Horse res­cue near full ca­pac­ity

The Denver Post - - DENVER & THE WEST - By Brett Call­wood

long­mont» The Colorado Horse Res­cue is nearly full to ca­pac­ity. The shel­ter can care for up to 60 horses at any one time, and there are cur­rently 55 at the fa­cil­ity. That’s 55 horses that might still be suf­fer­ing from ne­glect or sent to slaugh­ter if this or­ga­ni­za­tion hadn’t been started 30 years ago by friends Sharon Jack­son and Jill Pratt.

Back then, lo­cal area sta­bles and farms do­nated va­can­cies at their fa­cil­i­ties to help shel­ter the horses. The year 1988 saw the group found a sta­ble home in Ar­vada, be­fore mov­ing in 2001 to the big­ger, 50-acre op­er­a­tion in Long­mont, where they’ve been ever since.

CHR di­rec­tor Carol Brice has been work­ing there for six years and is pas­sion­ate about her work, as is di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment Shawna English, who has been there for two years and has adopted a horse, Lil’ Bit. Both pre­vi­ously vol­un­teered at the shel­ter.

A hand­ful of the 55 vol­un­teers that work at the shel­ter were work­ing on var­i­ous tasks on a re­cent chilly morn­ing, tack­ling jobs such as feed­ing the horses and scrap­ing ma­nure off the icy grass.

Op­er­a­tions man­ager Rachel Corb­man was mix­ing beet pulp with wa­ter to cre­ate feed that the older horses can eas­ily chew while still get­ting the re­quired fiber and nutri­tion.

There is a full-time trainer on staff, which Brice said makes a big dif­fer­ence when try­ing to get the horses adopted. There are also highly skilled vol­un­teer rid­ers on hand who, Brice said, “keep the horses tuned up.”

“There are 6,000 dis­ad­van­taged, starv­ing and ne­glected horses in Colorado,” English said.

“It’s im­por­tant to ed­u­cate peo­ple about horse own­er­ship. We’re very picky be­fore we re-home a horse. Horses are liv­ing to be 3540, so that’s quite a com­mit­ment. We get peo­ple in their 60s want­ing to adopt a 6year-old horse, and we have to have a con­ver­sa­tion.”

About 70 to 75 per­cent of the horses at the shel­ter are there as a re­sult of a cri­sis, be it the pre­vi­ous own­ers los­ing a job, get­ting di­vorced or even dy­ing. The other 25 to 30 per­cent came in be­cause an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cials had to re­move the horse from a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion — in­clud­ing cases of phys­i­cal cru­elty.

Colorado Horse Shel­ter re­lies on do­na­tions, with 60 per­cent of the fund­ing com­ing from in­di­vid­ual donors, 20 per­cent from grants and the rest pro­vided through funds raised by the staff.

Those want­ing to con­trib­ute to the Colorado Horse Res­cue can go to chr.org.

Lewis Geyer, Times-Call

Di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment Shawna English pets Lil’ Bit, a quar­ter horse at Colorado Horse Res­cue.

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