It is no secret that everyone in our Red Bucket family is thrilled when one of our precious equines gets adopted. But some adoptions are so special that we all feel like cheering. This is one of those special adoption stories.
Michelle Walker is Red Bucket’s Director of Finance. She also has a full-time career as a CPA, but donates countless hours to Red Bucket and our beloved equine residents. This is the story of Michelle and OhSo Classy, a beautiful Warmblood gelding that found himself in need of a new home.
The Red Bucket adoption team meticulously fits all the many pieces together to create the best adoption scenario possible. We take into consideration what a horse is really capable of, what the experience level and expectations of the potential adopter are, and digs in to find what the best match is for that particular horse. In the case of Michelle, she had wanted a horse her entire life. As the adoption conversation unfolded, we encouraged her to improve her horse skills and work closely with trainer Ryan Pedigo to increase her confidence and skill level.
Call it luck, planning, serendipity, but timing is everything. The obvious choice for adoption became OhSo. He was Michelle’s perfect match. Susan Peirce says that Michelle treats her horse with a sense of wonder and devotion. She treats him like the treasure that he is, and he returns her devotion and kindness in every way. Like Susan says, Michelle really “gets it” when it comes to our culture of always putting the best interests of the horse first and foremost. Whether Michelle is tired, not feeling her best, or over stressed at work, none of that matters. She always insists on what is best for her horse.
Kyle Blotzer, another devoted team member, is Michelle’s riding buddy and one of her biggest fans. She believes that Michelle’s and OhSo’s personalities mesh perfectly, and that they have a deep understanding of each other and a mutual devotion that is palpable. Kyle also states that while Michelle is at the ranch, she will drop whatever she is doing to help anyone who needs it.
When I asked Michelle why she thought OhSo was the perfect choice for her, she explained that she has loved him from the moment he came into Red Bucket. She thought he was the most beautiful horse, with the kindest and most pleasant personality she had ever met. OhSo had been a show horse, a papered Warmblood, who became injured and no longer fit his owner’s expectations. His family knew about Red Bucket and trusted us with his future. “The most precious gift a recovering horse gets from Red Bucket is the gift of time, to heal and recuperate in a stress-free and loving environment,” explains Susan.
Michelle gives Jenon Mathes credit for building her knowledge base and making her a more responsible adopter. This additional knowledge really came in handy as she got to know OhSo better. She credits everyone who helped her in the adoption process with building the necessary confidence and knowledge base to make this adoption a lifelong success.
When I asked Michelle how she ever finds time to relax, she said that her time at the ranch and with her horse gives her life purpose and tranquility. The horses are her therapy. She is happiest when she is with them, and she will be forever grateful for Susan and all of her fellow Red Bucket team members.
Story by Julie Shields