After adopting three horses from a rescue in her area, a friend suggested that Brenda Fehr start her own organization. “We have the land and the experience necessary, so we dared to dream,” says Brenda. It was just a matter of getting advice on all of the things they needed and ensuring they got started properly. The name Dare 2 Dream stuck and on December 15, 2007 they rescued their first trailer load of horses.
Dare 2 Dream takes in primarily female horses. “Our facilities don’t allow for keeping stud colts separately and we won’t take a chance on an accidental pregnancy, Brenda says. However, under certain circumstances they take in geldings.
Upon arrival, horses are checked immediately and an overall picture of the horse’s health is built. “We also use chiropractors, massage therapists, barefoot farriers and osteopaths,” explains Brenda. These specialists allow for the greatest chance of rehabilitation and healing for each horse, regardless of any issues they may have.
The retraining program at Dare 2 Dream is based on patience and ensuring the horses feel at ease. It begins with groundwork and de-spooking to build trust between the horses and the staff. “Everything is done on the horse’s time, not ours,” explains Brenda. “This could take many months as we won’t push a horse faster than what it can comfortably learn. Often they have fear issues and it takes time for them to learn we’re not going to hurt them when they make a mistake.”
Dare 2 Dream doesn’t just rescue these horses, they allow for the time and training to ensure the horses have the necessary skills to find a permanent home. The staff at the facility extends this education to adopters as well. “We offer boarding to adopters to give them time to bond with their horse and learn about individualized care and training,” says Brenda.
Aside from the pride felt seeing neglected horses return to health, Dare to Dream counts the healing of some of their volunteers in their greatest successes. “We have volunteers from all walks of life,” explains Brenda. “It’s extremely rewarding to watch a young person that has been mentally, physically or sexually abused start to heal because of the connection they build with the horses. To see their self-esteem grow is truly heartwarming.”
This connection between volunteer and horse can grow to become a lifetime bond. When Charlotte, a sick and abused six-month old horse with a halter so small it was almost cutting into her face, showed up at auction, Brenda knew she had to step in. “Her eyes pleaded with us to help her,” Brenda recalls. During her years of rehabilitation and training, Charlotte took a liking to one particular volunteer. “Charlotte would do anything for her, including tricks,” says Brenda. It was the perfect case of the perfect person for the right horse. Her volunteer felt the same way and decided to adopt Charlotte, now they spend all of their time together.
Please use the information below to donate time or funds and help Dare 2 Dream create more happy endings for horses like Charlotte.
Dare 2 Dream Horse Rescue
Dalemead, Alberta, Canada
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: