Your Rescue/Volunteer Experiences?
Well I have a question. I was looking forward to start volunteering at a horse shelter. However, I am very unsure of myself.
Mainly because, as much as I LOVE horses, I have a tenderheart and I KNOW I will end up wanting to buy every horse I gain trust to or bond with. But I also know there is no way I can afford a horse being in college right now. lol How do you deal with this? Is there anyway to stop getting yourself too attached?
I also end up falling for the most difficult of all animals! You have the most stubborn bad mannered horse? I'd end up loving that one the most somehow :oops: lol
And aside from the above questions, I would like to hear everyones experiences on working at horse shelters and if they had adopted a horse there and what they found the difference to be with that one special horse they took compared to other ones.
I work for a rescue and the most rewarding feeling is seeing a rehabilitated horse find an owner who truly loves them. There is no greater joy than knowing they got their second chance. The joy is even greater when its a horse you have bonded with. Just knowing they found a good home is all it takes to bring a smile to my face.
I got attached to multiple horses but was not in a position to own. And let me add that I am so glad I waited!
I went on vacation and came back to a new horse. She was an Arab (my favorite breed) so I was drawn to her automatically. She was friendly but due to being spoiled was very pushy and disrespectful. In her opinion people were here for her convenience only.
I started working with her and we just clicked.
Side note: I've worked and ridden a lot of horses. I've fallen in love with 98% of them but have never clicked like I did with this mare. Back to the story...
The owner of the rescue noticed how strong our bond was and offered her to me with discounted board since I do so much work there. I had just landed a full time job. So... I adopted :)
Well the story doesn't quite end there...
Since she was officially mine I just had to know her full history. I contacted her last owner who surrendered her. She was full of information but was questionable. She had to surrender Comet (my mare) because she 1) could no longer afford her and 2) could not control or handle her hence the disrespectful pushy b**** I first came across in the pasture. Comet was deemed dangerous due to her attitude but truly was not. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body.
After tons of research and talking to people who knew Comet and her previous owners/breeders I found that...
Her story is: when she was born her dam passed on. She was bottle fed and raised up, then started by her breeders. She wouldn't take the saddle and was beat for it. When she finally took the saddle she would immediately lay down and not get up which in turn got her beat again. Since she was unridable they starved her. She lived off bread and straw. She was stunted due to the malnutrition.
Her second and last owner (the one who surrendered her) 'rescued' her from her bad situation at the breeders. She felt sorry for her and spoiled her literally to the point of founder. The last owner also lacked any training experience so between that and the spoiling explains why she was the way she was.
She came to us in August of 2012 and I officially adopted her in mid October.
When I started saddle training she was scared of even the sight of the saddle. Now I am riding her and she stands perfectly to be tacked up. She is no longer disrespectful or pushy and has even had my niece on her back. She is definitely my heart horse. I can't tell you what made her different than the others, we just clicked and that was it.
I wouldn't trade her for the world!
http://i1327.photobucket.com/albums/...209_185806.jpg First time ever on her back and first time anyone had been on her back in about 5yrs
http://i1327.photobucket.com/albums/...130_215620.jpgFirst time ever being ridden in a saddle
I encourage you to volunteer. It is truly a rewarding job and I promise you'll love it!
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Thank you for your story =] it was really nice to read. I feel more confident about volunteering now. I just dont want to end up feeling more sad about volunteering than happy. But it sounds like you are very happy. Its nice to look at horses leaving your side from a different more positive view.
Sometimes its sad to see them go but for me the positive outweighs the negative. Because people like us take the time to rehabilitate them, they get a second chance. To me that's worth it all. Another to keep in mind that helps is the sooner they find homes the sooner another horse can be saved. Most owners will gladly send updates too. My favorite is when they go to a kid. The sheer love and joy a child feels for a horse is priceless!
Another thing to keep in mind is sometimes severe cases have to be put down and the way to look at that is that you gave them the best last few days or weeks possible and if they were kept alive they would 1)be suffering 2) taking a place that another horse could use and 3) they don't end up at slaughter or any other sad situation like that and they have a humane death. I hate to bring up the negative but its part of the job. I cry over every horse whether I was close with them or not and it never gets easier but it has to be done sometimes.
Back to the positive... seeing a horse come in emaciated or unhandle-able and watching them leave fat, healthy, ridable horses is sooooo rewarding and is one of my greatest joys :)
Rescue work is hard but worth it! Its full of blood, sweat, tears, laughter, and smiles! Its one of the things I am very glad to experience in life and teaches you so much not just about horses but about life. The lessons I've learned have made me a better person :)
Good luck and keep me updated on your experience :)
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Thanks that helps a lot! I guess I will give the volunteering a go and see how I do =] hopefully I can help a lot of horses in need.
I am a foster parent of kids. I totally get that you get attached. So far I have had close to 30 foster kids, if I adopted them, I'd have what 2 or 3 tops, and then what would happen to the other kids who need help? I am not available to help them.
For me with fostering kids, or for you with working at a rescue, you can help a great many more than you can just take into your home. It's a bigger picture type deal.
I view my job as helping someone on their road, you could view it the same way. :)
That is a great way of looking at things, AlexS!
I haven't the opportunity to volunteer at a rescue yet, but I hope to, soon. I have had some experience at an animal shelter.
I agree that it is very hard not to get attached, but I find the more you work with the animals, the happier they are. I was more hands on, I felt. I did more than just help give meds, feed, do dishes or laundry. I socialized and played and gave love and attention to the pups that needed it. Because hell, who likes being alone?
I miss that shelter I went to a lot, and every time I visit I always help out. There were a few dogs there that really stole my heart, but I used that passion to splurge about how great they were! I actually helped a dog get adopted by playing a non stop game of fetch at a fair until she literally curled up in some shade and napped. It was the greatest moment of my volunteer career. The new owners had to get rid of their akita who bit their child due to possessiveness, so they were leery. But they were a booth selling good right next to the shelter's, so they got to watch as the adorable black lab chased after the ball, lead dragging behind, and came right back ball in hand. She would sit nicely, patiently, when asked until you tossed it again. I hope the family with the little girl are still very blessed to have her, as she would have been a great family dog.
Thanks. It becomes harder when I have 30 former kids who all come back to me for help when they need it, some days my phone or FB doesn't stop. But I think it's worth it.
I should have added a photo. So here's one.
Horsetrance, I see you are in Ann Arbor, where are you thinking of volunteering? I used to live in A2.
On another note I was a foster kid so thank you for your love, compassion, and kindness. I hope to foster one day as well :)
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