Pet of the Day

July 15, 2010

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Salish, the Pet of the Day
Name: Salish
Age: Seventeen years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Fleabitten Albino
Home: British Columbia, Canada
   Whatever it is that makes you fall in love with horses happened to me. I started ridng at Riverside Equestrian about five months into my training. I had been at a poorly managed stable before with an un-organized instructor. The day I switched, I was nervous, but excited. My instructor told me I was riding a horse named Salish, a seventeen-year-old fleabitten albino. By the way, that just refers to his speckles, he's not really bitten by fleas.

    I walked down the aisle with her to see Salish. He was a bit dusty, and his ears went back when he saw me, evidently not used to strangers that didn't feed him carrots immediately! I caled his name softly and his ears pricked up as he walked to the front of his stall. He was the first horse I rode at Riverside and I'll never forget it. I was learning to tack up for the first time. I learned his likes and dislikes, stuff like where he liked to be scratched, and making sure his saddle pad was just above his withers bunched up so as not to give him a "horsey wedgie." When my first lesson started I looked around the arena a bit first, examining the jumps and the size of it. Salish didn't tug at me like the rest of the horses I had ridden at the other stable. He let me adjust my stirrups and stayed still while doing so. He had an amazing canter. It was smooth and steady, which was easy to learn on. He was only grumpy while I was doing up his girth, when he nipped at me and threatned me by lifting his leg up. I ignored him, and soon enough he realized it and began to stop.

    One lesson, I was sick and was in a bad mood. I went into Salish's stall and he backed away slightly sensing how I was feeling. I looked at him and reached out my hand. Instead of just sniffing what I had for him, he came up to my face and started nuzzling me, which made me feel better. A week later my friend came riding. She was a lot better than me and was riding a bigger, faster, stronger horse. We were all in a good mood, including the horses. Salish wanted to play a game, so when we were cantering he tried to go as fast as Chester was. So, he made his strides really long and started trying to chase him. It was fun, and both of the horses were definetly enjoying it. After slowing them to a walk, I patted him on the neck. Then, my instructo told me to try jumping. Surely enough, I did. Salish was trying to make it easy for me. My two-point was weak, but he still went over the jumps freely. He didn't drift, and he didn't refuse. He has taught me many things, and is still teaching me more to this day, and taking care of me, just as I do to him. Now, after a few months, he has become more energetic than he was since he started jumping.

    All thanks to him, I'm now jumping almost two feet and still progressing. I know he has made me, and many other riders happy. I thank him for his good attitude, no matter what mine may be, his energy, most of all, his love.

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