We are very pleased to announce that our very own board member and volunteer coordinator, Charlotte, has decided to adopt Sierra!
Hanaeleh rescued Sierra in August of 2021. Before she came to us, Sierra had been given to a family who had no horse experience. Sierra was very sweet on the ground, but the family quickly realized that the daily work that is required to care for a horse was more than they could handle. Sierra also had high ringbone- an issue that would not necessarily make her lame, but would definitely reduce her ability for sports or more strenuous riding. Someone at the stable suggested that they call a rescue to take Sierra. We were told that Sierra was rideable and was good for a beginner, and felt that she might be an easy horses to adopt out.
When we got Sierra to the rescue, however, we discovered that not only did she not have any formal training under saddle, she was terrified of both whips and of being ridden. We quickly learned that Sierra had been “cowboyed,” which is an abusive way of trying to train a horse. We had to take Sierra back to basics, teaching her how to ground drive before we started her under saddle again. Sierra was very afraid at first of all of the training, but we went very slowly and did not push her, and eventually she started to get accustomed to the basics, and stopped being afraid that we would hurt her.
Although we finally got Sierra to the point that she was rideable, we didn’t feel that she was really at the point that we felt comfortable adopting her out. Sierra would need someone who would accept her physical limitations, while also being patient enough to continue to work through the residual response to the abuse that she suffered. We just weren’t sure if that special person was out there.
One of the issues we discovered when working with Sierra was that it appeared she had a lot of tightness and muscle soreness that stemmed from the abuse she suffered before she came to us, and we have been so very lucky to have Lisa from Five Star Equine to help work through some of the muscle spasms that she experienced. Charlotte started to learn some of the massage techniques and stretches that would help her, and started working with Sierra regularly, and finally became the main person to work with her on a weekly basis. Sierra isn’t very demonstrative, but she seemed to like Charlotte and they did well together. Charlotte doesn’t know how to ride, but she started to think about her childhood dream of one day owning a horse. Perhaps she could learn to ride on Sierra? she wondered. Charlotte started to ask about adopting Sierra, and hinted at her husband that her birthday was coming up.
This past Christmas, Charlotte was gifted with a special present from her daughter- the adoption fee for Sierra! Charlotte has said that she would love to learn to ride one day, but for now she is just happy to build a relationship with Sierra and continue to get to know her!
We are so excited for Charlotte and Sierra! We wish them many wonderful adventures together!