I have owned horses and been an avid horse rider since I was a teenager. I survived those years and when I reached my sixties, I decided to minimize my risk factors. I started a search for a horse no younger than 10 years old, well broken, not spooky on the trail, a gelding and of course, sound. He was to be my trail partner for the rest of my life.

A friend showed me a horse on Facebook that had been rescued by HERD. He was a former camp horse in his teens. He sounded perfect. I met with HERD rescue angel, Heather Freeman to have a look at the camp horse. She said, “First, I want you to look at this other horse, Tuscany. He was a five year old, recently gelded, and green broke. The only criteria that he met was he was a gelding. Just to be polite I looked at him, but was not interested, not at all. He was not “the one”. 

The camp horse did not work out for me, but Heather said, “Come and ride Tuscany”. The weather was beautiful and I wanted to ride even though I knew this was not the horse I wanted. He did really well and the next week I took him for a camp and trail ride for a couple of days. I said yes to the horse and changed his name to Rafiki, which means “friend” in Swahili. I call him Rafi.

In a few months, Rafi went with me out west to ride in Colorado for a few weeks and we have not looked back. We primarily trail ride, but I love to take him to clinics to develop our partnership.

Life and Rafi continue to teach me not not make assumptions. He is the finest horse that has ever chosen me. We are a match.