Today’s chore was to sift the garbage out of the piles of used sand that had been donated to the ranch. Once clean we planned to use the sand for footing on our riding pen.
Jordan asked his mentor Cassy, question after question not needing or waiting for any answers. “Why do we need to clean this sand? How did it get so dirty? Ouch! What is this? Why do we have to do a chore? I’m nervous. What do the horses eat? Do you think it's going to rain? I bet they eat wheat. Am I going to ride a horse today? I’m nervous. Do you know what time it is? What is this? Does my voice sound low?”
Jordan felt more comfortable and perhaps safer when his feet were moving and when his words were flowing. It was obvious that he was excited and a little nervous - and not just because he had told us so more than once.
After the chore was done and Jordan was fitted with his riding helmet, we took him to meet Hero.
Hero is our amazing Arab who in the fall of 2012 was desperately in need of finding a new family.
Before Hero became ours, his name was Furi and he belonged to the Preison’s, a loving family stationed at the airforce base in Grand Forks. After an unfortunate event that left Shawn medically unable to continue his service to our country, the Preison family made plans to move. However, their family was in Florida and their new home wasn’t suited for a horse.
A couple of months after putting their horse up for sale and still not getting any offers, the Preison family was beginning to think that the worst may happen. They couldn't take Furi with them, but it was not allowed to leave him behind at the base stables. Worry was a reality and as they prayed for an answer. A few days later they heard about Stable Days and reached out to our ranch. It was in their best interest to sell and not donate their horse so we let them know they could keep him on the market for sale for as long as they possibly could and when and if they needed us to bring Furi into our ranch herd, he had a place.
Furi's family ran out of time but felt a peace in their hearts that his place was meant to be at the ranch all along. The Preison's brought his out and spent the afternoon helping him settle in and saying their goodbyes.
We we welcomed their horse into our lives with open arms, and as is usual for a new horse, he or she is given a new name along with their new adventure. We chose the name Hero, to honor the Preison's years of service to our county.
Hero was already in the riding pen waiting for Jordan, and as Jordan approached the gate, Hero threw his head up and whinnied hello.
“Is this my horse?” Jordan asked. “Do I get to ride him?” His voice was softer and his words slower. You could see that he was already affected by the beauty and strength that Hero possessed.
“Jordan, this is Hero. This is the horse that you get to care for. And yes, you will be able to ride him today, if you want to.” Cassy smiled and watched Jordan lower his head and approach Hero with the respect due a king.
“Hello Hero, I think I might ride you today,” said Jordan. Hero stood still as Jordan looked up into his eyes and reached up to feel his soft face. Jordan leaned forward and gave his new friend a kiss on the nose.
Cassy and I told Jordan Hero’s story- how he came to be at the ranch and how often times Hero felt insecure. Being the smallest gelding, Hero was last to get food and last to drink from the water tank. The other horses never hurt Hero, but they made it known that he would always come in last. Jordan’s eyes met mine and with a soft thoughtful smile he said, “Hero and I are so much alike, we’re like horse brothers.”