Kremmling couple opens their land to rehabilitation of injured horses
September 25, 2008
Although Sue Pratt has a background in investigation and law enforcement, she always wanted a horse. Now, she has 19 of them.
The Troublesome Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation, Inc. Board of Directors president and her husband, Dennis, have taken in 19 malnourished or injured horses at their home in Kremmling.
Pratt finds the horses through owners, neighbors, law enforcement and on her own.
“We have four horses that we have taken in over the last couple of years that were in pretty bad shape and we have brought them all back,” she said.
It takes nine months to a year to restore their health, she said. The oldest horse at the Rescue is 36-years-old and the youngest is 2-years-old.
Pratt feeds them in the morning and night. Their diets depend on their age and health.
During the day, they graze on the Pratt’s 120 acres of land.
The Rescue has space for about 30 horses. It has 24 stalls and some of the horses double up. They all stay under shelter in the winter.
Horses are fairly inexpensive if owners trim their hooves monthly and pasture them, she said.
“With this many horses you’re never going to have enough grass here. We live on top of a gravel pit,” she said, laughing. “It’s not the greatest grassland, but they still do get a lot of nourishment out of this natural grass. You’d be surprised at how much protein they can get out of it.”
The Rescue doesn’t shoe the horses because it can’t afford the expense.
“There is a philosophy that a barefoot horse is better off,” Pratt said. “Horses in the wild have gone through centuries with no shoes on.”
She anticipates four more horses coming to the rescue. It plans to open five more stalls for private boarding.
The Rescue has a 120 by 200-foot arena. It was completed two years ago and is open to the public.
The public pays $10 a horse and can stay as long as they want. Use of the arena is offered to 4-H groups.
The arena is reserved for therapeutic riding a couple days a week. During a five-week session, lessons are given to disabled children and adults who have a physical or mental disability. During these one-hour classes, they learn how to care for the horse.
“It gives them self-confidence,” Pratt said. “It helps them with their balance. It strengthens their muscles. And it really helps them with their communication. They learn respect for the people who are helping them as well as for the horse.”
The Rescue also offers regular private riding classes.
Troublesome Horse Rescue, a nonprofit organization, was started about three years ago.
Sue and Dennis started adopting horses before the organization started.
“One thing has led to another,” she said. “I never dreamed that we would have a facility this big. It just kept growing and the horses are doing good ” that’s that main priority.
“I even like cleaning the stalls — it’s very therapeutic. Even through people are readily involved on a daily basis with us, it’s not the corporate world. It’s very peaceful and quiet around here. It’s a good, peaceful, calm kind of serenity-type place.”
Troublesome Horse Rescue has three fundraisers a year. These help with food and maintenance costs, Pratt said.
The Fall Fundraiser is at Caroline’s Cuisine at Soda Springs Ranch in Grand Lake Oct. 18.
Carriage rides and cocktails are at 5:30 p.m. The buffet dinner is at 7 p.m. and includes prime rib and grilled salmon.
A silent auction and auction will take place. Door prizes will be distributed and it will feature live music from the Blue Rhythm Boys.
“That is going to be a fun night and people can come and relax,” Pratt said.
Tickets cost $65.
The nonprofit organization also applies for grants for its scholarship fund for therapeutic riding, she said. “No child (or adult) goes away without having the lesson.”
The Rescue receives funds from West Grand Education Foundation, Summit Foundation, Grand Foundation and Mountain Parks Electric.
“We use these grants for buying equipment,” Pratt said.
Therapeutic riding equipment and safety railing was purchased with the grants. They also will help pay for fencing, she said.
With 19 horses they go through six bales a day that costs $30 to $40 a day.
The Rescue has between 25 and 30 volunteers, and a Board of Directors. It faces financial challenges.
“Until the economy kind of turns around it’s going to be tough on all of us,” Pratt said. “Financing is tough and I’m blessed that we have the financial income that where if the nonprofit falls a little short than Dennis and I can pitch in and help.”
For tickets to the fall fundraiser, call Troublesome Horse Rescue at (970) 724-3231, the Fraser Visitor Center at (970) 726-0105 or the Granby Veterinary Clinic at (970) 887-3848.
” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.