Friendships Forged in Good Fortune

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I first met Anna when I adopted Callisto, a black mustang gelding from Return to Freedom.  I named him Callisto because he has a half moon shaped star on his forehead and Callisto is a moon of Jupiter….(I am an astronomy buff and an environmental scientist).  I hired Anna almost 19 years ago, when she was Monty Roberts head instructor.  Anna taught me how to start a young horse. She would drive to Santa Barbara and show me a few steps on what to do to train Callisto. I would work with him for 2 weeks and then we would start all over again with the next steps.  Most of the time Callisto and I would just play together to build up a trusting bond that we have to this day. He is going to turn 21 this spring, and still going strong!   During the training (of me mostly) Anna and I have become friends,  and I feel like she is one of the few people I know that I can communicate with on just about everything, including very personal things.  I enjoy her visits and welcome her to stay with me when she comes to SB County.
 
I have since adopted another mustang at the age of 4 months, a blue roan mare from a huge neglect case in SB county, who is now a grand champion jumper in Santa Barbara County, jr. division, and shows dressage.  My latest acquisition is a  black thoroughbred gelding, who raced for one season, and won 2 races.  After retiring from racing,  he was left behind during the Thomas fire, (a huge fire that burned from Ventura County to Santa Barbara.)  in a pasture where he panicked and ran into a tree, breaking his neck. I bailed him out of a financial situation, and took him, broken neck and all, which has now healed.  He will never jump or do dressage, but with training from a young trainer in Buellton, has become a fine trail horse, all 17.1 hands of him. It is taking time for me to adjust from a mustang at 15.1 hands to 17.1.  Since race horses run faster when you pull the reins, I feared, in an emergency, my muscle memory would pull on the reins, so now I ride this big black giant with a hackamore. It is amazing to me what we will do for horses when we are addicted to them.  Horses are my drug, and because of horses, I have met many fine people like Anna.
 

Natasha Lohmus

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