On a farm in Vaudreuil-Dorion, a special herd of horses is enjoying a well-deserved rest, helping educate the public, and bringing comfort to those around them.
The animals that come to A Horse Tale Rescue (AHT) each have their own stories and make their way to the rescue in different ways; they may be in poor health, have owners who can no longer care for them, or find themselves needing a calm retirement spot after their equine careers are over. However, they all have one thing in common – at AHT their health and happiness is top priority.
While some of the ever-changing herd — there are currently 14 horses — are available for adoption, the rescue guarantees lifelong care for those in need.
The herd requires constant care, which means a constant need for funds
A registered not-for-profit, AHT does not receive any government financial support. Funding of the volunteer-run group is solely through the generous efforts of members, sponsors, and donors as well as year-round events like a calendar sale (makes a great gift!), their Summer BBQ, raffle draws, Giving Tuesday which takes place on December 1, and its annual “A Horse Tale in Hudson” event that features live music and a silent auction.
Raising money this year is more challenging than usual due to the restrictions COVID has placed on in-person fundraising.
Executive Director Mike Grenier is hopeful that the Saturday Open Houses and special events can restart once it’s safe to do so. “We’ll see if we can start back up in the spring, where families can come out with the kids to take a tour around,” he said.
Sponsor your “very own” horse in need
One way individuals, school classes, and groups can contribute and make a difference in a horse’s life is through AHT’s individual horse sponsorship program. A monthly donation — available in amounts from $20 to $500 — can help cover a horse’s board, feed, bedding, and veterinary care.
Become a champion and special friend to a member of the herd and benefit from being able to visit with them once or twice a year on “Horse Friend Days”. What a special gift for a horse-loving child, or a great way for a group to celebrate horses and learn more about them.
“You can go on our website and see which horse strikes a chord in your heart. With the sponsorship you get a welcome letter, a picture, and the story about your horse. Once COVID starts to die down we’ll have a Friends Day, and everyone who’s sponsored a horse gets to come out for a few hours where we do some activities with that horse one-on-one,” Grenier said.
Will you fall in love with the appropriately named pony Chocolate and her best mate Zephyr? Or retired Montreal calèche horses Ulysses and Blanco? It will be hard to choose which horse to sponsor for sure.
Help the horses, while they help us
AHT also runs a free “equine exposure” program called A Horse Tale Experience (AHTE) for community groups that support individuals with special and specific needs. Participants in this program can learn new skills, gain an understanding and appreciation for horses and their environment, and benefit from their natural empathy and calming presence. Because of the challenges facing frontline healthcare workers, they’ve also expanded the program to offer those individuals a calm escape from their daily stresses.