For many years, I bred, trained and showed horses. My first breeding venture was called Court of Camelot Arabians, and my then husband Philip and I focused our breeding program on Egyptian Arabians. The first colt born on my farm which was in Anderson, South Carolina, was from a mare we bought in Canada in our short sojourn in Ontario months after we were married in England.


Then I discovered the Andalusian, those fairytale horses with crested necks and long flowing manes and tails. I saw an Andalusian at a show in Atlanta and fell in love. I proceeded to sell my Arabians and bought a 4-year-old stallion that had been imported from Costa Rica named Bonito. Bonito lived up to his name. He was a beautiful dappled gray with black mane and tale. His trot was high and airy, and people flocked to him. We had some rough times in those first years. I needed to be a lot better rider to manage a horse that knew more than I did about the finer points of equestrianism. But we made it and I showed him to two National Championships and a Reserve National Championship plus countless other wins for Camelot Act II (the fanciful name we gave our new breeding program).

The above photo is of my magnificent Bonito and me in Asheville, North Carolina, performing our Phantom of the Opera musical exhibition. The others of another stallion I owned named Alegre, another splendid stallion, and are from the Florida Renaissance Faire.

A couple of years after I moved to Miami, I realized I wasn’t spending the time with Bonito that a horse of his calibre deserved, and I sold my best friend. My heart still aches when I remember that day and when I look at my scores of show pictures.

I haven’t ridden in about 7 years, but I still go to Ebay and look at dressage saddles for sale and riding clothes. My favorite Google search is for a palomino Lusitano stallion. I can get lost in YouTube videos of these spectacular horses. The Lusitano is a Porgugese breed founded on the Spanish Andalusian.

I’m a city girl now, but my heart still yearns for the feel of a horse beneath me. I saw Warhorse last night, and I guess that is the inspiration for this personal little blog. I highly recommend this movie to horselovers and to everyone.

14 comments

  1. Josie // March 12, 2012 at 1:09 PM  

    Beautiful blog, and beautiful horses. I haven't seen Warhorse yet, but heard it's a spectacular film.

  2. Pamela Varnado // March 12, 2012 at 5:05 PM  

    Linda, whenever you talk or write about horses, you make me feel your love and passion for the animals. I'm always wowed by this. Your blog is an amazing tribute to horses.

  3. Mary Marvella // March 12, 2012 at 6:42 PM  

    LOVELY! I remember seeing your Bonito on your horse farm. What an elegant horse! Linda, you rock!

  4. Beth Trissel // March 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM  

    What a poignant moving post. Such a beautiful horse. Brilliant episode in your life.

  5. Nightingale // March 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM  

    I was totally obsessed with horses for many, many years and always thought I'd be riding with the Middleburgh Hounds at 70. I miss them. Thanks everyone for listening to me rant about horses.

  6. Toni V.S. // March 12, 2012 at 8:40 PM  

    Love the post, Linda. I still love horses, too, though I haven't ridden since my college days. BTW, I just finished reading a paranormal novel in which a centaur is transformed into a Lusitano as punishment for misconduct. Hmmm.

  7. Toni V.S. // March 12, 2012 at 8:41 PM  

    Loved the post, Linda. I still love horses too though it's been quite some time since I rode. Incidentally, I just finished reading a paranormal novel in which a centaur is transformed into a Lusitano as punishment for misconduct. Hmmm. Is that really a punishment?

  8. Judy // March 13, 2012 at 9:06 AM  

    Linda, I loved your blog. My heart ached for you when I read it.I grew up dreaming of horses but I never had one. Still, I can imagine the sense of loss you have over not owning and riding horses for some time.

  9. Mary Ricksen // March 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM  

    You look splendid up there on that beautiful animal. I know how you feel, nothing like the smell of horses. I saw the movie and cried all through it.
    Horses are every girls dream it seems and you got to live yours!!! Yay Linda!
    I wish I could have watched you perform!

  10. Hildie McQueen // March 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM  

    I finally went horseback riding for the first time ever. My horse was named Wet Paint. She was ummm okay looking for a girl horse I guess. But these you have on the pictures are beautiful! Great post!

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel // March 13, 2012 at 11:34 PM  

    Just looking at you and Bonito, I can tell he was the love of your life. I'm sorry you had to part with him. Did you continue to follow his career? You love of these magnificent animals shines through you prose.

  12. Autumn Jordon // March 14, 2012 at 7:57 AM  

    OMG. What beautiful horses. I'm addicted with you, Linda. I love horses--always have--always will. I miss mine so much.

    Thank you for sharing the pics. Now I want to go riding. SIGH

  13. Julianne // March 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM  

    Thanks for sharing some of your life with us Linda. The horses are beautiful. Congrats on all your wins at horsery. *I'm sure that's not a word, but my brain refused to help*
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  14. Mona Risk // March 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM  

    Linda, you post vibrates for your love for horse. What a spectacular picture of you as the Phatom of the Opera, atop your Bonito.