Deep in the Treasure Valley of Idaho, a horse rescue is hard at work rehabilitating horses that were abused, starved, and neglected. Sometimes this rehabilitation involves veterinary care and a structured training plan. Sometimes it just involves a caring touch and the slow rebuilding of a long lost trust in human.
The Idaho Horse Rescue was founded by Robert Bruno who rescued his first horse from the Les Bois racetrack about 30 years ago. We spoke with rescue worker Rebecca Catlett to learn how the operation works.
The herd size varies at IHR, but they currently have fifteen animals that need homes. Rebecca explained that all sorts of horses enter their facilities. “Some can be rehabilitated for adoption and some cannot. We have several life-long residents at the ranch.”
The rescue workers consult veterinarians to develop the best course of treatment for each horse. Rebecca continued, “We spend time with the horses on the ground and learn the extent of their experience with humans – i.e. were they beaten, starved etc. If a horse is extremely fearful of humans we start very slow. We do not do a lot of “training” per se, but rather rehabilitate with trust.”
Potential adopters contact IHR each week. They are carefully checked before the adoption is allowed. “We vet our adopters by requiring a home visit and the adopter must agree to a one-year “probationary” period. During this one-year period, the Adopter may not sell, give away, lend, lease, sell for slaughter, or remove from Adopters personal supervision and control.”
The biggest challenges for IHR are size limitations that cause them to turn away new horses. “We are working on expanding, but it takes time, money and staff to make it happen,” Rebecca shared.
Still, the rescuers are proud of their successes. “Anytime we can find a horse a new, loving home is a success. Several of our horses have found wonderful homes and some have gone on to be competitive in certain disciplines. Anytime we rescue a horse – whether it is adoptable or not, it is a success.”
Idaho Horse Rescue is the only rescue organization in the Treasure Valley of Idaho. They work hard to help as many horses as possible while also counseling local residents on how to recognize and report signs of horse abuse. To learn more, see the information below.
Idaho Horse Rescue
Location: Eagle, Idaho
Donate: 947 E. Winding Creek Drive, Eagle, Idaho 83616
Trailer: NOT NEEDED
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: