Despite the rain this past weekend, I took my family out for a farm tour and visited Equine Advocates’ horse sanctuary in Chatham NY for their first open house day of the year. The Open Day is a self-guided tour, where you can read about each of the animals background and current info. It was our first visit, and it definitely will not be our last! It’s a gorgeous piece of property, over 140 acres devoted to the comfort and happiness of rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have experienced the very worst that humanity can do. They get to live our their lives with plenty of room to run, graze, and plenty of food and tender loving care.
My favorites are the Belgian Draft mares. They’ve long been my favorite breed, and their rescue stories are intense. These gals were all used as PMU (Pregnant Mares Urine) horses for the drug industry, and their treatment during this time is nightmarish. Once they’ve outlived their usefulness, they often end up at auction, for slaughter and sale to meat markets abroad.
I like seeing the ladies enjoying their roomy stalls, and each other’s company in the large fields – living well is the best revenge!
We met some up close and personal – though they were disappointed that we had no treats to offer. I felt bad, but the rules say ‘no feeding the horses’, because they may be on special diets, etc. So, we settled for giving pats and chatting for a bit.
When the rain got really heavy, we went inside one of the barns to meet some of the other residents.
From some of the smallest.
To those with famous artist friends.
And one handsome fella who is not a subject of a famous artwork, but should be.
It’s like a horse heaven. There’s a wall with bios of all the residents, and you can sponsor one in part, or in full. Volunteers are also welcome, there are a lot of different opportunities for community service.
The stalls were actually nicer than my first apartment in New York City back in the late ’80s. Certainly cleaner…(wish I was joking!) We’re looking forward to going back and spending more time in better weather during the next open house day.