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The Horse with a Big Heart

'The perfect horse is necessarily stunningly beautiful. In face he's probably got a few scars and dings from life. He's probably been hurt and lived through it, been scared but overcome it, and is ready to teach his rider to do the same.

The perfect horse is not just arena ridden. He will let you feel what it's like to gallop into ocean waves, chase a neighbors cow or play tag on horseback.

The perfect horse will buck you off when you deserve it, but wait patiently for you to get back on.

The perfect horse has problems; He will teach you to deal with them. The perfect horse knows you cant be a skilled horseman if everything goes your way.

The perfect horse will challenge you, but only as much as you are ready to handle. He will teach you that you still have more to learn. The perfect horse will forgive you when you make mistakes and expects you to do the same. He will ignore the tack that doesn't fit right, the confusing signals, and will do his best to please. He will teach you to work but it'll be worth it. The prefect horse may not be the prettiest or the fastest but he has the most heart.'

-author unknown

I can't take credit for the words written above but I can say I've lived every sentence. My perfect horse came into my life when I was 14 years old. He was a big leopard appaloosa gelding that we found at a horse dealers barn in Pennsylvania. The man that was showing him to us didn't know much of his history. "I bought him at an auction in Kansas, that's why we call him K.C." He was kind, gentle and had spots to boot. My mom paid the $3500 for him and he was mine. He was and still is the most expensive horse I've ever owned but he quickly proved he was worth every penny. With is new home came a new name, Lakota, which is Native American(Sioux), for friend. And he was a friend to anyone who touched him.

Showing Western Pleasure at CJHA

Together we won ribbons in everything we entered. Teaming sorting, western pleasure, english pleasure, gaming, you name it Lakota did it all. We rode the trails in several states, including a week long 'teen camp' in Virginia. We went swimming, a lot in the summer.

He was alway reliable, never took a wrong step.

4 years after coming into my life Lakota began to show lameness in his front right leg. It took numerous vet visits to find a diagnosis. He had navicular, a debilitating disease in a horses hoof that causes a lot of pain and theres no cure for. We tried many different treatments and even had a surgery done to remove the nerves in his front legs so that he was numb to the pain. No matter what we did Lakota was never sound enough to go back to riding the way we had before.

I was heartbroken that I lost my riding partner but grateful for the lessons he taught. We were able to keep Lakota comfortable until he was laid to rest at the age of 26. Losing a friend like that is something I wouldn't wish upon anyone. His legacy will live on forever, he was a once in a lifetime horse, one that can never be replaced.

Lakota's Red Sky

1992 - July 2018

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