Posted tagged ‘horse sanctuary’

Mountain Sanctuary

December 30, 2016

High in the Catskill Mountains of New York state is a place called Rosemary Farm. With beautiful fields and pastures, hills and trees, it’s a place of dreams and dreams come true. For any horse lucky enough to live there, it is truly a sanctuary in every meaning of the word. If I was a horse in need of a home, I would hope Rosemary Farm would take me in.
Founded in 2008, the sanctuary is a charitable nonprofit that serves homeless horses from every walk of life; mustangs that have been rounded up from the range and perhaps been adopted by well-meaning folks, or those not so stellar, but now need a new place to live; horses that have worked hard all their lives but rather than being allowed to retire in peace have been shipped to auction to face an uncertain and scary future; race horses with amazing careers behind them but that have suddenly ended up in the pipeline that often leads straight to the kill buyers who frequent horse auctions; horses that were loved by someone who died or fell on hard times and could no longer keep him. Every horse that arrives at Rosemary Farm has a story to tell, and the people who care for them are patient enough to wait until that horse is willing to let them in on his or her secrets. Their motto is: “A place where horses get to be horses.”
Since I started following Rosemary Farm on Facebook, I’ve learned many of their stories, as related by the woman, who with her husband and many volunteers, runs the sanctuary. With names like Honey Pie, Rhett, Annie, Glory, Ella, and Princess Yanaha, they have all become horses I feel I know, just by learning of their journeys. The Princess was probably the one who got me hooked into coming back to find out more about them. She arrived at the sanctuary with her sister from a kill lot far away in Oklahoma. Just babies, they were both near death, covered in ticks and starving. How and why they were allowed to get into that condition, who knows. Sadly, the little sister did not make it but at least passed in peace and with caring people in attendance. The Princess, as she soon was known, spent many weeks at a veterinary clinic where it was touch and go for a long time. Countless fund raisers helped pay for her treatment, and in the end the Princess survived. Today she is a beautiful young filly that bears little resemblance to her former self. She still lives at the sanctuary. Without the dedication of the people who cared for the Princess, she would not be alive today. Hers is just one story from Rosemary Farm. Some stories are sad, but most are joyous.
If you would like to know more about Rosemary Farm, please visit their website, and follow them on Facebook, I guarantee you’ll soon be as amazed at the work they do there as I am.


Look Closer

August 26, 2015


Champagne Lady

The following quote is borrowed from the Facebook page of Mark Rashid. From Colorado, Mr. Rashid is an internationally known horse trainer and the author of many books on the subject. While this refers to horses, similar thoughts could be applied to any pet or animal that we have in our lives.

What Do You See?

“I am not your therapist.

I am not sports equipment

I am not a chair

I am not a doll

I am not a vehicle

I am not your child

I am not a toy

Look again. What do you see?”

Reading this made me think about how often we bring an animal into our lives for what they can do for us rather than for what we can do for them. While many animals do provide invaluable services to and for people, how many of us truly believe that they have value beyond this? How many animals have performed their duties for which they were trained, only to be discarded when they were no longer able to do so? From the dog trained for the military or law enforcement, to the racehorse, to the show animal, to the family pet, how many animals when they become too old and inconvenient or are no longer needed, are disposed of because they are no longer of any use to us?

To their admirable credit, many men and women who have worked with service dogs in the military refuse to leave them behind when their tour of duty is done. Many have fought long and hard to bring their canine companions home with them to live out their lives. Law enforcement dogs are often retired with their handlers, and when they pass are treated with the same honor and respect as any other officer. Most pet owners who have had their pets for many years are committed to them until the end. But there are also many senior pets sitting in shelters simply because no one wanted to put up with their disabilities as they aged, as there are horses sent to auction because they can no longer be ridden or worked or shown. Do they not deserve to live out their lives in peace and relative comfort for the love and service they have provided? Do they not have value just for who they are rather than for what they can do? I think that’s what the author of What Do You See? is asking us to consider.

Photo of Champagne Lady was taken at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, a place where you can appreciate animals just for who they are.