Lauryn Zepeda of Bolivia, North Carolina, lives with her husband and their two horses. One, a mustang named Gringo, was difficult to train, but the pair worked through his initial trust issues and won the third annual Your Horse, Your Life contest.
The online contest, sponsored by Weaver Leather, took place on HorseandRider.com. Contestants each described their proudest moment with their horse and also included a photo.
Zepeda's submission told of her accomplishment with her "project" mustang, Gringo. After getting off to a rocky start, they demonstrated a bond when they placed seventh at a local obstacle competition.
Zepeda and Gringo's story earned enough votes to become a top-seven finalist, and then was voted No. 1 by a panel of judges.
As part of her prize package, Zepeda received a headstall and breastcollar from Weaver's 2014 Savannah tack collection, plus a memory foam saddle pad, split reins, and an antiqued sweet-iron snaffle bit. Coverage in H&R and a photo shoot were also a part of the deal.
"This is my third time entering the contest," says Zepeda. "It kind of felt like my relationship with Gringo-I had to almost give up before things finally fell into place. I'm so happy I entered again!
Watch a video of Zepeda and Gringo, below.