After a month in Niger I finally I had the opportunity to ride Ebony, who I hadn’t ridden since our slow-slow walks to recovery way back in January, when she had just been brought in from the bush. Well, Ebony has certainly undergone some changes and is no longer a famished creature – instead, she is the most overweight of all our equine ladies and is not one to waste any energy at play or other social equine activities like the rest of the herd. Talk about catching up!

Although I had been warned that Ebony didn’t have the stamina to keep up with our two other “seniors” Arwen (10) and Sahara (5), I was pleasantly surprised. Fair enough, our “gentle giant” is not a hot-tempered sort of horse, but she certainly didn’t want to fall behind the other horses and did her very best to keep up with them. When she got tired of ambling, she suggested we gallop instead – a heavy draft-horse-like canter that did not seem to make us move faster than a good ambling, but Ebony was willing and that was all that mattered to me.

I’m very happy with both Ebony’s physical and mental progress and look forward to getting our big barrel into shape. I was so happy to feel that subtle “drive” in her (she really didn’t want to be left behind) letting me know that even though I am quite certain she will forever be our “gentle giant”, she is not without ambition.

So Ebony, here is me hoping 2010 will be a very good year for you – one where you get to grow to the fullest of your capacity and enjoy life with us at the ark. You are a beautiful horse and I hope to see you bloom to your full potential!

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