Monday, February 11, 2013


One of my co workers and I got to talking, ok with some griping about work, and we discovered we both had learned to ride at the same Base stables in NC. My memories were fonder than hers as she had a naughty pony. After that she has carried a nervousness about horses. I told her about Dottie, who though big is the sweetest horse. She decided to come out to the barn and get a ride.
The weather was only a little chilly this weekend. Which allowed me to hop on Dottie the day before she came. With Dottie's lameness issues and the weather, the last person to ride her was Lily. Well it turned out I had nothing to worry about. Dottie was ready to work. She walked out well, a major achievement for her, and picked up her front end with only my hands carried. As she can feel like a yacht when turning, I used lateral movements to get her bending and stepping under herself. She surprises me how easily she does shoulder in and leg yields. I would love to know more about her training history. Anyway I kept the ride short, which was really hard to stop, so she would not be sore for my co worker.
The next day my co worker and her boyfriend came bearing goodies. The horses got carrots, apples, bananas and can you believe broccoli. Once Dottie was convinced they were her new best feeders...oh wait, friends, I put her in the cross ties so they could brush on her. There is something about grooming a horse that settles the mind. Plus I wanted them to see that she is a gentle giant. Dottie was perfect and stood still.
I tacked her up and went to get helmets for both of them. We all laughed when we realized the only helmet that fit my co worker was Lily's purple with a pony picture. Her boyfriend just barely fit into my dad's western helmet. Oh well better safe than fashionable. Up first was my co worker. She was a little tense at first, but soon settled and enjoyed the ride. I led her around the field and we laughed as Dottie constantly drifted towards her boyfriend. She was convinced he must have more treats. Then we did the same for her boyfriend. Dottie was great. She used to do therapy rides with a previous owner, so she knows when to click in therapy mode.
When both rides were complete, my co worker looked at me and said "For as nervous as I was getting on, I am so relaxed now and ready for the next crazy week of work." Score one for pony therapy. My co worker even talked about a return visit.
And now for the best comment from her boyfriend, who has had to do bike patrol " Do you have to wear padded garments? I can see this (points to saddle) getting hard." I had to laugh. Of all the questions to be asked. All I could say was that I did not ride long enough at a time to need extra padding, but I knew that it was available in catalogs.
Worth her weight in gold :)
Overall it was a relaxing, fun day.


  1. That's so cool! There is definitely something to equine assisted therapy, official or unofficial. My college just started offering a minor in that, actually, a collaboration between the equine department and the psych department. I wish I had something I could put guests on. I think you understand better than anyone when I say Connor is totally safe, but just too sensitive - they'd brush him with a boot or something and he'd jump ten feet.

    1. Yeah I am a big believer in all animal therapies.That is great they are recognizing the benefits. Give Connor time, he may surprise you but I do know what you mean. I pointed to Winston and said "that is one horse you will not ride since he is so sensitive."

  2. That sounds so cool and super fun, I love finding things out like this and finding out that you work with 'horse friends' and sometimes you never know that.

  3. I volunteer at our local RDA (riding for disabled) and I have seen some amazing things happen because if therapy from a horse.

    Ive never known a horse to eat broccoli before :-)