Almanac

News - November 23, 2011

Gentle horse who carried kids dies

by Dave Boyce

Hundreds of people met Kai over her 18 years in Woodside. Their childhood memories, though lost to time, may include being excited and maybe a little afraid despite Kai's reportedly mild-mannered, intelligent and gentle ways.

She was a lot bigger than they were, after all. As for what excited her, that would be carrots. She also wore costumes occasionally and could jump when asked.

Kai, a white Arabian mare who carried kids during her working years with Woodside Junior Riders, died in retirement in the Marin Headlands on Oct. 5 at the age of 29 (roughly 72 in human years, according to calculations at equestrian websites).

"She was healthy, happy, and sound up until her death," according to an email announcing Kai's death from Julie Asiano Eisenhut, whose family cared for her.

In Marin, Kai not infrequently went to the beach with another Junior Riders horse, Clown, Ms. Eisenhut said.

Woodside Junior Riders is a nonprofit horsemanship program that offers weekday group lessons in English riding for children ages 6 to 16 beginning in mid-June at the Kiely Equestrian Center at 3375 Tripp Road in Woodside, Ms. Eisenhut said.

The program is open to children living in the Woodside Fire Protection District, which includes Woodside, Portola Valley and nearby unincorporated communities.

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