Ryker has been more than wonderful. Great to ride, wonderful to handle, and just generally a pleasure to have in the barn.  This does not surprise me one bit, but then again... I know he's awesome.  

At the barn he is currently at, there is a woman with her two young daughters that help do chores.  The youngest has fallen madly in love with Ryker.  It really is the cutest thing ever.  Her mother said to me today, "He is so sweet, he let [her daughter] go into his stall and feed him.  I can't believe he's been off the track for so little time, he's so calm.".  Her experience with OTTBs has mainly been with rescues that no one wants, because they aren't easy to handle, and never have set boundaries - they are the bitters, the kickers, the cribbers, and weavers that everyone dreads (granted, none of those thing are disastrously terrible, just not desired).  It is so sad that this would be her first impression of these wonderful animals, but its refreshing to see that impression change, even ever so slightly!  At the end of chores, her daughter bolted back into the barn to give Ryker a hug and a kiss in his stall - barefoot no less (granted she was well scolded for the barefoot bit) - Ryker kept his head super low, and didn't move a foot, sniffing her intently, and letting her hug his face and neck - he knew he had to be gentle.  What a love, I wish I had been quick enough to capture a photo of such a sweet moment.  Go OTTBs! 


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