Today was a great day to volunteer at the therapeutic riding center! As I’ve mentioned before, Sundays are lazy… if you could ever really be lazy on a farm with so many animals, that is. At any rate, there are no lessons on Sunday, which means fewer visitors. And from my very first day of volunteering (which happened to fall on a Saturday) the center’s employees and volunteers alike have all mentioned that Sunday is the most laid back day of the week, making it a great time to really enjoy being out on the farm with the animals.
I arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon to find Marcy and her boyfriend Mark catching up on some paperwork. After signing in, I helped them hay and water the horses, including the three senior boys – Dar, Calypso and Joe – out in the front pasture. Next, we set out to do pasture checks on the rest of the fields when Marcy casually mentioned that they had a new horse. Before I could even ask who, what or where, I looked up and came face to face with Loki and gasped… A magnificent Friesian is not something you see every day!
The stuff of legends materialized, Friesians are rare, expensive and absolutely awe-inspiring—and Loki was certainly no exception. After setting eyes on him, I was not surprised to learn that Loki came with a portfolio. As a former model, he had graced the pages of calendars and magazines before coming to the center by way of a close friend in need of finding him a good home. His extensive training and size make him a hopeful candidate to someday participate in therapeutic riding at the center, but only time will tell if that is to be his path. One thing is for sure – I definitely envy Marcy, who is one of the lucky people who gets to ride him during his “tryout” phase!
After completing pasture checks, feeding and watering, Marcy, Mark and I gave the stalls a final once-over, swept the aisle, fed the cats and headed on our way. As I meandered back to the city, taking my time on the old country roads leading from the riding center, I couldn’t help but think ahead to my next scheduled day—my first day actually participating in a real therapeutic riding class! I know little, other than to show up between 5:45 and 6:00 p.m. and that class will start at 6:30—making the control freak in me rattle the internal cages a bit, worrying about what to expect…