Story and photography by Jenny McClary and Allie Leepson. See their work here.
“I WAS ONE OF THOSE KIDS WHO WAS ALWAYS OBSESSED WITH HORSES. IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN WHY I LOVE IT SO MUCH. HAVING A CONNECTION, AND PARTNERSHIP, WITH A 1200LB ANIMAL SEEMS LIKE THE MOST MAGICAL THING ONE CAN EXPERIENCE.”
Bianca was born and raised in Italy. She first started riding when she was 9 years old. Now Bianca lives in Santa Fe and works as a wrangler as well as teaching horsemanship for skill-set restructuring to post-911 veterans and active military at Horses for Heroes. Kit was rescued by Bianca 2 years ago. His previous owner left him skin and bones. His ribs and hips were sticking out and had absolutely no muscle on his body. With dedication and a lot of love, Kit has become a strong, brave, and healthy horse.
About recusing Kit, “I called his owner at the time and asked if I could worm him and let him out of his stall (he hadn’t been out of his stall for one year) and she told me I could just have him. The following week I received a bill of sale for $1 and a major project on my hands. It’s been 2 years now, and I’ve worked super hard to put weight and muscle on him and we’re both incredibly happy. He was, and is, truly the best gift I could ever ask for, he completely changed my life.”
“Kit probably has the most personality of any horse I’ve ever met. He’s goofy, he’s super smart (always breaking himself out of his stall/paddock), and he’s extremely willing to take on any adventure/obstacle. I was immediately drawn to him because of his personality, every time I would walk past his stall, even if he was eating, he would run over to me to say hi.”
“I felt the west and the horses calling me.”
I moved to New Mexico from NYC about 5 years ago now. I was in grad school and I just realized that I didn’t want that life anymore. I couldn’t see myself working as a professor and sitting in the subways every day.
I had come to visit Santa Fe with my parents over Christmas and I fell in love. I was offered an opportunity to work at Horses for Heroes and decided it was time to leave NYC and start my new life with horses again.