I have volunteered at Saddle Up! since 2007 and I have worked with many amazing horses, but Boomer (a.k.a. Boom Boom or The Boominator) is unmatched in his dependability, from the crossties to the mounting block to the arena and back again. He is so calm in the crossties that we joke about needing the rarely used “wake up and walk on” command. He is totally unflappable.
Once, as a rider attempted to get a very heavy saddle onto his back with minimal help, the rider accidentally hit Boomer in the side with it. In response, all Boomer did was slightly shift his weight to keep his balance. His responsiveness in lessons allows multiple riders—whose efforts to steer or initiate a trot with limited physical strength have gone ignored by other horses—to ride with confidence and pride. His awareness of where his rider is is so keen that he’s constantly made instantaneous adjustments in his position that have saved his riders before the human team needed to become involved.
Boomer became a much-requested therapy horse even before his first week of lessons was over. He is unbothered by sidewalkers and is beautifully responsive for our more advanced riders who ride off-lead. Boomer’s greatest contribution, however, is how he responds to his older teenage riders, especially those who know what to do and what to ask for but whose bodies aren’t that great at translating that request to the horse. Boomer senses what the rider is asking for, even when their bodies aren’t capable of asking for it, and he allows those riders to ride as they have never ridden before! He gives those riders the rides of their lives. —Dana M.