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  • Writer's pictureLiz Moorman

Unyielding Devotion: Cheyenne Davis' Journey with Levi, Her Remarkable APHA Gelding

Sometimes, the most extraordinary bonds emerge from the unlikeliest of beginnings. Cheyenne's connection with Levi, her APHA gelding, started when her aunt purchased him for a different purpose - working as a pony horse on the quarter horse tracks. However, it was evident from the start that Levi wasn't your run-of-the-mill companion. "He's that horse that makes you earn everything," Cheyenne reflects. "You have to work for it with him."


The journey with Levi spans a decade of dedication, culminating in an impressive array of achievements. While winning world titles stands out, it was the APHA National title that resonated most deeply with Cheyenne. At the Nationals, trust became the cornerstone of their bond. "When he gets to the cone, sets up, and does his job, it showed me that he really could go even farther," she shares.


Levi

Managing Levi's career as a DIY amateur was not without its hurdles. From gate issues in trail classes to unexpected injuries (like breaking her foot), each challenge required a strategic approach. "My world showmanship prep involved a lot of ice," Cheyenne recalls, highlighting the mental strategy she embraced: "Trust him."


Their everyday routine became the foundation of their success. Levi's backyard life allowed for seamless showmanship prep, where setting him up before turning him out primed him for the ring. "He's the type of horse that anticipates a lot," she explains, emphasizing the delicate balance between preparation and not overworking him.


Levi & Cheyenne

Beyond the show ring, Levi participated in parades and clinics, demonstrating his adaptability and expertise in showmanship. His role in a clinic provided attendees with invaluable learning experiences. "Learning showmanship with a horse that KNOWS it can help you learn with one that doesn't," Cheyenne emphasizes.


Managing Levi at home was instrumental in their journey, allowing Cheyenne to fine-tune their approach with everyday moments. However, the journey wasn't without sacrifices. Late nights, early mornings, and relentless dedication marked their pursuit of excellence. "Suck it up, buttercup," she often reminded herself, embracing the discipline required.


Levi & Cheyenne

Reflecting on the lessons learned, Cheyenne underscores the importance of trust, patience, and rewarding the effort. Levi's "dragon" personality taught her the value of flexibility and the art of taking the necessary time to build a strong foundation.


As Levi enters his retirement years, Cheyenne's aspirations remain grounded in honoring their partnership. Aiming to complete Levi's other APHA ROM in amateur showmanship, she cherishes their bond, acknowledging his pivotal role in her equestrian journey. "I owe him everything, he owes me nothing," she humbly concludes.

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