We asked volunteers to share their stories from the past, and this comes from Robin:
“Horses are big creatures; I believe they communicate primarily through emotions.
An Arabian Stallion taught me this lesson, and many more.
His barn name was Pepper – which suited both his personality and coloring (dappled grey). This may sound goofy, but I fell in love with him at first sight – which was when I first saw him through the bars of one of the most secure stalls in the barn.
He was the horse every human in the barn was at least a bit wary of. Thus, he was locked in that stall almost 24/7, with very occasional turn-out for brief periods of time in small, high walled enclosures.
No wonder he was a bit hard to handle.
As a part-time groom and stall cleaner at this barn, I had to have some contact with him. So, I slowly worked my way up from short grooming sessions to eventually riding him inside the barn’s wide aisleway.
I was cautioned not to take him outside, even told “that horse will kill you…” but one gorgeous day I decided to try. He wasn’t a saint, but he and I worked through a lot and developed such a good relationship that soon we were put in the show ring together.
Within a year, Pepper’s owners decided to sell him. They offered him to me at what could’ve been considered a rescue price and I took them up on it.
Over the next decade, Pepper was my closest friend, confidant and partner in many, many projects – including teaching a bunch of kids how to ride and respectfully handle what once was considered a “dangerous” horse. Consistent handling, turn out time, and lots of love made all the difference in this formerly emotionally neglected horse’s life.”
Robin became a volunteer through a trainer/foster who works with HOP, Vania of Full Circle Stables in Kentucky, and oddly, Robin said Vania was one of the kids her horse, Pepper, helped teach to ride!
Robin realizes that partnership takes time with horses, and that great horses can find themselves in need of a new home at any point.
She adds, “He was the #Therighthorse for me,” at that time, and because good horses can end up in transition and need a new home, “this is why if I am ever able to get another horse, I will look to adoption through Heart of Phoenix first to find a horse that needs a friend.”
Heart of Phoenix is working To support adoptable horses transitioning into new homes by reframing the conversation around equine adoption. As partners of the #RIGHTHORSE, we want to spread the word about partnership and equine adoption.