"My Varian Arabians"
Yesterday I rode Alabama Mac V and ponied Dakota Bey V. Alabama is 7 years old now and Dakota is 31 1/2. I feel a connection with you and Dakota because you assisted in loading him and getting him on the way home that summer of 1986. We were so green then. We did not even own a trailer, so we hired a local "cowboy" to bring him home in his trailer. I remember you gave him an injection and sent another one home with us "just in case" we needed more sedation. I know loading and handling the horses has evolved since then!
I took some photos last night before our ride. I thought you might like to see the boys. I think Dakota is looking pretty good for his age. He does have trouble getting up after he rolls in the sand though.
Alabama has been a challenge for me to train. Dakota was such a submissive, fearful kind of horse. Always on alert but I love him and we did mountain search and rescue with Madera County for 10 years. He is a great mountain trail horse, a great athlete and so sensitive.
Alabama is about the exact opposite of Dakota. Very secure about himself and not about to do what he does not want to do. He is intelligent and sensitive in his own way. I think it is more "handler error" with him. Meaning, he needs to have a confident and consistent leader-it is my problem not so much his. I have had to make big changes in myself and educate myself so much these past years with the help of a great clinician, Harry Whitney, and another friend who has mentored me. There is so much to learning "horse" and not looking at them from a human perspective but approaching them from their perspective.
I wish you all the best and a lot of strength and perseverance in the times ahead. You can do it!! Long Live the V!"
– Joy Kagawa
(Additional Note: Dakota Bey V is a full brother to Desperado V. Lucky girl!)