REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK
Caroline Rose (British):
"My most memorable moment on the Project was going into the shallow lake area on the edge of the ranch, to halter a horse, with wellies on, and still getting wet, I was nervous and excited at the same time.
The horse watched me walking toward her and she waited patiently while I haltered her. Walking her back through the water, (getting more wet!) then the wooded area, and leading her into the barn area where she could be checked over. I don't come from a horse background, so this was a completely different experience..
What positive impact do you think you made to the Project> I think its more about the practical side when you stay for short periods of time, the cleaning, brushing, being around the mustangs and caring for them, so they hopefully get used to being around people. You really need to stay there longer if you want to work with one horse and make a difference to their behaviour - patience and consistency are key.
I did get assigned a young mustang to work with, so being around him and being calm and patient was a positive impact. He got adopted shortly after I left the Rescue Centre.
Naomi Jones (British):
What experience do you feel you gained on the Project?
During my time at the the Centre I learnt a lot about the care of the horses & the history of the programme. I was lucky enough to spend time with Diane who is wonderfully passionate about these animals & has dedicated her life to making the Centre a success.
Come week three I decided to enrol at the Rescue Centre School in order to train two horses from the Centre so that they have the opportunity to be adopted & so that I could learn more about horses from a training perspective. The School is a collaboration with Rafter P Training. While at the School I learnt so much; everything from saddling, to grooming safely & riding. It was incredible & I cannot recommend it highly enough - even as a total beginner I developed so quickly. Chezz is a fantastic horse trainer.
What is the best thing about your placement so far?
The people & the opportunities to make a difference in these animals lives while learning yourself - you can't beat it.
Would you recommend this placement to anyone else?
Yes, anyone who is interested in the care & welfare of horses. Even if you have little or no riding experience. But, if only enrolling at the Centre, be prepared for some very hard work & be aware that depending on the weather there may be no or very little horse work (e.g. riding or training). It's certainly not a holiday, but it's a fantastic project & you are supporting a great cause. Everyone at the Centre was very welcoming.
BACKGROUND ON WHY THE HORSES NEED RESCUE:
The Centre was founded over 12 years ago to address the fate of mustangs that are
taken from the wild. After these mustangs are captured, they are placed in holding
pens where they await adoption. Currently there are over 40,000 horses awaiting
adoption. The ones that don’t get adopted, are killed.
Many people think they can adopt a wild horse and tame it themselves. They cannot. The result is that these horses end up in abusive and neglectful environments.
What the Centre does about the problem:
The Centre rescues mustangs from such situations and illegal slaughter houses. The horses, who are often at the brink of death when they reach the Centre, are nursed back to health and then trained with positive reinforcement and love to become adoptable.
The Centre currently (at time of writing) houses about 30 horses (plus 10 dogs, 2 cats, one pig, a few geese and hens as well!). You'll be working with all of them.
Why the Centre needs volunteers:
When the horses arrive at the Centre, they are often terrified of people. That is why volunteers are not only needed for the daily upkeep of the Centre, but also critical to the taming and training of these horses. By spending time with kindhearted people who care, the horses come to realize that not all people are bad.
Mustangs were, historically, a valued resource that played a critical role in the successful development of America. Mustangs are regarded as a treasured national symbol in America, but, sadly, they are currently treated in a cruel and inhumane manner. You can help some of these horses to live a dignified, happy life.
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT GAIN FROM YOUR VOLUNTEERING?
The funds generated from volunteer placements is the only source of income for the Centre and will go towards helping to rescue more horses.
Your assistance is critically needed for infrastructure improvements, daily maintenance of the horses, but, most importantly, to help these horses to be rehabilitated properly. For this to happen, the horses must spend time with lots of different people - to see that not all people are bad and that strangers are ok. This is critical in order for them to be adopted into homes where they'll be well looked after for the rest of their lives.
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