People say, “Everything happens for a reason”, and I believe you will think the same thing after you read my story.
Years ago, I met a girl on Facebook who had a horse with a trainer named, Wes Wetherell. I told my mom how much I would like to take my green horse to his barn. She barely listened and walked out of the room thinking there was no way we would ever be able to do that. A few months or even a year later, I met another girl in my high school French class who happened to be wearing a Wes Wetherell t-shirt. Of course, I had to start a conversation with her. We became quick friends and she invited me to travel with her that weekend to a show in Wichita. How my mom let me go out of the state with total strangers is still a mystery. That was the first time I met Wes and Dana Wetherell. They were the nicest people I had ever met. I came home that weekend even more determined than ever to take my horse, Red, to Wes. Finally, my mom agreed to let me take Red to Wes. Poor Red was nowhere close to a show horse, but Wes agreed to work with him.
After a few months, Wes came up with a new plan ….. a 3 year old named, Gota Rolex On MPulse (aka Benji). I was so excited that I finally had a horse I could compete with. I knew next to nothing, but Wes had the patience to teach me as well as get Benji where he needed to be. We were both SO green. We were able to compete in Showmanship a few times and only once in Western Pleasure before Benji had to be retired at a young age. Needless to say, I was heart broken.
I was a senior in high school and getting ready for college. The purchase of another show horse was pretty much out of the question. I thought my dream had died before it even got started. I continued to go out and ride every weekend… riding anything Wes would put me on.
One day Wes had me ride a new horse to the barn named, Benny. He was the gangliest -looking horse I had ever seen. He had no muscle tone and the biggest head a horse could have. We laugh about it now and say he looked like a cross between a giraffe, a camel and a Clydesdale! (After a short time in Wes’ program and the wonderful Wetherell alfalfa hay, he was transformed!) This horse had been brought to Wes by someone who no longer wanted him. Wes sure didn’t need another horse to feed and knew Dana would probably kill him, but in his words, “God told me I needed to take him for April”. You see, Benny had been dropped off the day we were supposed to get the results of Benji’s MRI and Wes had a feeling that we would not receive good news.
I rode Benny, who was built like an English horse and I hated it. He just wasn’t Benji. I rode Benny a couple of times, but I was still grieving the loss of Benji and my heart was closed to this sweet guy. One day, on the way home from the barn, Wes called me and said I could have Benny if I wanted to take him and see what we could do together. I’m not sure what made me take him other than I felt a little nudge from God and heard, “Take a chance”. While I was still on the phone with Wes, George Strait’s song, “Love’s Gonna Make it Alright”, came on the radio. I told Wes I’d take Benny if I could change his name to George. He laughed and I had a new horse.
Our first year together (George and I) was tough, but Wes was there helping us along the way. We had a lot of bobbles and I shed quite a few tears at each horse show. Through everything, Wes was patient, kind and never gave up on us. At each show, although I didn’t see it, we did get better. Almost exactly a year after taking George, we traveled to Las Vegas for the Novice Championship Show. We placed top 10 in each of our classes. Now, 4 years later, we are actually winning Amateur Showmanship and Novice Amateur Horsemanship classes. It has taken a while, but we are finally figuring things out….all thanks to Wes. This has truly been a roller coaster ride and looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. Every up and down has made me a better rider and person. Even when I wanted to give up, Wes, Dana and all the others in the Wetherell barn were there to push and encourage me. With each ride we get better, I become a more confident rider, and I learn to trust George.
Although I didn’t see it at the time, George was truly the horse for me. Wes Wetherell Quarter Horses has changed my life in more ways than one and I can’t thank Wes and Dana enough for touching my life in such positive ways.