Cate Lamm, an avid horsewoman, has been a part of Colorado Horse Rescue (www.chr.org) for 10 years. There, she’s served as head of the adoption committee, has acted as general manager and now works as a rehabilitation trainer. Lamm has owned a number of her own rescue horses and has 20 years of equine experience. Based in Longmont, Colorado, she’s also the editorial assistant of The Trail Rider (www.trailridermag.com), sister publication of MyHorseDaily.com.
The day my rescue horse, Bailey, arrived, I was so excited! My new project was here, and I couldn’t wait to help him through all the fear I’d seen in him at our first meeting. After all he had been deemed a killer horse and turned out to pasture for a year. I was pretty sure whatever led him to be aggressive was not his fault, and the time at the horse rescue had helped him decompress.
Little did I know that right away Bailey would put me in a situation where I had to face my own fears.
Have you ever had a trainer or someone you respected tell you to do something and your gut told you not to, but you did it anyway, then regretted it? For me, this was one of those times. In this case, my fear of confrontation made me back down.
I was working with a trainer I will call, Jane. As soon as I got Bailey off the trailer, Jane said, “Well let’s see how he goes, tack him up!”
I was shocked. I’d planned on giving Bailey time to settle in first. My little voice said, Don’t do it, give him time. But, I was too intimidated to stand up for myself and what I thought was right. I didn’t want to argue with Jane.
So, I tacked up Bailey, and got on! He was even more scared than the first time I rode him, of course, being in an unfamiliar setting. I asked him to move forward. He started off fast, then took a sideways step to get me off balance. Then he gave a huge buck to remove me from the saddle! Well, I deserved that!
Jane walked away, disgusted with me and my “dangerous” horse.
I knew I needed to get back on, but now we were both scared. I took a deep breath to calm down. Then I walked Bailey around the arena talking to him the whole time to help him relax.
I got on again. This time, I made sure no one was watching. Just being on Bailey alone, I was much more relaxed. I ride a lot better when no one is looking, can you relate?
Bailey felt my relaxed energy and he calmed down too, we walked around the arena for a bit, then I got off. I wanted this second session to end well. That was enough for our second ride.
That day, I learned that my new horse would definitely be a challenge to ride and train. I also realized it would take some time to gain his trust.
Equally challenging would be learning to face and overcome my fear of standing up for myself.
If you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check outAHomeForEveryHorse.com.
Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project. This project helps find homes for America’s 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.
Here’s how it works:
• Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.
• Visit the site’s “Services” section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
• Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.
If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100.
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