The young rider and pony have defied many odds to be successful at the intermediate level.
It’s not the way most young riders find their first upper-level horse. Courtney Sendak started to help someone load Wil’ya Love Me onto a trailer and ended up buying him on a whim.
And “Willy” isn’t a typical upper-level horse. He’s borderline pony, standing 14.21⁄2 hands. But he and Sendak, of Baltimore, Md., have belied their improbable beginning and Willy’s diminutive size to become consistent contenders at the intermediate level.