Amanda, having been raised on a farm, grew up around horses as a child. She rode frequently through Girl Scouts and with friends, and always had a heart for helping animals, frequently bringing homeless pets to her house when she was younger. So, it was only natural for Amanda to get involved in equine adoption and rescue work as she got older.
Amanda began volunteering with one of our Partners, Heart of Phoenix, while she was in nursing school. From her first day working with the organization, she knew she’d eventually end up adopting. It was only a matter of time before Amanda would meet her #RightHorse.
What Makes the #RightHorse, a Right Horse?
As Amanda started looking to adopt, she knew she needed a horse who was consistent and steady. Previous health struggles had left her with balance issues, and she thought a wide-backed horse who was calm and sure-footed would be a perfect fit to help her regain her balance and strength. For that reason, she started looking at draft and draft cross horses, who are known for their amiable nature and powerful structure.
Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Fates would intertwine when a stunning 20-year-old Belgian cross mare came into the care of Heart of Phoenix. From the moment Amanda first laid eyes Beauty, she knew she’d found her #RightHorse. She applied to adopt and took Beauty on a week-long trial to make sure they were a good match for each other.
“I fell in love with Beauty at first sight,” remembers Amanda of their first encounter. “I took her on a week trial to see how we meshed. At the time, she had very little steering, but I still wanted to grow with her.”
Beauty’s age never crossed Amanda’s mind, but she realizes in hindsight that an older horse was always a great option for her. As a result of their age, senior horses often bring a gentle confidence and maturity into their relationships with their adopters.
Soon after the trial ended, Amanda brought Beauty home where she worked diligently to improve her skills under saddle. Beauty’s steering, transitions between gaits and halt improved with time, and Amanda discovered that her new horse absolutely loved the trails. While Amanda initially preferred the sport of dressage, she couldn’t deny that her new friend loved being out of the arena.
Eight years later, Beauty and Amanda are still exploring the world around them and making memories together. Amanda enjoys riding Beauty on the trails with friends, and a highlight for the pair was a recent beach trip.
“We have been on some grand adventures over the years together and the beach topped them all,” reflects Amanda on her time with Beauty. “Our favorite place is out on the trail with friends. She can keep up with the gaited folks just fine. On trail rides she is always on point and ready to go.”
When they’re not busy tackling the trails, Beauty enjoys long grooming sessions and bonding with Amanda. She’ll even show her appreciation for a good brush.
“We enjoy just hanging out together and she likes to spend time grooming me like I am her child,” Amanda shares.
Not Just a Year Older-a Year Better!
Beauty is now 28 years old and shows no signs of slowing down. And while age wasn’t ever a consideration for Amanda when she started looking to adopt, she recognizes Beauty’s age likely contributed to her kind and gentle disposition.
“When I adopted Beauty, I was looking for the horse who was a good fit for me to build the confidence I needed to continue my journey back. Her age came last, but in hindsight, it was her willingness and unflappable attitude that made her perfect for me. Her age brought maturity,” Amanda reflects on her beloved senior horse.
As she and Beauty continue to hit the trails, Amanda offers advice about the benefits of adopting a senior horse.
“They have been around the block a few times and are settled in. They can learn new things if you take your time to teach them. They are the true gems of the horse world to me.”
Feeling inspired and ready to adopt a senior horse of your own? Visit myrighthorse.org to browse hundreds of adoptable horses nationwide by breed, sex or discipline.