Sunday, March 8, 2009
A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing
I first met Red Feather about a year and a half ago. He had to be captured because he consistently escaped the safety of the 4WD area and ventured into Virginia with his band of mares. He was quite a difficult capture for the herd manager. Unlike every other Corolla that I have seen, he was hyper violent. The day I first met him in North Carolina I expected to halter train him in an hour or two and then head on. Instead he absolutely defeated me. I accomplished nothing but for having the opportunity to spend time with the most athletic horse that I had ever seen in the round pen.
About six month's later Karen McCalpin, director of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, asked me to take him to my place to see if I could just teach him enough so that he would be safe around other people since there really was no hope of adopting him out.
He and I had strong differences in our management styles. In fact, he kicked and bit me more times than every single time a horse had kicked or bitten me, combined. The problem was that he bluffed little and was so quick it was like working a horse that had a black belt. His training got interrupted for long periods of time over the last year. Rebecca, Brent, Chance, Jacob, and Ashley put a lot of work into getting him to accepting a rider.
He is still an amazing athlete but he is not violent. He is now wise. He has a basset hounds soul in the body of an Olympic athlete. Yesterday, Rylee took him in the woods for about an hour and then Danielle rode him for three more hours. His behavior was perfect.
He maintained his streak. Each of the few people who have ridden him agree that he is the smoothest moving horse that they have ever ridden.
I doubt if Danielle and Rylee together would weigh 150 lbs. Regardless of size, they rode with skill and confidence and brought out the best of this amazing little horse. I am as proud of them as I am of Red Feather.
The picture above is the first time Red Feather accepted a pad on his back.
Posted by Steve Edwards