Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A tribute to Mindy Lou, who turns 25 today.

My horse Mindy and I have the same birthday, April 28. She turns 25 today, I've had her since she was a yearling. I thought it would be neat to put up some photos of our lives together. For my 13th birthday, after years of lessons at the local stable, my parents agreed to buy a horse. They are total non-horsey people. They didn't know you're not supposed to buy a yearling for a kid who's never owned a horse before.

Thank goodness for that. Enter "Jet's Paradox", a gorgeous bay QH mare born April 28, 1984.

Me- 13, Mindy as a yearling at the ranch we bought her from.

She was kept in a friend's pasture. She was trained there, by me, as well. She learned to lunge on a hillside and got 'dressed up' on Christmases.

I couldn't ride her, so I trained her to pull downed trees. Yes, that is a lunge line/bareback pad harness...

She was very, very, very accident prone those first couple of years. This is her 2-year-old birthday in 1986. She had surgery a few days before, removing a piece of cartilage near her coronary band. She went through a fence. Again.

While she was recovering from surgery we kept her at another friend's place that had stalls and an outdoor arena. Terri was kind enough to take me under her wing and taught me how to start long-lining Mindy.

Our first ride. This is at my parent's lake cabin where we kept her that summer. Chopped down some trees and made a makeshift corral back in the woods. My mom got the camera ready, and I got on and rode her down the driveway. August 1986.

My riding 'arena' was a small flat area in the back of a house that they were going to plant a small lawn but never did.

The next summer. Mindy and me, and one of my best friends from high school Melissa and her mare Sabrina.

Swimming in Lake Coeur d'Alene

One of the few times we ever showed western. Heh heh heh. Mindy's first show season. Won overall hi-point individual performance for the year in 4-H, 1988.

Mindy won every single 4-H english pleasure class she went in to that year. We also started showing "B" system that year... and in the years following placed in the top 3 in almost every class. She was a great eq. horse as well!

Fast forward to Washington State University, 1991. Mindy lived at Hilltop Stables on campus. I guess it's not there anymore. We both spent 4 years there and graduated in 1994.

Love this one. Note my breeches and english bridle. Heh.

We actually did very well at play days!

During the summers at WSU I ran the horse program at YMCA's Camp Reed. Mindy was the lead trail horse extrordinaire. Here we are on one of the big loops. We're 3rd from the left.

My friend Mike visits Camp Reed.

WSU's cross country course. One semester I got CREDIT for taking cross country jumping lessons!

Just point her, and she went.


After graduating from college, I accepted a teaching job overseas. Mindy was leased to Pam and her daughter Jackie, who was 8ish-years-old at the time. They wanted a show horse for her. Look at how short her little legs are!

Jackie growing up...

...and starting to clean up at the NEZ year end awards.

Mindy and Jackie have a very special bond...

...and became almost unbeatable in the show ring.

2000 High Point Horse and Rider

A 2 year lease turned into a lifetime lease. In 2003 Jackie and Mindy received the prestigious Judge's Choice 'Horse of the Year' award in Washington State, competing against all the horses here and on the west coast. It was extra special because Jackie was a junior rider and only showed english, no western classes.

I love this picture.

Mindy is retired now, living at Pam's in horsey luxury. She is loved and has the best care you could ask for. I can't believe she's 25... SHE is the longest relationship I've ever had.



Serena said...

So awesome. :) Every horse should be so lucky!
Jackie used to slap Eric and I around in the show ring. ;)

mugwump said...

What a great story!!!

Jenn said...

What a beautiful mare, and so very lucky! Happy birthday, Mindy!

Andrea said...

Happy birthday to BOTH of you! What a great picture story :D

allhorsestuff said...

OH!! I love your Mindy mare and the wonderful relationship you have and now Jackie has..wow what a team!
Cool that they embelished the trailer..so proud of them!
Happy B day Mindy!