The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

State News

October 14, 2013

Former Hulman George race horses adopted at event

(Continued)

ST. MARY-OF-THE-WOODS, Ind. —

"I hope it's something that we can grow," Bozarth said.

Dottie King, SMWC president, said, "It is a win-win situation."

Equine students at SMWC benefited from the experience.

"It gives our students an opportunity to work with horses" they would not otherwise be able to work with, King said.

The "hands-on experience for the students" is valuable, said Angie McMillin, operations and stable manager. The students worked with the horses for six weeks. They taught "them a different way of life" as they transition "mentally" from being a race horse to a second career (such as jumper, hunter, etc.), McMillin said.

Every half hour, prospective adopters had an opportunity to see some of the horses walk, trot and canter. SMWC students did some warm ups with the horses before riding them.

One student, Anna Gaffney, rode three horses.

"They've been the greatest gift to me," she said of horses.

"Showing horses for me is the biggest adrenaline rush in the world," the long-time thoroughbred rider said.

The first horse she rode was 7-year-old Check in Advance, with whom she has developed an attachment.

Gaffney said she chose Check in Advance to work with in class because of its eyes.

"His eyes are his best quality. They're soft, kind, and they have a story to tell," she said.

And Gaffney has become part of that story.

In addition to feeding and grooming Check in Advance, she also trained it for the past few weeks.

"I wanted him to walk away from me a mentally sound horse and confident in himself," she said.

It also taught Gaffney a few life lessons including patience and assertiveness.

"Horses are very humbling. They have a very calming way of bringing us back to reality," she said

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