Sarah & Lincoln - JAO Photography

Sarah & Lincoln

     Earlier this month I had the privilege of meeting a wonderful family with a very unique bond.  Lincoln, the Lee family horse, is the most gentle horse I have ever met.  He doesn't bristle when approached; he simply nuzzles his nose into your outstretched hand almost as if you have been friends for years.  I would describe his demeanor affectionate and very gentle.  This story is about how Lincoln came to be such a central part of this loving family.

     Years ago, when Sarah was 5 years old, she began taking riding lessons.  She specialized in English style and developed quite a passion for it.  At the age of 14 Sarah met Lincoln and they very quickly became inseparable.  Every week for two years Sarah and Lincoln rode together.  At this point, the woman who owned Lincoln and was lending him to the riding school decided it was time to sell him.  Sarah did not want to lose her riding buddy and was terrified by the thought of Lincoln going to a  bad home.   Sarah turned to her father for help.  She begged and pleaded. She told her father that as soon as she went off to college that they would sell him hoping that this would buy her a few more years with him.  Thankfully the pleading worked and Sarah was able to convince her father to purchase Lincoln, postponing the day they may have to say goodbye.    For the next few years they competed in Hunter Jumper shows as well as a form of equestrian competition known as Eventing.  In Eventing, three disciplines are judged: cross country riding, show jumping, and dressage (this is where the horse and rider are expected to perform a series of predetermined movements).   This last event is considered by the equestrian federation to be the highest expression of horse training.

   When it came time for college, it goes without saying that Lincoln was not sold. In fact, Sarah chose an in state school simply so she could be closer to him.   During college Lincoln was boarded in various places and in between school, work, and everything else life could throw at her, Sarah somehow found the time to spend with her close friend.

After college life took the reigns, Sarah found herself diving head first into her new career and at the same time entered into a very serious relationship with the man she would eventually marry; David.  Sarah and David both began working very hard to save for the purchase of a new home where they could begin to raise a family.  It became clear to Sarah that Lincoln was no longer getting the time from her that he deserved and she now faced a difficult decision.  Sarah reached out to the same riding school where she first met Lincoln and fortunately they were able to take him on as a training horse for other students.  Even here Sarah still found the time to visit whenever she could.

    After five years the riding school called and said that it was time for Lincoln to come home.   At twenty eight, Lincoln was ready to retire.       Again Sarah pleaded on behalf of Lincoln; only this time with her Husband.  He happily hunted down all the materials he needed from Craigs List and began work on Lincoln's new home.  Having Lincoln home with her had been Sarah's lifelong dream and it was finally happening.

     During the years Lincoln had been away, Sarah and David became parents of two beautiful children; Luke and Scarlett.  Sarah was ecstatic to be able to share her love for Lincoln with her children.  Lincoln is now 30 and Sarah admits it is hard to see the toll time has taken on her good friend.  However, the bond they have built is as strong as ever and having him so close to her and her family is better than anything she could have ever hoped for. 

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Located in Scottsdale Arizona, JAO Photography is focused on traditional family portrait photography as well as lifestyle photography captured in a photojournalistic style.  Please join our newsletter by clicking the footprints below.

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