Rescue Horses as Therapy Horses
Animals can be wonderful companions to help heal both the body and the mind. That is why the staff at the Sunrise Equine Rescue (SER) regularly take their miniature therapy horses into nursing homes to visit with the residents. Like many rescues across the country, SER doesn't consider themselves JUST a rescue. They do important work to educate and help the community around them. Besides the nursing home visits, Sheila Christiansen shared, "Another service we provide is therapeutic horseback riding instruction. We have a certified therapeutic riding instructor who is credentialed through PATH International. Our rescue animals are an integral part of this service."
The rescue horses at SER mostly include saddle horses that had been used for trail riding, 4-H, showing, pasture pets, or companion animals. They also take in equines like rescued Thoroughbred race horses and donkeys. "SER is a 501c 3 non-profit, charitable organization that was established in 2009 by a group of local women with a common interest who recognized the need and desire to create a haven for abused, neglected, and unwanted equine," Sheila explained. The rescue operates from Sunrise Stables boarding facility in Grapeview, WA.
New rescue animals are always placed in quarantine. Next, they undergo a veterinary exam to determine their most immediate needs and create a rehabilitation protocol. "In keeping with our rehabilitation and healing environment, we are very fortunate to have a certified equine massage therapist who donates her skills to our cause and is instrumental in the rehabilitation and physical well being of our resident equines."
Rehabilitation is the first priority, and then horses begin their training work. Sheila shared, "Our trainer, an accomplished equestrienne who is also the president of our Board of Directors, performs the inital assessment and determines the necessary training regime."
SER's most pressing need is for funds to care for the daily needs of the animals. "We rely strictly on donations, grants, local festivals and events for our funds." Their hard work is paying off. Sheila and the rest of the SER volunteers are extremely proud of the the 13 rescued horses that they have placed with new families in the last 7 years!
Sunrise Equine Rescue
Location: Grapeview, Washington
Donate: Post Office Box 2427, Belfair, WA 98528
Trailer: NEEDED (over-sized, 3 horse slant load bumper pull with full padding)