Colleen + Cricket
I took up horseback riding when I was 17, and learned to ride with the help of my friends and their various mounts. I rode all throughout college and it became a huge part of my life. When I accepted a job that required moving to Connecticut from Maryland, I knew I would be unable to continue riding my friends’ horses, but had to find a way to keep horses in my life. This led me to look for a horse of my very own.
Right around the time I started looking, I saw a friend had adopted a thoroughbred from New Vocations, so I checked them out. I knew right away this was where I would get my new horse (assuming my application got accepted!) Browsing their website, I knew I had A LOT of options. I decided I wanted a standardbred that was young, lightly raced, and tall (16hh+).
My mom and I drove up to Ohio to meet some horses, and I came back with a 10-year-old gelding, 15.2hh who had been raced 191 times. (Oops! But not really!) After speaking to a trainer, I realized this horse was capable of everything I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to dabble in dressage and jumping, and I wanted a super brave trail horse. After a horse races 191 times, not much phases them! He is the absolute best trail horse. I can stick a total beginner on him, and he will march around the trails so perfectly you would think they had been riding together their whole lives! I have never ridden a braver trail horse. On top of that, he is pretty smart and very eager to please. Standardbred racehorses are discouraged from cantering since they will be disqualified if they break in a race. Still, teaching him to canter under saddle was a breeze. Once he figured out I actually wanted him to canter, it was all he wanted to do because he knew it made him a “good boy.”
I’ve now had Cricket for almost two years, and I can’t imagine myself happier with another horse. I often think about how lucky I was to adopt a horse through a reputable organization that opened my mind to a horse I probably would not have considered otherwise. Cricket and I have been blazed many trails, had some amazing dressage lessons and jumped some fun jumps. I’ve never been held back by his age, size or the number of times he raced.
This is what “right horse” means to me.
Everyone has goals and aspirations when it comes to their horse. Some people want a horse that can take them to the upper levels of a discipline. Some people want a horse that will be a friendly pasture ornament. The Right Horse is a horse you get along with who is also compatible with your goals.