Goldie, “Heart of Gold”, "The Oprah of the Horse World"

Goldie, otherwise known as “Heart of Gold,” is a 34-year-old retired Palomino show jumping horse. She is a sweetheart who will follow you around like a dog and loves being a part of the family.

She is a beloved member of the Weisel family, who I photographed in mid-July at Burn the Breeze Ranch in Monroe.

Jan, her daughter Tori, and Goldie have an incredibly special bond.

Goldie joined the Weisel family in 2003 with no name and no past. She was Tori’s first horse, and was perfect for her. She became a famous show jumping horse who has won numerous national awards in both the jumper and hunter show ring!

Goldie’s show name is “Heart of Gold,” and it suits her perfectly! She is such a sweetheart and has never bucked or done anything bad when you rode her or handled her on the ground.

Another of her aliases is “Goldie the Oprah of the Horse World” because she will stand with her stall door open, peek her head out and listen as if she is part of the conversation. She will never escape; she just loves spending time with you.

“One time we were at a show and we asked my husband to watch Goldie while my daughter, Tori learned her jumping course. My husband was busy measuring jumps so he just draped the reins over her neck and Goldie followed him from jump to jump in the arena while he measured the jumps. Everyone was cheering in the stands because it looked like Goldie was double checking his work.” – Jan

When Tori wanted to jump higher, Goldie became Jan’s horse. At 47 years old, Jan fulfilled a life-long dream of having a pony and learned how to jump and ride.

“She made me brave and taught me so much.” – Jan

Although Jan wasn’t sure she wanted to show, Goldie, being what they call a packer, took care of her and ultimately convinced her to show. They went on to win many top awards such as 3rd in Washington State National Long Stirrup – which is quite a competitive division!

But Goldie isn’t all business – she was also a wonderful trail horse; she and Jan went on many fun trail rides together.

Jan loves to take Goldie for walks on the Enchanted Forest trail. Her ears perk right up and has so much energy to explore, Jan has to jog to keep up with her! Jan also loves to groom Goldie because she is so beautiful. Jan has taken equine acupressure training and gives her regular treatments to make sure she stays in shape.

At 29 years old, Goldie retired after she tore a tendon in her front leg. Even though she is sound, she cannot be ridden because of her age. So instead, she flourishes on a private property with 26 acres where she can run with the wind and sleep in a warm and cozy stall.

“In the morning when she gets turned out the in the big pasture she bucks and runs like a youngster. Everyone says they can’t believe she looks so good and is definitely very young for her age.” – Jan

Cheyenne is Goldie’s best friend and guardian angel who watches out for her. The two bonded immediately after Goldie arrived at the barn, and they are inseparable! Cheyenne won’t let any other horse get between them. Talk about friendship!

“If I take Goldie for a walk, Cheyenne just cries for her until they are reunited. One time Goldie was flirting with the geldings and wouldn't come in, so Linda, Cheyenne's Mom told Cheyenne to go get Goldie. Cheyenne ran to the end of the 10-acre pasture and started herding Goldie and brought her in.” – Jan

Although Goldie is retired, she always whinnies to Jan when she approaches. She will come directly to her even if she’s in the 10-acre pasture!

“I love watching her run the full length of the 10-acre pasture and seeing her so happy. She is my inspiration because she lives life to the fullest every day.” – Jan