Duke tacked up and ready to be ridden.

By Dan Roark   [Author’s note: For those who read this post before I changed the picture, I had pictures of Sierra in Duke’s folder and accidently posted those. When you go through 600 pictures at the same time of all the horses, one can get confused. My apologies.]

A 2009 model quarter horse, Duke was welcomed into the herd in spring 2023. The injury that sidelined him from the western pleasure horse competition arena – in which he was quite successful – has completely healed. Fortunately, his young owner realized that he could still have a second career as a therapy horse.

As a western pleasure horse competitor, Duke spent more time with people than with other horses. The way we put it at New Hope, he didn’t know how to horse, although he has now fit in with the herd quite well. And he’s great with people. Which is why the riders love him.

Well, that, and his skill at the western pleasure jog (a very slow, relatively smooth trot). Which he loves to introduce to the riders. He enjoys the opportunity to stretch out his trot as well, so more daring riders thrill to his speed and power. Eager to please, Duke is content to go with whatever speed is required of him at the time. So far Duke does not have a best friend – he likes everyone!

Ride on, and ride with hope.

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