Apollo Brings Sun and Bright Days to His Adopter
Apollo spent most of his life on a farm in rural New Mexico. He and the other 16 horses on the farm were loved but weren’t handled often by their caregiver. When she passed away, her family didn’t know where to turn for help with placing the horses. Apollo and his herd mates couldn’t be caught or handled and had very little training. Few horse-shoppers or adopters have the experience level to safely train a horse like Apollo, so his options were limited.
Thankfully, the family got in touch with the ASPCA, and we were able to transport Apollo to the ASPCA Equine Transition and Adoption Center in Oklahoma for an assessment, and then to a training partner in Colorado. At Mythos Equestrian LLC, Apollo learned how to be handled by humans and was introduced to a rider. He made tremendous progress and was looking for an adoptive home when Sara came across his profile on our adoptable horse listing site, myrighthorse.org.
Returning to Horses
Sara, like many equestrians, spent her childhood in the saddle but had to give up her hobby when she went to college. Once she felt like it was the right time to rekindle her passion, she was unsure of where to start. She spent months poring over online sale ads but felt hesitant about taking the next step to bringing a horse home. Then, while returning to school for a second degree in Equine Science at Colorado State University, she came across myrighthorse.org and found Apollo’s profile. To her delight, he was in the same town and setting up an appointment to meet him was simple.
“Sera, the trainer, introduced me to Apollo and told me a little about his experience and what they were working on together,” recalls Sara. “She told me about his personality and interests and what she thought his strengths and challenges might be. Everything she said lined up well with my hopes and dreams for what I'd like to try to do with my horse.”
Initially, Sara thought she’d go meet Apollo just for the experience of looking at horses. He quickly stole her heart, and she knew he was the one.
“I loved him on our first meeting, and I fall more in love with him every day. I just had a really good feeling about him. It might be more than that—I think he's super-handsome, I love that he's sweet and responsive, and I just love the light in his eyes.”
That good feeling led to Sara moving forward with the adoption and Apollo was finally headed home.
Building a New Friendship
Apollo had made significant progress while in training, but he was still a relatively inexperienced horse. He needed Sara’s confidence and patience to apply his new skills in a new setting. Sara spent months getting to know her new friend and slowly gained his trust.
“Haltering took some time. He needed a lot of work to feel trustful enough to let me in the ‘haltering zone’ around his withers,” remembers Sara of their early days together. “I took it really slowly. I was ‘carrot lady’ for quite a while, and that was just fine with me.”
Soon, Apollo began to trust Sara and they were able to move on to more complex skills.
“We’ve started to bond,” Sara shares happily. “I am reviewing communication in the round pen—making sure he and I both know what different commands mean. I've been working on my body language and observing his responses so that I can start building that basic communication. Apollo is very smart and eats up the work. He's going to keep me on my toes to keep pushing him and me to teach him more and more.”
Sara has continued to work on Apollo’s ground manners and getting him used to routine activities like standing for the farrier, receiving a bath and getting groomed. Each day, they progress a little more together. Now, she’s looking forward to a new goal: hitting the trails.
“My biggest goal for 2023 is trail riding,” shares Sara. She’s working on purchasing Apollo the perfect saddle and has attended local education sessions to find the right fit. “It's been a long time since I bought a saddle, and I’m so grateful for all the local support in making a good purchase that works for me and Apollo. I’m also connecting with fellow boarders at the barn so we can pair up and venture out on the trails. I am very excited for this next part of our adventure!”
No matter what Apollo and Sara are doing, she’s happiest when they’re together. “He is a joy to be around, and I enjoy his company. Anything we do, I love being with him.”
Feeling inspired and ready to adopt a horse of your own? Visit myrighthorse.org to browse hundreds of adoptable horses nationwide by breed, gender, or discipline.