Mar 01, 2015 09:42PM
By Maryann Pino Miller
How does a horse find itself in need of rescue? It has and continues to serve man in so many ways… mobility, agriculture, war, productivity, sport, recreation… and can be considered one of the largest contributors to advancing civilization.
Yet, how does it find itself in need of rescue? Old age and inability to perform the work for which it was being used may be reasons. Also, well-meaning adults purchase horses as gifts for themselves or their children and don’t know what owning a horse entails.
Most people and children get to handle and play with a pet dog or cat before purchase. They are looking for a connection of some sort. This may or may not happen with the purchase of a horse. Even if this connection is made and everything starts off beautifully as it usually does with most newly purchased pets, the novelty can wear off.
This may be because the owner is not trained or educated in horse behavior and does not understand what it takes to keep a horse mentally and physically healthy. The responsibility for care, feeding, exercising and picking up after the pet can become overwhelming plus both too time consuming and expensive. The thought of “what have I gotten myself into?” starts to surface. This may be especially true concerning a horse. With a horse, the care, feeding, exercising and required vet/ farrier visits can become quite costly. Horses require dental and hoof care on a regular basis. Uncared for teeth grow points inhibiting the horse from eating properly and causing sores and lesions in the mouth. Feet need to be trimmed and filed or shoed every six weeks. Daily or six-week interval worming is required.
The outdoor space and indoor shelter required to maintain a healthy horse can become especially expensive if boarding is required.
Deborah Greer, trainer and owner of Suffolk Stables in Southampton, runs a riding stable and rescues horses. She has seen the sad side of horse ownership.
“When I see a horse with bad teeth, bad feet or emaciated, of course, it is upsetting but what brings tears to me is a horse who is afraid or even petrified by a simple human touch and sometimes even just the presence of a human,” explained Greer.
Along with others in the horse community, she monitors horse auctions, buying horses that would otherwise be headed to the kill pen. Once a horse arrives at Suffolk Stables, it’s given the tender loving care it needs as it is nursed back to health. They might arrive looking emaciated but with time, medical and dental care, Reiki (healing energy work), chiropractic care, Emotion Code (finding and releasing trapped emotions), learning to trust people again, good feed, joint, hoof and other supplements, lots of fresh water, grooming and room to exercise, new life is breathed into these magnificent creatures.
A domesticated horse is a work horse. At Suffolk Stables, rescued horses become work horses again… helping children and adults know the joy and exhilaration of horseback riding.
Greer’s goal is to start a 501C3 for horses that people cannot take care of anymore. “There are rescue organizations that rescue thoroughbreds and standardbreds. I want to rescue the pipsqueaks, Betsys, Arizonas and Aymos out there who are no longer wanted or not being cared for properly.”
When a horse is not wanted any longer, it usually ends up at a horse auction. Cranberry, New Holland and Harkers are local horse auction houses.
In this area, there is a social network of horse people and stables that post pictures and spread the word when a horse is in need of a new home. If you feel equipped to own a horse, consider rescuing a horse, giving it its forever home or if you have a horse in need of a new home, contact:
~ Mylestone Equine Rescue, 501C3 organization 227 Still Valley Road Philipsburg, NJ 08865 908-995-9300
~ Helping Hearts Equine, 501C3 organization 260 Millstone Road Perrineville, NJ 08535 732-786-9015
~ Standardbred Retirement Foundation 353 Sweetmans Lane Suite 101 Millstone Townhisp, NJ 08535 732-446-4422
~ Labrador Hill Farm, 501C3 organization 1665 Conrad Avenue Waterford, NJ 08080 856-340-3784
If you need training or education in regards to a horse you currently own or if your horse needs a new home, contact:
~ Suffolk Stables LLC 416 Ridge Road Southampton, NJ 08088 609-346-7093
Maryann Pino Miller, M.Ed., spiritual coach, HypnoCounselor, owner of Consciously Living, co-owner of The Center, Life in Balance in Medford and author, encourages respect for self, others, animals, nature and the planet through her work and life. 856-912-2087.