BY DANI SCHNEIDER
On Christmas morning in 2007, Emily Goldberg woke up to German Riding Pony, Walter, as her Christmas present. “It was the best present I have ever received in my entire life,” Emily exclaimed. To this day, Walter is still owned by Emily Goldberg and is happily retired.
“I think I sealed my own destiny as a kid saying that I wanted to keep him forever,” Goldberg shared. “I didn’t register back then that sometimes people sold horses. I didn’t think of that as an option, so the second I got him I said ‘I’m going to have this horse forever’ and never thought about selling him.”
“Walter is such a weird horse. He’s super head shy and didn’t like to be touched, but I spent so much time grooming him and building trust with him,” Goldberg commented. “The barn was on my street so I would spend hours there every single day with him.”
Goldberg and Walter competed together in the crossrail divisions all the way through the rated Large Hunters. “He has served so many purposes through so many wonderful stages of my riding career that I couldn’t imagine not having him forever.”
Once Goldberg exceeded the level of riding that Walter could provide her, he was leased out to a couple of little kids where he helped them move up in their riding careers just like he did with Emily.
In 2016, after nine years of being a solid citizen to the Goldberg’s and other families, Walter was happily retired in a pasture in Southern California.
But Walter isn’t the only horse that Emily Goldberg has given a life full of love and a safe, happy retirement. Recently, Goldberg’s Junior Hunter, Solo, was retired after the pair had an amazing career together in the Junior Hunters and Hunter Derbies.
In 2012, Goldberg purchased Solo and only a few days later stepped into the show ring together. The rest is history. “Solo made you feel like the best rider in the world. He is such an incredible horse and he was always so happy and willing to work,” Goldberg shared, “I don’t know another horse that is as happy and hard working as Solo.”
Solo showed with Goldberg for five years before being leased out where he later competed with success in the Children’s Hunters, Adult Hunters, and Equitation classes. “He worked so hard and was so amazing that we wanted to give him the retirement he deserves after being so good for me,” Goldberg said.
“It is so special because Walter and Solo now get to live out their lives in retirement together in Santa Ynez,” Goldberg shared.
“It is amazing to be able to give my horses the retirement they deserve. It is also special because my mom has a horse that suffered a career ending injury and has been happily retired under my mom and the barn’s care,” Goldberg shared.
In 2011, Goldberg’s mom, Laura Lasorda, was given a Canadian Thoroughbred, Buddy, that was rescued from being slaughtered. Buddy and Lasorda did Western Pleasure together. One day, Buddy suffered a career ending corkscrew fracture in his ankle that Lasorda rehabbed back to health. During his rehabilitation, Buddy suffered a scary colic episode, but Lasorda saw his will to live despite the emergency. “This horse doesn’t want to die,” she shared. “He had so much soul and life left in him.”
Since his recovery, Buddy has been retired and under Lasorda’s watch ever since.
“I feel when they have been so good to us, they deserve only the best. ‘Being good’ doesn’t necessarily define a big show career, but just when they give us so much of their heart and expect nothing in return it is our job to let them know just how much they are appreciated” Lasorda shared.
Currently Buddy is at Erin Duffy Stables where he gets to eat grass every day, go in the turnout, gets fed treats by everyone, and lives next to Lasorda’s other horse, Fidelio.
In 2008, Goldberg purchased a four-year-old Appendix horse, Fidelio. Goldberg competed up to the 3-foot divisions on Fidelio. “Once I started showing on the A circuit in the Junior Hunters, Fidelio would stay home and I would teach him some Western movements so my mom could ride him,” Goldberg shared.
In 2014, Emily gave her mom Fidelio. He now gets ridden often, but once his time comes to retire, Buddy and Fidelio will continue to live out their lives together in a pasture.
“We understand that not everyone has the opportunity to have their horses until the end, but we are so lucky we are able to do so,” Goldberg and Lasorda shared, “We are so thankful for our horses.”