|In a perfect world, there would be no need for an organization such as Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary. In a perfect world, aging horses would be cared for by the families they faithfully served in their younger days. In a perfect world, horses would not be passed to new homes with increasing frequency as their physical abilities fade and their care needs increase.
We do not, however, live in a perfect world.
Many elder horses are retired to back pastures to “let nature take its course” and allow the horses to die of “natural causes.” Many senior equine live for years in malnourished conditions because some people believe it is acceptable for old horses to be thin. Often, aged horses are sold or given to new owners as a safe “first horse,” when first time horse owners may not have the experience needed to recognize seniors’ changing needs.
Since we do not live in a perfect world, Traveller’s Rest was founded to promote the humane care of elderly equine through education and example.
Roxanne - late 30's
Dec, 29, 2003
Only six months later...
June 21, 2004
Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary is home to senior equine that have fallen victim to neglect, abandonment, or catastrophic events in their owners’ lives. Most are considered special needs, having physical challenges or long-term but manageable illnesses.
Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, however, is not your typical non-profit horse rescue organization. Though many of the residents came to the sanctuary from backgrounds of neglect or abandonment, we do not dwell on the past. We, instead, celebrate the personalities that emerge as our elders return to "just being horses" in a low stress environment.
Honoring the Wisdom
Watching our residents "just being horses" allows us to tap into the innate wisdom borne by generations of wild ancestors. Resident horses teach us to let go of preconceived notions regarding "traditional" horse care and to cultivate open minds when searching for alternatives. They teach us patience. There is often no "quick fix" to our residents' problems, requiring periods of trial and error with new treatments or techniques, or requiring searches for deep, underlying causes of illness or anxiety. They teach us that there is often no single cause of illness or anxiety and that all facets of their environments must be considered.
The residents of Traveller's Rest act as teachers in more traditional ways as well. Our seniors live in groups and are turned out 24 hours a day, so they may experience the social interaction necessary for good equine mental health. Observing this interaction allows TREES' staff and volunteers to understand what each horse may need as an individual. In formulating individualized feeding, housing, rehabilitation, or other regimens for the horses living at the sanctuary, TREES hopes to provide information to other caregivers that may help them keep their equine seniors happy and healthy well into the horses' golden years.
Traveller's Rest welcomes visitors by appointment, seven days a week. We strive to provide the best physical, emotional and spiritual care possible for each and every horse in our sanctuary and revel in showing visitors how vital and energetic elder equine can be. If you are or will be in the Spotyslvania, Virginia area, please call for an appointment to meet the TREES herd. Our elders just might surprise you.
Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary
Please note: Traveller's Rest is not a boarding facility. Any available sanctuary space is dedicated to horses over 20 years of age who have no other options and will suffer pain, hunger, abandonment or neglect if left in their current situations.
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Please note: Traveller's Rest is not a boarding facility. Any available sanctuary space is dedicated to horses over 20 years of age who have no other options and will suffer pain, hunger, abandonment or neglect if left in their current situations
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