By Dan Roark
The picture is of me washing Flash, a gray 2004 model grade quarter horse gelding who came to New Hope in 2020, during the heat wave last summer. He was given to New Hope by his owner who could no longer ride. Flash was nervous when he arrived until Missy took him under her wing. But he is a confident herd member now.
Flash is a joy to ride. Quite frankly though, all the horses – and Daisy Mae – are a joy to ride in their own way. Which is what makes the herd perfect for equine therapy. There’s pretty much a horse for every situation, being that each horse (or mule) has attributes that accommodate different riders’ needs.
Flash will stand perfectly still when a rider is mounting or
dismounting. He will also stand perfectly still if he gets mixed signals from riders, leaders, or side walkers. Once it’s clear what the message is, he’ll start again. Flash has his limit though, when it comes to mixed signals. When that limit is reached, he’ll head to where he was tacked up and stand still. The rider can stay on if he or she chooses. But Flash isn’t going anywhere.
Flash’s gait gives the rider different stimulation within the walk. His trot requires riders to constantly adjust their balance while staying centered on his back. Not much is known about Flash before he came to the little universe we call New Hope. Which is unfortunate because we don’t know what his issues are that exist because of that life. It is suspected that he was a working ranch horse. Because…well…he acts like it.
Ride on and ride for hope.