Update: A New Journey for Juni

November 5, 2021

This summer the ASPCA gave a helping hoof to a special group of horses after their owner passed away. The previous owner’s family wasn’t sure where to turn for help until connecting with the ASPCA. It didn’t take long for the small herd of horses, which included a bay mare who was later named Juni, to hitch a ride on the ASPCA’s equine transport program, The Horse Adoption Express. The horses headed to a partner facility for further evaluation and veterinary care.

The evaluations revealed that while Juni and her herd mates had been well-loved by their previous owner, they hadn’t been handled much and would need additional training to be suitable for most potential adopters. Untrained horses often require an experienced adopter, while a well-trained horse can be a good fit for a wider variety of horse owners. Consequently, training is an essential component to helping more horses find homes.

Through our equine adoption program, The Right Horse Initiative, we’ve developed innovative partnerships with professional horse trainers who use their expertise and skill to prepare at-risk horses for adoption. We recognized that Juni needed additional training, so she stepped back onto the Horse Adoption Express for a second trip, this time to meet her new trainer, Cayla Stone, who has years of experience training all types of horses. Cayla is a two-time Extreme Mustang Makeover finalist and has decades of experience training mustangs and client horses for the sport of eventing.

Juni Goes Back to School

Juni, whose name was chosen by ASPCA fans, was initially wary of the people working to help her. When she first arrived at Cayla’s barn in Northern Colorado, she wasn’t trusting of humans.

“Juni was timid and fearful of people when she first came to us,” recalls Cayla of her first encounter with her.

After arrival, Cayla spent time slowly gaining Juni’s trust and getting her used to routine tasks, like being haltered, brushed and led. With the consistent handling, Juni progressed and quickly became a barn favorite. Her inquisitive personality and intelligence allowed her to progress quickly in the training program.

“She has responded amazingly well and become quite friendly! Her personality has opened up,” remarks Cayla about Juni’s quick progress, adding “she is easily one of the favorites in my program.”

After Juni mastered the basics, Cayla began introducing her to unfamiliar obstacles and scenarios to build her confidence. She’s brave and curious, making her a perfect partner for unmounted competitions like agility and liberty work. Cayla recently took her to a horse show where she competed on an in-hand obstacle course. Juni impressed everyone with her stellar behavior at the horse show and she even brought home a blue ribbon representing a first place finish in her first-ever competition.

Juni has progressed quickly since arriving at Cayla’s facility in August. Cayla is planning to introduce her to a saddle and rider in the coming weeks and begin her under saddle training.

A Home for Juni

What’s next for super-horse Juni? Adoption, hopefully! Juni is currently looking for her person and will continue in the training program until she meets her match.

After working with Juni, Cayla thinks she’ll thrive in a variety of different homes.

“I think Juni would love having a child or person of her own. She’d thrive as a trail mount, she loves obstacles and would do great as a pleasure or lower-level dressage horse,” enthuses Cayla about her four-legged student.

Juni would be a great fit for a first-time adopter who’d like to learn the ropes of horsemanship from the ground. Or, a new horse owner could partner with a local riding instructor who could help progress both their skills and continue Juni’s training as a riding horse.

What's in a Neigh-m?

Did you help name Juni by voting on social media? You made the right choice–Cayla and her training team thinks the name suits this smart, clever horse!

If you’re interested in adopting Juni or one of her herd mates, visit myrighthorse.org to learn more and inquire about the adoption process.