|Dude by Toni Thomas Photography|
I have heard about This Old Horse for a year now. A friend of mine at work is a horse lover and her friend, Nancy, had this great idea to have a "retirement home" for horses that couldn't work too hard anymore. Some of the horses were a part of We Can Ride an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding opportunities for persons with disabilities. Some of the horses are retired Thoroughbred race horses, a few were mounted patrol horses, and their are others with other service related roles. Some horses work so hard all of their life for people that Nancy thought the horses deserved a good life when they retired or semi-retired. The horses still love to interact with people just not as hard as they once did.
Saturday I finally visited Wishbone Ranch-the farm that Nancy bought for the This Old Horse Foundation. I met Dude, pictured above. Dude was once a part of a driving team. When his partner died, Dude could no longer work. Dude is also blind. Isn't he just gorgeous? I am going to volunteer to help at Wishbone Ranch and help care for the horses. There is so much work to be done that the foundation depends on volunteers to bring love and care to the horses. Some of the horses are still used for riding lessons. One of the perks of volunteering at the ranch is that you can earn riding lessons. I have always wanted to learn to ride.
As a 12 year old I read the book Gilda. She had a chestnut brown horse with a black mane and a white star. Lynn Whartman and I dreamed of having horses one day. Her Dad took us a couple of times to a riding stable in Stillwater so that we could get our horse fix. Several times over the years I would go horse back riding but nothing other than a trail ride. My granddaughters would also like to ride horses so this is one way to have horses in our life.
|Joey of Half Pint Horse Foundation|
Another way to have horses in our life is to get a mini horse of our own to be a part of the Half Pint Horse Foundation! Yep, I ordered me a miniature horse from Banks Miniature Horse Farm in North Carolina. That is right....Mike will be heading for the golf courses in North Carolina while I pick up my miniature horse! The horse will live with Joey and the other horses of the Half Pint Horse Foundation. He will be certified to visit patients and he will visit schools and libraries. The goal of Half Pint Horse Foundation is promote mental and physical healing, therapy, and education through interaction with miniature horses.
The goals of both foundations are to use horses to heal people and then to repay horses for the service they have given to others.
Because both foundations are dependent upon volunteers there are a couple of fundraisers. On May 4 This Old Horse will be holding a 5K at Wishbone Ranch. Half Pint Horse will be participating in the Humane Society Walk. On September 14th the Half Pint Horse Foundation will be hosting a big hoe down!! More on that later!
I had a picture of dad riding a horse that I wanted to post too...but I can't find the darn thing. So my mini horse isn't even born yet. Bill Banks will be giving me a call when he is born!! I will let you know.