One of the special horses that I've had the privilege of working with is named Elphaba, "Ella" for short. She is a 2009 KWPN mare (by Harmony's Wamberto out of a Rubinstein I mare) owned and bred by Christina Varrasso. I started working with Ella last August and have really enjoyed being a part of her development as a young horse. She was started by my friend Molly Xanthopoulos so it's fun to build on the training Molly did with her. I try not to get attached to horses that are not mine, but it's safe to say that I'm very attached to Ella. Over the past 6 months, I have felt her gain confidence in her work and physical maturity as well. It has been especially cool to feel her canter transform from being a bit awkward into something that gives me chills! In addition to riding Ella, I have been able to help coach Christina on her; giving her pointers about how I approach certain things and guidance about how to problem solve when things don't go as planned. It's exciting to be able to support Christina and Ella and play a role in their successful partnership together.
Here are some pictures from a recent training session with Ella. Thanks to my fiancé, Mark T. Donaldson, for the wonderful photographs.