Sarah + Annie
I had spent many years trying to find the right horse for my young son. We started with a Miniature Horse and moved to a larger pony and then another pony. After a couple bad experiences, I leased a semi-retired horse from a friend. My kid wasn’t confident with her. She was tall, opinionated and he was timid from previous experiences. Soon after the lease ended, we began the search for a perfect pony for him.
Annie came to the West Virginia Horse Network (WVHN) through the ASPCA Horse Adoption Express. This program transports horses between Partner shelters to areas where they’ll efficiently find wonderful homes. My sister was fostering a pony from the same group so we also offered to haul Annie to her foster home. Truth be told, I fell in love with her just leading her to the trailer that day. But we already had a smaller pony from the rescue that we were trialing. We dropped Annie off to her foster and kept tabs on her through Facebook updates.
When a request came to have Annie evaluated under saddle, my son and I jumped at the chance! We both rode her briefly and discussed moving her to our farm to foster. A few days later, we moved Annie to our farm. My son was still set on the smaller pony but I knew Annie was the right horse for him.
A couple weeks after bringing Annie to our farm, a large group of us got together to ride at a local arena. My son rode Annie briefly before getting bored of it. I talked him into riding her again after a lunch break. Once again, he rode only for a few minutes before declaring he was done. I urged him to ride her a bit more. She started to bolt when another horse passed her at speed and Charlie was easily able to bring her back under control. After that, they were inseparable. That small act of confidence boosting was all it took. I almost didn’t get him to quit riding so we could take the horses back home.
Now Charlie comes home from school and immediately asks to go riding. We ride all over the trails. He won a year end award for IBRA and is excited for the winter series. He frequently rides Annie around the farm bareback in a halter and I don’t have to worry a bit about them. I know she’s taking care of my kid.
Annie is the center of Charlie’s world and he is the center of hers. When he is gone away from home, I can tell she misses all the attention. She follows me around like a lost puppy when she usually couldn’t care less about me.
I am so glad I met Annie that day and that we got the opportunity to adopt her! She is exactly what my son needed to get his confidence back and his love of horses and riding. He’s invincible when he’s with Annie. She is definitely his #RightHorse!
What #RightHorse means to me
The first pony we brought home from WVHN ended up not being as quiet minded as we had hoped. After a month of fairly solid work, she was still very jumpy and unsure which doesn’t mix well with young children. I felt committed to her even though I knew it wasn’t the right match. Then getting Annie showed us much more clearly that the #RightHorse was there for us. Working with a #RightHorse Adoption Partner allowed us to adopt Annie and find the right match for the other pony too. Two families and two ponies won in the end!