Sometimes you come across the horse of a lifetime. T-Bird is that horse.
Kate Toomey Evans was assigned to take care of T-Bird her freshman year on the Texas A&M University Equestrian team. They were an instant match and ended up paired for all five years. Now, at 28 years old, T-Bird serves as a beginner lesson horse at Life in Stride Riding Academy, an incredible non-profit in College Station, Texas. Through the years, he has taught close to 50 kids in the Life in Stride Riding Academy program, with another 150 students at Texas A&M. Even nearing 30 years old, T-Bird is full of sass — Kate says he's the most verbal horse at their barn during feeding time! This goofy side of him immediately puts riders at ease and encourages them to be themselves. As a half Arabian, T-Bird is very smooth to ride, and the perfect fit to teach kids how to canter, as his canter gait is comfortable and about as fast as a human power walk.
Jessica, a former Life in Stride instructor, recalls one of her favorite T-Bird stories of a young student who grew up on a ranch and was a fearless rider until a scary bucking accident.
"She was petrified of horses after the incident but her grandparents, the ranch owners and horse lovers, were reluctant to let her give up her passion for these animals after the fall. For more than a month of lessons, we played games at the walk to get her comfortable again. After a lot of slow work and patience by T-Bird, we finally built up her confidence to trotting, cantering and even speed events. Now she's an amazing rider... All to the credit of that sweet horse with the sassy personality!"
Kate is excited to get her NIGHTWATCH® halter on T-Bird because he is a vital component of both her program and her life. In her words, "T-Bird has given the world to me and so many girls that I owe him the world and then some. He's made of gold."
Do you have the horse of a lifetime? We want to hear your stories! Share them in the comments below.