I've got an award from Tracey at Mustang Diaries. It's a little different from a lot of the ones out there. See below for the info on it. It's a bit more flattering, since it's only passed on to one person at a time. And while I don't see myself as fearless, I really appreciate the award! I didn't expect to get one. (Keep reading to the bottom and you'll see that I'm breaking the rules by passing it on to two people but I think I'm justified.)"This award is dedicated to those horse lovers and riders that inspire others to go deeper in ability, knowledge and understanding of the equine(s) they have been entrusted to."
"The good of the horse is the ultimate goal apart from pressure's to achieve ribbons and fit into lesson schedules."
"These riders are fearless, when it comes to weather conditions and the forecasting of them...being with their horses, fills these folks soul and takes the cares out of the daily routines."
"They are unconditionally loving to the horse and may have rescued it from known ailment or living condition. Others have researched and purchased/acquired their horse, to find a difficulty in temperament or a physical burden within the animal. Yet, being dedicated, they have persevered to proudly be in partnership with their horse, lovingly striving for deeper awareness between them."
"They might have been riding for years and suddenly had an accident that takes them away from the great joy and freedom they have, being aboard such a magnificent animal. They have allowed the healing horse to rise in their hearts once again, and beckon them back."
Intrepid Riders Faction~ "We strive to go where others only dare to go with our horse loves...healing, riding, playing, camping, jumping, swimming and traveling down the trails of life...with the horse in heart~overcoming many obstacles and sometimes weather, to ride!
"There are not many rules to this award- just:
1. That you give it to only one person
2. Link back to this post, so they may have an understanding of it's nature, and
3. You may use any or all of the above written descriptions."
I've given some thought to who I'd like to give this to, and I'm going to give it to someone who doesn't have a blog, or even internet access. My sister Amy totally deserves this award more than I do.
About eight years ago she bought an emaciated quarterhorse yearling with slipper feet and a horrible load of worms. It was love at first sight. She eventually got him healthy, although he always did have problems after being so infested with worms. He gave her so much trouble. He was a pill. One story she told me had his butt so high in a buck that it was against the back of her head, and he had his head tucked so she couldn't see any horse at all below her. She stayed on somehow, and the guy she was riding with was white as a sheet, telling her he thought she'd be leaving there in an ambulance. Many a time she had to match her move to the rhythm of his buck, wait for his head to come up so she could grab his halter and pull his head around, with a few choice words about his parentage. He wasn't an easy colt to ride. Unwilling and opinionated. But no matter what anyone said, she never gave up on him. She put so much blood, sweat and tears into that horse that she could never, ever consider selling him. Despite it all, she loved him deeply.
Well, years later she finds that he has a genetic disorder that makes certain things very uncomfortable for him. EPSM or PSSM is a disease where the horse ties up. He was in pain all those times he said he wasn't gonna do what she asked. (Well, maybe sometimes he was just having a good time.) It had gotten so bad that his kidneys were compromised. Now he's on light work only, and nobody knows how long she'll have him.
She held him up despite all the people who put him down and she made him into a darn good horse.
Now it's his turn to hold her up. She has advanced breast cancer that is requiring very aggressive treatment. He carries her steadily through her chemotherapy, giving her something to lift her spirits between the bad treatments. Taking care of her. Nursing her back to health. Giving her something none of us can give. He's an angel in horse's clothing.
Her courage kept him, and now he gives it back. I think they both deserve the Intrepid Rider's award. (And of course my Tonka sneaks his way into the show here.)
Now, I don't want to end the chain of Intrepid Rider's awards in the blogosphere, so I'm also going to have to award it to a blogger. So I'm kind of breaking the rules, but I can't help it. I know just who to give it to, but I'm not sure if she'll be real excited to get an award. I tend to worry that people will be irritated at the trouble they have to go to for them.
I award it to Carmon of Life at Star's Rest. She has been struggling with cancer over the past year, but has had some excellent news recently. She works with mustangs, often troubled mustangs, bringing them back to mental and physical health. She also teaches people, and I'm sure her teachings are the kind that should be passed on. Her compassion and love for horses is great. Her horse Griton is absolutely beautiful and he is just ready to start working again after training, learning to trust, and then a long period of intermittent lameness. For many reasons Carmon absolutely fits the bill for the Intrepid Rider's Faction. If you don't already follow her blog, check it out.