parents about how I should just give up hope and that I’d never ever in my life own a horse, the one thing I’d wanted for as long as I could remember. Good thing my breakdown was on a Thursday. Mom and Dad told me to just wait for Saturday, wait for Saturday. That morning, I laced up my boots and sat patiently in the minivan until my parents caught up, and that’s when my dad told me the story. 
He was at work one day, just riding the elevator when a friend of his who knew that I rode horses got in with him. She asked “So Jim, have you gotten your girl a horse yet?” He said no, money was a little too tight. She looked at him and said “Well, what about a free horse?” Of course, my dad’s ears perked up. He got the owners contact information and had been communicating with her for a while. Missy (Red’s former owner) hadn’t put any ads out on Red, but had just told a few people. Turns out 15 other people were interested in purchasing Red. But Missy didn’t want what they were offering. She wanted a teenager who loved horses, who could take on a challenge, but knew that they would always love that horse. Out of 15 people, I was the only one allowed to come see Red.
… that’s the story for today! I’ll continue with the story of how I felt about Red when I first saw him tomorrow! 
:) Have a lovely day! Love, Emily and Red

memorialred365:

This picture is from the first time I met Red, almost exactly 3 years ago (February 7th was the day we met)

Hello! And welcome to Day One of Memorial Red 365. 

Today’s story: How Emily came to own Red.

I had been riding in lessons for years and years with the promise of as soon as I turned 16, I’d be getting a car and a horse. I trained at one of the top hunter/jumper showing barns in my area. But because I didn’t own a horse, I was treated pretty poorly. (Another story for another day). I quit taking lessons when I was fifteen. And that year, I sunk into a pretty bad depression. I only had one thing that kept me from completely losing myself… nope, not Red, but my trombone. 

After not riding for about 6 months, I decided to start looking on Craigslist for a horse. Desperate searching was yielding no results, so one night I broke down to my parents about how I should just give up hope and that I’d never ever in my life own a horse, the one thing I’d wanted for as long as I could remember. Good thing my breakdown was on a Thursday. Mom and Dad told me to just wait for Saturday, wait for Saturday. That morning, I laced up my boots and sat patiently in the minivan until my parents caught up, and that’s when my dad told me the story. 

He was at work one day, just riding the elevator when a friend of his who knew that I rode horses got in with him. She asked “So Jim, have you gotten your girl a horse yet?” He said no, money was a little too tight. She looked at him and said “Well, what about a free horse?” Of course, my dad’s ears perked up. He got the owners contact information and had been communicating with her for a while. Missy (Red’s former owner) hadn’t put any ads out on Red, but had just told a few people. Turns out 15 other people were interested in purchasing Red. But Missy didn’t want what they were offering. She wanted a teenager who loved horses, who could take on a challenge, but knew that they would always love that horse. Out of 15 people, I was the only one allowed to come see Red.

… that’s the story for today! I’ll continue with the story of how I felt about Red when I first saw him tomorrow! 

:) Have a lovely day! Love, Emily and Red

(via into-the-constellations)

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Have you ever cried so hard you thought you were going to throw up? 

Today was the day Red officially retired out to his retirement at the Epona Horse Rescue. 

But here’s a sob story:

The woman who gave me Red five years ago got really ill. Cancer. She was so ill that she couldn’t afford to keep her horses, Zee and Comet. The Epona Horse Rescue has a program called Bridges to Hope that assumes care of horses that belong to people struggling through illnesses. 

I talked to Missy this morning and got her blessing about taking on Kozy and retiring Red. She went on to tell me stories about how Red and Comet were the best of friends nearly 14 years ago. Today I turned Red into a run at the rescue next door to Comet. Comet trotted up, sniffed noses with Red, and then the two boys started to groom each other. My dad and I both started bawling. 

The moment when I went out to get Red to bring him to the trailer was the moment I lost it. I started bawling so hard I nearly threw up. It was the fact that I had to say goodbye. Not permanently, and not unfortunately, but it was still sad to think that my best friend is old and needed to retire. But I am so thankful that I have the friendships and connections I have to ensure that Red stays at a beautiful farm with an old friend. 

