Date published: April 12th, 2017 | By Louise
Right now we have 16 horses on the farm. Of those, 6 belong to the Humane Society of Harrisburg meaning we are just the foster parents. Which means the remaining 10 animals ranging in size from Little Moe to Big Trey all belong to the farm.
So the question I sometimes ask myself is why do we need to feed and care for all those horses 12 months of the year when really we only use the horses for two-and-a-half 3 months. Great question.
I believe it has a lot to do with how I derive my self-worth and knowing that every single day I am making a small difference in the world. By caring for these animals that otherwise would have been someone else's trash.
Trey is a perfect example. We adopted him from a horse rescue in 2009. He is a thoroughbred and was bred to be a racehorse. During his racing career which was short he was not successful. He did not earn a lot of money for his trainer, owner, etc. Then in a race he overstretched and broke two tiny tiny bones in his front ankles called the sesamoid bones and that basically means he was useless. Trey found himself at auction. A big 1200 pound animal that is not sound to be raced or jumped isn't really very attractive to too many horse owners. But a lady from this one rescue decided to give him a chance, bidding for him against the meat buyers. She let him rest for a year whilst the bones in his ankles fused then we adopted him.
Trey is perfect for the camp because he is well-trained and broke to ride and he's great around people but obviously he’s not able to jump super high and such. We don't do that kind of riding here at Longacre anyway, we are not super competitive or high-stakes so he ended up with us instead of with a meat buyer. What I mean by a meat buyer is someone that goes to horse auctions to purchase animals to be shipped to Canada or Mexico to make dog food.
The reason I'm thinking about this right now is because last Friday I drove my friend to a horse auction to sell one of her horses that she's trained and there were some not-so-great looking horses there. Older carriage horses that are kind of at the end of their working life. I knew I could not bring one home. It was tough.
But I have to remind myself that we have already rescued 16 horses on the farm and they have wonderful lives and they will be with us until the end of their lives. So on Saturday morning when I was feeding I went around and gave every one of our guys a little snuggle and a kiss on the face and said "you'll never find yourself at auction". It took a while! Then Jake would not give me a kiss afterwards because my face smelt like horses pretty bad. Haha.
Yes it is a lot of work, yes it sometimes feels like too much, but when summer rolls around and I see our beautiful horses being cared for and ridden by our farmers it makes all the hard work worthwhile.