In memory of my favorite special needs horse

Love him always

Gator Stampede – April 28, 2001 to August 7, 2019

I don’t think anyone can dispute that Stampede above all else was always special. Sometimes that special wasn’t in the way I would prefer, but he was none the less.

Stampede taught me so many things in our time together and I’m sure he’s probably still teaching me something now.

Handsome as ever

I certainly thought I was patient and dedicated growing up with Phoenix but I didn’t know anything yet. For Stampede I learned how to perfect wrapping a hoof or sweating a leg, the joys of feeding a picky horse with a fast metabolism, the difficulties of medicating your 18.1 hand horse, and the ability to overcome squeamishness in order to care for medical needs when they involved blood. I fought hard to figure out what was wrong with him when he acted up and couldn’t canter correctly under saddle until finally we got to MSU and his back problems were diagnosed. Then I researched and learned how to work and ride my horse properly for better back health and got him a custom saddle. When a few years later he started having some other issues that meant it was time for his riding days to be over, renovations were done and he became the most handsome lawn ornament at Morstone Acres. At home he was like an oversize dog in many ways. He loved to follow me around and would show up to hang out while I cleaned stalls.

The most important thing Stampede taught me though was to always follow my gut. I can’t even count the number of times I knew something was wrong before the issue was distinguishable enough to do anything about. I would say to my husband, something is wrong and I just don’t know what yet. Having such a finely tuned gut instinct has really changed my ability to advocate for my horses greatly. It helped Phoenix over the winter when I ended up getting a second opinion vet out for example. It also helped me change my mind about taking Stampede up to MSU  vet school after previously deciding that the chestnut boys wouldn’t leave the property again after coming home to retire. I certainly never imagined a sickness that spanned many weeks where many tests didn’t diagnose the problem when I came up with that rule!

When dreams come true <3

Thank you to the tallest thoroughbred I’ve ever met for picking me as your person all those years ago when you stepped off that trailer after over a year in a pasture and perfectly listened to my voice commands on the lunge line. Life together may not have gone the way either of us planned it but it was great just the same!




  1. Sarah (threechestnuts)


  2. Stephanie

    Stampede was a special horse who was lucky to have you as his person. <3

  3. the_everything_pony

    <3 <3 <3 I'm so sorry you lost your beloved old man <3

  4. CobJockey

    He was one of a kind and you were incredible to him <3 Hugs to you and Mr. P

  5. Tracy

    Stampede was CERTAINLY special, in so, so many ways. Sending all my love <3

  6. Brianna

    I’m so sorry for your loss <3

  7. EquiNovice

    A really special tribute to a really special horse. Lots of wonderful memories!

  8. carey

    You gave him the best life. <3

  9. L. Williams

    big hugs to you during this difficult time

  10. Olivia @ DIY Horse Ownership

    What a good boy. I’m so sorry for your loss, but glad you had him as long as you did.

  11. Leah

    A beautiful tribute to a one of a kind partner ♥️ so sorry for your loss

  12. Teresa

    these special horses teach us so very much. I am sorry that you lost him. I too have learned to follow my gut with my horses.

  13. Stacie Seidman

    Beautiful <3
    I'm so sorry for your loss. He was a special boy in all the ways it's possible to be special. I know you'll miss him very much, but he'll always be a part of you.

  14. KC Scott

    What a beautiful tribute!

  15. martidoll123

    He was absolutely gorgeous in his younger days. Thank you for sharing him with us. Thru the ups and downs you were the best mom to him! Remember all the good times 🙂

  16. RiderWriter

    I just found your blog and I’m so sorry to read this… you certainly took wonderful care of your Stampy and did the right things for him. May he rest in peace and my sincere condolences.

  17. Amanda

    I’m so sorry. What a beautiful tribute to him. <3

  18. Britt

    I am so so sorry. He was lucky to have you.

  19. emma

    i’m so sorry <3 what a special horse and so many special memories, especially in that he got to come home and live out such a wonderful retirement with you. sending hugs <3


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