Monday, November 11, 2013

Horses and Hope: Esme's Story

Every horse has a story, and this is the story of Esme.
Horses and Hope calendar: August 2014
Esme is a 10-year-old registered Morgan. This beautiful, well-bred mare was raised on a farm that obviously knew how to produce quality horses; however, things got a little out of hand there and while the horses were well fed, they were not handled. At all. Some situations changed, and part of the herd ended up at a rescue in western Maryland. Finding good homes for trained horses is challenging and for untouched horses, it's nearly impossible. Fortunately, there was someone out there for Esme - Hilltop Farm’s office manager and photographer Erin McCardell also rides and trains, and was more than up to the challenge presented by this fiery mare.

Erin tells of the day she met Esme: “I got her from a rescue as a completely unhandled 6-year-old. When I went out to look at her the first time, they chased her into the ring through a series of gates so I could watch her move. When she took it upon herself to not only show off marvelously, but also to jump the jumps that were in the ring, I decided I definitely wanted her.”
The first couple years with Erin were spent catching up and learning all the things that horses need to know that we often take for granted, like leading, longeing, riding in a trailer, and having manners for the farrier and vet. Once that was mastered, these two never looked back. They’ve gone camping, competed successfully in dressage and Conditioning Distance Rides, and they’re gearing up for longer endurance rides. Erin hopes to have done a 50-miler by the time you're looking at this calendar page in August 2014.
Esme- sporthorse pose
Whenever I meet up with Erin and Esme for a ride or a photo session, I'm so impressed with their progress. With Erin's patient training and guidance, Esme has blossomed into a confident and bold athlete. A mare with this much energy and intelligence could be a real handful for the wrong rider, but she and Erin are a perfect match. And the camera loves her- she's one of the most beautiful horses I've ever met.
 Horses and Hope 2014 Calendar
Coming soon! 2014 Horses and Hope calendar!
Esme's story is one of the many featured in the 2014 Horses and Hope calendar. With the help of Gina Keesling of HoofPrints, the 2012 and 2013 Horses and Hope calendars featured stories and photos of hundreds of horses. Thanks to the support of horse lovers everywhere, it raised thousands of dollars for One Horse At A Time, helping hundreds of horses in need directly, and untold others indirectly through increased public awareness. Now that we have two calendars' worth of experience to draw upon, the 2014 version promises to be even more exciting, even more creative, and as always, inspirational and positive.  
"like" the Horses and Hope Calendar Project page on Facebook for a chance to win a FREE 2014 calendar!
And from now until November 18, 2013, "like" the Horses and Hope Calendar page on Facebook, and you're automatically entered in a random drawing to win a FREE 2014 calendar!
- Sarah Andrew

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