Rescue and Rehabilitation
Horses come to Serenity due to a number of circumstances. No matter the reason, it is important to note it is never the horse's fault. Rescued horses are like any other horse except they have been neglected, abused, abandoned, or they have been relinquished because the owner could no longer care for them.
Some horses have been taken to the feed lot or auction and end up in the kill pen on their way to slaughter and Serenity will purchase them. No matter the reason, the greatest percentage of these horses are just like any other.
When horses arrive at Serenity the first step is to have our veterinarian come and do an intake exam. This is a very thorough exam including taking their vitals, accessing their body condition, looking for any obvious untreated injuries, and observing their movement to address lameness or vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
A nutrition plan is developed and discussed with the vet, and the horse is put in quarantine for 10 to 14 days. During this time, if the horse is underweight he or she is fed small amounts of hay every three hours. Horses who are severally underweight need to adjust slowly to normal amounts of feed so their organs don’t fail.
Once the initial quarantine re-feeding period is over, the new horse is slowly introduced to a small herd or a companion. At this point they are monitored daily and slowing become accustomed to our daily routine.
Behavior and Training
As they become physically healthy, we begin to work on their behavior. Because the average horse is re-homed seven times in their lifetime, they usually pick up a variety of behavioral problems along the way. Some of these behaviors can take months to overcome.
Additionally, our rescue horses receive training. Our trainer Eric Neilsen works with them in the arena, and rides them out on the farm through the wooded areas to get them used to being out alone on the trail.
All of our horses are barefoot and are ridden bitless although we do train them to the bit. We try to keep our horses in the most natural environment possible. Most are in small herds so they live with other horses and are well socialized.
The Road to Recovery
Serenity has a different philosophy about re-homing our rescues. Our horses are not available for adoption until they are physically and emotionally ready in order to ensure that their next home is their last home.
One of our recent rescue horses is Pixie, check out her story.
See more horses before and after in this video.