Thursday, July 11, 2013

The waiting list I

About six years ago, when Harv was about twenty, I put him on a waiting list for a regional horse sanctuary/retirement farm. It has a great reputation, with over 100 years of service to animals, and a big endowment. It's nestled in a tony, vibrant horse community, and they publish a newsletter that I've received for years. More importantly, I know people who have homed their horse there and their reports are good. I was warned that the wait list was long  -- people have waited three years or more. I signed up, and pretty much forgot about it.

"Your name is up!"
This week, we got the call. Harv is at the top of the wait list. The email gave me the option of taking the spot, deferring, or opting out of the wait list. I had some work to do before deciding. I had never actually visited the place! There were many questions to be asked.

One big factor
Owners have to sign their horses over to the sanctuary; you relinquish ownership, which is scary.  From the experience of friends I know that the (former) owners stay  in the picture, and within reason their wishes are respected. It's a unique situation, and one I feel fortunate to have available to me. Bob and I drove down (an hour's drive from home) the other day.

The visit
I can't say enough about the facility. It exceeded our expectations in the quality of the farm and property (well-manicured, tidy), the size and richness of the pastures (good fencing!), the experience and knowledge of the staff, the feeding program, and...Well, every point on my list was ticked off with a check and a smiley-face. The manager was really on top of things and very easy to talk to; she seemed willing to work with owners and very accessible. Really, Bob and I were blown away.

We spoke to the head volunteer and the barn manager, and we toured the property from the stalls to the pasture, wash stalls, feed room, and paddocks. Bob and I listened, asked questions, and discussed Harv. When we parted, we told the folks there we would discuss it in call them in a few days.

1 comment:

  1. So hard to know what to do. Relinquishing Harv to the farm is the tricky part. The rest is cake. It sounds like a wonderful place where he'd be happy and well cared for. Your decision will be interesting news indeed.


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