Sprinkles New Hoof Boots
The latest post from a member of our Cavallo Community, Dutch Henry.
A friend of Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center in Lexington, VA rescued a horribly underweight horse last September. Because his grey coat was sprinkled with black dots, she named him, Sprinkles. He is an Arab, Appaloosa cross with the most intelligent eyes and caring attitude. The vet said he was about 25 -27 years old.
Hoofbeats was the perfect new home for Sprinkles, a loving, caring and teaching place devoted to enriching the lives of children and adults with a wide range of disabilities, physical and mental. Hoofbeats is a place that saves horses and changes lives, their motto is, “Horses Helping People.” Each year 150 students take part in classes and activities ranging from simply brushing a horse to learning to be part of a drill team. To learn more about Hoofbeats and the wonderful work they do visit their website at www.hoof-beats.com.
Sprinkles was a hit the moment he stepped into the barn. At first he was too weak to do more than give brushing and bathing lessons, but as the weeks went on and he gained weight and energy he gradually found his way into the riding lesson rotation. He began making a huge difference in students and their parents’ lives as soon as he became well enough to go out in the ring for lessons. A young mother whose daughter, who has poor eyesight and limited sense of balance, was learning to ride with Sprinkles discovered the love and bonding a horse can give a human, when he bonded with her. “Sprinkles is the first horse that ever showed any interest in me!” The mother said. A young man who had suffered terrible injuries in an accident learned balance with Sprinkles’ help, and a 6 year old girl felt the joy of self-confidence when Sprinkles carried her around the ring. More than a dozen children, not able to ride, have learned the proper way to brush, bathe and lead a horse under the tutelage of the kindly Sprinkles.
Too soon though, Carol Branscome, Hoofbeats’ head instructor, noticed that Sprinkles was becoming a little sore footed. I happened to be there the day they were discussing putting shoes on Sprinkles and suggested they try Cavallos’ Simple Hoof Boots. Carol loved the idea. We contacted Krystle at Cavallo right away with the correct size for Sprinkles, and she immediately offered to donate a pair! In about a week Sprinkles had his new boots. And stride!
“They’re absolutely wonderful and Sprinkles loves them. He actually holds his foot up by himself for the children to put them on!” Carol told me. She said they are so easy to put on every student at Hoofbeats can slip on Sprinkles’ new boots. “We are so impressed we are starting a fund drive to get Cavallo boots for each of our 8 horses!”
Sprinkles was the hit of the day at this year’s “Battle of the Instructors”, Hoofbeats’ annual “fun day,” sporting his new boots and giving his riders a chance to shine. Sadly Sprinkles has taken a turn for the worse in the past few weeks and though he continues to teach his students the basics in horsemanship, his ring time is limited to a few hours a week. While he is now semi-retired Sprinkles continues to teach and will for some time. “The children won’t let him retire!” Carol said with a broken voice. “On days when he is too tired to go outside they gather in his stall for their classroom lessons.”
Carol said she wanted to thank the folks at Cavallo Horse & Rider for making the past few months so much better for a horse with a lot more love to give. The folks at Cavallo want to thank Carol, Sprinkles and all the people and horses who do so much to help others.
I asked Carol if they needed anything else at Hoofbeats and she said they would like to find a horse who could teach students to canter. So folks, if you know of a horse who would like to move to one of the friendliest places on earth and help to teach kids, please contact me or Carol at Hoofbeats.
I’m going to see Sprinkles soon. I’ll give him a big hug for you, Krystle. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.
If you would like Dutch Henry to write your story, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His novel “We’ll Have The Summer” is available on Amazon and at www.dutchhenryauthor.com .