TAILS FROM THE TRAILS
I love the Wellington-WEF message board (www.wellington-wef.com). Not a day goes by that I don’t check to see what’s doing in our local horsey community, and recently I ran across a notice reaching out to equestrians, animal lovers and local businesses.
Cowboy Bob Faath will conduct an Oklahoma Tornado Equine Relief Horsemanship Clinic on Sunday, June 16 at the Jupiter Horsemen’s Arena from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will ride in both morning and afternoon sessions, with a break for lunch. The cost is $60 to ride and $20 to audit, and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the ongoing veterinary care and daily expenses of the equine survivors of the recent Oklahoma tornadoes.
“I’ve been around tornadoes when I was younger, growing up near Lubbock, Texas,” Faath said. “I know how devastating it is to see a town destroyed. There are a lot of organizations helping people, and even cats and dogs, but horses are big animals who eat a lot, and it’s not as easy for people to take in a horse or help care for it. These areas have been hit hard. You lose not just houses, but barns, fences, feed stores — all the support you need to care for a horse. All the money we raise, every penny, is going to go to help pay for hay, feed, fencing, veterinary care, medicine — whatever it is those horses need.”
While many people are reaching out, Faath felt he needed to help as well.
“I’m sure there are other people helping those horses, and I just felt as if I had to do something, too. I make my living working with horses. I have great respect for them. They help me out so much in my life,” he said. “I just thought this would be something I could do to help them out. It’s also a great way for our local horse community to stand up and help another horse community that has been hit hard.”
Faath may be great with horses, but he’s the first to admit that he doesn’t know a thing about computers. Setting up a benefit and organizing online donation sites and bank accounts are beyond his area of expertise. He relies on others to help with those aspects, so if you know how to do this and can help, he’d like to hear from you. “All that computer and bank stuff is a lot more complicated than I ever thought,” he said.
But the clinic — now that, he knows about. “The goal of the clinic is to build the rider’s confidence. It’s going to be general horsemanship for riders of any level of experience,” he said. “It’ll help people see things the way your horse sees things. When you make your idea his idea, he gladly does whatever you’re asking. It’s easy. It makes sense to him, so he’s eager to do it. I’m a huge believer that the horse is always right. We’re the ones who make mistakes and make things harder than they should be.”
Auditors can also learn a lot just by watching, he noted. “I’m also hoping local businesses will donate $40 in exchange for prominent banner space, social media recognition, as well as any press attention we may be able to attract,” Faath said. “Community involvement would really help highlight the importance of this event, increase our potential to help many needy horses and greatly enhance the success of this event.”
Ray Williams lives in Jupiter Farms. He and his wife, Pamela, own horses and plan to attend.
“I’ve been one of Bob’s clients for six or seven years now,” Ray said. “When I started, I liked horses, but I didn’t know a thing about them. I had never ridden or even been on a horse. After working with Bob, today I’m a fairly decent rider. He’s taught me everything I needed to know to care for a horse properly: physically, mentally and medically. I can’t say enough good things about him. He has skills normal people don’t have. He understands how a horse thinks, and then can communicate that to people. I know a few other trainers, but none can touch what Bob does. He’s a good teacher, always willing to help. His training methods are unique. He’s got a big heart and a lot of patience.”
He urges people to attend the June 16 benefit clinic.
“I’ve attended Bob’s clinics dozens of times. I rarely miss one, because I always learn something new each time I go,” Ray said. “I absolutely recommend this to anyone, even if you’re just auditing. You can learn a lot by watching others, plus it’s a lot of fun and all for a good cause. I hope we get a great turnout.”
“Call to let me know if you plan to attend,” Faath said. “I hope a lot of people join our effort to raise funds for the equine survivors. It’s a great cause.”
For more information, or to reserve your spot in the clinic, call Bob Faath at (561) 762-5229 or visit www.trailsuntraveled.com.