Abused horses find greener pastures at Troublesome Horse Rescue in Kremmling
Imagine a landscape surrounded by BLM land with secluded, pristine views of Gore Canyon, the Eagle Nest Wilderness, and Rocky Mountain National Park. This is the place of peace for rescued horses in Kremmling, Colo. Many of these 25 horses that now reside at the Troublesome Horse Rescue come from abusive situations, but here is a quiet place to roam and graze. Horses come from Colorado and Wyoming, and each one has an individual 12-foot by 12-foot indoor stall. They have outside runs and access to the 120-foot by 200-foot indoor arena. Sue Pratt and her husband Denis own this dream place, Western Dreams Ranch. They have turned their property into a haven for rescued horses. Sue says that the horses are outside most of the day unless the weather is really bad. “We like the horses to be out and grazing,” she said.Incorporated in 2005, this is the sixth year of operation. The feed bill for one year is $15,000 for the 25 horses. The rescue depends on volunteers and donations to survive. The volunteer program enables the horses to be cared for and trained on an individual basis. A service the rescue provides is therapeutic riding of non-rescued horses on the ranch for special needs children. The program begins in June each year just as school ends. Funding for this service is through Horizons. Pratt said that if children do not qualify through Horizons they will not be turned away. “We can use scholarship money to fund elementary and middle school students who would benefit from therapeutic riding.” Pratt organizes volunteers and applies for grants. Since it does not receive any support from the county or towns, the organization relies on donations, fundraising and grants. They have received grants from Mountain Parks Electric, Grand Foundation, Summit Foundations and private foundations such as the Precourt Foundation and Loretta Boyd Foundation. There are two women who take care of horses in exchange for living on the ranch. They feed the horses, let them out, clean stalls, and monitor their care. “Horses are fed by 7 a.m. by the girls and then let out. Horses have separate stalls to control what they eat.” said Pratt. “Some have a special diet.” The rescue also provides burial services for horses to the public. If a horse can be trailered, the rescue volunteers will work with an owner to dig a grave on the ranch. The cemetery overlooks Colorado River with a sitting bench. The rescue relies on volunteers to accomplish its mission: “Every equine has a special purpose to fulfill, and it is our goal to discover this purpose.”Other volunteer services include veterinary advice and recommendations from two members of the Horse Rescue board, Dr. Sue Tasillo and Dr. Diana Matheson, who have generously donated their time and have given advice to Pratt when needed. Tasillo, who owns the Granby Veterinary Clinic in Granby, especially believes in the value of Troublesome Horse Rescue’s therapeutic riding. Spending time near horses can improve one’s life, she said. “There is a saying that the outside of the horse is good for the inside of a man.”
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