Via our partner site Women of Age Riding Horses, learn the true story behind this viral video.
You’ve have probably seen the video; millions have around the world. It became a viral sensation circling the globe but sadly without attribution – not a word to identify the amazing woman and her white horse.
The first time we saw the video, we at WARHorses decided to find this duo, put names to their mesmerizing video and understand the story behind their touching relationship. We took to the internet applying our best sleuthing skills determined to find these internet phenoms. We hit many dead ends but finally, finally we found them. Today WARHorses is pleased to share their story – meet Texan Kirsten Klindworth and her Arabian gelding Synbaadd, aka Cory.
Kirsten was born in South Africa moving to the U.S. when she was a toddler. Kirsten always loved horses and spent hours in the barn riding Bree, a Welsh pony, her first in a lifetime filled with special horses. Kirsten went to college, married and rode whenever she could. Then 5-year-old Cory came into Kirsten’s life, never could she have imagined just how important he would become.
Kirsten began to have trouble walking and standing and began to use a cane for support. She continued riding Cory while her mobility further deteriorated. Eventually diagnosed as having suffered a stroke in her spinal cord, Kirsten became confined to a wheel chair without use of her legs or lower body.
Despite her disability, Kirsten continued riding but became frustrated at her reliance on others to help her mount Cory. She consulted with her trainer Francine Dismukes who had an idea. In short order, Cory was trained to lie down so Kirsten could mount him herself.
From the get go Cory seemed to understand Kirsten’s disability, holding his head down to allow her to put on his bridle, standing quietly as she moved around him in her wheelchair. On cue he would carefully lie for her to mount, wait for her to settle aboard then cautiously rise back to his feet.
Cory instinctively understood his duty was to watch over Kirsten. Over the years the pair covered thousands of miles together. Kirsten never once fell off Cory. Even when confronted with rattlesnakes, livestock running past, dogs nipping at his heels or firecrackers, Cory remained calm and graceful beneath her.
Kirsten and Cory shared an exceptional bond. The demands and needs of the rider not enforced by control but rather through their special connection. Cory has been gone for many years but their time together provided Kirsten with confidence, joy and freedom to move beyond the confines of disability. Today Kirsten continues her life’s dream surrounded by horses. She and her family live on a Texas ranch raising horses and zebras.
A Message from Kirsten
The inspirational horse who loaned me his legs and strong back so I could walk again. This video is a tribute to Cory, my best friend, the lovely white Arabian horse who took careful care of me for 16 years and thousands of miles on the trails. He walked slowly and carefully, always checking for danger and looking out for both of us. This is not for me, but for Cory and all of the amazing horses out there that protect us every day. Thank you Francine Dismukes for making this video of us and training him to lie down for me to mount him – you are truly an amazing trainer and person! I shortened it for the internet and sped up our mounting section so it wouldn’t take too long.
A small portion of this video was stolen from YouTube and posted on many pages without our authorization and it has gone viral – so if you like our story, please share this video – the original – with our blessing. Yes, horses definitely have a soul.
Melanie Eberhardt is the founder of WARHorses – Women of Age Riding Horses. As lifetime horse lover, Melanie found little content online that spoke to the considerations of “older riders”. She launched WARHorses to fill this void with pertinent, original content with the added objective of developing a global community supported by meaningful information, inspiration and a lot of laughs.