The Pregnant Mare Rescue Foundation of California focuses their efforts on one particular population of needy horses – mares and foals. These stories can be particularly heartbreaking, but this sadness can be balanced out by the truly wonderful work being doing by this organization. Through their efforts, mares and foals are given a second chance to live the life they deserve.
The rescue was started by Lynn Hummer who founded the organization in 2006. Her efforts are focused on helping pregnant mares, mares with foals, and orphaned foals from all over the countryside.
They take in Premarin mares, which are mares who are kept constantly pregnant and cruelly confined so their urine can be used for menopause drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. They also take in Nursemare foals who are left orphaned after their mothers are sent to nurse more ‘expensive’ foals like those in the Thoroughbred racing industry. They also take in discarded broodmares or mares bound for slaughter.
Once special story is that of Angel. This mare had recently delivered a foal when three of her fellow mares were suddenly ripped away from their new foals and shipped off to slaughter. Angel looked on as three terrified newly orphaned foals looked to her for comfort. She adopted these foals as her own and showed up at PMR with four little ones tagging behind. This big-hearted mare was eventually placed in a happy and loving home. Lynn shared, “Her kindness was extraordinary and the fact she ended up almost sent to slaughter is unimaginable.”
In a recent interview, Lynn described how the PMR staff cares for “sick mares and emotionally terrified animals.” They are given veterinary attention and allowed time to decompress and physically heal. Alternative healing methods are used like Flower Essences, Reiki Energy healing, Cranial Sacral therapy, and Animal Communication to heal their minds and bodies.
“Our results for both horse and human are phenomenal,” Lynn explained. She also urged us to check out her book on the topic called “For the Love of Horses” coming out in late 2017.
Once horses are physically fit, they are taken to a PMR satellite facility for rehabilitation and retraining. Mares are sent there for evaluation and training once the foals have been weaned and placed in homes.
Potential adopters are found through social media and several horse websites. “Believe it or not, this is the hardest part of the process,” Lynn explained. “To find a person who acknowledges what horses are capable of, and who has a trainer that honors that is very difficult to find.”
That challenges at PMR include strict adherence to a budget. “The need is so great, and it is so hard to see pregnant mares or foals on the kill lots or in distress. We have offers for foster pastures or neighboring barns, but that requires additional funding and sometimes resources. Our second biggest challenge is locating a donation of land for permanent sanctuary. I have people willing to relocate and go be stewards and watch over the horses and property. We need a place for mares to go and be horses.”
Part of this challenge is finding adopters who share the same philosophy as Lynn and the PMR staff. “We acknowledge that horses are sentient beings,” she shared. “Their usefulness does not end when they can't be ridden (for whatever reason). They are best friends, therapists, companions, pasture ornaments, and most importantly true healers when given the opportunity.”
If you are interested in helping this organization, check out their information below:
Pregnant Mare Rescue Foundation
Location: Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, CA