Animal sanctuaries do everything they can to accommodate as many creatures as possible. If a nearby factory farm is looking to get rid of an unwanted animal, they are quick to scoop them up. Sometimes they welcome in animals before they even have housing for them. And if another sanctuary needs help housing animals because they have too many to handle, they are usually more than willing to lend a hand. Just recently, a sanctuary in South Dakota needed help taking care of seven blind wild stallions and two mares in their possession. They wanted to help these beautiful creatures but were simply too overcrowded to do so. Thankfully, This Old Horse, a nonprofit horse sanctuary in Dakota County, offered to take the nine horses in. The fact that the seven blind mustangs had bloodlines that stretch back to horses brought to the Americas by 15th-century Spanish explorers only made the case even more unique and important. These horses had a rich history and This Old Horse wanted to make sure they had a bright future, as well!
The horses were moved to the Wishbone Ranch, one of the nonprofit’s sanctuary locations, where there are already two blind horses in residence.
According to an interview in the Star Tribune with This Old Horse’s Program Director, Pete Swentik, “the ranch is equipped with special plastic pipe fencing that won’t injury the animals if they bump into it.”
In addition to caring for the horses and making sure they have everything they need, the non-profit hopes that their partnerships with the University of Minnesota Extension Horse program, will prove fruitful for the animals.
Considering these horses have an interesting history and an undiagnosed problem, Swentik believes that the University may show some interest in studying them.
That is all up in the air, though. For now, the main priority is making sure these horses get situated and feel comfortable in their new home.
This Old Horse currently cares for 40 other retired, rescued, and recovering horses. The nonprofit relies on a core group of 100 volunteers who feed and care for the horses twice daily.
From the looks of it, the horses seem to be adjusting pretty well.
Wild horses nowadays have a pretty tough time. Despite the fact that America’s mustangs and burros are protected by an act of Congress that recognizes them as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that “enrich the lives of the American people,” these animals are being systematically eliminated by the Bureau of Land Management, many times for livestock interests.
If organizations like This Old Horse didn’t exist, wild horses would be in an even more dire state. We applaud this organization for all of the amazing work that they do. To learn more about This Old Horse, visit their official website.