Out to pasture

It takes a lifetime for a rider to find their type of horse, and when you ride that type of horse… well, you are unbeatable.

She was the most lovable and photogenic horse.

She was the most lovable and photogenic horse.

In Eighth grade I outgrew Murphy and the hunt for my new best friend was on. I tried fourteen different horses and it was overwhelming and frustrating. I am one of those people that knows what I want when I see it… and I don’t really take no for an answer, but I just hadn’t seen it yet .

I walked into the barn one cold January morning and I heard a truck come down the driveway and I was intrigued because we weren’t expecting any horses.

The transporter unloaded a red-headed mare. She got off the ramp, stretched her back leg straight out, and stuck out her tongue. And that, my friends, was the start of a beautiful relationship.

She always knew how to greet people.

She always knew how to greet people.

Her name was barn Rudy, because she tried to eat you when you put the saddle on, but other than that she was an angel. Her coat glistened in the sunshine and she had the most beautiful tail, so her show name was Scarlett.

Riding Rudy was like magic for me. She was fast, downhill, and had the worst right drift ever, but I made it look flawless. Trainers, judges, and even the parents of my competition complimented me. We were one and that show season was like flying on cloud nine.

This was our first blue ribbon.

This was our first blue ribbon.

I showed at least twice a month during the school year and every weekend in the summer. We were unbeatable in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. Every weekend I came home with a champion or reserve champion and about half the time I won every class I was in. That was the greatest summer of my life.

Freshman year came around and it was really hard to keep showing as much. The girl who was behind me in state was home schooled and showed at everything. It came down to the last month in the show season and we were tied for first, but Rudy strained her suspencery tendon (Equivalent of tearing an ACL) and we were out.

I cried for days. I wanted to win state more than anything in the world, but fate chose a different path… we were second. I didn’t ride for a month.

We won everything that summer.

We won everything that summer.

The following show season we got our head back in the game, but Rudy’s tendon flared back up and eventually tore while we were on course… and we won that last class together.

Rudy’s career was over and it felt like mine was too, but she brought the best out in me and taught me how to ride. She passed away from natural causes two months later and I knew I would never find another horse like her.

I have ridden hundreds of horses, but none of them even come close to being as special as Rudy, but I am very thankful to have had her in my life.