The first glimpse we had of Arrow was of a slender buckskin horse curled up in the back of a paddock, sternal like a cat in the ‘loaf’ position, watching over his surroundings. He rose slowly, in no hurry to greet us, accepting our invitation to come over and say hello like a gentleman – wary but not unfriendly.

When we were told we would be picking up a stallion who had not had regular handling in some time, we felt it in our right to be a bit cautious. On the side of our trailer we packed 6‑foot tall panels to chute him in, grain and hay to lure him. Having a halter and lead on hand was an afterthought, a route we did not envision being able to take.

But as he approached the fenceline, allowing us to reach over and scratch his chunky cheeks, we realized that this was perhaps not the unruly creature we had prepared for. He had soft eyes, and put up no fuss as we nosed a halter on. We’d made a panel chute, just in case, but ended up leading him right up into the trailer. He shook with nerves, his first time in the trailer in a long while, but loaded in quietly and with the utmost bravery.

Unloading at SAFE, he was calm and cool in his new surroundings. His arrival also happened to coincide with a streak of warm days here in Redmond, which made us itch to be able to give him a good bath. There was mud caked onto his hocks that we couldn’t wait to scrub off, and a bit of rain rot that was begging for a curry. So after that initial day of settling in, we grabbed our sponges and got Arrow all ready for his bathtime debut.

While it had likely been a while since he’d last seen a hose, Arrow was brave for those first sprays of water. Whatever trepidation he did have, he was able to be quite easily talked out of. So with great relish, we were able to scrape away at his mud and dirt, and get Arrow nice and tidy for his new life at SAFE. He is, so far, a very sweet and level-headed boy, and we are very excited to continue to get to know him as one of our future geldings.