ASHA Thank You Letter to My Saddlebred: My Dear John
Published Date: Nov 25, 2020
Dear DJ (My Dear John),
Where do I even start? You have only been in my life for a short amount of time but in this past year and a half, you have absolutely changed my life. You have made so many of my wildest dreams come true already. To have my own American Saddlebred show horse has always been a long time dream of mine. It was always hard for me to see all my friends getting their own show horses and moving up to suit while I had no idea when I would be able to move up. Of course, I was always excited for them because they were always so surprised and happy to have their very own Saddlebred, and because of you, DJ, I now see why. The happiness and pure joy that you have brought into my life is so great. I would not trade anything in the whole world for you. You truly are the definition of a heart horse. You have touched so many people’s hearts, including my own, because of your mild temperament and huge size. I love that you are one of the tallest horses at the barn, and yet you are still one of the sweetest, most tenderhearted horses. Because of you, I have been able to introduce so many people to the world of Saddlebreds.
You have truly been with me every step of the way in the short time I have had you. Thank you for stepping down from your role as a fierce show horse for a day to let me finish out my final academy show at the Kentuckiana Regional Championships and for guiding me to one of my dreams of being a regional champion. You gave me your all that day and there is no other horse I would have chosen to take on those three crazy classes with. After that day, I knew that you were something special. Only a month later I had the honor of suiting up and swinging my leg over you to take on my first ever performance class at the Kentucky Fall Classic. You knew I was nervous and you kept me safe. I knew you were checking on me every so often to make sure I was still breathing. I still cannot believe we came out of that ring with a reserve ribbon that day. Not long after that class, I got a serious concussion and was out of riding for a few weeks. Somehow, you knew something had been wrong and during my first ride back with you, you took it very slow. I know you were being extremely careful every step you took.
This past year has been extremely crazy with countless curve balls that have been thrown our way, and yet somehow you have been my steady factor. With school, Covid, and just life in general I have felt a lot more stress than normal, but when I get to see you, whether that involves riding or just spending time with you in your stall, I forget about all of it; it's just you and me. I am so thankful to get the chance to be a part of your legacy. You are not only a once in a lifetime horse, but you are my best friend, shoulder to cry on, secret keeper, and my heart horse.
Few horses out there have a heart as big as yours. Thank you for all the life lessons and countless memories. I cannot wait to make so many more with you in the following years. You have a home in my heart forever.
Hannah Broughton is a junior exhibitor living in Kentucky that enjoys showing her American Saddlebred My Dear John in the Country Pleasure division. They were ASHA National Select Series Reserve Regional Champions for ASHA Region 7. Hannah is also an active and award winning member of the Brannon Barnster ASHA Youth Club.