Ashai Prince V and Ali SchultzMeeting Prince was serendipity at it’s best. Last year just before the Jubilee, my partner and I stopped at Varian Arabians. I wasn’t planning on buying a horse that day. Being on the legendary ranch I read about all while growing up and showing, I was horse girl heaven. Just visiting would have been special enough. Kristi walked in the show barn and asked if I had any questions. I blurted out, “Do you have any horses started under saddle, that could do western, hunter and ride on trails?” After not having a horse for 14 years, my heart clearly still knew what I wanted. She said, “Oh, you need to meet Prince.”

So we followed her over to the 12 stall and met Prince: a sweet big bay gelding with a star and a white hind foot and dreamy bloodlines. (Just like the last three Arabians I had growing up.) As I interacted with him, that was the first time my partner saw me with an Arabian - and he saw that look in my eye. When we got in the car, he said, “You need that horse.” We drove back up from Santa Barbara early the next morning before our flight out to see him under saddle. As we were walking out of the show barn, Jerry looked at me and said, “I’m going to go get my sweatshirt from the car. You sit on this straw bale and let me know what you decide when I get back.”

I couldn’t believe it. You could say that Prince the best birthday present ever. Having a horse made life seem ‘right’ again, like my soul was complete.

With only 2 months under saddle, I decided to leave Prince in training with Jaime. I flew out from Boulder on my united miles roughly every 2-3 weeks, to see him, ride with Jaime, brush him for hours, buy horse things, buy a bigger tack box to put it all in. With all that barn time, I felt like I was 16 again. I think Prince knew I was his by September, and we began the process of getting to know each other in the way that horses and their people do.

I had the time of my life. Varian Arabians is a magical place. The horses, the people, the land. You can feel it as soon as you arrive. I seriously considered not bringing Prince to Boulder, and instead just moving to California. Leaving Varian Arabians was a hard decision.

Since Prince arrived in Boulder on June 16, we’ve spent every day together at a beautiful semi-private barn about 20 mins from my house. We’re working towards some shows this fall in hunter, western, and junior horse, and ultimately we’ll hone our skills towards western dressage. He’s also my co-facilitator in the equine assisted learning I do with select coaching clients. He loves to be brushed, looks forward to working, loves people, and will follow me around in the pasture if I let him out for some grass snacks in the evenings.

He’s the sweetest guy. I fall in love with him more and more every day. 

 ~ Ali Schultz