Shifting Focus to ‘Kids and Horses’
Pregnant Mare Rescue has long understood that horses are sentient beings and have enormous usefulness beyond being ridden. Working as therapists, companions, service animals, hippo-therapists, educators and of course a best friend, their value does not go unnoticed.
Today the little rescue focuses its attention on the children. What better way to continue to serve our community than by providing educational outlets for the kids? The pandemic demands we all reinvent ourselves. We have created classes and workshops centered on the rescued horses and the outdoors.
From the moment the children arrive, they are engaged. Simply being in the presence of horses is magical and alluring. The kids wait for permission to approach and enjoy the horses at the fence line. Sniffing for treats or a scratch on the nose becomes the priority and the foals have become professionals. Wasting no time they quickly trot over to wherever the children are waiting. The interactions start as the kids begin to ask their questions.
This is where horses live, they are present and live in each moment, much the way children do. It’s different out here and the kids understand that. The comfort level for learning and engaging soars, the magic has begun.
“Mucking and Mint Tea,” “Illustrators Workshop,” and the “Reading Equine Art Duo (READ)” are just a few of the many workshops now offered.
Lisa Algee, Ph.D, an educator for 20 years, is the creator of the curriculum at Pregnant Mare Rescue.
Denna Stone, the barn manager, is the quintessential horse whisperer. She teaches “Sharing Created Space,” “The Nuances of Equine Conversation,” “Foal Gentling,”and “The Wonder of Horses.”
Pregnant Mare Rescue acknowledges it is an important opportunity for people to interact and spend time with horses in a quiet, non-threatening, non-riding environment, perhaps now, more than ever before. This is because horses have a unique ability to reflect or mirror the human condition or state-of-being. Horses can sense a human heartbeat from four feet away. Within four minutes, they synchronize their heartbeat to yours. From these experiences of just spending time, the healing and benefits take place. It’s not surprising the children love to come and learn at the rescue.
Of course, we are still pulling pregnant mares out of harm’s way. We have a lovely liver chestnut mare and her companion that have just arrived. Both were standing in kill pen, they are now doing their quarantine off Buena Vista in Watsonville. Her foal is due around the holidays, which has everyone excited and buzzing around. Snoflake, who arrived six months ago with a black colt at her side, is now showing signs of being pregnant! We may very well have two new foals by December!
We are budgeting to keep our doors open. The number of horses we can responsibly care for is much lower now. Many of our foster pastures are empty. Lynn Hummer, the founder of the rescue, and Lisa Algee both have children’s books published. All sale proceeds benefit the organization.
As Hummer has said, “We survived the recession in 2008, the drought, the fires, the floods, and now more fires. With the community’s help, we will survive the pandemic too.”
All donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. For more information about the classes and workshops visit: www.pregnantmarerescue.org/childrens-workshops.html
Top Photo: Four equine faces are looking for love.