**** In Progress ****
About 5 months ago I started volunteering for CANTER California in NorCal - conveniently for me they are located in Davis! CANTER was previously in the bay area, but moved to Davis a few years ago. When they came to Davis, I really wanted to get involved, but at the time I just didn't have the time. I actually emailed them and heard about opportunities to ride either Troy or Seafire, but it didn't work out with my schedule.
A friend ended up getting involved, and she kept telling me "come ride with me!" or "come be a CANTER volunteer!". Finally, I decided I needed to start.
The first two horses I spent the most time with were Just Peachy, "Peachy", and Nana Loves Luke, "Luke". Both Peachy and Luke had full time volunteers at the time, so I was just the theraband girl on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Because I have still not decided how to efficiently blog each of the things that I do - I am going to, for this first CANTER post, separate my experience by each horse.
Fun Fact: Wears an 81" blanket (she's a big girl)
My first few mornings at CANTER, Peach was the horse I was spending time with. I learned how to use the theraband set up with Peachy, and our first several weeks together were non-eventful and relatively predictable. At some point when winter was really beginning, Peachy decided that she no longer wanted to spend time with me therabanding on Tuesdays & Thursdays and became more and more of a challenge for me. Thank goodness I have a few really helpful CANTER volunteers/friends that are always around and able to help me whenever there was a problem I couldn't resolve.
Peach isn't my ideal horse, and we don't mesh perfectly, but our "strictly business" relationship has turned into more of a friendship more of lately. The past three or four weeks, Peach has been extremely well behaved for me and much more willing to do her work. She has been getting loads of supportive care (shockwave, massage therapy, etc.) and I think in addition to me being more receptive to her personality, she is also just overall feeling better these days.
Likes: Snuggles and attention
Dislikes: Not getting attention
Fun Fact: Luke was adopted by a wonderful girl last
month, and is doing great!
A few days into my volunteering, I began working with Luke on the therabands Tuesday & Thursday as well. Luke was a practically opposite horse to work with, because he had the opposite of an attitude. He was the most easy-going, nice little gelding to be around. Every once and awhile during his workout he would buck and romp around out of nowhere, but if I just told him "easy", he came right back down. He was a really fun horse to get to know, and was cleared for work in early January and then adopted a few days later. I keep up with his new "mom" on Instagram, and it makes my heart full to see how much she loves him. That is exactly what I want for all of the CANTER horses!
Likes: Working, dressage,
Dislikes: Jump standards, days off
Fun Fact: Seafire earned over $100,000 on the track!
I didn't start getting to spend time with Seafire until mid-December. His main volunteer is incredibly devoted to him and has done astounding work with him, so whenever I get the chance to ride him I am basically just taking advantage of all the things that she's taught him. He is insanely good at his job and honestly wants to teach me dressage whenever I ride him! His work ethic is impressive and I just have no idea why this superstar doesn't have a home yet.
Likes: Consistency, face pets, carrots
Fun Fact: Gallon earned over a $250,000 on the track and was Kentucky bred!