Saturday, January 4, 2014

Final Entries in Five Star Tack's "What's Your Best Accomplishment This Year?" Contest!

With fifty entries it's going to be hard to choose the finalists as each story is so deserving. We are raising the number of finalists from three to five because of so many to choose from. The final five will be posted tomorrow (Sunday) and voting will take place for the next three days on facebook with the most votes winning a Five Star Tack Signature Halter!


My name is Emily and my horse is Prax. His show name is Practical Legacy. He's a 10 year old Appaloosa Hanoverian cross. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  To begin he started out doing hunters. I event, and his old owners sold him because he didn't place in anything and wouldn't jump any higher than 3 feet.  We have over come a lot in the past year, even jumping 4'3"! However we still remained the under dogs at shows because he was an appy and I don't come from a rich family or have the top of the line equipment.  We qualified for AECs! A lot of people kept telling me to not get my hopes up and AECs are something you go to for the experience because unless you have a 50k horse you are not going to do well.  Well needless to say we proved them wrong when we came in 4th in the toughest division, junior novice.  I haven't had that much show experience and I was so proud of my horse. When we came out of the ring from stadium almost everyone from my barn was teary eyed. We finished on our dressage score of a 26.5.  



Hi I'm Lexie and I lease a horse named B.J. He is a 21 year old thoroughbred and the farm I ride at got him from a farm that starved him and didn't take care of him at all. He didn't know how to jump much but with a lot of work he slowly progressed. Over the year we went to both his and my first mini event and we ended up getting seventh out of eleven people! He was so good at dressage and he was listening to me and everything. Stadium jumping he was not the best because he got too excited and ended up refusing once. Lastly he loves x country so he was so good at that and didn't refuse at all but when I crossed the finish line I was just so happy with him it almost made me cry to see how far he has come. I love him so much. Thanks BJ for being there for me and helping me learn a lot throughout the year.



This is Forest (or show name Deschutes (Day Shu Tay)). Forest is a 9 year old recycled race horse, that only raced 10 times winning $96,000. She was then sold to be a mommy, but due to complications having babies wasn't in her cards. Her owners thought she was too nice to get rid of so they decided to keep her, but never gave her a job. She sat in a huge field for 3 years before her owners decided she was wasting her potential. They sent Forest to New Vocations where I found her a few months later. I never saw, met, or rode Forest before she drove 9 hours to me. When I saw her profile online I knew this horse was meant to be mine. New Vocations did a great job teaching Forest the basics but as an older horse knowing just the minimal I had my work cut out for me. 

We had many highs and lows, many accomplishments and a few steps backwards. For the first two months all we did was walk and trot until we could bend and steer. Then just as we were getting into the groove Forest sliced her eye lid down the center. Getting 11 hot pink stitches, Forest was off for about 3 weeks. Thankfully she didn't damage her eye. I spent the time working on ground work. After she was cleared to go back to work Forest and I went to our very first horse show and placed 4th in a trot pole class out of 30. Over the summer we went to our third show where we received champion in the Green as Grass division, only our third show and already taking home the champion ribbons! In the fall we went to our first two hunter trails. They were such a blast, and Forest had such a great time. My sister and I even placed 3rd out of 15 pairs. We have overcome many other huge milestones that have made all the hard work and dedication worth every second in the saddle.

 In the past 9 months that I have owned Forest, of all the things we have accomplished I think the greatest thing is the relationship, bond and friendship that we have built. At first she was grumpy and standoffish towards me when I would show her affection. But after a month of consistent loving, and ground work she started to open up. I noticed her looking for attention more, wanting to follow me and be with me instead of standing alone on the other side of the ring. When I pull up to the farm I yell her name and she nickers back greeting me. I have never felt such a strong bond with a horse that I felt from the very beginning. She is my best friend, my partner in crime and my forever horse. She is that special horse that will forever have my heart. 


This past august my search for a new horse began after trying several, we finally decided on one. I thought this horse would be perfect for me. A few days later he was shipped to the barn I board at and our journey began. We began to work and he unfortunately got injured. After 2 months I was finally able to begin rehabbing him. This period of time provided me with several devastating moments. The once perfect horse seemed like he forgot everything he had learned in the past. One of my major issues was mounting him. Now after one month of working hours on end with him I can get on in just a few minutes. This has been the greatest accomplishment so far with him since he got hurt. This may not seem like an accomplishment because every horse should be trained to stand at a mounting block, however we have learned this horse was fairly green and had severe training gaps. I have learned so much in just 2 months from this horse than I ever imagined. I cannot wait to see how far he takes me in the future. 

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