Equine Adoption: A Childhood Dream Come True
Jessica was captivated by the magic of horses from an early age. Eager to learn and unable to own a horse of her own, she seized every opportunity to spend time with horses and develop her riding skills. Jessica regularly attended riding camps and practiced her horsemanship by riding friends’ horses.
As Jessica grew older, her love of horses remained. Now, with a family of her own, she longed to return to the barn and introduce her son to the animal that had captured her imagination as a child. After a serious illness forced her to reevaluate her priorities, she determined it was finally time to embrace her passion and start looking for a horse of her own.
Jessica’s horse search led her to ASPCA’s equine adoption site, myrighthorse.org, where she first connected with Wild at Heart Horse Rescue. She set up a time to do an initial visit of their barn to meet the horses and learn about the adoption process.
During the first visit she wasn’t expecting to find her right horse, so she was surprised to find herself drawn to a Thoroughbred mare named Sunday. Sunday had been at the rescue for four years, and like Jessica, was waiting to find her match. Jessica fell in love with Sunday, but there was a problem: Jessica’s barn was still under construction. Unable to adopt that day, Jessica decided that if Sunday was still available when the project finished, Sunday would be the one for her family.
“I still had to get the stable for her built and wanted to make sure I had everything in place before I committed. A few days passed by, and it was sitting really heavy that I wanted Sunday. I reached back out and asked Leslie at Wild at Heart if I could pay for her over the course of a month, and to my delight she agreed! I was so thrilled and excited. We brought her home the 24th of May,” Jessica recalls.
After years of waiting, Sunday finally had a home and Jessica found the horse of her dreams. With Jessica’s care and attention, Sunday’s personality blossomed. Each day that passed deepened the bond between Jessica and Sunday. Now, when Sunday sees Jessica approach her pen, she trots over to greet her. The whole family is involved in Sunday’s care, allowing Jessica to pass down her love for horses to her son.
“[Sunday] starts her mornings rubbing her nose on my leg, giving me snorts and following me around her pen,” Jessica shares about their routine together. “I think my favorite part is when I check her water and she splashes me with it. When we end our time together, she gets a treat and a light brushing. She is such a joy, and I like to think she was waiting for me.”
Sunday is Jessica’s lifelong dream come true, and now, they’re building new dreams together as a partnership.
Jessica met her #RightHorse during Adopt a Horse Month, a time each year when the ASPCA joins forces with shelters around the country to highlight the benefits of equine adoption and bring awareness to the hundreds of horses seeking loving homes. All month long, we will share opportunities for you to meet hundreds of horses looking for homes; perhaps YOU will find your #RightHorse, too!