Shadow Dancer

Shadow Dancer

By: Alex Kokka

Shadow Dancer ran nine times, earning $11,900 and retiring with a record of 1-1-1. The daughter of Mass Market retired to TAA-accredited New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society shortly after her last race in 2018. Shadow Dancer spent nearly a year at British Columbia’s only accredited aftercare facility before being presented to adopter Victoria Parsons.

“I mentioned at the tack store that I was looking for a young horse,” Parsons said. “The owner of the store had adopted a horse from New Stride in the past. I looked at the adoptable horses online, contacted New Stride, sent in an application, then set a day to go try horses. Two of the horses were not yet available for adoption, but I was able to provide references for previous experience with backing young horses so I got to see them. Shadow Dancer was one of the ones not yet available, but I got along with her right away.”

Parsons immediately noticed Shadow Dancer’s calm and intelligent nature, despite the mare being just 5 years old.

“She was sensitive, light, athletic, and had a willing attitude,” Parsons said. “She was respectful of space but also very friendly and cuddly on the ground. She felt like a horse that would be an athlete and a friend—the type that enjoys having a job and hanging out with you.”

Shadow Dancer in western tack

Now, Shadow Dancer, or “Sera,” is excelling in her training and her pragmatic nature continues to shine through. Parsons keeps the British Columbia-bred engaged with a variety of tasks including aspects of natural horsemanship and liberty training.

“‘Sera’ is simple to train- She’s either calm and focused, or she’s ‘up’ and needs things to be slowed down and reapproached,” Parsons said. “Despite being a naturally enthusiastic and athletic horse, she’s never thrown me off. She wants to have a job even if that job is to stand in the arena by the hoola hoop. She’s learned how to ground tie consistently, do pole courses, and has started over fences, goes in western tack, and has started some liberty training as well. We’ve also ponied my gelding a few times and herded the deer a bit if they come into the riding ring. She calls to me when I arrive at the barn, and comes right up to the gate ready to go do things.”

Parsons has big plans for “Sera”, and with a variety of disciplines being added to the mare’s repertoire, it’s clear this pair will shine in and out of the arena.

“Right now we are working on building a solid foundation on the flat, with a goal of showing hunter/jumper,” she said. “I would also like to trail ride her more, compete in a few dressage shows, and either clinic or compete in a few western events. I’d love to try working cows on her as well, and maybe try barrel racing if she likes it.”

Parsons riding Shadow Dancer bareback

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