Anyone that has volunteered at Mid America Horse Rescue knows that releasing a horse from its halter to join a corral full of others is a magical experience:
Enthusiastic and carefree, the horse kicks up a bit of dirt and canters over to his buddy to say hello, before rounding the corral in a series of footraces. The sleek brown figures float among the dust clouds, basking in their freedom.
Witnessing a moment such as this, one cannot help but feel the impact of Mid America Horse Rescue’s efforts in rescuing ex-racehorses from slaughter.
It's this awe-inspiring grace that inspired Normand Latourelle, creator of Cirque du Soleil, to develop the show Cavalia, http://www.cavalia.net/en. The "Equestrian ballet," opens in St. Louis on March 21.
Performed in the largest touring tent in the world, the horses to move freely, and are enhanced with multimedia projection, lighting, live music, acrobatics, dance and aerial artistry. The fairytale setting encourages the audience to discover the natural wonder of horses. Each act serves as a tribute to the relationship between man and horses throughout history.
According to Erick Villeneuve, director, "Everything is done with the horses in mind." Following a philosophy focused on nurturing the horses and maintaining their well-being, the bond is continuously strengthened by the amount of respect and tenderness given to the stars of the show. For the Cavalia team, performing each show is accomplishing "A dream of freedom, cooperation and harmony."
Touring for 9 years across North America and Europe, Cavalia features 38 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers, and musicians and 55 horses. The variety of breeds include: Appaloosa, Arabian, Ardennais, Belgian, Lusitano, Canadian, Comtois, Criollo, Oldenburg, Paints, Percherons, Quarter horses, Spanish purebreds and Warmbloods. Latourelle praises the horses as some of the greatest in the world.
At Mid America Horse Rescue, keeping the horses in the limelight is our mission as well. Saving them is our first act and enabling them to thrive is our concept.
We understand that each horse has a past and strive to understand them and their personalities. Each volunteer plays a role to fulfill the organization’s dream of second chances. Volunteers connect with the horses opening the gate for an exchange of hello and returning neigh, a good rub under the neck and a quick peppermint treat. Our horses find their own ways to get attention, following the fence line, prancing in pairs, or giving a grunt as you pass the stall.
Whether you are fortunate enough to see Cavalia or not, we invite you to come out for a visit to Mid America Horse Rescue, and experience the magic that takes place every single day at our stables.
The horse is at the center of everything we do, and it’s amazing what can be accomplished when horses and humans work together.
Hello fellow equine enthusiasts. My name is Corey Hudson and I have been volunteering at Mid America Horse Rescue (MAHR) for 1.5 years. Before that, I volunteered at another equine rescue for 4 years. Thanks to MAHR, I met my boy Chap, the ex-racehorse that I adopted in 2011.
I got involved in volunteering because I learned about the uncertain fate that horses now face. These majestic creatures – whose ancestors we credit for helping to build this country – are being discarded as if they are no longer have any use. Their fate often ends in neglect, abuse or even slaughter.
Now more than ever, horses desperately need the assistance and support of horse owners and equine enthusiasts.
What makes MAHR different than other rescue facilities is a unique idea that has just recently taken shape. MAHR's concept involves rehabilitating and retraining ex-racehorses (primarily Thoroughbreds) for equine assisted therapy programs.
The concept not only benefits the horse by making it a useful tool to mankind, it also enhances the lives of those who need this type of rehabilitation (both horses and humans).
As a seasoned volunteer, I must say that volunteering is not easy, but it sure is fun. It's physically demanding and a person needs to be in pretty good shape to work at the facility. Regardless, the work is so satisfying knowing you are caring for the horses by giving them a second chance.
If you would like to learn more, or are thinking about volunteering or supporting Mid America Horse Rescue, we encourage you to join us on May 4, 2012, at the St. Louis Derby Party. The fundraiser will support the care and nourishment of these noble creatures, and allow us to share more with you about how ex-racehorses can enhance the lives of those with disabilities or life challenges. Just be sure to purchase your tickets by April 6 via http://derbypartyhorserescue.eventbrite.com.
It will be a great time for a great cause and I guarantee you'll be inspired. On behalf of the volunteer crew at Mid America Horse Rescue, I hope to see you there!
