Monday, September 28, 2009
Educational and Inspirational Weekend. Sept 26th 2009
I was invited by my friend Donna (the beautiful red head on the right in the above picture. Beth is on the left and I'm in the middle) to attend a fundraiser for a local Farm Rescue. They do all kinds of animals. Chicken, Goats, Pigs, Doves etc. Of course, I shamelessly was focused on the horses. lol
For a long while I have wanted to give back to an organization like this. Its tricky though, because I haven't wanted to be around dangerous horsemanship or get involved with a less than legitimate group.
I'm excited about The Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary because the founder Wayne seems to have a good knowledge not just about animal care but about facility and charitable organization management. To me this is important for effectiveness and longevity. They are also endorsed by the Humane Society of The United States. In fact Scott Beckstead from the HSUS was the speaker there.
(Just as an aside: Pat Parelli was just given the HSUS horseman of the year award. How cool is that.
For more on the Parelli/HSUS partnership click here. )
They have about 10 horses on the farm at the moment. Each with its own story to tell of course. It seems though that they are all healing and my understanding is that these horses are home forever.
I did speak to the founder (another Wayne. Wayne Geiger.) about his vision for the future. They have about 55 acres and lots of good fencing...but not a lot of shelter. So they are keeping their numbers down. (Very emotionally fit I say especially when he's getting a gajillion phone calls a day with people trying to give away horses. ) He talked about building a barn and eventually having some volunteers that would be willing to help rehabilitate the horses and enable them to be rehomed.
The other thing that the President of the HSUS was talking about was a program where horses and owners in distress would be evaluated. If their situation is sustainable and they just need some help to get through this rough time, an option is to provide them with the resources they need (hay, grain, meds etc.). This allows the horses/animals to stay on their current property and with their owners. Cool idea I thought. Especially if the evaluation process is strict enough.
Anyway, its great to have a rescue to start to get involved with....go to work parties...maybe help with the horses...do fundraisers. They have a sponsorship system there where a person can donate a specific amount of money per month to take care of an individual. A goat is like $15 a month or something and a horse is $60. A great way for people to give if they don't have a lot of time to volunteer or the ability to adopt. Donna sponsors this cute little brown mule named Suzie. .
Just one other thing I'll share... They have a horse there named Sophia. She is a black and white paint. I could see right away that she was a Right Brained Introvert*. Immediately my little heart connected with her. She reminded me of Lil. Not in looks of course but in her body language.
Then I heard her story. She was a bucking horse. But since she is a RBI....when she got frightened she just froze. She was beaten in an attempt to blow her up. She must have just gone deeper and deeper and become catatonic. When they couldn't make her do what they wanted they threw her away. Like garbage.
On so many levels Sophia's story resonated with me. Its just so indicative (and of course an extreme case) of misunderstanding the horse. Not knowing about Horsenalities*. Not caring perhaps. I wanted to prove to her that people could be better than that. That she was safe to come out of her shell...watch her blossom into a confident being in the world. Instead of locked away in her safe place. Man. I'm guessing that will take a long while.
I waited by the fence for a bit after the fund raising auction. Eventually she did come over...snorted when I reaching into my pocket for a treat...but hung in there. Obviously the folks at the Sanctuary have done a wonderful job in the few months she's been with them. I just wonder what the possibilities for her are....................
A few more picts...
As you can see these guys are healthy and happy.
This horse with a scar was hit by a car.