Secretariat was arguably the greatest racehorse that ever lived. Today, his descendants are highly prized for their racing potential and bloodlines. Yet, in some unfair twist of fate, one of his granddaughters was part of a starving herd of thoroughbreds rescued by Equine Outreach organization in Bend, Oregon. This just shows you the high quality of many rescue horses who have been discarded or forgotten. (See Photo Below)
Equine Outreach was founded in 2003, when a local sheriff asked founder, Joan Steelhammer, to help with the seizure of 128 horses. Equine Outreach's Volunteer Coordinator Shela Boynton explained, "Joan ended up taking five of the horses, two of whom are still at the rescue organization." Today, they rescue a variety of horses from feral reservation rescues, donkeys, a Clydesdale, mini-horses, and those taken out of kill pens.
Shela shared how the horses are rehabilitated. "They receive immediate and ongoing veterinary and farrier care and whatever food is needed to help them recover." They also receive constant attention from the ranch's volunteers, some even sleeping by their sides through the nights.
"We have volunteer trainers who work daily with the horses to help them become more adoptable," Shela continued. "Other volunteers spend time with the horses to help them learn to trust again."
The biggest challenges are keeping the horses fed and the bills paid. "We are an all-volunteer organization relying solely on donations and grants," Shela shared. Thankfully, they have a very strong group of helping hands. In just one year, the volunteer roster went from 10 to 200!
One special story is that of an entire herd of Tarpan horses (shown above) who were part of a breeding project to ensure continuation of the breed. Equine Outreach provided foster care when their owner could no longer care for them, and found a home for the herd where they are living well today.
Location: Bend, Oregon
Donate: 63220 Silvis Road, Bend, Oregon 97701
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: