Irene Patterson, founder and director of Southwinds Horse Rescue Inc. saved horses single-handed for more than 20 years.
In 2014 she signed up with the Canada Revenue Agency as the only registered charitable organization in Manitoba committed to rescuing horses and providing them a safe haven. Southwinds Horse Rescue Inc. is located in Oakville, Manitoba, about 40 minutes west of Winnipeg.
Southwinds accepts all horse and pony breeds. Each horse receives a vet assessment from Equi-Tech Veterinary.
One time the organization had an intake of 8 horses at once, which ranged from a miniature horse to a draft cross. These 8 horses were running loose for 6 months together as a herd.
Some horses arrive in perfect condition while others arrive with limited human handling, injuries, and underweight issues. After the assessment Southwinds provides continuing care until the animal is adopted.
Currently the organization does not have a designated trainer. They rely on experienced volunteers to socialize and retrain the horses. Some horses have trust issues, so volunteers spend quality time talking to the animals, brushing them, and helping them feel safe.
One of the biggest challenges is treating injures and socializing horses unaccustomed to human interaction.
Rachelle (volunteer) says, “Being able to see a horse that arrives in a horrible condition … and watching the transformation to a healthy, happy horse [is priceless.]”
Southwinds Horse Rescue needs a dedicated horse trainer, a bigger barn, and monetary donations. They also need a trailer that can transport up to six horses at a time. An older 4-horse bumper pull straight loader is currently used.
People interested in adopting can find more information on Southwind’s Facebook page. The adoption process is as follows:
Irene does an initial assessment by phone, followed by an adopter visit to meet the horse(s). Adopter home checks are mandatory, and in some cases a veterinary reference is required. The prospective adopter then signs a detailed adoption agreement, and yearly home visits are scheduled to check on the animals’ welfare.
“There have been quite a few volunteers who have adopted horses after spending so much time at the rescue and forming a bond with the horse(s)” Rachelle says.
If you wish to help this organization, check out their information below.
Southwinds Horse Rescue Inc.
P.O Box 123, Oakville, MB, Canada R0H 0Y0
Phone: 1 (204) 267-2464
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: