Must Love Horses!
It's Memorial Day weekend in 2020 and if you had asked me 2 years ago if this image below would be a reality, I would have answered no, and yes in the same sentence.
No because I had never cared for a horse, ever in my life, let alone multiple equines, and Yes because I had a dream to have a relationship with a horse that I was fiercely chasing. A dream that I knew deep down in my heart was going to be a reality one day, I just didn't know when.
The dream to grow in a relationship with a horse started when I was younger, growing up with a grandma who adored horses. I always knew I had a love for animals, not just horses. As I grew older I recognized that strong calling toward animals and a desire to help them in their welfare. After starting a nonprofit in 2015, known today as EPIC Outreach, the long term dream was to always begin a farm sanctuary that didn't so much focus on the rescue side of sanctuary life, although there would always be room for rescue work and all the animals at the farm would be rescues, but the focus would be Education Outreach teaching through the animals with direct human-animal encounters. Horses would be the main animal combined with other farm friends of course.
Horses were the thing that spoke to my heart and I was slowly becoming more and more aware of the realities facing horses from racing life to how many end up in the slaughter pipeline. Having worked in the animal welfare industry for years with a main focus on animal sheltering with dogs, cats, and small animals; farm animals and horses seemed to really need support in raising awareness about concerns for their well being. So I started reading more about horses, I began visiting places with horses, and any chance I could get I surrounded myself with horses and anything horse. And then I met Taz in 2017 (read the full story of how the chance encounter happened for me with Taz in Unleash Magazine - "Falling In Love With TAZ") and the fast-tracked journey to seeing the farm sanctuary dream realized began.
Horses are great spiritual teachers and having now been caring for these magnificent creatures for over a year they are teaching me more than I could ever teach them. Taz and his pasture friend Kody came to live at the farm in 2019, quickly followed by Zeke and Zimba the donkeys, and then Buck the thoroughbred in 2020. It is an absolute gift and privilege to care for these sweet souls. They are wonderful with visitors to the farm and they are teaching others through their rescue stories who they meet in person, online through virtual tours of the farm, and through social media sharing about their new life in sanctuary.
Maybe you don't have to Love horses, but you sure can appreciate the beauty these beautiful beings exude from a far or up close in person if you are blessed to have a chance encounter with one of these magnificent horsey souls.