Since being founded in 2012, there isn’t much the crew at This Old Horse hasn’t seen. It began when Nancy Turner saw the need for a place where retired program horses could live out their lives after serving people in a wide variety of careers. It has since become so much more. The mission at This Old Horse is “to provide sanctuary to retired, rescued, and recovering horses while they continue to serve as ambassadors to the positive effect of “horse power” in the lives of people,” says Monica Carlson, Development Director at the rescue.
These retired horses come from a variety of disciplines, including racing thoroughbreds, hunter jumper horses, dressage and lesson horses. Others arrive from owners that can no longer care for them. “We have supported over 30 different breeds since our inception, ranging from newborn foals to 38 year olds,” says Monica. This includes four miniature horses, acquired through hardships surrender that launched the therapy program called “This Little Horse”. “We use their skills as little therapists and ambassadors in long-term like facilities, schools and libraries,” according to Monica.
One of their greatest successes came through partnering with the Fleet of Angels in the largest equine rescue in U.S. history, which successfully placed 907 wild Mustangs from a failed South Dakota sanctuary. In their first experience supporting wild horses, This Old Horse welcomed 48 of the rescued Mustangs, 16 of them blind. These mustangs allowed everyone to witness the love shared, bonds forged and intense loyalty and dedication between them.
One little mustang, Owen, was supposed to go to his new home in Nevada. However, he had very different plans and wouldn’t be leaving his friends behind. “When Owen was separated from two of the blind mares that had been his companions, he jumped the fence three times to return to them. The mares were desperate, confused and panicked without him,” remembers Monica. All three of these dedicated friends were welcomed with open arms so they could always be together.
Before the mustang rescue, Kit, a blind mare, arrived at This Old Horse just needing a soft place to land, but she was unsure of herself and struggled to settle in to her new home. No one, not even Kit, realized that her best friend just hadn’t arrived yet. Aunt Bea arrived with the other mustangs and a warning that she was aggressive and dangerous. “We just saw a cautious soul that wasn’t sure she could trust anyone or anything,” says Monica. Aunt Bea immediately took Kit under her wing, helping her navigate the world around her. “The two are inseparable and bring out the best in each other. Kit is confident in her environment and Bea has a loyal friend to help her trust those around her.”
These horses thrive through the support and hours of the many people that contribute to their care. Use the information below to find out how you can help support This Old Horse through monetary donations, become a sponsor, volunteer your time or learn about the many other ways you can help.
This Old Horse
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: