The face of the future

Before his second birthday, this registered solid paint gelding was purchased by a horse-loving young lady. Penny loved the horse she called Ivan. She spent time with him and loved on him. She invested in his training, sending him to a professional trainer for weeks on end. Recognizing that her experience level was no match for a young horse, she took lessons from the same trainer in an effort to learn what she needed to make their relationship work.

Within a couple of years, her circumstances changed dramatically and Penny was no longer able to keep her beloved Ivan. She listed him for sale and was committed to finding him the best home possible.

We were the first to meet the little gruella (referring to his unique colour) gelding once he was for sale. The moment we saw him, we were in love. Especially Emily. The gelding was gentle yet spirited. We took him into the arena and Mike saddled him up. He stood nicely and when Mike got on, he easily walked out. Much to Penny’s dismay, after a few times around the arena, the excitement of being in action got to the young horse and he let out with a series of enthusiastic bucks!!!

Of course, an experienced cowboy like Mike wasn’t too concerned by this behaviour. He rode through it and Ivan settled down and went easily through his paces.

Next, Aidan and Emily each took a turn in the saddle. With every circle around the arena, we fell more in love with this horse. As we prepared to leave that afternoon, we told Penny how interested we were and that we’d get back to her as soon as possible. As we left, we imagined having this lovely horse in our herd.

The next day, I called Penny to talk about us taking him. She said a friend had asked to buy him, offering more money, but that she felt he would get the best life with us. She held him for the week while we sorted things out on our end and came through to purchase him.

Once home, we discussed his barn name. None of us thought the name Ivan suited him so we looked at his papers to see if we could get inspiration from his registered name. From that, we came up with the barn name Drifter.

Emily has dedicated many hours to Drifter, working to refine his skills, manners. He is a willing partner with a ton of character! He’s always at the gate, looking for attention and love. He nibbles everything, goes enthusiastically and also quiets down for a mellow or novice rider. He’s truly a one of a kind horse.

Drifter has matured and is now a high level performance horse. He and Emily have dabbled in a variety of activities including gymkhana, horse shows (western pleasure and English), jumping, trail challenge (obstacle course), cattle work and mountain/trail riding. They are now passionately involved in rodeo, competing with some of the top horse and rider combo’s in Alberta.

If you are interested in discussing our programs further, join us as we walk into the herd to meet the horses.

woman pets horse
Read more about equine-assisted learning.