Kody 8x10 Commissioned Portrait ©Shelly Burden 2014
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The portrait was a gift for her daughter, Allison shares J & Kody's story: "My daughter started taking riding lessons when she was 8, when 11, a horse arrived at her barn named "Kody," he was 7. Born on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania, trained as a team to pull carts, shipped to Dallas to work in the West End pulling carriages, but got "spooked" by a Dart train and sold at auction to her riding stable.
For my then preteen daughter, it was love at first sight. A young, poorly-trained lesson horse, she was the only student able to ride him because he only went one speed - full cantor. The barn owner announced he was taking Kody to auction, as he couldn't be used for other students.
My daughter was devastated. She emptied her savings account & convinced us to let her buy Kody. We reluctantly agreed, but required she earn money to contribute to his board. She invented "Kody's Cookies," an all-natural horse treat, selling them around Dallas barns (not bad for an 11-year old –not much money, but it’s the effort that mattered.)
Kody become her confidant, her pal, her respite as a 'tween, & saw her through the tough teen years. She rode daily, trained him in Western & English, and to jump.
As she grew, she had many decision-points in her life, deciding whether to keep Kody or find him a new home. Each time the decision was agonizing, each time she had buyers lined-up, each time she refused to let him go at the very last minute. She took him everywhere as she grew-up and moved - to Colorado for college, and now to Mississippi as a young Air Force bride. As an officer's wife in a small town, jobs are scarce. Kody to the rescue! J is now the air force base's riding instructor, giving private lessons on her beloved Kody. 

Kody & J have been together 11 years and he's approaching 19.He still looks like a young horse and still acts like one. Greets his girl with a loud whinny the minute he hears her truck. Loves cool weather, to play and roll in the snow, to find ways to escape fences and paddocks. He's way too smart and always finds ways to get himself in trouble - opening gates, breaking down doors, letting other horses out of their stalls!
J loves the fact he's a "thinker" - a constant challenge. They communicate in an unearthly way and their bond is unbreakable. I know he'll leave her someday, and this portrait will be cherished for the rest of her lifetime.”