Today we took Cricket to her new home! Her new horsie mom is our volunteer coordinator Kaitlin, who fell in love with Cricket the minute she saw her cute little face (quite literally- she said she fell in love the minute she saw Cricket without her fly mask!). They have been getting to know each other for the past several months and work well together.
When we first got Cricket, we actually had to walk her to Hanaeleh (luckily she was local!) because she was so vehemently opposed to getting into the trailer (she actually refused to even get close to the trailer, and in all honesty did not even entertain the possibility of getting in). She had been owned by individuals who had good intentions, but who were unable to provide for Cricket and their other horse, which is why Cricket came to us. She had little muscle tone, as she had rarely been taken out of her stall, was underweight, and needed her feet trimmed. Her arthritis slowed her down considerably, and it was difficult for her to even trot. She was placed on a special diet to help her gain weight and muscle, a joint supplement, and she had her feet trimmed. It took a few months, but eventually Cricket did gain weight, and began showing some spirit in the arena. We began to ride her at a walk for a short time at first- ten minutes once a week, then fifteen, and then a little trotting, until finally we were able to canter her and take her out on short trail rides.
We also began to work with Cricket in getting used to the trailer- we spent our first trailer experience just getting her to stand next to the trailer without completely freaking out. Once she was comfortable, our subsequent training sessions included having her put her head in the trailer, and then finally stepping up. We finally encouraged her to eat her bucket of grain in the trailer instead of her stall.
All of this work helped us this morning, when Cricket stepped right into the trailer. She was very nervous during the ride to her new home, but she settled right in when Kaitlin took her to her new stall. She has a horsie friend on either side of her, although she seemed much more interested in her lunch than she was in making hew friends (perhaps after dinner she will do more exploring).
Kaitlin has spent the past month getting Cricket’s stall ready for her, including new mats and fresh shavings, and as Cricket is her first horse, it is very much like bringing home a new baby- a lot of things to buy, and a lot of questions! She is keeping Cricket at a local stable, however, where she will have a trainer and many new friends who will help her (of course we will keep in touch as well!).
We are very happy for both Kaitlin and Cricket, who we are sure will be quite spoiled. We hope that they both enjoy many years of trail rides together!