Another horse lover here! I've been riding and working with horses for 12+ years. My first horse, Count Littleman, was horribly abused and had a lot of problems. He was a very spooky horse. We had such a close bond though, so I refused to give up on him when everyone told me I should. After a year of blood, sweat, and tears, I rehabilitated and retrained him. He was amazing to ride since he was trained in 3rd level Dressage. He was about 20 years old when I got him, and a few years later had to be humanely euthanized from a brain tumor.
From there I had some other horses come into my life and go; each one was special to me in their own way, but I never bonded with another horse like I did with Count. I got into showing Western Pleasure, Trail, and Showmanship. Won a lot of ribbons and two championship's. Showing burnt me out though. There was a lot of horse mistreatment and spoiled rich kids. I went back to the basics for a while, just riding for enjoyment, then I got out of it all together for a few years.
Now I volunteer at a therapeutic riding center. They've got three great horses I get to spend time with and ride. Not to mention helping people with special needs.
Erika | Betta Fish Advocate