Inula’s ringbone will keep her from being a riding horse, but it doesn’t mean that she can’t develop and hone her skills on the ground. While she is still young and relatively new to everything, Inula has been a fast learner.

Our first impressions of Inula, when she was still sloughing off an unhealthy and smelly coat from her previous home, getting halter started under a warm May sun, were that she was a ‘nice horse.’ Personality wise, yes — she was sweet and curious and lacked some of the world-weariness of her peers, but mostly ‘nice’ as it related to her willingness to learn. She was, or rather is, the type to ask questions, to hunt for answers instead of assuming she already has them, to Try with a capital T. We get many unstarted, unhaltered horses here at SAFE, but rare are those who arrive as relatively blank slates with an open-mind.

Since last May, Inula has continued her work on the ground, learning how to free up her feet and how to hone her feel of people. She is a young horse, and has some ‘baby brain’ moments, but for the most part is a sweet, curious little thing and a real pleasure to spend time around. She has also reached a point in her education where she can begin to be the ‘teacher’ as well as the student. While her groundwork still needs direction (what horse’s doesn’t), she is familiar enough with the movements that she can be used to help educate people who are sharpening their groundwork skills. Her feel‑y nature makes working with her a fun experience, and as a companion, the more people interact with her, the more gentle she will ultimately be.

Horsemanship volunteers Casey and Carrie spent some time with Inula recently, and remarked on how soft (and fun!) she is to spend time with. She really looks for the right answers, and doesn’t take much convincing to move her hind a little bit more, or bring her front a little more intentionally. In layman’s terms, she is a pleasure to have in class, and who can resist petting that lovable face?

Following her working sessions, Inula always stands like a champ for grooming. She is shedding out currently, and offloads what feels like a ton of hair each day! For a little mare who was once incredibly herdbound, she has grown quite comfortable in her solitude, especially when supported by a human.

From not being halter-broke less than a year ago, Inula certainly has come far. This little lady is ready to hindquarters-frontquarters her way into your home and heart!