I loved all the photos that came flying in when I posted the ‘Horses Are Happiness’ photo assignment. Even more, I loved getting to know you better; getting to know our team. What a good group. It makes my heart swell.
Today I’m posting all of the entries because, really, they’re all so sweet. Like me, I expect some will make you laugh and some just might make a tear come to your eye. I’ve included all the stories as well because I love getting all those details and expect you will to.
As for the process to find our winner: I’ll pick finalists (I can’t hold myself to a limit yet, I’m already anxious about trying to choose from all the worthy photos), from which I’ll pick one winner who will receive a prize from Devoucoux. Phew, it seems hard to believe that one horse and rider will emerge victorious when right now we’re awash in perfect pics. For now, enjoy the love.
Three Days Three Ways Happiness is Horses Photo Assignment
This is my photo for your contest and here is the background of it.
My friends, Rachel and Liz, and I went to Camp Minikani. They do equestrian programs. We have so much fun when we go there every year. We each have our favorite horses and these are ours. The top left photo is my friend Liz and the horse is Murphy. The top right photo is me and my favorite horse at camp, Jimmy. Even though he bucked me off that day, I still love him. The bottom left photo is my friend Rachel with Gino.
Winning this contest would mean a lot to me!
Neighs and Winnies,
p.s. My fingers are crossed!
Abby W. and friends
Hello! This is my horse Kiona. This photo really shows happiness to me because i have recently moved on to a more advanced horse and Kiona is going to be going back to her original owner. She is such an amazing horse and she taught me soo much!! I LOVE YOU KIONA!!!! =)
This picture represents 2 1/2 years of dedication with my horse Cooper. He’s off the track and when he came to our barn as a 7 yr old he could barely trot and did nothing but buck at the canter. He failed his vet check and no one could figure out his hind end issues. After 3 months of conditioning he was sound happy and getting strong. Six months later he was competing novice level eventing and is now a training level horse getting ready for his first preliminary event! He is my best friend and he has been more successful than anyone thought he would be!
Alayna P. and Cooper
Hey Three Days Three Ways!
So I had to include two pictures because they go together. I believe that this picture shows that happiness is horses because this was my entire relationship with this horse. He was my first Preliminary level horse, and he was my best friend. He was 17 hh but would have sworn he could fit in my lap. This horse saved my butt more times than I could count, and he is probably the reason I am still eventing. He was a saint, and I wouldn’t have traded him for anything. There are a ton of things about this horse that I could tell you about that prove why horses are happiness. He would try for any fence, no matter what spot I asked for. He had a gallop to die for. He could be fancy on the flat (if I could put his lazy butt together! ha) And he had the best disposition. I could sit like this all day every day with this horse, whether or not he was standing in ice. He could always bring a smile to my face, no matter my mood, and he always tried his best to do so. I lost this horse to colic Christmas day this past winter, and I miss him more than anything. But because of everything I learned from him I am able to carry on and work with my youngsters. This is one that I would have let sleep in my bed if he would have fit, he brought me joy for the three years that I was blessed with and he will always be in my heart. It is moments like this that I miss more than anything, more than eating the ground with his ten-mile gallop, or clearing a 4′ table with room to spare. Sharing my lunch with my best friend means so much more than that.
Courtney C. (1)
Courtney C. (2)
Note: I didn’t receive a story for this entry but the happiness speaks for itself in those expressions!
This picture is of my daughter and her horse. They started at the beginning, learning all the lessons together……………the result, years after this picture was taken, is a partnership that has taken them both all the way thru their first 4*. Jo
I have a few photos attached as my horse (Lola) seems to be happy most of the time! The first is of her cozy in her blanket with a mouth full of grain and her lips covered with it.
Elena’s Lola (1)
The second is of her after she won an event, almost knowledgable of her win, she puts her head over her quarter sheet and “smiles”.
Elena’s Lola (2)
The third of me, completely in love with my horse and thankful to have her in my life.
Elena and Lola (3)
The fourth of us looking at each other in total understanding and happy to have each other.
Elena and Lola (4)
The fifth of us in concentration but happy to be together. Thank you for your consideration!!
Elena and Lola (5)
The attached photo is from last thanksgiving day, an unusually warm and sunny day here in east tennessee. i was out in the pasture with my horses who were all sun-drenched and sleepy, as if they too had just had a big dose of tryptophan. anyway, in the photo my big old TB “mo” is nuzzling my arm as i thoroughly enjoy his presence, as i always do. as much as i would like to say that this was a tender moment, i think he was just checking me for treats because he left a huge brown goober on my arm. tender moment for me + treat check for mo = happiness to the nth degree.
Love this assignment! This is Pleasant Signal, aka Siggy. He’s an 11 year old Thoroughbred just beginning his career in eventing and dressage. He was rescued from the kill pen at an auction with horrible hooves and he was grossly underweight. Now he’s sound, well fed, happy and loving life with his pasturemates at our farm! He is the safest horse on trail, and carries riders of all ages and experience levels safely. It’s as if he knows he almost met a horrible fate, and because he was rescued, he is grateful for every step he takes. Seeing him grazing, cantering around his field and making funny faces (like the one pictured) really encompasses my Happiness with Horses. Seeing Siggy healthy and happy brings me joy every day.
