The Golden Carrot - People - Casey

Casey  O'Connor

Casey leads Zayler and Rachel Hughes

I  am Casey O'Connor, founder and until recently sole supporter of the  Golden Carrot and its horses.

I am a legal secretary  / paralegal / word processor by trade, with a love for horses that goes  back to childhood. My family was too poor for me to spend much time  with horses when I was a kid, but I baby-sat and did ironing to earn  money, and then begged my Dad for a ride to the local stable. I mostly  just sat on a tired old campaigner who walked me directly to the first  patch of grass. For me, it was heaven.

Casey  leading Zayler with 5 1/2 year old Rachel Hughes on board.

At age 21, I was  given a 16 year old pony named Bobby Sox, who is the inspiration for  the Golden Carrot. I thought he was too old; I thought he was too small  (13.3 hands); I thought there wouldn't be much I could do with him.  Boy was I wrong! Bobby Sox did it all, and taught me everything I know  about horses. He was smart, strong, tricky and kind. I lost my darling Bobby at age 42. Please see his information under the Memorial pages.

Little Erin Lyons  rode Bobby in his last lesson in 1999, and my heart swelled with pride, as I  know his did. He was the best! Bobby Sox taught me that horses don't  necessarily want to stand around eating all day. While the Golden Carrot  offers horses the opportunity to be part of a herd (some of them for  the first time since they were foals) allowing them to be horses in a more natural way, it also offers them light work, because I cannot forget  how much I enjoyed being around them when I was small. I believe that  most kids, when they finally get a horse, get someone like Bobby Sox  and the other Golden Carrot horses - older, with years of training and  seasoning, some with disabilities such as arthritis, ringbone, navicular,  bowed tendons and the like.

Just like myself,  they are still useful, just a little creaky and in need of additional attention such as warming up  before and cooling down after exercise; special feed requirements; knowledge  of pain medications, etc.

Casey with Cuervo Gold

Casey  conversing with Cuervo

I was an Individual Member of NARHA (North American Riding for the  Handicapped Association) but found their requirements, both in time and money, to be certified for therapeutic riding to be more than I can afford as long as I support and care for the 21 TGC residents alone. 

I would be happy to offer the services of TGC horses to any such riding program, but canít find any takers.  If you know of handicapped or disabled people who have an interest in learning to ride, I will be happy to work with you to provide a safe, therapeutic and enjoyable experience. Please call or e-mail.

The Hughes and Lyons  kids have shown me that I was right - the smiles on the faces of these  kids as they do the chores, ride and feed tons of carrots to the horses  will warm your hearts - the bright eyes and proud carriage of horses  like Bobby Sox and Zayler carrying a small rider will convince you they  WANT to do this.

Since this site began, both Bobby and Zayler have passed away. Both were giving children lessons into their latest years - maybe only photo opportunities, leadline and the smallest kids, but it was work they could do and enjoy.

 When I was 35 I  finally learned how to ride at the Portuguese Bend Riding Club in Palos  Verdes, California. My instructor, John Garvey, taught me how horses  think, how to ride, and how to instruct. I did give beginning riding  instruction at PBRC. I read a great deal to fill in the gaps of my horse education and a list of the books I have found useful over the years  can be found on the links page.

Please  feel free to email me!

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Copyright Carol A Cooling 1999,  2000. All rights reserved.

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