Today was an absolutely glorious, beautiful, sun-filled day. It also held a day of promise, excitement, and treasures to find, diamonds in the rough.
It was SHOPPING DAY!
Not just any shopping, oh no. It's my absolute most favorite kind of shopping ever. Better than muck boots. Better than Manolos or Louboutin, Armani or Prada.
It was horse shopping day!
Today, we went to Akindale Farm in Pawling, NY, which is a very large Thoroughbred rescue organization just a stone's throw away from us. I met Erin, who runs the whole operation with ease, and Melissa, who rode beautifully and really let these horses shine. Some of these horses have never raced - some have been injured - some were pulled from a Kill Pen (a pen at an auction where they are headed for slaughter). Yes, it happens, and yes, many times it happens to horses that are abandoned, forgotten or otherwise mistreated, who are perfectly fine and just need someone who believes in them.
Anyway, I can't say enough kind things about these ladies, Erin and Melissa. They really want the best for the horses, and if a horse gets fostered or adopted out and then the new owner cannot care for it anymore, Akindale takes it back - they are a sanctuary in every sense of the word.
Having over 140 horses on 1000 acres, there's a ton to choose from, but we checked out 4 horses for our needs. I was looking for a horse for Matt and to teach some lessons on, a safe, level headed, and yet decent-sized mount. I was also looking for a client, but we'll get to that in the next post.
Now, some people think that all Thoroughbreds or racehorses are high-strung and hard to handle. It's true - sometimes, just like with any other breed. But in many cases, these horses have a "been there, done that" mentality - they are much more sane than most people think.
We were introduced to Pleasant Signal. He's a 10 year old, 16 hand horse who was pulled from a kill pen at New Holland, one of the worst auctions in the country. This horse was going to be killed for meat. And what a waste that would have been.
He's so special. Look at that face.
He's a nice mover too, with some freedom in his legs. It almost seems as though he's grateful for every step he takes, and wants to make sure the rider on him feels safe and secure. I think horses know when they get a second chance, as do most animals - and this guy deserves all the love he can soak up.
Look, he's smiling in that picture up above. He knows he's cute. That's Melissa, just hangin' out with him. He's that kind of horse. You could land a plane next to him and he'd not bat an eye.
I got to hop on and ride him a bit, and had a ball. He's as easy-going as it gets! I can just see him, with some muscle and more endurance training, and he would be the life of the party on a hunter pace.
Ah, yes. Horse shopping day is a fun day indeed. Especially when you meet a horse who deserves to know that he's worthwhile.
So, what do you think? Is Pleasant Signal (or Siggy as I am beginning to call him) a keeper?