My name is Erin Long. I am a 16 year old freshman at the University of Pittsburgh. I ride on the University of Pittsburgh Equestrian team and I have my own horse. I have been riding for ten years.
My horse’s name is Obsidian (or Sid for short). He is a 16.2 9 year old Oldenburg gelding. He has the biggest heart in the world and I believe that he is the reason he and I should become the JMR poster child pair.
I say pair because I wouldn’t be where I am in my riding without him. When I first got him, he and I both had just finished a bout of bad luck in the horse world. I had recently purchased my very first horse, but he had to be put down 3 months later due to an extreme case of laminitis. However, when one of my friends had a couple of horses over to the barn to try, I noticed Sid, named Piper at the time. He was simply gorgeous, and free-jumping showed he had plenty of jump, so I asked if she minded if I tried him. She didn’t mind at all since she was looking for more of a hunter. Saying he was crazy is putting it nicely, but I was inspired both by his story and the way he felt when I sat astride him. Sid’s story is a bit of a rough one. He was imported to the U.S. from Germany at the age of 2, and began showing in the green hunters. While he did relatively well, his old owner basically had to run him off his feet before entering the arena to get a decent round. (Please note that I have no disrespect for his old owner, she was a good lady with the best intentions, he was just too much for her)
His owner passed away about 6 months before I found him from cancer. When he came to our barn to be tried, he’d only been ridden once in that entire time and was VERY out of what little real training he’d had. While he easily cleared the 3’6″ jumps we set, I couldn’t get him to turn or stop when I wanted, and he actually jumped out of the arena once because he was so determined to run in a straight line. Despite this, I recognized that he wasn’t trying to be bad or disobey. He simply didn’t understand what was being asked of him, and he took the flight escape over trying to buck me off and possibly injure me.
A few weeks later, my parents had him vetted (when we found out that he was about 2 years younger that we’d been told) and he came through with flying colors. We then purchased him and the training began. It was a very VERY long road, filled with many good days and bad days for both of us. But through it all Sid was always as patient as he could be, trying his hardest to trust me and do as I asked.
He and I share many happy memories. One of my very favorites was at the Kentucky Horse Park. We were showing in the 3’6″ Child Adult Jumpers, and we were trying to get him some more experience in the arena. The only other class going on around the time my classes weren’t happening was a 3′ hunter classic. My friend loaned me a shadbelly and off we went. Shockingly enough, we ended up getting called back and eventually went on to place 6th in a field of 36 hunter horses.
So while this was a rather long post, I really wanted to convey to you what makes Obsidian and I so special and why we should become the JMR Poster Child pair.
P.S. I’m currently in the application process to become a JustWord Ambassador!
P.P.S. My best photo of Sid and I is currently at home, but I should have it soon and I’ll put it in this post when I get it!