cash, my first horse
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The Skinny Brown Racehorse That Changed My Life

Here is the story of the horse, my forever best friend, who changed my life for the better.

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The Skinny Brown Racehorse That Changed My Life
Kassidy McDonald

It was the end of September 2015, and I had been waiting for this moment for what felt like my entire life. For 11 years, I had been obsessed with horses. Every spare moment I had when I was younger I tried to spend at the barn. I grew up jealous of other girls at the barn who didn't know how lucky they were to get to ride all the time, and even own their own horses. All those years I had begged my parents for a horse, but I never understood how much of a financial commitment it really was. Finally, in 2015, my parents made my dreams come true and agreed that we could look into getting me a horse of my very own.

To be honest, we had no idea how to start the process of looking for a horse. There's so many things to consider, what you need it to do, show experience, age, temperament, and can it live with other horses. With all this is mind, my mom took me to a couple of farms to "test ride" some horses my trainer found for me… I thought that I would get on each horse and feel like this was it, this was the one. I didn't find it at the first couple of farms.

My mom and I were headed to a farm out in Western Massachusetts, a pretty far drive from where we live. When we got there, we pulled into a gravel drive and saw a huge green pasture with horses everywhere. We were greeted by the owner, and she went to go get the horse I was going to test ride that day. She came back with a tall, skinny, dark brown ex-racehorse. He was off the track, (with a record that didn't have many race wins), and a little skittish. There was nothing particularly special or stunning about this lanky gelding, but the first time I looked into his big brown eyes, I knew that he was going to be special to me.

The test ride I had could not have been better. My mom had the biggest smile on her face as I walked over to her and the owner of the barn. I knew this was meant to be. A couple of weeks later, Cash was coming home. He was going to be mine, living in my backyard, where I could see him every day. He arrived on a sunny day in September, and I can still picture the exact moment he walked down my driveway, tears streaming down my face, as this was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Cash and I grew to become best friends. He was always a gentle giant, and everyone in my family adored him (even my dad who says he isn't an animal person, he just doesn't want to admit it). Cash gave me a sense of responsibility and happiness in my life that wasn't there before. I would sometimes ride around the backyard bareback, a fun thing I never got to do at the previous show barn I rode at. I even took him to his first show, and my first time jumping over three feet in competition He was always there to greet me at the gate for dinner, nuzzle my hand to see if I had any treats, and his goofiness could make me smile even on the worst days.

However, my time with Cash was short-lived and lasted only about a year. In the beginning of September 2016, Cash tragically passed away in an accident while I was on vacation with my family. His passing completely tore me apart and took many months, and even years to heal. Cash was truly my best friend, and the impact he made on my life was so positive that it was extremely hard for me to have that taken away from me so quickly. My mom was very supportive for me at this time; she felt as though Cash was a part of our family that we had lost. She was able to order a memorial for him that sits in his stall. It is a way to remind us of the short, but the amazing time we had together.

There's a cliché quote that I heard after Cash's passing, but it is able to make me smile whenever I think of it. It goes, "Every horse deserves, at least once in their lifetimes, to be loved by a little girl." I know that I gave Cash just that in the short time we had together, and I miss him every day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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