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We sure have had a record couple of months for adoptions!
As you can all imagine adopting horses can be a lot more difficult than the average cat or dog. Add to that fact that horses can be very expensive to keep and care for, they need a lot of room, and many of the horses here are not "ridable" and only suitable as companion horses - well, you can imagine how truly difficult it can be to place them in loving and caring (and experienced!) homes.
But it's important to us to get as many into good placements as we can and we take that very seriously. Our adoption process is that we meet the adopters, they meet the horse and we watch for a true connection. Sometimes we may make an alternate suggestion when we meet the adopter - and show them a horse that might be a better match. Then we have them come down a few times and meet their potential buddy and even ride in our ring with the assistance of our volunteer trainer. Finally, we do a trial at their home and wait to see how things go for a month or so.
It's a process.
Some of these horses have faced some pretty horrible situations in their lives and we're going to make damn sure that they never do again. Once they trot (or limp) through our barn doors, Lynda looks every one of them in the eye and promises them that their cruel treatment and neglect is over, that they are safe now and will always have food in their bellies and loving people to care for them.
So with all that in mind, to have so many placements these past couple of months has been spectacular and heartwarming.
Millie and Tullulla were taken in permanently into another caring and lifetime sanctuary.
Stormy and Misty were accepted into Newfoundland Pony Sanctuary.
Josh & Maize were both adopted TOGETHER and live with another horse (that looks a great deal like Maize!)
Prince Harry and BBL Lenny went to live with volunteer Barb.
Andy was adopted by volunteer Scott.
Clyde was adopted too, and lives on a beautiful Harriman estate!
Wow. What a record couple of months in horse placements! Sure makes us smile.
We also said goodbye in ways that weren't so happy.
Unfortunately we also lost two horses in the past few months. We lost Bear who was our executive director Lynda's personal horse. She had him since 1992 and it was a devastating blow.
We also unexpectedly lost a volunteer favorite - Cody- which pretty much broke all of our hearts.
And, we also said goodbye to Lynda's dogs, which are a big part of the sanctuary - Tashie and Lucy.
Very, very sad for Lynda and all the volunteers here. A lot of happy placements, and a lot of loss. That's part of loving those that live lives more temporary than our own. But we try to remember that you don't have to see the bird to hear its song. RIP to Bear, Cody, Tashie and Lucy.
On a positive note though, we did get to welcome a new dog - Coco (pictured below with volunteer Sarra). She is fitting right in...and already sucking up to all the volunteers. Welcome aboard Coco.
With the recent losses we had here at the sanctuary, some of the volunteers began to discuss creating a beautiful memorial garden. Some ideas that were discussed were to find a serene area of the property and groom it up. Plant flowering shrubs and plants. Maybe add an arbor and a stone walkway. Some benches and wind chimes would add to the beauty.
In addition our volunteers would paint a rock with the name of every horse that was ever lost here before finding their permanent home. Making this their permanent home and resting place.
A meditation area, a place to come for a peaceful or reflective moment. It would mean a lot to us to be able to create such an area on the property and the volunteers have promised to do all the work and keep the area groomed and weeded.
Would you please consider a donation for this proposed area? It would be a great way for us all to never forget the horses that we have loved and that we have held as they passed from this world.