I just returned from an awesome experience that was gratifying, humbling and spiritual. Earlier today I spent time volunteering at a horse rescue/sanctuary near the western slopes of Colorado. On this small ranch is an organization dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing home to horses that are no longer wanted, have been abused/neglected, and/or have been surrendered due to financial hardship. Employees, volunteers and donors of this organization are giving these defenseless horses another chance of living in a safe and caring environment. Organizations like these take in animals, educate people on how to care for these animals, place these animals in qualified/caring homes, offer forever counseling (work with the animals to make them feel secure and safe around humans after they may have suffered terrible abuse as of prior experience with a human).
It was interesting to learn that often times an abuser doesn’t just abuse one animal, but often has been abused or abused others, including people (old and young). This brings me to one of the points of this blog: we must take every step we can to stop, or at least minimize the risk of abuse to occur. We need to take steps and create precautions to screen-out abusers, create communication to identify and know the protocol if abuse is suspected or detected and create a comfortable setting for staff and volunteers as well as residents.
Yes, perhaps it may appear that I have stumbled off the trail of my original story a bit here, but in reality I haven’t at all. Abuse is like a disease, if it is left untreated it will spread and infect. Abuse does not just affect people.
Back to the Equine rescue. If you have never been around horses, take the time to do so, even if it means just sitting on the other side of the fence. Horses have a spiritual way about them, their calm, beauty, karma. Working with horses brings you even closer to these feelings and perhaps even teaches you something about yourself that you may have never felt before. I know, they have for me.