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Rescue Report: Run for Your Life!

Cate Lamm, an avid horsewoman, has been a part of Colorado Horse Rescue (www.chr.org) for 10 years. There, she’s served as head of the adoption committee, has acted as general manager and now works as a rehabilitation trainer. Lamm has owned a number of her own rescue horses and has 20 years of equine experience. Based in Longmont, Colorado, she’s also the editorial assistant of The Trail Rider (www.trailridermag.com), sister publication of MyHorseDaily.com.

My rescue horse, Banjo, and I were truly bonding and his training was really progressing. Now, it was time to teach him about the going out on the trail.

For Banjo, and many young, green horses, the world is full of scary things. For these horses, the handler must become their source of confidence when they feel scared. It takes time and experience to build this relationship.

Banjo had decided the scariest thing on the planet was a person running. Even though I’d gained his trust, when he saw someone running, his fear took over. He didn’t think anyone could protect him from a running person. Here in Boulder, Colorado, everyone runs! So Banjo spends a lot of time scanning the horizon for scary, healthy people.

One day, we were exploring an area near the boarding facility and having a relaxing ride when I spotted a group of runners coming our way. It was a large group of about 20 runners, preparing for the Bolder Boulder, a popular 10K race. They were in the elite group, which meant they were fast!

I quickly started looking for places to get my horse away from the road, but there were fences on either side all the way back to the boarding facility, about a quarter mile away. Oh boy!

Then Banjo caught sight of the athletes. I could feel his whole body tense and his heart start to pound. I turned him away from them and started walking back in the direction of the barn. Please don’t let them turn down our road, I thought.

But, they did turn and started coming straight for us! Banjo was terrified; all his worst nightmares were coming true. And not just one running person, but 20!  He did the only thing any self-respecting horse could do: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

I tried to slow him down. I performed the one-rein stop as hard as I could. But nothing happened! He was going too fast and he was just too strong.

The driveway into the boarding facility was coming up on my right. My only chance to stay in one piece was to get him off the road and let the runners pass us by.

I swear Banjo’s hooves squealed like a car’s tires when we came around that turn, but we made it off the road! He ran halfway up the driveway and only stopped when the pack of runners sailed past his line of sight.

As Banjo began to relax, he turned his head back and looked at me as if to say, “Oh, you’re still there.”

I guess we still have some work to do on building trust!

If you want more information on rescue horses or you want to locate a rescue near you, please check outAHomeForEveryHorse.com.

Equine.com and the Active Interest Media Equine Network have joined forces with the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition to launch A Home for Every Horse Project. This project helps find homes for America’s 170,000 to 200,000 horses in need of care and shelter.

Here’s how it works:
• Begin the search for your next equine partner at AHomeForEveryHorse.com. You can search horses waiting for homes at nonprofit shelters across the country. Browse by rescue horse, or find rescue organizations in your area.
• Visit the site’s “Services” section to learn about your local rescue organizations. Find out how you can volunteer, donate, or simply spread the word.
• Look for upcoming stories on EquiSearch.com related to horse rescue.

If your 501(c)(3) rescue organization would like to join the Home For Every Horse Project, call (866) 467-7323, ext. 100.

Equine.com is a part of Active Interest Media Equine Network.

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