“Zach Ruble was thrown from a horse, suffering a traumatic brain injury. Three bleeds on his brain affected his fine motor skills and cognitive thinking. Zach worked hard in rehab and decided he wanted to ride again. He rode a lesson horse to regain his balance but wanted a horse of his own to show in reining.

We knew it had to be a special horse that was safe, honest enough for a green reiner, and athletic enough to compete. A beautiful AQHA mare named Annie was ready for this job!

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Annie had to overcome a major setback herself. At age 5, she developed laminitis. She battled excruciating pain for several months—leaning against the stall walls to find relief and struggling to even take one step. As her owners, we were faced with trying to decide what was best for our equine friend. She fought hard and within a year we noticed she was getting back to her old self.

In 2018, Annie returned to reining training and stayed sound! We decided to give Zach a try with her and within 10 lessons, he showed Annie at the KRHA Sunflower Slide. Annie has safely carried Zach through lessons, clinics, and reining shows. As his skills have increased, Annie has stepped up her speed, working a little harder to move him up through the ranks. These two have proven that no matter what the setback is, there is still hope that you can overcome it!” —Heather Ruble

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