Thursday, November 4, 2010

I've Been Learning About What it Takes to Run an Equine Rescue . . .

My learning curve is steep. In August I went on the board of directors of Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue, a small rescue in Eureka, California where I live. In the last few months I've been learning about . . .

. . . the intensely, heart-rending, exhausting, soul-ripping, rewarding job of rescuing neglected horses and nursing them back to health.

. . . the hours and hours and hours of fundraising to support the horses currently in the rescue and to make it possible to rescue more.

. . . the need to keep rehabbing horses engaged with humans, building or rebuilding their capacity to trust the very creatures who once betrayed them.
. . . the agonizing questions about how to manage resources and what to do with those dear horses that will never be sound.

. . . the moments when everyone is exhausted from one more rescue event, its time to go home, and that final horse just won't load.

. . . the grind of day-to-day operations, the endless cycle of feed & muck & feed & muck, and the need to staff morning and evenings feedings in each facility of the rescue.

. . . the need to maintain facilities and keep donated resources in top shape.

. . . the need to recruit, orientate, train, schedule, coordinate, encourage, and appreciate the many, many wonderful volunteers that keep non-profit rescues going.

. . . the challenge of maintaining a strong internal structure, day-to-day operations, and an healthy, transparent organization with volunteer staff.

. . . the tears shed for those horses you couldn't help.

. . . the challenge of finding homes so you can welcome more horses in need into your care.

. . . the need to provide daily care, grooming, and exercise for all the horses in the rescue.

. . . the amazing, committed, caring, give-their-all-and-keep-on-giving people you will meet.

. . . the community that will support you and that you depend upon for the funding to continue to help the horses.

. . . the need to train horses that would otherwise not be adoptable, and the need to find quality trainers that are committed to the rescue.

. . . the knowledge that it takes a community to save a horse.


Shanna said...

Rescuing is heartwrenching, exhausting work but oh so worth it in the end. I wish there were more willing to step up to this huge challenge. It's worth it to watch a horse transform!

Would you like me to put a plug for the rescue you work with on my blog? I don't think I get many hits but I'd sure be willing to link to you. I'm also talking with another lady in the area who is doing rescue work to save broker horses from being shipped to slaughter.

Lori Skoog said...

Thank you Cherie. You are so committed to these animals and don't just think about do something. Kudos to you and your organization. I'm in tears just thinking about what these horses have to go through.

Sydney_bitless said...

Your doing a wonderful job. No matter what it's worth it. I wish we had a facility in our area for rescue horses I know a few in dire need of a home.

Cactus Jack Splash said...

Rescuing is like riding a roller coaster-I hate roller coasters. I wouldn't trade a single minute of it though. When I see a horse find its home it makes the tears, pain, and loss worth it.
I am so glad you have found a good rescue to be involved with.