Pepe, a 3-year-old sorrel gelding, came to the Harmony Equine Center in March 2016 from Colorado Horse Rescue Network in Berthoud, Colo., as part of the WaterShed Animal Fund training program. Our goal was to help Pepe, who had apparently never been ridden, learn the skills to become a great family or trail-riding horse—and then help him find a great home.
During the three months he spent at the center, friendly, affectionate Pepe worked diligently with our trainers, first on saddling, then on arena work and arena riding, and finally on trail riding. Although he bucked at first and was difficult to slow down, Pepe quickly learned to relax and get the hang of riding. During his stay, he gained 115 pounds, and we tended to his teeth and feet to ensure they were healthy.
In May 2016, Krista and Peter N. of Grand Junction, Colo., visited the Harmony Equine Center on a friend’s recommendation while in the area for an equine massage course. Says Krista, “I was so impressed by the center and their dedication that I began to consider adopting a horse myself. Walking through the barn taking time to connect with the horses, I gravitated to a 3-year-old sorrel gelding who was Pepe. His stumpy ears due to frostbite did not deter me, and almost instantly we seemed to connect.”
Krista left that day without Pepe, but after weighing all the considerations with regard to adopting him, she returned two weeks later to ride him. Convinced of their bond, Krista and Peter came back on June 11, and Pepe was the only horse in the barn. Recalls Krista, “He was looking out over his stall door at me, as if to say, ‘Well, hello there! You’re finally here to pick me up!’ I got a little choked up at that point.”
Nine months later, Krista reports that Pepe is “a treasure.” After having some time off during the winter to mature, he has turned 4 years old and is coming back to work under saddle. “And he’s better than ever!” says Krista. “Pepe is a smart horse with tons of personality, and he loves to be the center of attention. I have never before had a horse who comes running over to greet me in the field. We have been on some awesome trail rides and continue to build on arena training. Thanks to all the team at the Harmony Equine Center for their dedication and the tireless work they do. We love Pepe!”
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