#AQHAlways Stories Earn Owners Free Memberships

#AQHAlways Stories Earn Owners Free Memberships

Two American Quarter Horse owners win one-year AQHA memberships for tales of why they will #AQHAlways love their horses.

silhouette of cowgirl kissing horse on the nose at sunset (Credit: Manuela Berg)

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Through the #AQHAlways Story Contest, Kayla Posthumus and Emma Bunting are the winners in the adult and youth divisions of the #AQHAlways Story Contest. Each have won a one-year AQHA membership. As part of their prize, their stories are shared below and will be posted on AQHA social media.

The prompt for the contest was, “Why will you #AQHAlways love your American Quarter Horse?” The contest ran from February 1 to 16 and was promoted through social media, newsletters and web banners on AQHA.com.

Adult-category winner Kayla Posthumus of New Jersey, wrote about her American Quarter Horse, Impulsive Touch:

“When he was 2 years old, I watched him show. But at 9 years old, he was just a horse I knew. When I turned 11, my horse at the time I had out grown and it was time for me to move on. Though I loved him dearly, he went on to make another child's dream come true. So for years of searching and trying to find the one, at the age of 16, my mom and I traveled three hours to look at a horse, and when we got there, ‘Buster’ was for sale. I rode Buster and another horse that day. And when I swung my leg over Buster, it was like we had been partners for years. The man who was selling him looked at my mom and said, ‘I have never seen him ride like that.’ He said, ‘That is a match right there.’ I knew right away I had found my partner. I suffer from bipolar disorder so I go from good to bad and lows and highs. We brought Buster home, and he handles my disorder like it's nothing. Sometimes when I ride, I freeze up and can't move. When he feels it, he stops and waits. He is the one who understands me the most. When we go to shows, sometimes I just need a minute to breathe, and my mom will say, 'You don't have to do this,’ and I say, ‘I want to.’ She says, ‘You have the best partner there is,’ and I look at Buster and it's like he says, ‘I got you.’ Before we enter the ring, Mom says to Buster, ‘You take care of her.’ Every horse show we have been to, he has never let me down. He has made mistakes, but so have I – but we have learned from them. We don't show as much anymore but he still always has my back. When I fall, he is there to pick me up. He is my best friend and the love of my life. And I really can't thank him enough. Because I had started to give up hope of finding the one, I was going to stop showing – until Buster! He has shown me the meaning of hard work and has taught me to never give up, to always reach for the stars. And he has shown me what a true friend is. I love you, Buster!”

Kayla Posthumus and Impulsive Touch

Youth-category winner Emma Bunting about Colorado, wrote of her American Quarter Horse, Two Eyed Story Seek.

“I love my American Quarter Horse because she is one of my only friends, my support animal, my rodeo partner, but most of all, my dream that came true.

When I was 5 years old, my pony died. He was a palomino in the summer, but when it hit winter, he turned sorrel with a flaxen main and tail. I could never find a horse that I could click with 100 percent. I could find a horse that worked for a hot minute, but we could never make it for the long haul. Since my pony died, I had a dream to own a palomino.

Everywhere we went, I saw a palomino. The neighbors’, horse toys, all over the rodeo grounds. When I had my pony I never noticed it, but a year after he died, it seemed that a palomino is all that people had for horses.

Time passed fast, along with the horses. I had five horses since my pony died. “Buck” the buckskin, “Boots” the Quarter-pony, “Dibbles” the sorrel, “Pickles” the black horse and “Chili” the sorrel. Do you see the pattern? Every horse possible besides a palomino. It's not the fact that they weren’t good enough, it was the fact the we just did have that click, (except) one horse. Dibbles (and I), we have a click. He is too old to ride, but I will always love my old man, 25 years young and going strong!

I was about to turn 11 and still no palomino, then my dad said he had to go look at something for a friend. He took the whole family with. Even though it was a 20-minute drive, it felt like walking from Texas to Canada. When we got there, we were welcomed by Nicole Westfall. Dad got out and walked into the barn. As soon as I got out, I had to play with the baby donkey. Then Dad said to come into the barn. I did as I was told, I walked into the barn then quickly turned around (to see) a black-tip palomino mare. She stood 13 and a half hands tall.

Dad took her out and saddled her. As he was walking into the arena, Mom said to not show any emotion, which was too late, because when I turned around – when I first saw her – one tear ran down my face. Dad picked up the pace from a walk to a nice lope. She had her head held high, my dad didn’t really like that though. Besides the obvious frustration in my dad’s face, I was mesmerized by the most beautiful horse I had ever seen.

Dad came back to where I am standing and asked if I wanted to ride her. As I was getting my foot into the stirrup, my mom quickly walked over and said, "Do you really want to ride her?Sshe seems really green." I said calmly, in a trusting voice, “Mom, don't worry. Just trust me." As soon as I got up on her, her whole attitude changed. She dropped her head to the ground, and we went for a nice little ride. I felt like I was soaring across the sky and nothing could shoot me down. Then she turned around and started trotting. I went along with it. I quietly whispered, "Do whatever you want and I'l go along with it. I really want you."

I came back to Mom and got off. Dad took the horse and walked away. My mom asked, "What is the horse's name?" I grew a huge smile and said, "Whiskey.” Mom then walked over to Nicole and handed her a check. As we headed home, I told my parents that I planned on riding her in the homecoming parade. Both of my parents just laughed.

Two months passed and I was riding my greenbroke palomino mare in the homecoming parade. I'm now 13 and won one all-around buckle and got 11th out of 75 girls in (Little Britches Youth Association).

Last year, my dog died. “Kate,” Whiskey and I used to ride together every day. When Kate died, I jumped on Whiskey and we went to the top of the hill and I cried. It seemed as if she knew something was wrong and as I was getting off, she buried her head in my arms and we stayed there for 30 minutes or so. We have our ups and downs, but we have each other to lean on. I know that sounds like a thing you would say about a person, but she is one of best friends and nothing could change that.

That is why I love and always will love my American Quarter Horse.

Emma Bunting and Two Eyed Story Seek

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