It seems like every time we have a good group of volunteers that are working with training the horses, some qualify for horses and take one or two rescues home. Young people go off to college, folks move away and on and on. Then we have to start all over again with new volunteers to help to work with the horses to get them ready for new loving quality homes. The ground training is fun to watch and the horses build trust and bond with the person that is working with them. But our folks often don’t have the abilities to work with the rescues under saddle.
For years we have needed a nice, large, gentle horse that HPS could use to help the volunteers that are working with the horses, to ride and for others to improve their riding abilities. We had hoped that the right horse would come to the sanctuary and that has not happened over so many years. We have had so many wonderful horses come and go to homes, but none that would have been a good lesson horse.
Several months ago we received a grant that would allow us to look for the right horse in the equine marketplace. Two of us took the task on to find that special horse: had to be large boned, good conformation, gentle, not easily excited, not too young or too old, reasonable cost, three gaited, and a bonus would be if the horse was trained in both English and Western riding.
Tons of emails, phone calls, frustration finally brought us to the sweet mare we purchased for $1,000. Our mare is a Percheron cross, 15 hands tall, and weighs about 1,500 pounds. The less that someone knows about riding correctly, it calls for that person to ride a larger horse. This also applies to taller people. In all she is in good condition but a balanced diet and exercise will be just what she needs to turn some of her fat into muscle. At some point she had slight laminitis and at the present the soles of her hooves are thin and need to be built up. We have worked with horses like this many times and know we can help to take care of this issue.
Gypsy is settling in well and we can't wait to see her flourish in our training program. She is so sweet and gentle it is difficult to not fall in love with her instantly and our volunteers are so excited to work with her! No horse can teach anyone how to ride but a strong partnership with the right horse sure can sometimes make it seem that way. We are honored to have this gorgeous mare join our training program!