Story submitted by adopter Bebe Edwards
Sherman was born at the Horse Protection Association of Florida (HPAF) farm. His mother Tequila and four other horses had been seized by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and then relinquished to Horse Protection the week before.
Sherman was stout and tough from the start. He was named Sherman because he looked like a little Sherman tank! Sherman enjoyed a carefree childhood grazing and playing with Portia who was four days old when the five horses were seized.
When in training Sherman proved to be a tough little guy. He would always outthink the human working with him and get away with whatever he could. Thankfully Sherman got his start under saddle in a Martin Black colt starting. A year later Sherman was ridden by Martin Black for a month during Martin’s Florida horsemanship course, a Godsend for Sherman’s foundation and development. But back at home we still worried if Sherman would ever be adopted, he was exasperating at best.
Finding Sherman and Sherman Finding me
I still have no idea why I thought I wanted the chubby, grumpy little bay horse. I was looking for something half Arab as I was wanting an endurance riding partner. Sherman was definitely NOT what I thought I was looking for, but since I was already at Horse Protection Association of Florida and Morgan had gone to the trouble of getting him out of the pasture and cleaned up, I thought I might as well give him a try.
So, I did and believe me I really had no idea how to ride him. If I so much as touched him or the reins or even looked to the side…that is where we went. But, (there is always a but, isn’t there?) I asked Sherman to trot away from the group we were riding with and low and behold with no protest he trotted right away and didn’t look back! That was when I decided he should be mine. Little did I know that I was going to end up his as well.
Once I got him home, I found out just how much trouble I was in! Safe to say Sherman is like no other horse I have ever known! The other day I asked my trainer if maybe she thought he was really an alien in a horse suit. Why? Well he is super smart, super opinionated, super sensitive, demanding, super curious, and often super spooky. If he feels his current environment doesn’t suit, he will change it by remodeling or leaving.
Sherman outsmarting me
He has learned to untie almost every knot I have tried and figured out to foil the no pull back tie up system in about 15 seconds. He opens gates, climbs stairs (and anything else in his way), steals food from the picnic basket if he can manage it, and generally gets into anything he can. I know it sounds like I am being negative about my little guy, but all these traits also make him the most fun I have ever had with a horse in my life.
Super smart equals very quick to learn, and once he understands what I am trying to tell him he owns it. Super opinionated equals good communication. I swear he speaks English! He is the most interactive horse with humans I have ever met! Super sensitive and demanding equals the best riding instructor I have ever had. I have learned more from Sherman in the last 3 years than in my whole riding life BS (Before Shermie!)
Super curious equals better behaved at shows than he ever is at home and he is always ready to go down a new trail. He has yet to say no to any challenge I have made, and is now (with loads of help from my trainer Charlie Brunson) schooling Training and 1st Level Dressage, Jumping cross-rails and doing low level classes at Hunter Shows (I’m the one who needs the cross rails, not Shermie). He excels at limited distance endurance riding (25 miles usually), has done a hunter pace, loves obstacle play days and camping.
When people ask me what breed of horse he is—I tell them he is the best Micanopy Riding Pony in existence! (Actually, the only one too!) So, the day I went to Horse Protection and tried out the chubby, grumpy little bay horse was one of my best days ever. Thank you, Horse Protection, for allowing me to adopt The Shermanator. I am having the time of my life!
Horse Protection Association of Florida
To provide equine rescue, rehabilitation, education and adoption services within the state of Florida. To provide assistance to law enforcement and animal agencies with cruelty investigations and the care and placement of horses. To promote and teach horse care and humane, natural methods of training for horses.