Jessica Meyer and Mary Close met while working in a local therapeutic riding program and came to realize that they shared a dream of rescuing horses. The two women decided to open a program that combined their desire to rescue horses in need with the work they were already doing through equine therapy. They wanted a rescue that would serve as a place for horses that needed to retire from their previous lives and owners who no longer wanted to or couldn’t care for them.
The rescue came to be named after Riley, a horse that Jessica met after he was removed from an animal hoarding situation along with six other horses. He had been taken to a facility that was overfull and underfunded to support the animals they had. When Jessica took him in, Riley was severely underweight, very lethargic and in need of a lot of TLC. Following the vet’s feeding schedule, Riley gained weight and was able to begin his training where his true, playful personality quickly began to shine through. “Now he is one of our best riding horses and a favorite among our clients,” says Jessica
Horses at Riley’s Rescue Ranch arrive through a wide variety of circumstances, including owner surrender and removal from abusive and neglectful situations. Riley’s staff works closely with their vet and farrier to ensure that each horse is placed on the best feed and care schedules for their individual needs. The horses then enter a training program that is specifically geared toward readying each horse for participation in the Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies Program. Riley’s Rescue uses natural horsemanship techniques in handling and training all of their horses. “We assess each horse for individual preferences and strengths and train them based on what aspect of our program best suits them,” says Jessica.
Riley’s Rescue works with children who have been abused, individuals with Autism, anxiety disorders, depression, and bipolar disorder. They also have teen groups for those struggling with bullying and suicidal thoughts, though these are just examples of some of the struggles that individuals that come to Riley’s face. As Jessica says, “being able to form a relationship with our horses and learn how to respectfully handle and care for them provides an amazing opportunity for our clients to grow and heal.”
Seeing both the horses and humans that come to Riley’s grow together is truly a dream come true for these two women who wanted nothing more than to help those around them. Please use the information below to find out how you can donate and get involved to help Jessica, Mary and Riley continue their work
Riley’s Rescue Ranch
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: