Monday, August 17, 2009

The Ride of a Lifetime! ~ by Deanna

We had a rare treat last night ~ a trail ride involving four key members of the sanctuary. Woody has discovered an affinity for Ms. Cuervo and she appears to really enjoy being his girl. Once you ride a gaited horse, your life is forever changed! Zulu and Margaret got some trail time in before participating in their first ACTHA ride this weekend (we're on a fact-finding mission for our October 10th fundraiser!) Our new RM, Deborah Jacobs (DJ), is seeking her equine soul-mate and took Eddie out for a try, which they both enjoyed thoroughly. Lastly, I was absolutely thrilled to take Stevie out for the first time.

My intuition told me that Stevie had been a riding horse before his blindness set in, but we know nothing about his past. Fitted with a just a bareback pad and a hackamore for his comfort, we set out to Traylor Ranch. Our collective hunch was that the sweet boy would enjoy and outing and he certainly did. It took him a bit to get familiar with his riding partners, but soon was confident enough to give them clear "back off" signals and stride out ahead of them. Seeing him use all of his senses to excitedly explore his surroundings was one of the most uplifting equine experiences of my life. He was clearly having a ball! He trusted my guidance and did everything but break into a lope, even crossing the wooden bridge.

One of the most endearing things about Stevie is the way his bottom lip hangs a bit and moves quite liberally as he gains speed.

[My editing is obvious, but we're both looking at the camera!]

He is such a beautiful, well-built and confident boy. I couldn't be more of proud of Stevie and look forward to enriching his experience here with more adventures.

Next time you visit, call his name and he will answer with a nicker. He loves people!


Meg said...

Yay Stevie!! He is definitely NOT a disabled horse. He is so lucky to have found his way to ACFB.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am not sure who to contact on this, but in Friday, Aug. 28 news footage about the arrest of Phillip Garrido, CNN showed a frail looking Siamese-type cat huddled at the Garrido doorstep. I'm wondering if the cat was left behind when everyone was taken out/arrested. Can you check on this? If the cat was left behind, it probably hasn't eaten in several days. Thank you(and thanks for the beautiful work you do with animals).

Cathy Atkins