Saddle up to rescue horsesPublished 11:57am Wednesday, February 19, 2014
COURTLAND—A Courtland woman has opened her farm as a haven for rescued horses, and is calling on people who share a love of the animals enough to help.
Belinda Taylor was already aware of Central Virginia Horse Rescue when she got her place on Buckhorn Quarter Road.
“I’ve been around horses all my life,” said Taylor, who added that she simply made a phone call to Cindy Smith of CVHR, which is based in Broadnax. “I approached Cindy about expanding three weeks ago.”
“Taylor had adopted horses from us before, and when she got her place, the idea just blossomed,” said Smith, who’s also been around the animals her whole life.
“We’re doing a trial run,” she added, “If we can get support with money and volunteers and keep it economically viable for six months, that will be remarkable.”
Making the public aware about the need to help horses is the goal of both women.
Through word of mouth so far, Taylor has already gotten 15 to 20 people to help her. She and Smith are also looking into sponsorships.
Smith said that a weak economy has forced many owners to let go of their horses.
“We have more horses than we can help,” said Taylor. “It’s draining. That’s my reason for calling Cindy.”
“A lot of what we do is education,” said Smith. For example, another reason for having to rescue senior horses is because people don’t know how to feed them. Expecting an older animal to eat as a young one is a mistake. She added that the senior horses need special feed, which is already ground up for them.
Unintended malnutrition has caused several of the animals to look like “racks of bones,” said Smith, adding that recovery can take six to eight months.
In the long term, Taylor wants to work with Boy Scouts in educating them about horses. She also wants to find a way for troubled youth to become familiar with the animals as a way of “channeling their energy.” Further, Taylor would like for economically disadvantaged children to learn about them through ponies. Giving scholarships for day camps is one idea.
To learn more about becoming a volunteer or making a financial donation, call Taylor at 653-8875. To learn more about CVHR, call Smith at 434-774-6607 or visit www.centralvahorserescue.com.