We like to think of ourselves as adoption matchmakers. Horse Cupid, even. In other words, we help good people find their right horse.
When you first set foot into the Drifter’s Hearts of Hope (DHOH) facility as a potential adopter, you’ll be greeted with the question, “Tell me more about what you’re looking for in a horse?” While we’ve already reviewed your adoption application, we always like to get more detail in person.
That first question is just the beginning. We’ll then walk you past each available horse in the barn, discussing your basic preferences. What style of riding do you prefer and what kind of activities do you want to participate in with your potential horse? What characteristics do you like in a horse? What characteristics do you not like? What are your must-haves? What are your deal-breakers? Simply put, we are using these questions to help us fit you with the best potential “right horse” that will meet your needs.
From there, we’ll talk to you about the horses as we pass by them. We will highlight and pause by the stalls of horses that might be a good fit. Here we like to dig a bit deeper. What could make you nervous on or around a horse? How do you react when you get nervous? Have you had any bad experiences that are important for us to know about? Since safety is extremely important to us, we always want to be sure that we fully understand where the rider is in their horsemanship journey.
After hearing more from you and understanding your horsemanship, we’ll introduce you to the available horses we feel might be the best fit. We explain what the horse is looking for and needs in an adopter and living situation, what riding styles for which they’d be well suited for (English, western, trail riding, arena work, etc.), what kind of rider they prefer (soft hands, quiet legs, experienced rider, kid friendly, etc.) and what their deal-breakers and must-haves are. The horse is a key portion of this equation as they need to match with the potential adopter just as much as the potential adopter needs to match with the horse.
The key to these conversations is honesty and openness. We try to get to know you, your background and your goals to match with the knowledge we have of our horses, their backgrounds and their goals.
Once we have discussed and selected a horse or two that might be a good fit, we have you help us get the horse tacked up and ready to go. Once we are bridled and saddled up, we head out to the arena. From there we hop on the horse first and take him for a spin, talk you through what we’re doing with our leg and hand, what we’ve found to be successful with the horse, and what we like to do to warm them up.
If you like what you see of the horse under saddle, we will hand you the reins and a helmet. You’ll be able to swing a leg over and see how the horse feels. If needed, we will walk with you until you feel comfortable. We support you throughout the entire trial, providing helpful tips and hints to best work with the horse.
Sometimes these introductions ask us all to step a bit out of our comfort zones, which is conveniently located in a saddle, but here at DHOH we have found it to be very successful in helping match the right people with the right horses! 270+ matches to be exact.
Drifter's Hearts of Hope