Amanda & Athena | May 2016

Amanda & Athena



May was amazing. April brought lots of ground and round pen work, which you can read all about HERE. But May was something else!

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With every passing week Athena looked better and better. She gained weight, her coat became shiny. She looked SO good!

Sherry taught me how to drive Athena, which a whole new experience for me. I had never done it before, and neither had Athena so we were learning together. It was really hard turning her and doing figure eights, but with Sherry’s guidance we got it after awhile!

One afternoon after driving, Sherry surprised me and asked if I was ready to get on her. I just stared in disbelief. Um, yea I was ready to get on! I grabbed my helmet and put my foot in the stirrup. I watched Athena, and she seemed to not care. I put more weight in, watching Athena the whole time. She turned her head and looked at me weird, but she was still calm. Before I knew it, I was standing in the stirrup. I cautiously swung my leg over and settled in the saddle.

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I was on Athena!! I was on my girl!!! For that lesson, I just sat on her a bit. I was so dang excited!! Athena handled it like a champ too!

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Sherry and I started having more frequent lessons since riding her was a two person job. I gave Athena her first tail braid and met Sherry outside for our next lesson.

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“What are you doing up there mom?!”

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I normally always, ALWAYS ride with a helmet, but I left it at the house. I felt naked without it! I had nothing to worry about though. Athena was a saint!

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We worked on walking around and bending and releasing to the bit. I was so giddy!

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We worked on lots of “whoa”ing and moving forward. I couldn’t believe that I was the first one on her and how well she was behaving!!

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I was so extremely proud of Athena!! She would learn so fast with every lesson it was almost scary! She was calm and trusting, something I never thought I would say about her!

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I had several people telling me I would never be able to ride that horse, due to her temperament and her leg injury. I had so many people telling me that I needed to give up and that I was wasting my time. But every time we had a lesson, it was clear that this horse not only had talent, but had so much potential. Athena would blow us away with every lesson. I was beaming with pride!

Not only was I proud of Athena, but I was pretty proud of myself too. It was always on my bucket list to train my own horse but I thought that I was such a long ways away from that. I had wanted to find a trainer that would let me help with Athena’s training but thought that would be near impossible to find. Sherry Stewart not only let me help, but she would teach me how to do a certain task so that I could teach Athena myself. I was so incredibly honored that Sherry thought I was ready for training Athena myself under her guidance. It made every milestone that we achieved together that much more special and that much more rewarding. WE did it, together.

Every time I climbed up into the saddle, I could feel Athena trust me more. And I began to trust her too. She never tried to buck or be ugly. She was so open minded and would give her all with every lesson. We bonded on a new level and even though I thought it was impossible, I somehow loved her more. <3


Stay tuned for next week’s update for my most memorable experience with Athena yet!

Read more about our journey together by CLICKING HERE!


Thank you for reading and being so supportive of Athena and I!

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The Blog here at Southern Horse Photography covers amazing topics that are horse related such as my adventures with my rescue horse Athena, my latest and greatest sessions, and horse tips. and hacks that I can't live without! Make sure you subscribe to stay up to date and get emails on the newest posts!


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