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Atticus - No Longer Wild!!

The air is heavy with mist as I make my way down the drive way for my visit with Atticus and his owner Coco, in the Similakmeen Valley of the Okanagan in British Columbia,Canada. Atticus lives in a picturesque setting where the Similkameen River meanders by the edge of the property surrounded by mountains. No better view for a horse who has spent the first three years of his life truly running wild in the mountains of northern British Columbia.

It has been a while since I have seen Atticus, but he looks pretty much the same. Coco, his owner has retained the name given to him which pleases me. Named after the character in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, the name signifies the strong sense of morality and justice which accompanies this name. Saved from slaughter, Atticus represents the success that can be achieved with patience, love and gentle training despite the many who said we were foolish to take on such a challenge.

I approach Atticus in the field he shares with his herd mates and he eyes me cautiously, acting a bit aloof. But I go slowly and he generously meets me half way. I offer my hand and he goes over it carefully trying to determine if I have a treat hidden somewhere for him. I have no treats to offer, only love. I reach up under the thick tangle of his mane and find his sweet spot, rubbing in circles while he stretches his neck, purses his lips and starts making faces which brings laughter from both Coco and I.

Atticus is happy and healthy, a success story of a former wild stallion who now searches hands for treats and carries his owner into the mountains on trail rides, which I am sure bring back memories of a former life. Coco however feels Atticus does not crave to return to the wild as once demonstrated when there was a break in the fence and the herd went together out on a little “walk-a-bout”.  Atticus made no resistance to being caught and following his new leader Coco back to the security of the pasture where the food is abundant and the water never far away, leaving Atticus to focus on more serious matters such as who has treats where he enjoys the view from his new “bedroom” window.

Theresa Anne Nolet




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