Saturday, September 29, 2012

Starting a horse rescue

Our family has really been thinking hard about starting a horse rescue at the ranch.  The current economic climate has been very harsh for horses.  When the real estate bubble busted back in 2008, people were so desperate they would take their horses out into the desert, tie them to a Joshua Tree and leave them to die.

Things don't seem quite that desperate now, but there are still many many horses being abandoned.  A friend of mine with a horse stable regularly wakes up with horses tied to her fence in the morning.  And the price of horse feed is going up up up as the price of oil goes up (afterall, you need to put gas in your tractor and your well motor).

One impetus has been being given a horse.  She wasn't a rescue per se, but her owner is getting up in age and can't dedicate time to her anymore.  She's a great little mare and she got us thinking about how many other horses are out there needing to be cared for.  Many people get rid of their horses because they can't handle them and many horses who are abandoned for lack of finances won't be adopted because they also tend to be poorly trained.  So we've decided that we will focus on rescuing a small number of horses at a time and training them to be excellent animals before adopting them out.  This should ensure a happy and stable horse home.

We also want to use rescued horses for doing therapy with veterans, victims of violence and really just anyone having emotional problems.  There's so much to be learned through interacting with horses and they can be comforting and nurturing as well as challenging.  I (Serina) have my doctorate in marital and family therapy and using horses to do therapy was the focus of my schooling.  I've kindof gotten away from this with our focus on the farm, but I'd really like to offer horse-based therapy (equine assisted psychotherapy) at the ranch.  Life isn't worth living if you're not helping someone.

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