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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Success Stories

(Sunday Success Stories are a new series here at Eventing-A-Gogo. Each week, we feature a reader's own personal journey through overcoming difficulty and adversity, sometimes against all odds, and pulling through no matter what. These stories are about those who never gave up, and who made a difference in the life of an animal who just needed a little love and care in order to turn around and really bloom again. Send your success stories, past or present, to!)

**NOTE: Put the yellow font back in because some people say they CAN see it in reader?**

This week's Sunday Success Story comes from Sterling, one of our younger readers who blogs over at Going for Gold. Rio is a ten year old palomino Quarter Horse who was one a bucking, kicking maniac that everyone was afraid of. Once he got paired up with Sterling, however, all that changed. I am sad to say I won't get to see them go at the AECs this year, but next year for sure!

Going for Gold - Rio's Story

It was mid June, 2005 and I was 9 years old. I had just switched barns, I was still in the advanced-beginner stage, and I had lots of confidence issues. On my second lesson there, I was put on a scruffy little 5 year old palomino gelding named Rio. I was told that I rode him better than anyone else. As I got to know the barn, however, I heard how many people were scared of Rio: he bucked, reared, kicked, bit, had no manners, etc. So, naturally, I was scared of him, too. As 2006 came around, Rio kind of disappeared. He was put in the pasture for nearly the whole year. I rode other horses, and life went on.
Early in 2007, Rio started getting used again, and was back to his ways. Much to my *joy* he was the horse I was to ride in my first show in April. Of course he was. At the show, he bucked another rider off, but was wonderful for me. I got 3rd, 4th, and 5th, and I was happy. I came away feeling much better toward him, but still was hesitant. So in June, I rode him in a camp, and something changed. I learned everything on Rio that summer. My first gymnastic lines, first oxers, first courses… I was in love with this horse. I volunteered to ride him every day, and he started changing, too. He was TERRIBLE for other riders, but for me he was awesome; and people started noticing.
So I got Rio for Christmas in 2007. Around this time, I had decided I wanted to do Eventing instead of hunters. So I moved to an Eventing barn, and realized that I had a VERY green horse on my hands. He had no Dressage training, he had never seen a XC course, and had never been taught to jump correctly. So, all of early 2008 was spent training. At the same time, he blossomed. No more kicking or biting, he was shiny and happy.
Our first event was a schooling event put on by our pony club. We did the 2’ level, and we WON on a 31.5. So the little yellow horse CAN do dressage! We worked harder and harder and were ready for a beginner novice by the end of 2008. We had setbacks however, mainly financial, and couldn’t do anything but schooling shows in 2009. Even so, we won nearly everything, and Rio turned into a FABULOUS show horse.
This has been our year, though. Our biggest accomplishment is that we won Midsouth Regional Pony Club Rally. We will also be going to the AEC’s this year! I feel so proud to have come this far with the horse I pretty much trained myself. Everywhere we go, someone asks if he is for sale. He has really turned into the best possible horse. People who remember him from his lesson-horse days cannot believe that it is him! I, sadly, am outgrowing him, and he is now packing my 9 year old sister around. We are proof that you don’t need a $100,000 horse to succeed, you just need a great partnership and a dream!

(Send your submissions and stories to! This series is new and can't get underway without YOU! Gogo wants you to!)


Anonymous said...

Very awesome idea! Great story for this week. Rio and Sterling are a beautiful pair!

Sterling Bishir said...

Thank you so much!!!

Melissa said...

That is so cool when a horse and rider click like that. Congrats on making Rio's life a thousand times better!

Val said...

What an awesome quarter horse you have in Rio! I am sure that when he found you, he felt the same way as you did when you found him. He is gorgeous!

Funder said...

Figured it out. Reader changes your normal (pale yellow / white) font to black. But if you change the font color IN a post - like from the normal pale color to bright yellow - it preserves the new color you've selected. I saw the opening paragraph in black on white, then the reader story in yellow on white. Not a huge deal since I have to click over to your site to leave comments anyway...

Great story this week!

Olly said...

Really loving this idea, Andrea! I might have to submit one about Emma and I! One sunday you should post your Success Story about Gogo when she's fully rehabbed and kicking some eventing tail! ;)