A Retired Show Jumper Specializes in Retraining Aggressive Horses
Wings And Reins was founded by Jo Harp, who used to compete as a show jumper in England. Jo was injured and developed a rare nerve disease that left her unable to work a regular job. People started coming to Jo asking for help with their horses. The demand got so high that Jo decided to start Wings And Reins so she could help more horses.
Wings And Reins mostly has horses and a couple of donkeys but they accept all types of equines. Most of the equines they take in are either abused, neglected, or unwanted. They have worked with Law Enforcement in 5 different counties.
Jo shared, "We work very closely with our vet to ensure that the horses are getting the best care for their individual needs depending on sickness and injury. Our vet recommended a feeding program that was tested through Kingsville A&M that has been hugely successful in helping our horses gain weight. We feed them alfalfa pellets and corn oil which is gradually increased over time.
"For example: A 1000 lb horse would get 5 lbs of alfalfa pellets and 1 1/2 cups of corn oil per day.
"Once a horse is healthy, we start ground training and working on the horses mind. A lot of the horses are abused so we have to help them trust humans and then we can move forward with teaching them all the basics so they are safe to themselves and to humans.
"Once a horse is healthy and trained, we post videos and information about the horse available for adoption. The potential adoptee then visits the horse and we also inspect their home to make sure that it is safe and horse friendly, including horse safe fence and a solid shelter. We also follow up with occasional home visits and our adopted families are always sending us pictures and videos.
"Fund raising and getting volunteers is always our biggest challenge. We operate solely on donations and volunteers. No one gets paid to work at Wings And Reins. Anytime we can take a horse that is starved and close to death and then get them healthy and adopted to a loving home, is always a huge success."
Jo Harp specialize in dangerous horses that most people want to put down. She trains those horses for not only Wings And Reins but also for other horse rescues and individuals and makes them safe again so they can have a happy life.
She continued, "We keep our intake to no more than 25 horses at a time. This enables us to give individual attention to each horse every day and to be continuously working on helping the horses recover from their negative experiences. We also provide horse training for outside sources so that we can help as many horses as possible.
"We use a 3 horse slant trailer which is great for transporting horses that are comfortable with trailering. We would like to have an open stock trailer for horses that are wild and difficult to load, which would make it a lot easier especially when we have to pick up multiple horses or horses that are loose on roads.
"We have taken in several horses that people have demanded that they be put down because they are mean and aggressive. Our belief is that their is no such thing as a mean horse, they were not born mean, people made them that way. We have a 100% success rate of re-training these aggressive horses so that they can have a happy life. We never give up on a horse because of their behavior issues. We also have a very high adoption rate due to our constant daily hands-on-approach and re-training program."
To learn more about Jo and her rescue efforts, see the information below:
Wings And Reins
Location: Devine, Texas
Donate: PO Box 593, Devine, TX
Trailer: NEEDED (open stock trailer for wild and difficult horses)