Back on Track ‘Horse Therapy’: Tessora & Luna

While Luna wasn’t the ideal first choice for a contest horse, she turned out to be exactly the horse that Tessora needed. Read all about her story in today’s ‘Horse Therapy.’


Two days before the October show of the gymkhana season, my horse Whisper pulled up lame. One of our boarders offered to let me take her Tennessee Walking Horse, Luna, and ride her. So the next day we loaded up the horses and off we went! Luna hadn’t been ridden in a couple of weeks and hadn’t been to a show in over a year. I took it easy on the first day of the show but on the second day I pushed her a bit. We had some really nice placings, but I gained so much more: I started gaining back confidence that I had lost after years of being over-horsed. I suddenly felt more comfortable running the patterns and had a little bit of trust in my horse.

Whisper was lame for a couple more shows and I continued to run Luna. Our placings improved drastically as did my confidence and trust. We then ran into problems with Whisper’s saddle fit so I decided to run Luna for the rest of the season. At that point I really started pushing her and she rose to the occasion. We were taking home firsts and seconds, reserve champion and even champion.

I still wanted to get Whisper running so at the beginning of the year I had signed up for a barrel racing clinic in March, the weekend of my birthday. Two weeks before the clinic we got a bigger trailer that I had been dreaming about for years. A week before the clinic I finally got a saddle that fit Whisper. Two days before the clinic, a fifteen-year lease turned into a three-year lease when Whisper’s owner came and took her. They cleaned out our trailer, stealing saddles and many other items. I was absolutely heartbroken. I had put so much time into Whisper and we had come so far. I loved her and had hoped to be able to buy her when the lease ended in twelve years. It hurt to lose her, but I decided to focus on the good and think about the future.

I had already paid for the spot in the clinic so I had no choice but to take Luna. An interesting horse to bring, but I was determined to learn as much as I could. Luna was a hyper mess at first since she hadn’t been ridden in a few weeks, but she soon got down to business. The clinic was a major success and not only helped me but also helped Luna. I glowed with the complements I received and how well Luna did. For the weekend I was able to keep my mind off of Whisper, but once we got home from the clinic I started having a hard time coping with losing her. Luna was my mane to cry in and my wings to gallop along the trail and let my worries fly away. She soon pushed the hurt out of my heart and started to fill in the pieces.

Luna has been by my side through so much. She was there when my new horse Chico stepped of the trailer and was there to help me start training him. She was there for my first “real” barrel race and took home some nice cash in the 4D. At our second barrel race she not only made the best run I’ve ever had on her (and once again took home money) but she also helped Chico get used to the show grounds.

She has been such an amazing horse for me and has given me so many great experiences. After a year of running consistently she is being semi retired from the barrel racing/gymkhana world. She isn’t really built for speed and I want her to live comfortably the rest of her life without any extra strain on her body. It’s been a roller coaster year and I’m so glad I had such an amazing horse to have by my side. I will now start on my next journey with Chico but Luna will always hold a special part of my heart.


Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!

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