Name: Red
Registered name: Cash's Stepping Up
Age: 13
Height: 14.3
Birthday: May 30th, 2002
Breed: Quarter Horse

Meet the star of the show, Red. Red and I first met in July of 2012 in Florida. My family was on vacation and we all planned to ride. My aunt owned him along with a few other horses, so we went on a trail ride with them. I had been horse-crazy since the day I was born, but I had only ridden once before. Red was the perfect match - lazy, calm and dead-broke - and of course, I wasn't picky.

They handed me a halter and a lead-rope and told me to go and catch him, so I tried. He saw the halter in my hand and took off running. My cousin had to help me corner him into the round pen and then, he finally lowered his head into the halter and with help, I led him out and began grooming. He has sweet itch, so put him in the hard summer's that Florida has, and he was fairly miserable despite my aunt's various attempts to help him. Florida just isn't the place for a horse with sweet itch. He had lost a lot of hair and was covered in scabs from rubbing.

The second I started working with him, I fell in love. My first words? "He's beautiful." And to me, he was the most gorgeous horse there.

The day after, he was all I could think about. I jokingly begged my parents to get him for me, but they, of course, refused, and I knew why. I still cried over him. She said he was sold the next day, and I gave up. We went back home to Tennessee, and the weekend after, on our way to church, my mom looked back at me and said, "I have to talk to you. We have to sell Barbie." Barbie was my first horse, a mini mare that we rescued. She was pregnant and we didn't have the facilities to take care of that, so I wasn't necessarily shocked, but I was upset to say the least. I sat there quietly and she finally smiled, "That is, if you still want Red." Cue the tears, I cried the whole way to church. Of course, I was upset about Barbie, but I knew that we had rescued her and given her an amazing chance. She would only be sold to the best home that we could find and she would be better off. Now, it was time for another chapter.

Red got there after a very slow couple of months, delivered in a huge horse trailer near midnight. I'd like to say that everything went perfectly after that, but it didn't. He looked worse, we had to put him on various supplements which made him extremely hot and hyper, I couldn't ride him for awhile, he had trouble with our property's ground (very slippery and he was NOT used to hills, which is why we started boarding.) and he literally almost fell down when tacking up from being cinchy. But I never regretted getting him. I was determined to prove people wrong.

Everyone said that he would always be, well, not that pretty, because of sweet itch. Everyone said he would always be lazy. Everyone doubted that I would even be able to canter him because his gait is that bad, but little by little...Red and I proved everyone wrong. I couldn't be happier with this horse.

We started doing natural horsemanship after trying to find a better route to "cure" his laziness and unwillingness to come and enjoy his ride and my visits instead of dreading them. He showed me the way, and I'm just a willing partner. We put our own spin on things and do what works for us (for instance, we ride bitless for us, not saying it's the better way for everyone, but the better way for us as a team) and the change I've seen has been amazing. Suddenly, I had this happy go-lucky horse that isn't just easy to catch, but he gets so excited to see me and runs to me to come visit and follows me in the pasture everywhere. We live by the quote, " "when you take off the halter and lead rope, you're left with the truth." from Pat Parreli.


  1. you two do look very happy together ! what a wonderful story, so glad you have a horsey mom who understands and it there with you

    1. Thank you!! And yes, I'm very blessed to have her!

  2. What a sweet story! I almost cried at the end.

  3. The bay horse brigade! Love him. Love you guys together. :) There's always that one pony <3

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you!! :) His confo is one of my favorite things about him. :)