Our Pure Heaven

Horse Stats
New Name: Lad
Age: 2009
Gender: gelding
Date Adopted: May, 2012
Current Discipline: Dressage
  • enter and x halt salute
  • talented horse
  • grim face but he looks fine
  • nice stretch trot
  • smiling trot with sassy


    It has been a while since I contacted you about my young man and I thought I would give you another update as well as some photos.When last I wrote, I had just purchased "Lad" from a gal who got him for free from the "upper level eventing barn" in the Ocala area. I still do not for sure know the name of the folks who adopted him or why he was put to pasture for nearly a year. But I am very grateful that he and I ended up in the same place together. 1 October, 2016 will be our 1 year anniversary. And, as an odd coincidence, he was born the year I retired from 20 years of service as a U.S. Marine officer - 2009 (just one month apart!). I now think of Lad as my own PTSD therapy horse. As it turns out, I went through a depression when I retired - - after so many years being at the forefront of our nation's defense and in the "thick of things" overseas around the globe - it was a bit too much for me to sit still and do nothing. I turned to yoga, and it helped greatly for a while, but the confined rooms tore at me. I am a physical person (a Marine has to be) and I need to move to relax and de-stress. But I am also always curious and need to challenge myself. So when it was time, and when I found the right place - riding has become my path to peace. What Lad offers me is a way to learn and challenge myself, be physically active, emotionally and intellectually engaged, and passionate about something that is NOT my job. Lad has come such a long way under my trainer's guidance, the thoughtful care at her facility, and my somewhat obsessive desire to ensure he has the best I can offer.Meanwhile he has been getting training at least 5 days a week and I've learned how to lunge him to build both our confidence, we've been in three dressage schooling shows - 2 of them off property! And we just this past weekend competed in our first ever USDF rated show... AND qualified our second day in Training Level 3!!! We won't be going to regionals this year, but don't count us out for the future. Lad is especially doing great in his training... I am still working through my issues (light aids, timing, and rider position!)... but together we'll get there! We have many years ahead of us. My goals this year are to take Lad off property more and potentially to hack him on some trails to build both our confidence and our relationship with each other. He is a remarkable young man who has helped me progress in my life beyond the military service. I wish more service men and women out there took the opportunity to help out your organization and the horses in your care. Thank you for all that you do! - Andrea Schad LtCol, USMC (ret)