June 1, 2015

Silverado's Legacy

Silverado has quite the legacy!!  Grandpa Don Whittaker bought her at the horse auction in Cedar City, as a 3 year old, for $300, brought her home and told Nat, "If you train her, you can use her for whatever you want..."  And so Nat did.  

Every day after school Nat would work Silver, and come home irritated at her.  But after awhile, Nat fell in love with this horse and trained her to be THE most amazing horse any of us have ever ridden!!  Calm, smooth-beyond-belief, and easy enough for a 5 year old to ride alone!

One man even offered Don $5000 for his $300 investment...and turned him down for Natalee's sake,..but I'm getting ahead of myself!

When Silver was trained, Nat entered a horse princess pageant, which she won.  Don was so proud of Natalee...as were we...and Nat was SO proud of Silverado!!

When Nat turned 16, Grandpa Don gave Silverado as a birthday gift to Natalee!!  It was unbelievable!!  Don mentioned he had sold a horse out from under his son, Bret Whittacker, and he had some severe regrets about that decision.  He would not do the same thing to Natalee even though Don was offered $5000 for Silverado.  Natalee got the best birthday gift she's ever received!!

Silverado started out as a  dark grey and brown paint...but as the years went by, the dominant grey gene had its way and she gradually went from paint to grey to nearly white.  People that only knew her as white couldn't believe it was her in earlier pictures!!  (Just like us, as we age!!)

We loved riding in rodeos together. . .

Our family, and so many others, have been blessed by Silverado as well.  The following pictures are just a small sampling of the many different rides and adventures from 2005 to 2015!  Look closely and you may find a picture or two of YOU riding Silverado!!

Two weeks before Grandpa Don died, he got a visit from Silverado's foal, Kodiak.  He loved seeing her again!

Nikki has ALWAYS loved Silverado...shouting, "Go Faster, Grandma!" whenever we would ride her together!

She was the PERFECT horse for Rod to ride...tall, like him, calm, like him!!

 Saying a last "Cowboy Farewell" to Grandpa Don, who blessed our lives beyond measure  with his love, and his love of horses.  Silverado has carried on that legacy!!

May 20th. 2015  The day before Silverado foaled. . . 

May 21, 2015 

May 22, 2015  Saying a very sad farewell to Silverado. . .

May 23, 2015 Saying another sad farewell to Silverado's foal, Renegade.

Our family lost a very special member of our family...one who was a best friend to Natalee, and a blessing to so many peoples' lives.  It's hard to put into words how her loss has affected us.

But we can say that even the hardest losses are made easier because of the close family ties we share.  Even the members of our family who weren't here in person, were felt in spirit.  We are so grateful for our entire family!!

We hope to always be grateful for the many blessings we have been given from the Lord, even when difficult things happen, and our hearts are broken.  We know the source from Whom ALL blessings flow...and we are so thankful to Him!