PS – the full body shot is not my actual entry – just wanted to show you what good health he’s in!
Kimberly D’s Siggy (1)
Kimberly D’s Siggy (2)
My horse and I have an interesting bond, whenever I lean forward as if to kiss him, he meets me halfway. Here we are at our first event together.
I’m attaching a photo of myself and my horse, You Betcha. This photo kind of says it all. But here’s the story. I brought this horse last summer with the understanding (per my x-trainer) that he would be running me around preliminary within the year. However, that is NOT at all what happened. After much frustration, I left that barn and found a new trainer. We had to start all over and put a lot of basics on this horse. To top it off, in the beginning, he was NOT even slightly willing to learn! Now after many trials, tribulations,
elimination, lots of tears, being bucked off too many times to remember, some seriously humbling moments, and a whole lot of encouragement from the ground, this horse is just beginning to show me how fabulous he is going to become!!! This picture was taken at our
first event of this season, where with riding every stride and an open mind, we finished on our dressage score! I changed his name in January to reflect what is becoming a very positive experience. Special thanks to my trainers this past year, Angela Grzywinski of
Curragh Equestrian and Gilly Slayter-Voightlander of Simply 3-Day for helping my horse and I become a team! and special thanks to You Betcha for teaching me how to actually ride.
Lisbeth S. and You Betcha
Are you taking ques from Pioneer Woman? LOVE her photo contests! The attached picture is of me (in the pink top), “Alfie” and one of the women who helped him find a home with me. It was taken just about a year ago, when I took Alfie on his first “field trip” off the farm. Alfie (JC name “Fire It Up”) was neglected and abused at a track when fate intervened, and he was purchased by a woman who wanted to just find him a better home. At the time he was horribly underweight, shaggy and unkept, defensive in his stall and terrified of people. My trainer then bought Alfie from the good samaritan, and I fell in love with him despite his condition. About a year later, he really turned the corner and began to come out of his shell. I bought him then… after dreaming of owning a horse for nearly all of my 32 years! This picture, as I said, was his first trip off the farm, and we happened to run into Alfie’s “good samaritan”… she hadn’t seen him since he came off the track and she barely recognized him. It was a very, very happy day for all involved. I think we might have even cried a little. Alfie was just happy to get so much attention.
I loved the interview you did recently with Jennifer Simmons… this quote from her pretty much sums up how I feel about my Alfie: “I could now be sure nothing else bad would ever happen to him, as his life at the track had been very tough for him. I kept him safe to the very end, and I would like to think I made his life better. I was someone who understood him, loved him, treasured him. With all his idiosyncrasies. I wouldn’t have traded him for the world.” Thanks for having this contest… can’t wait to see all the entries!!!
Amanda S. (in pink) and Alfie
Here are my 2 photos. One for each horse. :-)
Princess and me: This is my first horse Mythical (aka Lissell). She was everything a first horse shouldn’t be … hot, opinionated, high-maintainence, and alpha mare. But she was the perfect first horse for me. She had done the jumpers (up through Level 6) in California, and I just happened to meet her while visiting my sister one spring break. Shortly thereafter the owner needed to sell her, and eventually decided to just give her to me. So for the cost of shipping I had my first horse.
From the get-go, Lissell and I had an understanding. I would stay out of her way, and she would take care of me. There’s a video of us at one of our first events where I buried her into an oxer and she somehow cleared it resulting in me sitting off to her side. Then you see her shift her weight to keep me on, and continue on to the next jump. After she retired from competition I decided to lease her out as a broodmare, which was fine for the first 2 years. But then the family came into some financial difficulty, and failed to tell me that they were no longer feeding her or any of their other horses a proper diet. After many sleepless nights and tears, I finally got (what was left of) my mare back. She’s happy and sound now, so whenever I have a spare hour we go for bareback trail rides. She keeps getting stronger and stronger, so who knows what the future holds for her. Maybe we’ll take a spin around the hunt field, maybe we’ll try eventing again. One thing is for sure, she’s not happy just sitting around anymore!
So this photo is from a few years ago. Just the Princess Lissell and me. Everyone needs a happy place, and anywhere I go with this mare is mine.
Margaret R. and Princess
Harrymonster: This is more of a “Happiness is Eventing” photo. Pouring down rain at MCTA last year. I go into the ring to salute the judge–someone I happen to know well–and we just look at each other and laugh. What other sport finds hundreds of competitors out in a deluge carrying on as normal.
Margaret R. and Harry Monster
I am submitting a photo of my daughter Katherine, who is now 13, and Tucker, our 10-year-old OTTB. The two are best buddies. Every time I look at this photo it reminds me of their special relationship and brings me joy.
Katherine and Tuck
Hey! I caught this moment after my little sister came out of the ring after a beautiful round. She was so excited and her pony “Ghilly” looks pretty darn happy too! Thanks!
Macy C’s little sister and Ghilly
Now you see the daunting task I have ahead of me. I get anxious just thinking about trying to pick finalists, never mind a winner. For now, though, I will just enjoy the happiness radiating from Three Days Three Ways thanks to you, your stories and, most of all, your horses. Happy day!