I’ve always said, I am not good at the adoption part of horse rescue. I’m great at taking in hopeless souls, restoring them to health and helping them to trust humans again – even though I suck at trusting humans enough to care for them the way we do at Swingin’ D Horse Rescue.
That’s why so many of our rescues might stick around for years before we allow them to leave us. If it’s not a perfect adopter, we’re happy to keep a horse forever.
Riding Miss Mazi
Such was the case for our little Mazi Bug. Plenty of potential adopters inquired about the petite little firecracker we saved from slaughter in March of last year, but Mazi will always be a higher risk for slaughter for a few reasons:
She’s a mare
- She’s an Arabian mare
- She’s petite
- She’s too smart for her own good
- She’s got spunk
Mazi reminded me of the popular diva cheerleader teacher’s pet from high school – a spunky little BFF who liked to strut her stuff and hang with the girls. The majority of adopters are not really looking for a Mazi. They may be excited about getting a horse, but what happens once the excitement wears off and reality sets in? That’s what Swingin’ D has to look at.
We were resigned to the possibility Mazi might be with us forever.
Jake: Been there, done that
The majority of adopters are looking for a Jake: a calm, experienced, “been there, done that” ranch horse that rarely gets worked up over anything. But Jake too has characteristics that put him at risk for slaughter:
- He’s over 8 years old
- He’s larger (nearly 17 hands)
- He’s sorrel
It’s hard to believe humans discard loyal companions for such trivial reasons, but we see it all the time at Swingin’ D. This would be Jake’s third adoption, so we had to get it right.
Then one day, as we prepared for another expensive winter with too many mouths to feed, we received inquiries from potential adopters about several of our harder-to-place horses, including Mazi and Jake. Two of the applicants lived too far outside of our 50-mile radius, so we had to decline. But one couple seemed almost too good to be true.
Teresa fell in love with Mazi through videos we posted online. I got a sense the petite, experienced rider and former cheerleader might also have a little touch of diva in her, and the way she talked about entering Mazi in shows and buying matching outfits, pretty much sealed the deal.
Teresa’s husband, Steve, comes across as a calming force, with the confidence and strength to stand back and let his wife shine. He gleams when he talks about their menagerie of rescued souls, each of which has found sanctuary in a forever home.
The more time I spent with Steve and Teresa, the more I realized I was looking at the human versions of Mazi and Jake, and the more comfortable I felt about letting them go.
Happily Ever After, Again
Today, after a lengthy approval process, Jake and Mazi departed Swingin’ D Horse Rescue for their new home on a beautiful ranch, with their own stalls, plenty of room to run, and Greg – a recently rescued barn cat – to protect their grain.
The tears flowed as I watched our raggedy trailer carry Mazi and Jake away from our little sanctuary, but my heart was full with the confidence in knowing they’ll never have need for rescue again.