Mid America Horse Rescue rescues, rehabilitates and trains off the track thoroughbreds for their second chance career. We have a new program called Equine Assistance Therapy which will touch the lives of physically and mentally challenged children and adults. You can help by selecting How To Help to make a donation of $1.00, $5.00, $10.00 or more. You too can help us create a legacy.
We are so grateful to each and every one of you that makes our mission successful each day. Thanks for donations of time, tack and financial support. This is the time of the year when the weather becomes cold and nasty and the holidays roll around that we see less volunteers and donations. For those of you who never forget us, thank you!
We’ve Come So Far…In One Year
Looking back over our inaugural year I am amazed at how far we have come. Mid America Horse Rescue started six months prior to our intended opening date due to the Fairmount Park Paddock Sale held earlier than planned. We went into a reactive rather than a proactive state.
Our goal was to complete our lease/purchase at our facility, conduct fundraisers, then open by spring of this year. When I received the phone call regarding the Paddock Sale, I was informed there would be no representation for these incredible Thoroughbreds. We had no choice but to move swiftly into action.
We had a small, but mighty group on that hot August day we attended the sale. We brought home 13 horses, and assisted in transitioning a good amount of the balance of 80 that went through the sale that day. Our numbers of horses, as well as their needs, have grown over the year, but even in the most daunting of economic times we have forged ahead and made it.
After the sale we had more trainers and more horses come in. We have had 3 foals born successfully this year, turned around 3 starvation cases (you go Ferrari!!), dealt with 2 founder cases, and saw our highest risk girl, Princess, through a successful temporary tracheotomy (as well as foaling).
We also started growing our 2-legged family, as folks found out about our efforts and wanted to become part of the mission and our journey. With the assistance of our incredible volunteer group and communication through equine sites, we assisted at a dispersal sale last December, ensuring all horses were sold to, or transitioned into, great and safe situations. I am always amazed at the big hearts of our equine friends and family.
During this first year of our formation, Mid America Horse Rescue has sheltered, rehabilitated, retrained, adopted, fostered and transitioned over 200 horses.
With the continued support of our volunteering friends, colleagues, fellow equine enthusiasts, and strategic partners, we endeavor to move to Phase II of our goals to continue to build America’s premier Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation facility. We welcome you to participate in our fundraising efforts, and encourage you to follow us on twitter and our website for the latest information, monthly schedule, and announcements of our 2010 Corporate Sponsors!
Please check out our "Sponsor a Horse for the Holidays" site, and join us in our efforts to support a horse with their daily care. Remember, this is good not only for the holidays, but a special gift for a birthday, anniversary, holiday, retirement, memorial tribute, etc.
The gift of your time is always appreciated by the horses; they look to you to help make their second chance in life possible.
Come join us, as we look forward to seeing you in 2010!
Happiest of Holidays to you and yours,
I really look more for the content or thought process the clinician is bringing to our community at Mid America Horse Rescue, not so much if they are a "cowboy", "cowgirl," "Whisperer" (a term I find to be so over-used) or what background they hail from.
In my experience, most of the clinicians that know how to build a foundation under a horse come from more of a Western theory background. A lot of the folks in our area fail to see the point in building a foundation and a relationship between the horse and themselves. A good amount of riders in our area are more of the English riding discipline such as hunter/jumper, dressage (more of a French background), or "eventers."
Again, many members of the equine community practice a particular riding discipline, and don't necessarily open their minds to theory and, most importantly, any specific philosophy of horsemanship. Unfortunately, these people have a very hard time believing anybody with a cowboy hat on as they believe they don't need a foundation – they just lunge the hell out of the horse, get on, and - if jumping – they hang on, point and shoot.
Tragically, this is why they give up great horses: because they cannot handle them, or declare the horse "crazy," "dangerous," etc. Only after they have never taught the horse anything, or attempted to build a relationship with the horse. This situation most frequently occurs with race horses – a result which comes from horses having no apparent domestic potential when they finish their career at the track, a turning point at which they tend to be deemed unfit to move on to anything other than slaughter.
That's why I created Mid America Horse Rescue.
Big names, brand reputation, and good looks are not what influence me, when I am booking clinicians and assembling our educational programs calendar. I look for ideas to share with our local community, and sometimes our national audience on equine behavior. Mid America Horse Rescue's staff and our clients continue to find incredible success months after we host clinicians such as Ken Jones, Chris Cox, Morgan Dillard-Harris, and a select group of others.
What are your thoughts?