“There is such a stigma linked to rescue horses. Far too many people run from the term “rescue horse”, yet at the same time far too many people like to claim they have “rescued” a horse. The terms, themselves, are relatively interchangeable. But, what we have found as we’ve began our fourth annual trainer’s challenge here at Pony Tales, is that the Trainer’s Challenge takes the “rescue” out of “rescue horse”. When a rescue takes in a horse, the horse is rescued. In other words, they are out of whatever bad situation they were in. We spend weeks, months, sometimes years, getting any particular “rescue horse” rehabilitated and moving on from whatever horrors they may have experienced.
To be fully ready for adoption though, we want to know everything about this horse. What does this horse like best? What “career” will this horse thrive in the most? What home is going to fit them the best? That is where the Trainer’s Challenge comes in. The wonderful trainers who step up and take on the unknowns for zero guaranteed compensation, do it for many reasons. Most just want to help a horse. Some want to help get their name out there. Others just do it for fun. Regardless of their reasons, they take in these horses and they discover every last little bit about them. We already know the basics: what kind of feed they like/do best on, where they sit in the pecking order, who is best with mares or geldings or ponies or alone, etc. But, the last puzzle piece we need to know is what kind of future are these horses going to be the happiest with. The only way to do this, is to work with them extensively. Most rescue organizations do not have the time or manpower or the funds to pay someone to find this out.
The trainers who compete fill in this last puzzle piece and officially take the “rescue” out of “rescue horse”. The horses are no longer rescue horses at this point. These horses are now just horses. We can tell you everything about them that matters. The trainer knows what makes them happy under saddle and what upsets/bores them. A “Trainers Challenge” levels the playing field for “rescue horses”. They may not have the perfect pedigree or the “sunshine and roses” background, but they do have a will to live and a perseverance that is indescribable.
This statewide trainer’s challenge is the best thing that could happen to the horses, the rescues, and the homes out there looking for their perfect match. We could not be any more excited about being involved in this endeavor and we look forward to what the selected trainers will accomplish with our amazing horses.” -Cindy Prince, Executive Director of Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Inc.