We are thrilled to announce an exciting lineup of participating rescues in this year’s Trainers Challenge! Meet the rescues: Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Inc., Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc., Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary, and Holyland Donkey Haven Inc. We hope that this event will shed light on the incredible talent and potential of rescue horses and that people will support these rescues (through adoptions or donations) who play such a critical role in their journey to a new life!
“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.
“I cannot think of anything better than a competitive event where everyone wins! A Trainer’s Challenge not only helps showcase the amazing talent of trainer’s who are out there, but it also showcases the amazing horses that are available through adoption in horse rescues throughout the state. Many people may not give a “rescue” horse a second look, and a Trainer’s Challenge is a great way to show people that just because a horse winds up in a transition in their life, they are no less wonderful of a horse than any horse out there. A Trainer’s Challenge helps rescues tremendously by helping the horses become more adoptable by a wider range of people because of the additional training they receive, and showing people how talented and versatile the horses in rescue really are. The Trainer’s Challenge will have a major positive impact for all of the horses, rescues and trainers involved. What an amazing event to get behind and support to help so many horses, people and rescue!” – Karen Bayerl Co-Director, Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc.
Save the Date! Wisconsin Horse Alliance is proud to host its 1st Annual “Midwest Rescue Horse Trainers Challenge”. This exciting event will feature up to 20 horses (of all ages and breeds) from equine rescues across the state of Wisconsin, and 20 trainers who have been invited and hand-selected for this unique opportunity. Each trainer and their horse will have 90 days to train and prepare for the final competition, which will consist of classes in-hand, walk/trot/canter under saddle, trail, and freestyle.
Wisconsin Horse Alliance is excited to raise awareness about equine adoption and to showcase the versatility and talent of rescued equines. Trainers who have been approved for the competition will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills while greatly enhancing the adoptability of their equine partner. Trainers will compete for cash prizes with the overall score ranking them 1st-5th place. Our goal is also to shed light on the Wisconsin Equine Rescues working tirelessly to help better the lives of horses and care for those in need. All horses in the competition will be available to the public for adoption at the end of the competition. Potential adopters with a pre-approved adoption application may bid on the horses available for adoption, with the highest bid winning.