Bond between a horse and the rider is something unexplainable. We trust a 1200-pound animal that has the ability to injure us with our life. I don’t know about everyone else, but the bond I have with my horses is like nothing else.

I can tell when they’re happy, sad, uncomfortable, or not feeling well. On some occasions I am able to feel that Dillon is sore on one particular leg. Other people however, do not see what I feel when they look at him. This is because of how well I know Dillon. I feel his every move and know if he feels different than usual. I am able to tell this even if it is something very minor. I hate when my horses aren’t feeling well or are hurting, because it hurts me just as much. I sometimes tell people my horses are like my own kids. I say this because I spend so much time with Dillon and Arson that if I am not with them, I will worry about them non stop and will walk to the barn in the middle of the night just to make sure they are okay. I even have cameras that give me a live video so I can see what they are doing. The trailer has cameras as well so I can see them when I am driving and make sure they are okay throughout the whole trip.

Not only do I have a bond with my horses, but I believe they have a bond with my family and I as well. When we go up to the barn Dillon and Arson will come up to the front of their pens to see us and stick their heads out so we can love on them. They act like they are excited to see us and want our attention. Dillon can sometimes be a baby and throw a little fit when we are giving arson the attention because he gets jealous. Arson loves to be loved on and will follow me around in the arena wherever I go. He loves having someone with him all the time.

Callie DuPerier ArsonandDillon webCallie duPerier-Apffel with top mounts, Dash Ta Diamonds (left) and Rare Dillion (right). Photo by Kenneth SpringerWhen I am running through the barrels on either Dillon or Arson I feel like they want to do well for me and have such big hearts that they give me their all every run we make, which pushes me to do my very best in every race. When we are at a rodeo that doesn’t have the best ground, my horses take care of themselves and me. There have been times where they could have easily fallen down and we both could have been injured, but instead they make themselves stand up and stay underneath me.

I have also witnessed a horse having such a strong bond with their rider that when the horse was staying at our barn for a long period of time without their rider, the horse became very upset and even acted depressed in a way. After a while he became happier, but when the rider came back you could instantly tell how much happier the horse became. His eyes lit up and he headed straight towards his rider to greet her.

It really amazes me how much love a horse and their rider can share with one another. I love my horses very much and couldn’t imagine my life without them. Not only are they a part of my team, but they are family.


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