Small On Land, Huge In Passion for Horses
The name of this rescue can’t help but bring a smile to your face. The Laughing Pony Rescue features a happy horse on its logo and cheerful volunteers on its webpage. The rescue is located in Rancho Santa Fe, California in San Diego County. They describe on their webpage that they are ‘dusty and ramshackle, but we love our horses and they have the best possible care.’
The rescue was formed by a woman named Celia in 2009. She had been rescuing horses for over thirty years and decide to form a non-profit corporation in order to fund those efforts. Rescue representative Carol Ford explained, “We rescue horses of all breeds that have been abused, abandoned, or bound for a slaughterhouse.” This includes Premarin farm mares who are confined during pregnancy to harvest the hormones from their urine.
When new horses first arrive, a vet is brought in to evaluate their health. Supplements are provided and each horse is put on a regular feed and exercise routine so they can regain physical and mental health. Carol shared, “They get lots of special attention from our volunteers, like brushing, stroking, walking them, and just being with them.”
Each horse has his ground manners assessed to see if they need additional halter training. They are also exposed to various toys to help desensitize. “We spend lots of time brushing and touching our new horses to get them used to trusting humans.”
New adopters need to fill out an application before visiting the ranch to meet the horses. “If there’s a connection, we visit the facility where they will home the horse. We follow these transactions for 2 years to make sure all is working out for both horse and human.”
As with many rescues, the Laughing Pony Rescue’s biggest needs are financial. Despite the hardship, they rejoice in every horse that is taken from a negative situation to find love and trust in humans once again.
Carol concluded, “We are small because of land, not passion. We are run with 100% volunteers, no paid staff. We have had people with PTSD, mental challenges, physical challenges, some undergoing chemotherapy, healthy people, people who have never been around horses, horse people, people going through family deaths or divorce, all of whom have found some type of healing in being at the ranch. Working with horses not only helps you physically, it can heal you emotionally. Horses speak to our inner nature and we can receive it without threat or defensiveness. And, we are held responsible and accountable for their well-being. Quite a privilege.”
Laughing Pony Rescue
Location: Rancho Santa Fe, California
Donate: P.O. Box 32, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067