Our new “Volunteer & Equine Education Program” is off to a strong start! This program was designed to help speed up the process of training horses we have rehabilitated so they can be adopted. At the same time we are training some key volunteers to help us train horses!
The volunteers commit to attending 4 hours of training class a month & 4 hours of working with their assigned horses each week. This allows us to work with more horses at a time during the busy adoption season and stretch our precious finances.
We have been thrilled with the results. The horses are learning fast & volunteers are having fun. We currently have 4 adoptions in various stages on horses in this program. Although it will be hard for some of the volunteers to see the horses they have put so much time & energy into leave, they know that a great adoptive home is the best gift they could give.
None of this would be possible without such wonderful donors & volunteers.
A Letter From The President
As I sit and reflect on this last year, I realize how far we have come from where we began. Overall, it has been a very good year.
2013 started with 41 horses in our care. Of these horses, 23 had been involved in a court case since 2012 and were not released into our ownership until June of 2013. As the year progressed we took in an additional 66 horses. Of these horses, 24 were financially supported by the Oregon Humane Society. A total of 43 hors-es came to us though complaints made to law enforcement or seizures. The remainder of the horses came from owner surrenders and other rescues. Through a new collaboration with The Pongo Fund we were able to help a group of once domesticated but now abandoned horses in Wheeler County.
Along with our on-going relationships with the Oregon Humane Society and law enforcement in the following counties: , Klickitat, Clackamas, Multnomah & Columbia, in 2013 we added new working relationships with the following groups:
Wasco County Sheriff
Curry County Sheriff
The Pongo Fund
City of Damascus Code Enforcement
All Animal Care & Rescue Fund
During the course of the year we successfully adopted out 34 horses and only 2 returns. We believe strongly that our training program is directly responsible for such a high adoption success rate. We are gratified to see how this investment in the horses’ training helps them become solid, trusting, loving horses that good owners will take care of and cherish forever.
In order to maintain the quality of care for the horses as well as improve our communication with our volun-teers, foster homes and donors we now use Paddock Pro. This online horse management system allows us to track horse locations, information, photos and medical histories. We also implemented the use of Donor Perfect to better track gifts and donors.
Our largest fundraising projects in 2013 included a Ride to Provide Horse Show in May; a Ride to Provide Trail Ride in July; two used tack sales; and a Poker for Ponies dinner, silent auction and poker tournament in November. We will be continuing and growing each of these events in 2014.
SEO initiated a Barn Volunteer Program at Eagle Creek Equestrian Center, where at least 7 of our horses are housed at any given time. These horses are in various stages of training and the volunteers learn how to safely work around the horses and help teach each horse ground manners, as well as groom them and clean stalls. Having the horses exposed to several different people’s handling and teaching proves extremely beneficial to the horses.
Sound Equine Options’ growth has been matched by the need for our resources. Fortunately for all, more people are becoming aware of what we do and are joining in as volunteers and donors. We have become a strong, respected organization in the community, providing services that no other local organization offers. This is a huge cooperative effort that I hope in which each of our supporters takes pride. Together, we are making a difference in the lives of horses!
Elisabeth Wolff - President
Rudy came to us in December along with 5 other surving herdmates, from Wasco County. At 10 months of age he was not only severly malnorished but also loaded with internal parasites and ticks. All of these things contributed to his stunted size & development.
He has now been gelded, dewormed & is living at a ranch where a trainer can touch him daily. We are pretty sure he had never been touched by a human prior to coming to SEO.
He comes from what appear to be working quarter horse stock but we will not know for several months if he will ever reach a size large enough to be ridden. Its is hard to adopt out young rescue horses and even more difficult if we are unsure of their adult size.
Hopefully, with quality food & deworming Rudy will continue to grow and make up for his rough start in life. We estimate that he will be in our program for 12 - 24 months due to his age & current condition. We estimate the total cost for getting Rudy healthy and ready for adoptions will be around $3000.
Today only during Global Givings matching bonus day, all donations up to $1000 will be matched 30% until the $75,000 runs out. That means that we can raise the $3000 that Rudy needs with only $2300 in donations.
Together we can give Rudy a chance to become a useful, wanted horse in our community.
Intake season, as we have named it can be depressing and overwhelming. The questions of "how can people do this?", "how are we going to find enough adoptive homes? ", "how will we be able to responsibly take more horses on?", "do we have enough fosters and haulers for this seizure?", "will equine neglect ever slow down?" etc. etc. It is a lot to take in, especially for an all-volunteer group with jobs and families.
We used to say Thanksgiving was the start of intake season but this year we have already taken in Mocha, Shasta & in addition to the 21 horses from a seizure in Rainer, Oregon that Oregon Humane Society investigated. The number of horses under our care quickly went from 37 to 60. That’s a lot of hay over the winter!
These thoughts where all going through my head as we caught and loaded those 21 horses a few weeks ago. Then I stopped and looked around at the horses in their current living conditions, looked at the bones I should not be able to see and looked into their kind yet scared eyes. We are making a drastic difference in these animals lives. They are going to be warm, feed regularly and soon healthy. They will learn to trust people and then they will be some of the most loving and appreciative horses around. What we do is important and so is taking the time to stop and love on one of those horses whose world we helped changed for the better.
We can never say thank you enough to our supporters and wish you a wonderful holiday season!
This has been a truly wonderful adoption season for our horses. We have found great forever homes for 19 of our rehabbed horses so far this year!
Included in this photo are Shadow and Elvis from "The Bickleton 4", a severe starvation case from this winter, a couple from joint efforts with Oregon Humane Society, as well as from Clackamas, Klickitat & Wheeler Counties.
Our annual Trailride at Willamette Mission State Park was a great success & upcoming events include fundraisers at the Canby Tack Sale in October & Poker for Ponies in November.
Thank you again; we cannot do any of this without your continued support!
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