Faith + Aerion
Breed Quarter Horse
Where do I even begin the story of me and Aerion? I received my first horse when I was nine years old. She was an old competitive mounted shooting quarter horse named Reba. Reba was my best friend for years until she was called up to greener pastures. I was devastated when she passed away and I never thought I would find another horse that would fill that void in my heart.
Years passed. I still had the passion for riding and horses, but I was never able to find another horse. In August 2016, I came across a story about a young woman and her rescue horse. As I read the story, it hit my heart and I knew that my next horse would be a rescue – and so my search began. I contacted rescue after rescue about adoption information and the horses up for adoption. I finally found the Houston SPCA and their barn team. They were so helpful throughout the application process as I looked through horse photos and bios.
In September 2016, I headed off to the Houston SPCA barn to go meet the potential horses. I remember walking into that big red barn not knowing what I was about to find. The barn team introduced me to a few of the horses. While they were sweet, I knew they were not the ones for me. Then, at the very end of the barn in the last stable, was this skinny bay horse with its butt turned to me. The barn team called his name to get him to turn, but he refused. After a few attempts trying to get his attention, Aerion turned around. And in that moment, I said, “That is the horse I have been waiting for!”
Even though he was so skinny you could count most of his ribs and his coat was dull, I saw the most beautiful potential in him. This is when I learned Aerion’s story. He was part of one of the largest horse seizures in US history. He was one of 200 horses seized from a dairy farm where the horses where starved and mistreated. He was one of many studs used to continue the breeding. The Houston SPCA was called in to rescue the horses. Aerion was gelded and saved along with all of his horse family. I cried when I heard the story and looked into his eyes and told him that it would never happen to him again. Within three days I signed the adoption paperwork and gained a new friend for life.
Of course, with every new experience we learn something. Aerion had been starved and abused, so for the first two months we worked on fattening him up and gaining trust. He became a completely different horse from that day I first met him in the stable. He was now a well-fed and friendly horse. After we gained trust, it was time to see what Aerion knew, and so our training began. I couldn’t get over how smart he was and how quickly he learned. Even though we are currently working with a trainer, Aerion is in the prime of his life and is now working towards being a working horse with me in the saddle.
To those of you out there who wonder why should you adopt a horse, this is my story. And while this isn’t the whole story (it would have taken pages to write), this certainly isn’t the end of my story with Aerion. A horse may have been given a rough start in life, but we have the power to give them a safe and loving life when we adopt. Patience is the key. Some rescue horses don’t warm up quickly, some don’t learn quickly, some don’t want to be caught, etc. Just remember, long and strong relationships are based on trust. I will tell you firsthand that Aerion is my best friend. He’s who I talk to and sing to, I laugh and cry to, I sweat with and rejoice with. Where Aerion came from is not a pretty story, but his future is so bright and beautiful that his past is simply his past. Aerion is my right horse!