Best Friends Are Forever Connected

Whitney - Mason City, Illinois
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Best Friends Are Forever Connected

Best friends are forever connected. Some live close to each other, and others live half a world away. My best friend lives in a barn, and we have been through a lot together.

It all started on November 2, 2005. I was ready to move up in the horse show world. I was looking for the perfect horse that would help me reach my goals. After long months of searching for just the right one, I finally found him in Theo. After signing the paperwork on that chilly November day, my family was ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime with my new ride. After about three months of successful preparation and bonding with the new guy, I was ready to show. At our first show together, Theo and I really “clicked” and were well on our way to the top. I thought I was living a dream; I had shown for years and had never looked so forward to bonding more and more with an animal! Little did I know; I would soon wake up from that dream.

Shortly after that first show together, an accident caused our ever-accelerating dream train to come to a screeching halt. One frigid February morning, a freak accident changed everything. The devastating news: a part of Theo’s back was broken. With his back, there was more that was broken: dreams for the future and possibly a bond that connected horse and human. I just had to hold on to one thing: hope. Hope that would tell me that Theo would heal. I was told by my veterinarian that nothing was certain, but Theo my have a small chance of recovering well enough to survive. Following the vet’s orders, Theo was confined to one-fourth of a stall for six months. During that time, Theo lost an excessive amount of weight and muscle mass. Even though his appearance was going further and further downhill, Theo’s unwavering strength and will to live kept him on the road to recovery. Theo’s will was equally matched by the strong love of his family; the veterinarian; and my trainer, Angela; who provided patience, loving care, and gave him light at his darkest hour. This strong will also led Theo to a much speedier recovery than anyone thought would be possible. As time passed, Theo was able to leave the confines of his stall by going on daily walks. Day by day, he gained weight, muscle, and strength. Over time, he was able to be ridden and eventually shown. Slowly but surely, Theo evolved into the show machine that he is today.

As I look to the future, I don’t know what it will hold. I don’t know what accomplishments may come my way or what tribulations might beset my road in life. However, I do know that one thing won’t change: Theo and I will remain best friends. After all, best friends are forever connected.