Where do I start with this one? Also let’s see if I can get through writing this post without crying (not gonna happen). I met Molly back in 2015 when I came to my current barn – she was a cute kid, always fun to be around and one of the senior “barn rats” (working students), so she was a constant fixture at the farm. She was jumping crossrails and small verticals and was a cute rider! And then she started riding/leasing Valdez “Dezi”, the resident schoolmaster/fanciest horse at the barn. And something clicked – something about this partnership (okay dang it – is someone cutting onions near me?! I need a tissue) was/is just so right, and Molly began to really grow as a rider. I think her portraits say it all – this mare is madly in love with Molly, and the feeling is definitely mutual. Back in 2016 I gifted Molly a photo shoot for her 16th birthday, and I was able to capture some beautiful moments between her and Dezi. So when her aunt bought her another shoot this year for her 18th birthday, both of us were SO EXCITED to do this again! Needless to say, after the shoot, when I began the editing process, I got a little emotional as I worked on her session. She’s grown up so much since her last photo shoot – and her relationship with Dezi has developed into a full-blown love affair! Seeing the two of them together like this gave me all the feels. The way Dezi rests her head on Molly and closes her eyes when Molly kisses her – I mean, don’t we all want to be loved like that?
But back to Molly and Dezi – since the beginning of their partnership in 2015, they’ve conquered 4H hunters at the states/regional levels, showing at Devon, eventing at horse trials, schooling cross country, hunter paces, George Morris clinics, trail rides, parades, etc. – together they’ve done it all. This little girl who was jumping crossrails was now a young woman showing in the 3’5″ hunters at Devon this past summer! Molly graduated from high school this year, and, as high school graduates tend to do, she’s off to college in another state now. Friday, to be exact. The barn won’t be the same without her there all the time – to say we’re all going to miss her is a huge understatement. Molly I love you, I’m so so proud of you and cannot wait to see all the pictures/hear all the details of all the exciting things you’ll be doing at school (and all the great food). It’s been absolutely amazing to see you grow as a rider and as a person and I’m so lucky to have you as a friend and to have you and your family in my life. And like you’ve said before, “it’s not a goodbye, it’s just a see you later” – and we’ll see you soon. I promise Dezi will send you updates and videos! Okay now I really need a tissue. Good luck Molly on this next big adventure, I can’t wait to see what you do next.