"My mission is to rescue horses from abuse and neglect, provide a dignified retirement to elderly special needs horses and rehabilitate the ones who can be placed in loving homes"
Here at Gentle Souls Horse Sanctuary, I believe in giving the horses a natural environment in which to retire. The pastures are large and the horses interact as a small herd. I have found with abuse and neglect cases, this type of natural horse keeping accelerates their physical, mental and emotional healing. I allow almost 24/7 turnout, calling the horses in twice daily to feed and check them over, because I like to allow the horses to roam and function as a herd, this helps not only with digestion but also with hoof circulation and the arthritic conditions many of the horses have. The herd has access to the large open barn 24/7 if they wish to take an afternoon snooze or to get in out of rain, storms or windy conditions. I only offer our horses top quality, balanced nutrition, tailoring a diet plan to each individual horse according to their needs and medical conditions. Twice daily (extra on cold winter nights) high quality hay is distributed around the acreage in small piles, this encourages natural foraging, movement and eating from the ground, which is also better for the horses digestion. Once a year, I have the equine dentist check (more often if I suspect a problem) and float the horses teeth if needed, to ensure nutrition is able to be utilized. With elderly horses, this is crucial in helping them to maintain weight and condition. My farrier works with me on natural barefoot trimming to maintain the horses hooves, encouraging healthy circulation, growth and balance. I also utilize alternative therapies such as Ortho-Bionomy (a non-invasive form of bodywork) and Aromatherapy to keep the horses healthy, they not only benefit from these therapies, but they actually really enjoy the extra pampering and attention! Throughout the year, I have the veterinarian come out to check on the horses, to update them on vaccinations if necessary, run blood work and address an issues I may have with the horses. My veterinarians are great and understand that even though the horses here are elderly and retired, they still deserve the same attention and level of care as a highly bred show horse. I also run fecal tests when necessary, to check for parasites (worms) and worm only when required, I try to give the horses as little chemical intervention as possible, but of course maintain their health and well being accordingly.
Why I Chose This Lifestyle
When I see a horse suffering neglect, cruelty or abuse, I want to ease their pain. Gentle Souls can offer these horses the care they need, the respect and dignity they have earned and the retirement they deserve. Horses have long been our partners, leading man into battle, ploughing his fields, carrying his family to church.....they do this because they trust us. I want to honor that trust and give back to them. The rescue life is not an easy one, but the companionship these amazing creatures give is definitely worth the difficult days. This sanctuary is a result of what started as a little girls dream and through hard work, dedication and a lot of sacrifice, has become a reality. Many people ask me why I do what I do because the horses I take aren't 'useful' for anything. I do not need or want them to be 'useful', I enjoy the simple pleasure of seeing a horse, once ravaged by neglect and cruelty, become healthy, calm, content and function as a herd member. Every horse here has a unique personality, quirks that make me laugh, gentle ways that touch my heart and despite the injuries physically, mentally and emotionally, that have been inflicted on them by humans, they still WANT to be near me, still WANT to trust me and I think that is pretty special.