In Loving Memory of Ferrous
Written by Dr. Kate An Hunter, loving owner of Ferrous 1990-2013,
On August 15th, 2013 I said goodbye to Ferrous, my 23 year old quarter horse. For 16 years, Ferrous has been my willing partner in many adventures, achievements and activities and will be missed terribly. Registered as Sir Easy Amber, Ferrous was intended to sire racing quarter horses. Luckily for me, that didn’t work out. Despite old scars, some rough pre-sale training and a fussy personality, there was something about him that spoke to me.
Ferrous could never be called easy going; he had his own opinions and preferences about many things. Lessons in dressage improved our communication but took many years of patience. He remained aloof to other horses except for a few choice friends. Any attempt to force an issue with Ferrous could result in a serious altercation. But he was a willing learner and had an amazing work ethic. Even today, when he saw the trailer, he picked up his pace and trotted right in.Twelve years as volunteers for the Dakot...a County Sheriff’s Patrol gave Ferrous and me the opportunity to deepen our relationship and broaden our skills while providing service to the community. As a team we worked hard to trust each other and did everything including parades, searches, public relations and security. We received several awards in patrol competitions in both equitation and obstacle competitions. In a group, he stayed focused on the task at hand. He was willing to work alone when needed to scout half a mile ahead for a wagon train or block the path of a drunk wanted by the police. When practicing crowd control, I was told that he would bare his teeth when approaching the crowd.
He tolerated kids and dogs including my little Edgar, who rode with me and grabbed Ferrous’ mane when we cantered, and Ansel who would sometimes jump up and hang from Ferrous’ tail. I was so proud the day he insisted in going up to a young man in a wheelchair and gently put his head in the man’s lap. It was one of the few time Ferrous ever stood still!
As the years went on, we did more camping and trail riding. We travelled to Montana, North Carolina, North and South Dakota, as well as many places in Minnesota. A day riding Ferrous with Ansel by our side in the mountains of Tennessee will remain one of the highlights of my life. He tolerated the costumes that I dressed him in for our annual holiday photo and wore a knee length grass skirt and flower leis in a winter parade. For many of the children in my life, he provided an introduction to horses and riding.
To me, Ferrous was a dignified gentleman whose trust and affection was not given freely. I am grateful to have been his partner for so many years, to learn with and from, to enjoy adventures, to push our limits, to provide service to the community and most of all to love.
Thank you to all who have been a part of my life with Ferrous- our trainers, teachers, fellow patrol members, and friends.