Meet Cal – From Auction House Meat Buyer’s Pen to Therapy Horse

One of the most miraculous stories at Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center is that of Ciquala, warmly known as Cal.

In April of 2015 Gina, a local horsewoman and friend of Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center, attended a horse auction with a friend. She was not looking for a horse of her own, however, a young horse standing in the pen meat buyer’s usually bid on caught her eye.

She couldn’t leave him there; He was unkempt and severely underweight and something about this horse spoke to her. She brought the young horse home and nursed him back to health.

This is his story.

If you visit Serendipity Therapeutic Riding center, Cal may be one of the first horses to catch your eye! With his golden and brown hues, beautiful dark mane and tail, and sparkling personality, you would never know that he was once to be auctioned in poor condition as if were yesterday’s trash.

In May of 2017, while looking at a horse on the same property Cal resided on for consideration for Serendipity TRC, Ciquala (Cal) raced around the pasture distracting all of the other horses; feisty and silly-somewhat rouge and undeniably stunning; he caught our eye as well.

We decided to bring him home for our Horses and Heroes program.  Thinking he had just enough playfulness and grit to work safely with our veterans; not to mention the ideal body type for our therapeutic riders should it work out. 

Upon his first day of arrival, he refused to exit the trailer.  Seemingly so, his memories of riding on a horse trailer (aside from his last trip to his rescuers home) had been less than pleasant.  When he finally exited the trailer and was turned out into pasture, it took no less than 2 hours for us to catch him.

After his arrival, we were unsure about what we would do with him, luckily Jillian did!  She began working with him in the round pen.  He was quite receptive- although always the class clown.  Jillian (Sarah’s daughter) began working with him daily in the round pen. He was silly and quirky.  At times rebellious.  Ciquala began working in the round pen with our veterans Horses and Heroes group- and excelled.  Under saddle was a different story- he seemed to always have his own agenda. 

Jillian poured her heart and soul into him. She worked endlessly with him and eventually took him to a 4H horse show where he dumped her off and finished the course by himself; seemingly very proud of himself- “hey, look, humans, I did it!!’

Jillian continued despite this hiccup.  She never gave up on him- and eventually, he grew to trust her.  Their bond was undeniable.

Spring of 2019, under the watchful eye of Royal Rock owner/trainer Carrie Kieczkajlo, Ciquala and Jillian prospered to the next level.  Traveling to numerous horse shows AND placing; often excelling above and beyond other horses with twice the pedigrees and training- together these two ‘underdogs’ rose up. 

Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center’s Cal with Jillian

Today, Ciquala and Jillian are still the best of friends- seeming to communicate in an unspoken language only the two of them understand.  Today, Ciquala attends horse shows with Jillian frequently and most recently attended a clinic with Olympic medalist Darren Chiachia at Olympic rider Trudy Race Sutton’s farm Over The Hill Farm, Waverly PA.  Ciquala has also recently begun his journey as a therapeutic horse giving lessons to children and adults with special needs. 

It is our hope at Serendipity that Ciquala’s journey inspires others that despite whatever obstacles we may face, with patience, love and understanding- we all have the opportunity to turn everything around.  Sometimes all we need is a friend we can trust.  Thank you, Gina and Jillian, for giving Ciquala (Cal) that chance. 

Ciquala is one of our horses still seeking a sponsor at Serendipity TRC.  If you are interested in sponsoring Cal and his journey, please find out more information about sponsoring him here, sending treats or even a bale of hay! You can also give us a call at (570) 561-6743 Remember, donations are tax-deductible and sponsors get a receipt and their name on a plaque on the horse’s stall!

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