For thousands of years, horses have roamed freely across the lands of the United States along with mankind. These majestic creatures carry great strength and spirit, which today are celebrated in several stories and movies (Popular stories include: Black Beauty, Sea Biscuit, and Secretariat). What most people do not realize about these creatures is that they possess a healing touch; often helping people learn to focus, build self-confidence, and surpass daily challenges. In the vast dry landscape of Taos, New Mexico, The Equine Spirit Sanctuary rescues horses and offers horse therapy to people of all ages.
The Equine Spirit Sanctuary started out as only a fleeting dream. In the past three years however, it has grown to be an active horse rehabilitation center for abused, unwanted, and unloved horses. The non-profit organization now has 12 ESS horses, a pony, a miniature donkey, 2 standard donkeys and a miniature horse, along with 2 retirees. According to the Sanctuary, no animal should be unwanted or unloved because each animal has his or her own unique personality and story. Ruth Bourgeois, executive director of the sanctuary professed, "No animal should ever be a throw-away. Unwanted. Unloved. They all have their stories, they all deserve to be loved and to have people who care about them." With that in mind, the sanctuary celebrates each animal for who they are.
Horses that have come from abusive owners are capable of connecting to humans having withstood abusive relationships. They are extremely intuitive and gentle, and relieve much stress from those who work with them. Horses are capable of redeveloping trust in humans after being abused. They are forgiving, sensitive creatures. Much can be learned from their stories and can help us as humans live fuller, more meaningful lives.
Many horses are neglected, starved, and uncared for. The Equine Spirit Sanctuary has taken in many abused horses but there are still unwanted horses out there. Luckily, the Equine Spirit Sanctuary is committed to finding and offering a home to these horses. However, the expenses for food and shelter for these horses run very high. Not only have they rented their land, the Sanctuary must pay $12,000 dollars for every 10 months of hay to feed 12 horses. They charge $30-$40 per horse lesson but that still does not bring in enough money to cover all the costs.
You can help support the rescue of horses along with horse therapy by visiting The Equine Spirit Sanctuary's website and donating online or by mail. You can also visit the Sanctuary and get to know the animals and see first hand what a wonderful organization this truly is. From helping children with mental disabilities, to helping stress-ridden adults, these sweet, sociable horses deserve all the support they can get! Even by donating a small amount, you could make a difference in a horse's life, and therefore, make a difference in a human's life.
Written by: Rebecca Bartels
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