My experience working with rescue horses has been truly amazing! Horses in general make you focus on your inner feelings and thoughts, but rescue horses take this to a WHOLE other level. When I found out that my family and I were going to be moving to Alberta in 2014, I started to do my research on horse stables and some organizations I could volunteer or get involved with. As a horse crazy 12 year old, I had a TON of horse magazines (I am not even kidding you, there were too many to count)! So one night as I was looking through my stash of horse magazines, I came across an incredible story about an organization called Rescue 100 Horses Foundation. I was reading through the article and came across where the foundation was located. To my amazement, it was close to where my family and I were moving to, which I was VERY excited about. I remember the exact moment… I ran downstairs and announced excitedly telling my parents about the foundation and that they were accepting volunteers. I immediately emailed the volunteer coordinator asking if there was availability and if they were accepting volunteers at that moment. She emailed me back and told me they were accepting volunteers and that they would love to have me join them.
In the winter of 2014, my mom and I flew to Edmonton to meet with the volunteer coordinator and to plan when I could get started. It was definitely a relief to be able to find such an amazing organization right after moving to a brand new city. I knew that I wasn’t going to wait long after we moved to get settled in and start looking for horse barns. When we finally moved, we went to a volunteer meeting for new volunteers and right away I knew that working with rescue horses was something I really wanted to do. Soon after applying to be a volunteer, I was introduced to some of their horses. I also met a horsey friend that I could volunteer with which was super cool as well!
These horses arrived at Rescue 100 because they had experienced some form of abuse of neglect. I had the chance to see some horses that were pretty banged up and it wasn’t very pretty. These horses were not only hurt and abused on the outside, but they were also very bruised and full of fear on the inside as well. Having the opportunity to be able to be around these horses completely helped me to see them through a different lense and understand what these horses had experienced. It truly shocked me how cruel people can be to animals.
But the transformations that these horses made while being at the foundation for a while, were truly incredible and inspiring! Most of the horses were adopted into their forever homes and became healthy and happy horses. As I was able to observe and watch these horses, I realized that rescue horses are a lesson for daily living. The “moral” I came up with is that even when we go through life’s struggles, we can’t give up or quit. We have to cling onto that extra bit of strength and take a deep breath to move forward from our past. These horses had pasts that were not pretty, but with love and care from the volunteers and staff, they were basically given a second chance at life. Horses are able to change lives in big ways and, honestly, these rescue horses gave me a lesson to learn in my daily life. This even taught me in riding as well that as riders we have to conquer big road blocks, but when we have the strength to get past it, we are unstoppable.
I hope that you enjoyed my throwback to what I learnt working with rescue horses. I hope this encourages you that if horses can persevere, you can too! 🙂 Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!