Horses have a way of touching our hearts in the darkest of times. The bond that can be created with a horse is true and authentic. Who isn’t touched by a nicker from their favorite horse? Or when the horse follows you freely? Many horse lovers use time in the barn as a therapeutic way of coping with whatever life throws their way.
People have been using the powerful bond with equines as therapy for addiction. They are forgiving, honest animals that bring so much joy to people. Whether it’s their incredible athletic ability, their personality, and/or that ability to connect with people, they touch us in ways that are hard to define and their impact can be life changing.
Sam Shepard loved learning. It’s perhaps the reason he came to cutting later in life as a cutting horse trainer and was able to enjoy almost $2.5 million worth of success in the show pen. But it wasn’t just his training prowess that made him a name in cutting, it was his decency and love of people that really established his reputation.
Shepard was diagnosed with a rare condition called Amyloidosis. He passed away September 15th this year at his home in Verbena, Alabama at the age of 74.
His son, Austin Shepard, described his dad as a very well rounded person. He was well read, passionate about education, and a talented horse trainer. Shepard traveled the world because of cutting horses and was always interested in people from all walks of life. Austin said his father lived a full life.