Thanks to a Homeschool Meetup group online, I was able to take the kids to Equine 808 Horse Rescue Colorado. From their website:
“Equine 808 is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization providing a sanctuary for abused, neglected and unwanted horses and dedicated to educating horse owners and potential horse owners about horse care and management.
It is our mission and duty to help every horse that comes into our program. Whether it be physical limitations from neglect to behavioral problems from abuse. We are committed to rehabilitate or re-train all horses and then find them approved, qualified homes through our intense adoption program. It is our goal to offer resources to our community and help horse owners and horse lovers with proper horse care and management through our educational programs.”
We were treated to an educational lesson on the proper care of horses by Tina, the owner/operator, and why they sometimes need to be rescued. I especially appreciated that she clarified that most horse owners who surrender their horses aren’t deliberately mean, they often just lack the knowledge or funds to give their horse(s) the care they need in order to thrive. The kids were shown what kinds of food each horse is given, and taught how they choose to feed each horse according to its needs.
Tina’s associate, Chrissy, then took us on a tour of the grounds, where we got to meet several of the horses. Thankfully, none of them have open court cases, so I was free to take pictures. It was a delightful experience, and a welcome day of non-school school.
Our hearts were touched as they told the stories of some of the horses, and how they’re responding to their rehabilitation. Some are now being used as therapy horses for the Wounded Warriors, some are thriving in newfound homes, and others are waiting for a forever family. Still others had only just entered the program, but are responding well.
The kids were enamored! I was worried they might fear touching such large animals, but I needn’t have worried. The handlers had confidence, so the kids did, too. The horses were all very welcoming of the attention, and even cuddled some of the kids. Durin couldn’t help himself, and started hugging all the horses! They didn’t seem to mind.
One particular horse, Bella, touched my little-girl-horse-loving heart. She was positively cuddly, and followed the kids as far as her run would allow. When we reached out to pet her, she would nuzzle everyone’s hands like a puppy, her eyes saying clearly that she just met us, and she loved us. She was gorgeous. It made me want to take her home. Of course, there is no way that could ever happen, but she is up for adoption, and if you are in Colorado, and in the market for a sweet-natured 3 year old, she would probably love you too.
After meeting the horses, we were treated to a petting zoo and a pony ride for each of the kids. Misty and her son, Noble, were the sweet beasts who carried each of the kids so patiently. We learned the difference between the miniature horses in the petting zoo and ponies. Ponies are bred to be beasts of burden, while miniature horses are merely pets.
Needless to say, I was very impressed. They are doing an outstanding job with limited resources. If my girls stay interested, I may consider volunteering once in awhile myself, so they can come along and learn more.
All in all, I am so glad I signed us up for this. I only wish Levi could have come along, too. The more I get out of the house with the kids, the better they seem to do when we have to be inside. Sometimes, I think we belong in the country.
*Click to see full size*
I know that’s a lot of pictures, but I take so few nowadays, I figured I would just share them all today. I hope you enjoyed it.
Grace & Peace,