I started the search for my first horse in January of 2012. After years of leasing horses and taking lessons, I felt it was time for me to get my own horse, and live that dream I’ve had for myself since I was a kid. I knew that I wanted to adopt a horse as there are so many wonderful, talented horses across the country who are looking for new homes. After doing a bit of research, I came across Lucky Horse Equine Rescue in Bolton, MA. Lucky Horse is a 100% volunteer run rescue, so as part of the adoption process, I was screened as a potential adopter. I shared my riding and horse experience and got to learn a bit more about the horses I was interested in. We arranged a date and time for me to go out and try a few of the horses. I had told my boyfriend that I would wait and take my time while looking for a horse, so I *sort of* agreed to not falling in love with the first one I met.
Fellow SmartPaker Marisa C. and I headed out to Bolton, MA on a sunny but cold Saturday morning to meet some “lucky horses.” I had the chance to meet some really great horses and Lucky Horse volunteers at Becker College where some of the horses are fostered until they find their forever homes. After I had two great rides on horses there, we headed over to Century Mill Farm where Lucky Horse is based out of. I already felt myself going back and forth on a decision, but I was excited to meet the next horse on my list, a 10 year old grey mare named “Maddie”.
We arrived at Century Mill and got to take a walk through their farm to bring Maddie down for our ride. A Lucky horse volunteer rode Maddie before me so I could see how she went, and then, it was my turn. I was a bit nervous as Maddie definitely had some “spunk” to her, but as soon as I hopped on, my nerves washed away. She went through all three gaits like a dream and the Lucky Horse volunteers were smiling and agreeing that Maddie seemed to like me. I knew right then that my search was over, but dared say anything out loud until I let myself mull it over a bit more.
That night I looked over the photos and video Marisa had taken of Maddie and me. Matt came over to watch a clip from my ride and without my saying a word to him about Maddie, he simply said, “Well, there’s your horse.” Those few words from him verified my decision, and I shot off an email to Lucky Horse asking them what my next steps would be so that I could adopt Maddie. I received a reply letting me know that I would have to bring photos of where Maddie would be living, references to show that I could care for her, and the adoption fee to Lucky Horse as soon as I could. Within the next 24 hours Maddie was mine. It took a bit of time for me to realize that I finally had my own horse. Within the next week I was able to go pick Maddie up with the help of fellow SmartPaker Elizabeth R. We dressed Maddie in a brand new Navy Rambo Newmarket Cooler and some standing wraps for the trip home. She walked on the trailer like a pro and off we went.
Maddie definitely put me to work those first few months she was home and certainly did not play the role of the perfect dream horse I had imagined for her in my head. She was moody, defensive, and sometimes plain ol’ mean, and I wondered what things would be like for us down the road. With time, persistence, and a great amount of support and training (as well as some seriously awesome SmartSupplement support), Maddie began to trust me. We participated in a Memorial Day Parade, the annual SmartPak Horse Show, and went on countless trail rides which are by far Maddie’s favorite thing in the whole world.
A little over a year later Maddie and I still have a lot to learn from each other. Every moment I spend with her I am reminded of how “lucky” I am to have found a horse willing to teach me so much about horses, horsemanship and myself.