Christy + Hope
Breed Tennessee Walker
When we decided it was time to get a horse that we could ride, I knew exactly what I wanted: a 14-hand gaited gelding, preferably a paint, anything but black. I searched and searched through local ads and online for the perfect horse. I made contacts on a few, but just couldn’t bring myself to go see them. My brain knew they were perfect, but I couldn’t get my heart excited.
I started following kill pens, and knew those were the horses needed to be saved. But I was so confused by the contradiction knowing that the people who put them in the slaughter pipeline were the same ones asking for money to get them out. I began looking into the possibility of adoption, and through the ASPCA website found the Right Horse initiative and a participating shelter six hours away in Tennessee. I was intrigued by a mare quarter horse and my husband and I hooked up the trailer and headed up to get her.
The adoption specialist knew that I had a history and love of gaited horses, so she brought out Hope. She was a 15-hand, black mare who had been surrendered in an emaciated condition. She had improved with their veterinary care, but was still severely underweight. I said I would try her out.
The quarter horse mare and I just didn’t click, and when I spent time with Hope, the only thing I knew for sure was that I couldn’t drive away and leave her there. She wasn’t perfect, but neither was I. A week later she shook me off while I was picking her hoof and severely dislocated my thumb. Now I had an underweight, nervous, intimidatingly-tall horse that had injured me. I began to wonder if I had made a mistake. And that’s when Hope became my Right Horse. As I nursed my injury, I began to spend time just talking to her, brushing her, watching her eat, and I began to notice all the things that were so great about her. Like how she will back up on command when we bring in her food, lower her head into a halter, and stand quietly to be groomed. I realized that it was going to take time and patience to gain one another’s trust. And we have. It’s been a couple of months now and Hope has improved both mentally and physically. Best of all, through our experience together we’ve come to make a great team.
This is such a heartwarming story! And the care she gives to all of her fur babies is out of this world. If they’re we’re only more re people like them to take in all sorts of in needs animals!!!