Southwest Equine Photographer

Capturing the heart of your horse story.

19 Over 19: Thunder

In the heart of Texas, amidst the sprawling plains and endless skies, there’s a story that spans over three decades, a tale of resilience, compassion, and the enduring bond between a horse and his devoted owner. Meet Thunder, a majestic equine soul, a venerable 35-year-old steed whose journey embodies the very essence of strength and kindness.

Thunder belongs to Justine, a passionate horse enthusiast with a heart as vast as the Lone Star State itself. In her herd, Thunder reigns as the eldest, surpassing even the most seasoned companions at 22 and 32 years old. Yet, age is but a number to Thunder, for his spirit remains as vibrant as ever, his gentle demeanor and unwavering dedication defining him through the years.

Justine shares fond memories of Thunder’s boundless affection and unwavering work ethic. From his earliest days, Thunder has embraced his role as a teacher, guiding countless riders through the intricacies of horsemanship. Whether trotting through weekly lessons with eager children or galloping across barrel races, Thunder’s commitment to his craft knows no bounds. Despite the passing years, there are moments when Thunder’s youthful exuberance shines through, a testament to his timeless spirit.

But Thunder’s journey has not been without its trials. There was a time when neglect clouded his path, when an owner deemed him old and expendable, a fate Thunder defied with every beat of his resilient heart. Justine’s unwavering determination became Thunder’s saving grace, a beacon of hope that led him to a life of happiness and tranquility.

What sets Thunder apart is not just his age or accomplishments, but the sheer depth of his character. His gentle nature and adaptability have touched the lives of all who have crossed his path. Justine speaks with pride of Thunder’s storied past, from his days in roping to his role as a trusted companion in gymkhana events.

Today, Thunder spends his days basking in the warmth of the Texas sun, surrounded by lush pastures and the camaraderie of his fellow equines. Lessons with eager riders and playful romps in the pasture are but a few of the joys that fill his golden years.

Reflecting on their journey together, Justine acknowledges the challenges they’ve overcome, from the fight for Thunder’s well-being to the daily dedication required to care for a beloved senior horse. Through it all, their bond has only grown stronger, a testament to the power of love and perseverance.

As the years pass, Justine knows that Thunder’s presence will be deeply missed. The soft sound of his old man knickers and the warmth of his comforting hugs will forever linger in her heart, a cherished reminder of their time together.

For those embarking on the journey of caring for a senior horse, Justine offers a simple yet profound tip: love them as you always have. Remember the years of partnership and companionship, and honor their legacy with the same devotion they’ve shown you.

In the realm of Texas horse photography, Thunder’s story stands as a testament to the enduring bond between humans and horses, a reminder that age is but a chapter in a tale of unwavering friendship and boundless love. Through the lens of the camera, Thunder’s spirit shines bright, a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who gaze upon him.

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.

April 20, 2024

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