APHA
No Fences—Every Horse and Every Horseman has a Story

The Heart Horse

No love is as powerful as the one between a little boy and his horse.

By Libby Collins

Finding that once-in-a-lifetime horse is something that many dream of but few are lucky enough to experience firsthand. For Katie Nolte of Richville, Minnesota, “once in a lifetime,” came in the form of a Craigslist ad for a jet-black filly that won the heart of then-22-year-old Katie.

The young horsewoman purchased Sonnys Black Brandy, a 2009 black solid Paint-bred filly by MJ Hancock Bud (QH) and out of Maxs Brandy Two Sox, for $200. Katie’s first horse of her own, “Abby” was a feisty foal whose extreme curiosity often got her into trouble, Katie says.

“Once, my husband and I were cleaning up in one of the pastures and Abby’s curiosity led her to the middle of a brush pile, where she ended up stuck; I had to help free her,” Katie recalled.

When Katie’s first child, Cord, was born, the new mother sensed that the same curiosity that helped Abby win her heart also burned inside of her son—eventually, that shared sense of wonder made Abby and Cord an inseparable pair. Curious of one another, they instantly became best friends, Katie says.

On several occasions, Katie frantically searched for her spunky, escape-artist toddler, only to find him happily sitting on the ground in the sunshine next to Abby, hugging her legs, or toddling through the pasture with his four-legged friend in tow.

Abby is 18 months older than Cord, so Katie says the duo was able to grow up and experience life together. Abby’s curiosity seemed to develop into motherly instincts when it came to her pint-size best friend.

“One day, Cord started to slide off Abby while he was riding, so she reached around and pushed him back in the saddle with her nose,” Katie said.

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This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Spring 2019 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.

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