It all started with my Dad, really. I was a 13 year old troubled kid, already having the nightmares, I didn't trust anyone, especially adults and he introduced me to the world of horses. Dad had his own stable of horses — I mean alot of horses! His forte was problem horses. He'd even buy horses from the auctions and bring them home just to save them. That's how I got my first horse. He gave me three problem horses and said fix them or tell him why not and I could choose one of the three for my own. Horses saved my life. I can't even imagine how bad it could have been. I walked away from the world of abuse and stepped into the wonderful happy world of horses. That is the deep down reason why I started Sacred Grounds Rescue Ranch. I figure if I can save just one kid from those nightmares, then its all worth while.
So, through out the years I planned and planned to build this place that would save abused horses and troubled kids. I had investors, several times, that wanted to help but always with some commercial catch. But time doesn't wait on anyone and finally a friend of mine, Debbie, brutally tells me, "Well your not getting any younger so if you really want to build this place you better do it now." And she was right, so at 48 years old I began the rescue here in north west Arizona. The idea of a rescue out here was a battle. We had to buy the first dozen horses from people just to save them. Slowly we built the place out of everyone elses hand me downs, and soon the word got around to the area that we were here to stay. Now don't get me wrong, there were seven other rescues here in this corner of the state when I started, but all seven of those are gone now. All just good people taking in horses and trying to fill a need. Bless them for trying. Watching this happen made us realize we had to become a real non- profit 501(c)3 public charity to survive and keep the dream happening. And thanks to a lot of friends that helped, we have done just that. But that doesn't mean we're on easy street, now. It just means we have made another step up the ladder. Now we need to find some good sponsors that believe in what we're doing and that would like to help.
Ok, thats how it all began, and your probably interested in what we actually do here. Right now as of July 24th 2010 we have 27 horses here at Sacred Grounds. We also have another 45-50 goats sheep ducks and geese. I know, we're a horse rescue, but the problem is bigger than that up here. There's no place for them to go either so we're trying to blend with the problems of our surrounding communities.
The idea on paper of course, is to fatten them all back up and find them new homes. But thats not very realistic. The horses that come in here are all different with different problems and issues. Most are pretty thin, they haven't been eating well and of course their feet usually are in a bad way too. But they all have a different case. too. Some just neglected, some abused, many are injured and will have a home with us for the life. The turn around is slow. If its their first time being under weight they may gain fast and be ready for the next step in six months. But, if not, it may take a year or even two. And thats assuming they were trained to be riden already. We get alot of horses — some wild mustangs, that are six to nine years old and never been riden. Oh, they may take a carrot from your hand, but thats about it. So once we get them on the road to being healthy and fit then we begin the training process. The horses that are lucky enough to be adopted are great horses, I have not recieved one complaint from anyone. Of course, there's alot more too all of this. I'm just giving you the basics, but if your really interested you can contact me anytime and we can really address the issues.
The horse problem cannot be grouped with the cat and dog problem which is out of control. My hat is off to those people who run those rescues — its unbelieveable. The horse problem is big in our state and across the nation, but needs to be addressed in a different way. We can't all be grouped together. The best way I know is just on a one by one basis. Sure it takes more time and its slower, and the commitment it tremendous, but the end result is a dream come true.
Right now we are concentrating on getting the horse rescue itself built up and going well before we take the next step to start working with abused childen and other child related agencies. We had a small group come up once, half dozen abused kids between the ages of nine to fifteen. They came up to meet with the horses first and just see if, maybe, we can do some interaction. Each child was to pick the horse they wanted to work with, with no coaching from us. Do you know that in each case the child, without knowing it, picked the horse with the same issue that they themselves are fighting to control. Whether it be trust issues, outer scaring or serious abuse, every case matched the horses problems. So by working to be friends with that horse they had to realize their own problems, too. It was great project and just another reason for us to blaze ahead and make Sacred Grounds Rescue Ranch happen.
I can go on and on, there are so many reasons to make Sacred Grounds Rescue Ranch continue its fight against abuse. About the only thing I can think of that can stop us in our tracks is no funding...
Founder of Sacred Grounds Rescue Ranch