By: Jamie Bernal III
At the age of 14, Seymour resident Jacqueline Donahue wanted a horse. In two days, that dream came in the form of a mustang.
Donahue was perusing the internet looking for horses, when she happened upon the Mustang Heritage Foundation. This program works with the Bureau of Land Management to find homes for excess Mustangs in the United States.
With the deadline nearing for the Youth and Yearling Mustang Challenge, Donahue met all the requirements within two days and was able to get her horse.
She placed second in her first competition with her new horse, Small Town Legend, out of 17 other participants.
At the time Donahue did not have a place to keep Legend. However, someone was willing to keep the horse in exchange for maintenance of their horses.
“It was amazing how it worked out,” Donahue said. “It seemed like God brought it together.”
Currently, Donahue has a place where she can keep legend on her property. She is in the process of owning Legend out-right after she gets him checked out and sends the papers to the proper authority.
Donahue has been riding since she was 4 years old and is now taking a step forward in her love of horses and is learning how to train them.
“(Training) really teaches you a lot of determination,” Donahue said. “It helps you in handling people. You have to be quiet and patient and look for little signs.”
She described her training method as natural horsemanship. This type of training uses body language to appeal to a horse’s senses and get it to obey. Donahue said this type of training appeals to her over pain and fear techniques because she is able to develop a bond with the horses she is training.
As Legend is developing a bond with his trainer, Donahue is learning more about the horse she loves. The horse is showing his laid back nature and is very playful. Legend is around two-and-half-years-old now so he is just beginning to be saddled up.
At age 16, Donahue is looking to begin training horses and eventually turn it into a career. If anyone is interested in allowing her to train a horse, she can be contacted by phone at 577-3365 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She does not participate in many events other than local competitions, but winning competitions is not everything to Jacqueline Donahue.
“I might not have ever won a blue ribbon with him,” she said, “but I can show people what great things you can do with a horse. That means more to me than anything.”
Jumping Hurdles for Horse
By: Jamie Bernal III