Finally, the wet weather is here and Anderson’s cough has all but gone away! He is definitely a Northwest boy who likes wet air that is dry and certainly not smoky! We are going to lower his dose of prednisolone to try to wean him off of it. There is a chance he will need to stay on a low dose and increase it when during dry weather or poor air quality. The easiest way to understand what he has is if you know anyone who suffers from asthma. While it is not exactly the same, he will most likely get flair ups of different degrees and need medication to help him through the episodes. An easy fix and otherwise he remains a very content, healthy and sound horse.
Anderson continues to be a star for riding and trail work. He is consistently improving in both his skill and attitude around riding. We had a wonderful experience at the end of the summer at the Ricky Quinn clinic in Ellensburg. Ricky travels the US and Internationally teaching horsemanship and sharing his study of his study of the teachings of Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Buck Brannaman. It was a great learning opportunity for both Anderson and myself. I feel very lucky to have had the chance to ride a SAFE horse in one of Ricky’s clinics. We spent the mornings working on horsemanship and the afternoons putting those skills to work sorting cattle and swinging the rope.
Anderson exceeded every expectation I could imagine during this long weekend. He was a champ loading, settling in and very well behaved in the new surroundings. The weather was not so pleasant with high winds but even with things blowing about, he remained connected to me and feeling of my energy. Ricky was very helpful in showing where a solid foundation can be built upon to ultimately taking the horse into one hand and working cattle. While I am not on a path to be a rancher, I am very interested in the extreme lightness of the horses worked in this style of horsemanship. They are very engaged in the hind quarters, in self carriage and light to the aids, all while remaining relaxed in their dispositions.
There were many things done to help ready the horses for introduction of the cows and each step helped make the experience easy and safe. We learned to follow behind a moving dummy both pulled by another horse and a gator as well as the importance of our positioning around the livestock. It took Anderson just a few minutes to settle into the work and soon we were sorting the cows and literally walking right through the small herd. He was drawn to their life and was interested in moving them. By the last day one of the other participants jokingly commented that Anderson was no longer a rescue Arabian but looked as comfortable as an old ranch horse. It meant the world to me to hear these words. Andy has truly come so far and whatever the future holds for him, I am confident the foundation SAFE has provided him will carry him into a very happy life.
A few weeks ago Joel Conner came out to SAFE for the last clinic of the year. I was very pleased to allow one of our young volunteers the opportunity to ride Anderson in the clinic. Not know exactly what he may do with her in a clinic setting I was very cautious and stayed close as they both settled into the class. Again, as always, he surpassed all expectation and was a perfect gentleman for Jennifer. Here is what she had to say about her rides on Andy:
“I really enjoyed riding Anderson in Joel’s clinic. He was extremely patient with me while I was learning to ride and trying to figure out what I was asking from him. He was quiet and calm and made it very easy to learn on him. During the entire clinic he was responsive to me even with my slightest move he knew how to react. I felt very safe with him and knew he was a horse that could be trusted. I learned a lot with him and can’t wait for the next clinic!”
Anderson is READY for his new life to begin. He still requires a fairly good rider or at least one willing to learn how to ride him without tight legs and heavy hands. He is a great companion out in the field with the other geldings and we have been able to go on quite a few solo trail rides. He will require someone come to SAFE a few times to get to know him and I am excited to find the right person to hand him over too. He is a loving boy and I know a very special person will find him soon!