I love Red, and I love that he’s going to be happy. Eventually, in the summer, Red and Comet are going to get their own grass turnout with an automatic waterer and a lean to. 

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Today is the day.

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kozykaleidoscope:

Getting some resistance from a good friend at the barn in regards to moving Red and bringing Kozy home. 
Makes me really nervous. I know that what I’m doing is best for me and Red, and it gives me the opportunity to have a young, active, fit, horse to ride and train. 
I just hope she understands that some day. 

kozykaleidoscope:

Getting some resistance from a good friend at the barn in regards to moving Red and bringing Kozy home. 

Makes me really nervous. I know that what I’m doing is best for me and Red, and it gives me the opportunity to have a young, active, fit, horse to ride and train. 

I just hope she understands that some day. 

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Memorial Red when he was 23 years old. 
There are so many things I would do to age Red backwards. If he was 20 again, our possibilities would be endless. 

Memorial Red when he was 23 years old. 

There are so many things I would do to age Red backwards. If he was 20 again, our possibilities would be endless. 

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kozykaleidoscope:

Each day grows closer and closer to the day when my two horses switch places. Red will go to the rescue to live out his retirement and Kozy will becoming a stall-occupying show pony. 

And it scares me. 

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kozykaleidoscope:

March 12, 2014 - Day Two With Kozy

Today Kozy and I got pretty cozy! (harhar). I had the afternoon off, so I went to the rescue to see how Kozy was doing. Lin and I cleaned some stalls, checked on the Wyoming horses, and then went and played with Kozy. Today she was much more relaxed and easygoing. We took her away from her herd and to the old outdoor arena, which was right next to her turn out. On Sunday, she whinnied and spun around and pawed at the ground to go back to her group. Today, she stood calmly with her head lowered. She rested her head on my chest and let me pick up all four feet, touch her tail, croup, poll, ears and girth region. Then I ran my hands all over her body and through her mane. No reactions! She stood so calmly and looked for cookies in our pockets. 

Turned her back out, and she flirted with the lone gelding in the group, then greeted me at the gate before I had to head back to town to see Red! 

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A Big Announcement!

memorialred365:

Red is officially retiring!

imageDue to Red’s increasing arthritis, it has been decided that it is time for him to take it easy and spend some time living on a pasture in a herd of other aging horses. Red will be living at the Epona Horse Rescue in Crete, NE (where I am an active volunteer!) (Click for a link to the rescue!) In order to help me celebrate, I ask any followers and friends to donate anything they can to Epona, as Red will be their newest permanent resident! 

This is a truly bittersweet moment for me and Red. He’s been my best friend, my partner, my confidant, my team mate, my coach, my rock, and my biggest challenge for the past five years. I was hoping we could spend the spring preparing for the Shaggy Horse Dressage Show, like we did last year. But, the vet said that he just can’t bear weight any more. So, I have chosen (with the help, guidance, and support of my family and friends) to have Red live a comfortable and easy life from here on out. 

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But don’t you all worry about my riding career! I have another big surprise coming. 

If you want to know my surprise, follow this link 

Text

A Big Announcement!

Red is officially retiring!

Due to Red’s increasing arthritis, it has been decided that it is time for him to take it easy and spend some time living on a pasture in a herd of other aging horses. Red will be living at the Epona Horse Rescue in Crete, NE (where I am an active volunteer!) (Click for a link to the rescue!) In order to help me celebrate, I ask any followers and friends to donate anything they can to Epona, as Red will be their newest permanent resident! 

This is a truly bittersweet moment for me and Red. He’s been my best friend, my partner, my confidant, my team mate, my coach, my rock, and my biggest challenge for the past five years. I was hoping we could spend the spring preparing for the Shaggy Horse Dressage Show, like we did last year. But, the vet said that he just can’t bear weight any more. So, I have chosen (with the help, guidance, and support of my family and friends) to have Red live a comfortable and easy life from here on out. 

But don’t you all worry about my riding career! I have another big surprise coming.