A Rescue that Focuses on Natural Horsemanship
The Horse Play Equine Rescue and Sanctuary has a unique philosophy for rescuing and retraining horses. Deidre Sharp explained, “Our retraining program is quite different – a variation on a theme of Natural Horsemanship – lots of play at liberty – we work on relationships first!”
This unique approach to rehabilitating abused horses results in equines who are more comfortable with their human companions and able to go bitless under saddle. This standard must be maintained after the horse is adopted out to the new owners.
In addition, Deidre explained, “We are unique in that we keep the horses as naturally as possible – out 24/7 with shelters, in herd groups, barefoot and eating natural diet – we take the time it takes. We create an environment that is conducive to healthy horses – both physically and mentally. Each horse is individual and is treated as such.”
Horse Play was formed back in 1999 as a therapeutic riding center for people with mental, emotional, and behavioral challenges. They started with Deidre’s four horses and slowly began taking in more horses in need. “The need for rescue, adoption and sanctuary was so great, we changed our focus to rescue, rehab, and sanctuary in 2003.”
They take in all types of horses from babies to “old-timers” from a wide variety of breeds. “We will take ANY equine in need as long as we have the room.” Once horses are brought in, they are placed on a nutrition plan formulated by vets and years of experience. In addition, the horses are kept barefoot during their time at the rescue.
The biggest challenge for the folks at Horse Play is the same as at many rescues. They need money to handle the expenses of hay, feed, and special needs horses that need additional veterinary care.
Potential adopters need to complete and extensive application and visit the farm many times to get to know the horses they are planning to adopt. “We also visit them – horse, farm, etc, even after adoption we monitor the situation.” To this day, they have helped a very impressive 300 horses find new homes! Keep up the great work.
To learn more, visit their site.