ANM Photography | Bridals | Courtney Harley & Her Horse Chasam | Private Ranch is Sanger, Texas

Bridals | Courtney Harley & Her Horse Chasam | Private Ranch is Sanger, Texas

June 04, 2017  •  4 Comments

Courtney and her horse, Chasam are inseparable. They have a beautiful bond that can never be broken. This images showcase that. Trust. Understanding. Friendship. Here is their story directly from Courtney. 

Chasam came into my life, in the middle of the night, when I was 12 years old. She was my very first foal, her mother was bought with my own $200. She looked up at me, this beautiful palomino filly with a half blaze and star marking, and I was immediately in love. The name "Chasam" came to me so quickly from a little book called Cinderellis. It was a story similar to Cinderella, but with horses and a boy as the lead character. In the story, the boy names a horse "Chasam" which is an acronym for copper horse arrives silently around midnight. And boom. My first filly was named. I don't believe at 12 I knew exactly what copper actually looked like, but the name stuck. I loved that filly, and as all kids do, I spoilt her. We'd lay together and I would tell her my hopes and dreams. From making cheerleader to winning barrel races, she was my best friend whom I told everything. One of the biggest promises I made to her was to one day take my bridals on her. I had seen, in a magazine, a beautiful bride posing with a horse and I knew I wanted to do that one day. So instead of dreaming of Prince Charming, I dreamt of how cool my horse and I would look at our photo shoot. As she grew, so did her attitude. My inexperience with colts lead her to become a disrespectful horse. At 3 years old she broke her first arm. My sister was the victim. Literally Chasam ran by and kicked her and ran away. At 4 I sold Chasam. As I dropped her off teary-eyed at her new home I apologized for breaking my promise. Chasam went on to have a little bit of a "Black Beauty" story. She ran threw a barn wire fence and almost died. She was starved at a trainer in order to be too weak to be her usual high spirited self. She flipped on her owner. She colicked twice. Her owner loved her very much but had to board her away from home and had relied on others to rotate feed. Leading to over feeding and colic. One day her owner messaged me asking if I would be interested in buying her back. By this time I was in college at Tarleton State University. Being the horsewoman I had grown into, I saw a money making opportunity and bought her back. But, I was hit with this unrealistic connection I had forgotten I had as a child with her. And I whispered to her, maybe one day I will be able to complete the promise. We went on to have an extremely successful summer of play days and jackpots and felt like we kicked butt everywhere together. It was a wonderful feeling. After placing in lower D's of barrel racing I chose to breed her to achieve a longer leg and fast horse. Chasam had been an amazing barrel horse but never had the speed to get me into the 1 D or even 2 D. So I bred her to a running bred quarter horse. I prayed for a grey colt and was greeted by a long legged sorrel filly. After she foaled, I began to leg her up again. She had a bad attitude and almost went over on me which resulted in Chasam breaking a second arm. This time it was mine. A year after this incident I finally listened to her. I spent so much time thinking she was being naughty instead of listening to her when she was saying she hurt. Chasam had a major surgery on her hamstring to removed a huge mass of scar tissue. She was hurting the whole time I had worked her so hard. I regret not searching for the answers sooner. Three months after her massive surgery, my boyfriend proposed to me. In April of this year, I was able to fulfill a 14 year old promise to my beautiful little mare. This mare has been the catalyst to every great moment in my life. I met one of my best friends at a barrel race one day she wouldn't load into the trailer. That best friend is the reason I went to Fort Worth the night I met my soon to be husband. She is special. She is smart. She is poetically beautiful. And she is forever saved in these beautiful photographs that represent a childhood promise and a little girl's dreams made with a best friend. I couldn't be more blessed. 






Lonette Cutlip(non-registered)
These are so beautiful and the story... What can I say. Cried through it all. What an amazing journey.
Beautiful photos, bride, and horse, and I love the shoes. The story made me all teary-eyed.
Tia Crawford(non-registered)
This story is beautiful and the pictures capture the journey Courtney went on to fulfill a promise she made. So glad a dream of childhood got to come true!
Becky chronister(non-registered)
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