In the first four months of 2023, VEWS took in three horses (Jack, Whiskey, and Uncle Jack) from owner surrenders, rescued two horses (Sandy and Eva) from the kill pen, transitioned one horse (Valentine) to a foster home, continued to care for adoptable horses Nada and Mya, and adopted five horses (April, Jack, Whiskey, Savina, and Theo) into new, loving homes!
Q&A With VEWS Trainer Lauren Anderson
Q: What do you look for when you evaluate a horse that’s come into VEWS? A: It really is horse by horse. I want to find out as much history about them as I can so I know where to start. If it’s a horse that we’d like to advertise as rideable, I start from the ground up. I want to see if they can be touched everywhere, see if they can be groomed everywhere, how they do with picking their feet up. I then look to see how they behave on the lunge and under saddle. Most of our horses perform best at the walk and trot, so I want to see if they naturally trot fast or slow. I ask myself if it’s a trot that a beginner can ride, or is it going to need a bit more of an intermediate rider to control.? If they canter, I want to make sure they go at a pace that most riders can sit comfortably. My goal is to find out what level of rider can ride them and be comfortable.
I try to do at least two or three sessions with each horse to get a good idea of who the horse is. Usually, if it’s safe for other riders, I’ll get other riders in the training group to ride them and see how they do. If it’s a horse that we’re going to put forward as a companion horse or pasture mate, I look to see how personable they are, so we can promote them accurately.
How Horses Find Their Way To VEWS
There are three main ways horses come into VEWS to be rehabilitated and adopted:
Owner Surrender - Sometimes, horse owners find themselves in situations where they can no longer care for their horses, whether it be due to financial hardship, health issues, or another situation. Sometimes, horse owners pass away and their heirs turn to a horse rescue to help re-home the horse. No matter the reason for a horse being surrendered to VEWS, we are committed to caring for them and finding them a new home.
From the Kill Pen - It's a sad reality that horses are shipped to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico every day. On their journey, horses that have been destined for slaughter spend time in a "kill pen," or a holding facility. We have the opportunity to rescue horses from the kill pen and give them a new chance at life.
From Animal Control - Occasionally, when a local horse is involved in a situation where Animal Control has taken control of the horse, VEWS will serve as a facility to hold the horse until the case is resolved and/or find the horse a new home, depending on how the case is resolved.
Did you know we have an Amazon Wish List where you can purchase items to help in the care of VEWS horses?
VEWS Success Story: Ruby
Ruby came to VEWS in May 2022 as an owner surrender, and was adopted in June 2022! Ruby's six-month update: "Ruby is doing so well. Whenever I go out to the barn she comes up to greet me and wants to be around people and her horsey friends. She is learning to stand better for the farrier and also learning that dewormer is not scary, haha! We have slowed down riding because of the cold but each time we ride she picks back up where we left off. She also got new blankets for the winter and is doing well standing to be blanketed. She has the best canter, it's like floating." Ruby's one-year update: "Ruby is doing so well! Coming out of the winter months we are riding more and enjoying the later sunsets. She is working on becoming an excellent trail maintenance horse for the Fleetwood Community Center Trail Ride in Massies Mills. I am so blessed to have her and work with her on learning new things. She certainly has that Mustang drive and it keeps me on my toes. Thank you again for connecting me with her."
What We Do
The VEWS mission is to rescue and rehabilitate equines in need and to prevent equine abuse and neglect through education and community awareness. We provide safe housing, medical and rehabilitation services to abused, neglected, abandoned, unwanted and other at-risk equines and eventually, at the appropriate time, place them into caring, compatible, adoptive homes. This Mission is our heartbeat. It propels us to passionately do what we do every day. We dedicate ourselves and every dollar we bring in to creating second chances for deserving horses.