Willingness. My gelding, Casino, has a great temperament and loves to do his job. When it’s time to go to a horse show, he’s so eager he trots right on the trailer. Plus he never fails to put forth 110-percent effort in the show pen. Love my boy!
Taylor Wheaton, Ohio
Response when I call. My horse is out on 15-plus acres. When I call him, he lifts his head and whinnies. Better still, he makes his way down to the gate and is waiting for me—even when all the other horses are up top, grazing. Oh, what a feeling!
Marian Finnegan, Nevada
Calm mindset. I love that my gelding, Blue, is so kind and calm on the trail, especially on group rides. Everyone compliments him. Plus he’s only 14.3 hands, so I can finally get on a horse without an extra-tall mounting block.
Ashlynn Abernathy, Alabama
Meticulous training. As an aging horsewoman, I appreciate the foundation that was put on my Quarter Horse gelding. Now the 10 or so well-spread rides I take on him per year always splash a smile on my heart. He’s ever the same: quiet, soft as butter, instantly obedient. Buddy—my last partner.
Carolyn Valcourt, North Carolina
Way with children. Belle, a 15-year-old pinto Shetland, is the best pony ever for children. When we first got her, she threw a fit in the trailer. But as soon as she placed a hoof on her new home ground, she was an angel. Even with six kids—all strangers—grooming away on every side of her. I love her gentleness.
Hannity Thurn, Utah
Clever mind. My Standardbred mare can drink from the hose when getting a bath, plus open the sliding door to the loafing area.
Brenda Nesbitt, Michigan
Quiet temperament. My 8-year-old mare, Emmy, can be running and bucking and having a great time in her paddock. But as soon as you put a saddle on her, she’s quiet as can be. I love her!
Makinna Peterson, Nebraska
Reliability on the trail. Over the years, my Quarter Horse gelding, Rio Bravo, has carried me home safe from trail rides anywhere, anyplace. He has an incredible sense of direction—overruling me on some occasions. He doesn’t panic and has never steered me wrong. I literally trust him with my life.
Marilyn Long, Massachusetts
Attitude change. I’m proud that our PMU (Premarin mare) rescue horses Brownie and Ice Cream have gone from being afraid of human touch to meeting us at the gate with big whinnies.
Ann Keller, Wisconsin
Sensitive, affectionate nature. Rhascal, my 50-inch pony, responds to the lightest touch. When I ask him, “Can I have a kiss?,” he licks my face the way a dog would.
Cindy Kietzman, Indiana