Meet Irish- my 13 year old Quarter Horse/ Thoroughbred Cross. I bought him when he was 3 years old. I wasn't looking for an appendix, or a chestnut but I fell in love with his personality and his gaits. It's not been an easy 10 years together. The first 2 years it seemed like he bucked at every canter depart. I came off more times then I can count. I learned a lot from it too- I learned to land on my feet (yes really), I then learned to sit a buck and then, last but not least, I learned how to prevent the buck. :). Looking back, I believe that the bucking was due to weakness rather then naughtiness. In all this time I don't think he's learned that he can buck me off. Despite our shaky start, we are now a couple. He will be with me until he dies. If I go first, I have plans for him as well, so that he will always be looked after. He's sweet, reactive, sensitive, tries his heart out, has hissy fits that make Paris Hilton look tame, and loves children. I love to ride him and I love to fuss with him. He also loves both. This year we competed at 2nd level for the first time. I really didn't think we were ready. But he proved me wrong by scoring 61 & 62 on the first day of the show and then 64 on both tests on day 2. These are great scores for us. My goal was 51. A few days ago at the barn I had my camera and the light was such that I thought I would try to get some photos. The problem of shooting Irish is that he's very curious about what I'm doing and won't stay away, unless he's eating. I am, however, pleased with these. I think I'll frame the last one.