A Poet Uses Her Lifetime of Rescuing Horses to Spread Awareness and Raise Funds
Barbara Anne Dunn is a poet with a deep passion for horses. She wrote, “DarkHorse Ranch was formed in 1991. Although originally established as a boarding facility, the resources of a few empty stalls, knowledge of equine management practices, and a whole horse and holistic approach to rehabilitation and training, it quickly became a haven for horses in-need. A lifelong love of horses was its driving force.”
Over the years, her barn saw horses ranging from Mustangs to A Circuit jumper; off-the-track Thoroughbreds to horses pulled from the kill pens; Paso Finos and Peruvian Pasos; Tennessee Walkers, Arabians, and Foxtrotters, and horses of unknown heritage. She explained, “What I learned is that no horse is exempt from falling onto hard times. None.”
Barbara rehabilitated these horses using a holistic approach that addressed the whole horse including its spirit, mind, and body. She then offered them a kind hand and a good heart in retraining them so they were suitable for adoption. She shared, “Each horse was different, each horse had a story to tell, and each horse had its own quirks and idiosyncrasies--often stemming from abuse. It was vital to correctly assess the horse and the horses mindset, and work with the horse in front of you--not some idea of "how to train a horse."
She explained that her greatest challenge was really one of personal strength, courage and persistence. “Rescuing horses and facing the suffering and abuse, and trying to maintain a decent regard for your fellow human being capable of remorseless cruelty is a nearly impossible balance to achieve--or maintain. It is a given you will get heart broken time and time again.”
Barbara felt her greatest successes were in seeing a horse blossom and become themselves. “On a broader scale, it is knowing that you are helping to change attitudes, are raising awareness of responsible stewardship of the horse, and are helping to create a better future for horses and the horse-human relationship.”
The DarkHorse Ranch no longer takes in rescue horses, but instead works to network with and support those who help the horses. Barbara uses her gifts of poetry and story-telling to inspire those around her. She shared, “There are so many stories to share--a lifetime's worth. The inspiration for much of the poetry in my book, Our Captured Hearts, came from the horses and experiences at DarkHorse Ranch.”
These books of poetry along with her poetry art prints are often donated to rescues as a way for them to raise funds to support their work. We salute Barbara Anne Dunn in her ongoing efforts to help rescue horses in her area. If you would like to contact her or learn more about her poetry, please see below.
The DarkHorse Ranch
Location: Morongo Valley, CA
Donate: PO Box 626 orongo Valley, CA 922256
Trailer: NOT NEEDED