Monday, June 20, 2016

When Opportunity Comes Knocking, Answer the Door

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” –Thomas Edison-

Opportunities to learn and grow are all around me here at BUFF. I am extremely lucky to have great mentors who are constantly helping me take advantage of any and every learning opportunity. I have had such amazing experiences thus far and it seems with each week, I experience something new and incredible that I will not only remember for the rest of my career, but for the rest of my life, such as my caving expedition in Fitton Cave and my ongoing horseback certification class.

A picture of Gus sizing me up
BUFF is home to Fred and Gus, two horses full of personality that specialize in assisting rangers in their patrols. I have been getting to know Fred and Gus very well because they are assisting myself and three other rangers in achieving our horseback certification. We began the cert class last Thursday and will continue to meet every Thursday for the next couple of weeks.

With each week, we learn a little bit more. Our first day with the horses was spent learning how to safely and properly care for the horses. We started by learning to stable the horses and then how to feed them. We then progressed into how to put the halter on and how to lead the horses as well as how to tie them up. Next, we learned how to groom and read the horses’ body language. We concluded the day with learning the different parts of a saddle and how to properly saddle a horse. Next Thursday, we are progressing into actually riding the horses.

I have come to learn that horses are amazingly intelligent creatures and they are very expressive. I have also learned just how important it is to pay attention to their mannerisms because by doing so, you can tell a whole lot about the horse’s temperament. They are so powerful and strong, and while they would never mean to harm a human, they are surely capable of doing so, thus it is extremely important to gauge how they are feeling.

I never even dreamt of having the opportunity to receive my horseback certification this summer, so to be able to do so is absolutely awesome and I am so grateful for the opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the next six weeks have in store and I can promise you that I will take advantage of any and every opportunity that comes my way.

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