19 Over 19 Photography Project: Tequilia
Meet Tequila, a late-20s, early 30’s Paint/Tennessee Walker mare that is the sweetest horse around. Her owner Nancy was the first to sign up for the 19 Over 19 project and I was so excited to meet another one of her horses. Tequilia was originally Nancy’s mom’s horse. Her best friend was known for raising massive Tennessee Walking Horses. Tequilia was small and didn’t fit with the program, so she went to Nancy’s mom. She had her for about 5 years before gifting her to Nancy’s kids, and they have had this sweet lady for over 12 years. They even moved her from Virginia to New Mexico! It’s safe to say she quickly became a beloved family member.
As Nancy’s family grew, so did Tequilia’s role in their lives. All three of Nancy’s children learned to ride on this small but mighty horse. She proved herself to be an ideal companion, especially for Nancy’s daughter, who rode Tequilia with pride as her Queen horse at the Southern New Mexico fair last year. She has competed in gymkhana and extreme cowboy racing. My daughter has won multiple ribbons on this old small horse.
Tequilia had an uncanny ability to escape any confinement, forcing the family to keep a close eye on her paddock gates, ensuring they were not only locked but often reinforced. Despite her penchant for adventure, everyone in the family had nothing but love for Tequilia.
As the years passed, Tequilia’s age began to show, prompting the family to retire her from competitive events. However, her purpose evolved. She became a cherished teacher, imparting valuable riding skills to young kids and occasionally embarking on serene trail rides.
Tequilia’s sweet disposition was infectious. She loved to hang out at the barn, always eager for human company. Her calm nature was truly remarkable; even when a kid popped a balloon behind her, she didn’t startle or jump. Instead, she calmly turned around, glanced at the child, and returned to Nancy, expecting a treat.
Though she may not be used for riding competitions anymore, Tequilia remains a vital part of Nancy’s family. At the age where many horses slow down, she continues to enjoy good health, albeit showing slight signs of aging. Nancy emphasizes the importance of ground work and interaction to keep Tequilia engaged and content.
Tequila’s story is one of enduring love and companionship, a testament to the special bond that can exist between humans and their four-legged friends. In Nancy’s household, Tequilia is not just a horse; she is a cherished member of the family, a source of joy, and a living testament to the enduring power of love between a horse and its owner.
I still have a few openings left for the 19 Over 19 project! If you have a horse 19 years or older and want to tell their story, please apply at the link below.
October 6, 2023