February 2017 Adoption Celebration: Dixon

From trackside to seaside, this beautiful bay Thoroughbred has run his race…straight into the heart of his loving forever owner!

All of the horses that call Red Bucket home are very special, but Dixon, a big, bold and beautiful Thoroughbred gelding, was a real attention magnet. His career had been as a racehorse; raced, injured, raced again, injured again, and finally scheduled for a match race that could have gone terribly wrong and resulted in him being loaded onto a double-decker truck and taking that long final trip. But fate was on his side, because a friend convinced his owner to surrender him, and this resulted in another chance for Dixon to become a wanted and cherished horse outside of the racing industry.

Dixon is proudly named after the Dixon family, the previous owners of the ranch that our horses own, who have been wonderful supporters of our meaningful work. The moment he stepped out of the transport trailer he eagerly looked around, began to relax, and got his bearings. He was thoroughly evaluated and the decision was made to give him the gift of spending his recuperation time in pasture, recovering from his injuries, and just enjoying life as a horse. His extended stay in pasture was just what he needed. When the Red Riding Hoods would visit the herd in Riverside to check up on and groom the pastured horses, they could tell how very special he was. He had become a true guardian, best buddy, and defender for Bilek, one of our older and more timid geldings who tended to be pushed around a bit by some of the other horses during their good-natured play times. Bilek needed a special friend and protector, and Dixon filled that role as his big brother.

But play time and vacation cannot last forever, and Dixon (and Bilek) took up residence at Red Bucket so Dixon’s training could begin and the search for his perfect forever home could start. All of the Red Riding Hoods loved him, especially the feed crew. He was a real ham, a gentleman, and a sweetheart; kind to all, and most appreciative of every kindness done for him.

Sherry Da Silva, Dixon’s eventual adopter, was looking for an exceptional horse. With over 30 years of horse experience behind her, she knew exactly what she was looking for. Dixon has a phenomenal mind, and is such a kind horse that she was attracted to him right away. She did try several other horses under Susan’s guidance, but the connection to Dixon was just too strong and the adoption was completed.

One of Sherry’s passions is horse camping, and she wanted a big, strong, willing horse to share those experiences with. She laughs when describing some of her initial experiences with Dixon. For one thing, he has a huge stride which required some major adjustments on her part. Now he gives her some of the greatest experiences she has ever had with a horse. Another issue was that he didn’t like to cross any water or get his feet wet. Now he happily swims in the ocean at Pismo Beach, Rancho Oso, or anywhere else Sherry asks him to go.

Sherry states that he is always sweet, gentle, and social with visitors, but he does have a very firm sense of just how much of Sherry’s time he should have. Recently there were visitors to the stable and Sherry was happily chatting with them, but Dixon did not appreciate this interruption of “his” time with her and planted his big head right on top of hers, and was quite vocal about his opinion.

When Sherry was looking for a horse to adopt, she wanted one that would present her with a challenge, a buddy to share unique adventures with, and a horse willing to adjust to all manner of new situations. She found her perfect match in Dixon. Their story, and their future, looks extremely happy. At one time Dixon’s future looked extremely grim, a total dead end, but our village of dedicated friends, rescuers and caregivers came together to provide a safety net and a real home for this regal, elegant, and perfect equine gentleman. Maybe his first career was not all that successful, but his new career has endless possibilities…including that new activity of body surfing, apparently!