It’s All Gucci for One Special Horse
Robin grew up loving horses and owned one while in her twenties. She loved riding on the weekends, and when life took her away from the stable, she always had fond memories of her first horse. Forty years later, Robin embraced her passion and returned to the stables as a volunteer for the ASPCA Right Horse Adoption Partner, Equine Rescue and Transition Foundation (ERAF).
A New Horse at the Rescue
Gucci, a handsome young Appaloosa gelding, was thriving in a training program as a working cow horse when a traumatic leg injury left his future uncertain. Gucci’s distraught owner was facing large veterinary bills and had to make the difficult decision to relinquish his beloved horse to ERAF so Gucci could receive the veterinary care he needed.
At ERAF, Gucci’s recovery was slow. On “bedrest”, he was confined to a stall to allow his leg time to heal. He could only go on short walks for a grassy snack while on a lead line. When Robin met Gucci, she felt drawn to him and spent many of her volunteer shifts caring for the injured horse. Their bond deepened, and she delighted in his goofy and spirited personality.
A second disaster struck as Gucci was nearing the end of his recovery: he developed uveitis in his eye. Uveitis is a painful condition causing inflammation in the eye, and Gucci needed his eye removed. By this point, Robin was sponsoring Gucci’s care and served as his designated caretaker. As Gucci recovered from surgery and adjusted to life with one eye, Robin stayed by his side, diligently nursing him back to health. During this time, she realized how much her spotted patient meant to her.
“Gucci and I became partners through his recovery,” Robin recalls. “The way he overcame his challenges taught me so much about myself. It was through this process that the feisty blind Appy and the retired returning-to-the-saddle lady discovered that they were meant to be. I wanted to see what else we could do together.”
It's All Gucci
After everything they’d been through, Robin realized that Gucci had already found his home—it was with her. She decided to complete his adoption.
Together, Gucci and Robin work at the rescue now. Gucci is an ERAF ambassador, and Robin serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. Gucci’s people-loving personality makes him perfect for the role, and he seems to enjoy all of the attention as ERAF educates visitors about equine adoption.
Outside of ERAF, Robin and Gucci enjoy trying new things. Just months after the surgery that left Gucci completely blind, Robin patiently taught him to be a riding horse again. Because of Robin, he gained confidence and thrived as a riding horse. Robin enjoys practicing her skills with Gucci, too. The pair regularly work with a professional horse trainer to continue growing together.
”He loves working and is so good at what he does,” Robin shared. “He loves challenges, so we are planning to try some obstacle course work. I eventually would like to be able take Gucci out on trails.”
The Adoption Option
Now it's hard for Robin to imagine her life without horses. It’s even harder to think that she almost didn’t adopt!
“I never intended to adopt a horse. I did not set out to do that,” remembers Robin. She’d only intended to volunteer at ERAF. “In my case Gucci and I became partners, and I could not imagine my life without him as part of my family.”
Adoption is an integral part of ERAF’s mission, and Robin supports them by guiding others who are considering adopting a horse. She serves as a matchmaker and helps potential adopters prepare for the responsibilities that come with bringing a horse home. After her experience with Gucci, she’ll be the first to remind new horse owners of the most important part of adoption: the bond that forms when the #RightHorse finds their right person.
“Look for the connection. There is nothing that beats that feeling.”
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.