Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WHAT WAS I THINKING......How Re3 started and where it is now, the birth of JHF Re3 Adoption and Therapy

Wow seven months, some days feel like seven years, other days seven hours. This crazy world of horse rehabilitation that I chose to embark on as a new turning point in my equestrian life. Why you ask, why would any sane person (that in itself is an oxymoron in the horse world, all horse people are crazy we are only separated by degrees) choose to take on these used up commodities, full of emotional baggage, crappy footed,  thin skinned, ulcer ridden, crazier than a fruit bat, and whatever other derogatory stigma that comes to mind when you think of off the track thoroughbreds (OTTBs), it's simple, THEY NEED MORE CHAMPIONS!!! You hear it all the time, admit it. If you are a horse person the acronym OTTB strikes almost as much fear in some horse people's hearts as Arabian!  GASPPPPP I just used both in the same sentence. Yes as a matter of fact I did, and I might say it again. The truth is, the problems that follow any breed are created mostly by humans, but that is a blog for another day. Let's get back to the blog at hand. What was I thinking, oh yeah,  these horses need a second chance.  Thoroughbreds tend to have it a little rougher than most breeds. They are bred mostly to race. To race fast, for as long as they can and not break down. The sad truth is, not all of them are fast, some of them do break down. Where do they go from there, after they can't race any more? Well there are two options, #1 to slaughter, or #2 to farms like mine, with the help of organizations like Turning for Home at the Parx Track in Philadelphia.
Did you just cringe at the mention of SLAUGHTER? Good you should have. I am not here to debate the good, bad, or ugly of the horse slaughter world. I am here to tell you that I have chosen to do my part, albeit a very small part, to keep these animals, most under the age of 6, who have their whole lives ahead of them, from being sent to Canada or to Mexico to slaughter. Did you know horses can live into their 30's? Most race horses career ends by age 6, some go longer, but even so do the math. There are a lot of years left to account for. *Stepping off of soapbox* 
Murderinthefirst Racing
Murder on the trails
Several years ago I adopted my horse, Murderinthefirst, through a partner farm of Turning for Home. It was love at first site. He had been rehabbed from a tendon injury, but when he came back to the track, he was no longer fast. His heart wasn't in it anymore. He was perfectly sound for another career but he no longer had the speed to run. He needed a new career at age 6. Just like these thoroughbreds, sometimes you just have to find your niche. "Find a need, fill a need." I have worked with and around horses for 30 years. I have owned my farm for 17 of those 30 years introducing people of all ages to the joy of horses, through riding lessons, horse shows, camps, and guided trail rides. Working with these thoroughbreds was my chance to give back to the horse community. To help a breed that truly deserves to have a second chance at a new life, a new career that would carry them through to old age. So that these horses may have their own person that would love and care for them through the rest of their days. After many discussions, number crunching, and red tape, the birth of JHF Re3 Adoption and Therapy was born.  We started with just two horses. White Rabbit and
Seranading Shari
Seranding Shari.
White Rabbit
Since the arrival of Rabbit and Shari we have adopted these guys along with six others to amazing homes. I won't lie this isn't easy, this is not for the faint of heart. With great accomplishments come great heartache. Not every horse can be saved. Sometimes these guys do come with physical or emotional baggage that prevents them from moving on to an awesome home. My heart aches for those. I have a pity party, I cry, I get frustrated, I get mad at the world, the world that did this to these beautiful animals, these horses didn't choose this. Then I come to terms with it, I don't like it, but I come to terms. I do this for the horses. It can't all be sunshine, butterflies, and rainbows, or everyone would do it. I bask in the joy every time one of these magnificent creatures trust me enough to move forward in their training. I get a grand smile each time I take one of these majestic creatures on the trail for the first time and they prove to the world that they are not "Crazy OTTBs" and hack down the trail like they have been doing it all their lives. My heart sings each time I adopt one of these loving animals to a home where I know they will be loved and spoiled (I cry a little too, but these are happy tears). I smile with every text message that includes a picture of an owner with their new companion. That is why I do it. To share with the world what I already know. HORSES ARE IN FACT THE BEST THERAPY.

JHF Re3 Adoption and Therapy has filed for our 501(c) non-profit status. We are in a fledgling stages and have had tremendous support from the horse community. All of our horses are vetted at the track and evaluated for a future career options. All known issues are fully disclosed to potential adopters. Adopters are encouraged to consult with a veterinary professional when adopting any of our horses. Adopters are required to fill out an application and sign a No-Auction/First Right of Refusal contract. We strive hard to match the right horse to the right adopter. We understand sometimes things happen and we are always willing to take a horse back into our program. We are currently accepting donations that can be retroactively written off on your taxes once the non-profit status application is approved. Our first concern is always for the horse and matching that horse with you. We are dedicated to the well being of all of the animals in our care. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us through our website. www.re3ottb.com.

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