My name is Annabel Ruffell and I am the founder of Journey for Earth, a socially conscious media company that shares the personal journeys of inspiring individuals making a positive impact in the world.
On a regular basis I am also going to be posting other peoples articles that I find inspiring – and also inviting people to submit a piece – on the topics of: environment, animals, humanity, health, parenting, and anything else that inspires thought, connection and supports us in being the best that we can be.
My guest post today is by Sara Fancy, founder of Silver Horse Healing Ranch, whose mission is to teach people how to deepen their relationship with horses, and in the process discover their authenticity. She owns 7 beautiful rescue horses.
If you feel that you’re ready to get a rescue horse but don’t know where to start, here are some tips.
What you will need:
Somewhere for your horse to live.
When I got my first rescue horse, Silver I was lucky enough to be able to make a corral for him next to my house on the lot where I live. I was given some corral bar by a neighbor who no longer needed the fencing and was happy that I took it away. A friend who is a carpenter, designed and made an overhead shelter for Silver (legally you have to provide this for your horse). I paid for the materials and traded the labor with my friend for table (healing) sessions.
Although initially Silver was by himself there were two horses that lived across the fence that kept him company.
Important! Horses are social beings (herd animals) they need companionship from other horses. One of the worst experiences for a horse is to be isolated from other horses. As a prey animal it goes against their nature to be alone as they become vulnerable to predators.
If you can keep your horse where you live consider adopting another horse as a companion, or boarding a companion horse or horses that belong to someone else.
The other option is boarding your horse in a facility. It serves the horse to live in a large space so that it can move around freely. It usually serves the owner to put the horse in a confined space (stall) as it’s easier to keep the horse clean and free from the possibility of getting injured from another horse.
Generally horses get along unless they are stressed out by being in a space that’s too small and with too many horses. The other reason that horses don’t get along is that one of them or both of them may not have the social skills as a result of being isolated from other horses.
I have seen this with stallions who were kept away from the other horses. Even after being gelded (castrated) they acted aggressively when placed with other horses.
Generally it is cheaper to board the horse in a corral (large open space) than a confined stall as it requires less maintenance.
If your only choice is to board your horse in a stall then it is essential that you turn your horse out (exercise) regularly. Imagine a mouse in a cage, and then a horse in a 12 by 12 pen, the ration of space that the mouse has by far exceeds the ratio of space that the horse has. I recommend turning your horse out once every 24 hours. If that is not possible then you can pay someone to do that for you or ask a trusted friend/family member who will be happy to exercise your horse for you when you are too busy.
Another option for boarding is to find a private barn/corral that boards horses. If you go to a commercial boarding facility, they will require you to give your horse regular vaccinations. If you board privately they may be more relaxed about vaccines for your horse.
Personally I am not a fan of vaccinations. I feel that in the long run they are detrimental to the horse’s well being and health.
There are many toxic substances and heavy metals in the vaccines that compromise the horse’s immune system. I have seen horses with terrible allergies that have had a history of regular vaccinations ( anywhere from 4 to 10 a year).
Obviously there may be instances where your horse will need a vaccine, but my advice is the less the better for your horse.
Once you have prepared a place for your horse to live the next step is to find the perfect rescue horse that will match your needs regarding what your intention is for adopting a horse in the first place.
This step is important and will save you a lot of headaches later.
Ask yourself this question and be honest about your answer.
What do I want my horse to do for me?
Obviously everyone has different needs. You may want a horse you can ride, compete, breed, love, travel with, perform tricks, pull a cart or you may want to give a horse a nice retirement where they don’t have to do anything.
Now ask yourself:
How realistic is this?
For example you may want a horse you can ride but you may have never ridden before. If you get a rescue horse who is green or inexperienced this could be a recipe for disaster unless you plan on getting help so that you and the horse can both get training. Even in this situation my advice would be to forget this idea. The best option would be to adopt a rescue horse who is older, who has many years of experience in riding.
The same goes for if you want to adopt a horse for your kids to ride. Older experienced horses are calmer and make good teachers.
Once you know what you want you expect from your horse the next step is to start looking.
In this economy there is an abundance of unwanted horses. I get emails all the time asking me to take horses because the owner can’t afford their board or the horse has gone lame and the owner doesn’t want to invest anymore time or money into their horse.
What I’m saying is that there are plenty of horses out there that need adopting.
My suggestion is this; declare to the universe that you are ready to meet the perfect horse for you. Imagine visiting the soul of your horse and tell this horse what you intend to do together. Show the horse where you plan on putting them and ask them how they feel about this arrangement.
Tell your horse that you are committed and you are excited about having them in your life.
Once I made the decision to get a horse it happened within two weeks. I also had a powerful dream where my horse Silver visited me and we had an adventure. This was before I met Silver in person. When we did meet I knew that he was the horse in my dream and shortly after the owner of Silver asked me if I would take him because she could no longer care for him.
To watch my interview with Sara go here: https://annabelruffell.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/sara-fancy-founder-of-silver-horse-healing-ranch-interviewed-by-annabel-ruffell/
What Journey are YOU on?