For financial analyst, Susana Willard, being with horses was a getaway from “the stresses of life” and was her Garden of Eden.
“I take pride in my horses and I take pride in taking care of them and their health. Any horse owner that takes care of their horses and that is involved would make any animal or any horse very fortunate to be owned by that type of individual,” Willard said.
Willard, 56, has had a fervent love for horses and has been riding them since she was four. Besides growing up with horses, Willard has grown up in a numerous amount of places that include Venezuela, Texas, Mexico, and Australia.
“When I was four years old they had ponies and horses. We used to jump on them and we played with them, sort of like how people play with dolls, toys, or bikes. We played cowboys and Indians on horses,” Willard said.
Although she has been riding since she was four, Willard only started her career in breeding and training horses 18 years ago and now enjoys it very much, however she did not start the job for only enjoyment.
“It started as a way to offset my expenses, by selling the offspring and specializing in horses with good tempermant,” Willard said.
Through all of the years that Willard had bred horses, she had done it only one way, artificial insemination. According to webmd.com, artificial insemination is simply when semen, the male reproductive fluid, is placed into a mare, a female horse.
“There’s different ways to breed. You can pasture breed or hand breed. You can use frozen or cold semen for artificial insemination and any type of artificial insemination requires a vet,” Willard said.
Although breeding was Willard’s strong suit, she still rode horses and was involved with the training process of the foals that she bred. According to PassionateHorsemanship.com, one of the main reasons why training is a crucial part of owning a horse is because it benefits the horse and develops trust. Willard supported this idea in the training process and believes that people should not take for granted what a horse knows.
“Everything that you do on a daily basis of owning a horse you take for granted that a newborn doesn’t know any of this and isn’t exposed,” Willard said. “They’re not born knowing that.”
Through the starting of breeding, training, and being involved with the overall horse community in general, Willard has not only gained knowledge on horses and created a “strong bond” with hers, but has also gained many new friends, and shared her knowledge with them as well.
“Susana is a very warm and nurturing person. She took me under her wing to teach me everything she could about horses,” Deborah Smith, Willard’s friend, said.
Besides her friends, Willard has also had many fun experiences with her husband, Joe Willard. Although Joe Willard works out of town, when he was home they did many fun activities together.
“I work out of town all the time so my wife usually does all of the horse stuff without me so that when I get home we do the stuff that I do, so she spoils me in that way,” Joe Willard said.
Overall, Susana Willard has changed the lives of so many other people and has treated not only her horses with care but also her family and friends.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Boston, who she bred, so she’s definitely changed my life forever in that way and I really enjoy her as a friend. She’s just a whole-hearted good person,” Olivia Knapp, Susana Willard’s friend and horse trainer, said.
Susana Willard’s “mothering, nuturing, super-loving, and caring” ways have made her horses and her bond with them unlike any other and owning horses has “enhanced” her life.
“For an animal that cannot talk and communicate,” Susana Willard said, “the showing of signs and affection and bonding that you can have whether it be from ground manners or riding that you can develop with a horse [is my favorite part].”