I DIDN'T BELIEVE IN LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT UNTIL I MET LENARDO.
My mom still laughs at the memory of 14-year-old me, eyes as wide as saucers, gaping at a stunning, 18-hand bay gelding with four white stockings and a heart on his forehead. His eyes were huge and soft, his head high and ears pricked.
I REMEMBER THE MOMENT VIVIDLY - IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD EVER FALLEN HEAD OVER HEELS.
"Is that him??" I stuttered the words; this couldn't possibly be the horse I was here to try.
It was him.
Lenardo (think "Leonardo" minus the first "o") was my once-in-a-lifetime horse. Underneath a beautiful exterior, he was just my big, sweet goofball. A total dork, just like me. My best friend.
He'd stick his tongue out and wait for me to grab it, he'd fall asleep with his head in my arms. He was terrified of chickens and miniature horses. He loved Ritz Bits with Cheese and peppermint Tums. He once ate a light bulb at a horse show (really).
Over our 10 years as a team, we stuck together through everything: championship-winning rounds, terrifying midnight colics, debilitating quarter cracks and endless rehab walks. For all that we went through, I have only a handful of photos of us together. Now that he's gone, I cherish our memories, but wish every day that I had more photos to remember him by.
Today, I have combined my two biggest passions - horses & photography - into one enormous dream: capturing and preserving the precious bonds between horse and human.
Now that you know my story, I want to hear yours. I can't wait to learn about you, your horse, and their unique connection to you!