From Maggie Roberts, Equine Director

“For about the past month and a half the barns have been extremely quiet places. So what did we do with the horses? A few different things. First, we had to find ways to financially support our herd while no one was able to come to the barn. Three horses returned to their owner’s home for some R&R. Three more left to a board member’s ranch where they could enjoy just being a horse out in pasture. Duke and Davy returned to Latigo from Norris Penrose Event Center to keep them socialized and to cut down on staffing needs. Those two joined the four remaining horses at Latigo and all enjoyed an extended vacation. The horses at Latigo were sponsored either by our wonderful community members or by awesome owners who didn’t have a barn of their own anymore. 

In a way, the past month was an unplanned opportunity to allow the horses to rest, recoup, and avoid burnout. Burnout is always something we watch the horses for as each horse is unique in their tolerance, just like humans. The horses’ routines were simple. Wake up, eat breakfast, go outside to eat more, nap, come back in at night to eat dinner, and sleep. Thankfully, we don’t have the high strung athletes that require constant attention and work to keep out of trouble. Otherwise that peaceful routine would be far from peaceful!

Around the beginning of April, we started having staff members out to start exercising the horses at Latigo in preparation for clients to return. Horses have slowly returned and some are still in the process of returning to the barn. Staff members were instructed to thoroughly clean everything they used while exercising the horses, as well as wearing masks, and washing hands frequently. Many saw it as a quiet celebration of one thing returning to as close to normal as we can get. Many also said how much they missed the horses and missed what the horses offered to them. I believe we are all excited to see our clients able to enjoy and grow their relationships with their horses once again. 

If anything is to be said from what we have seen daily from our horses, it’s this: waking up each day is still something to be excited and thankful for. Everyone (horses included) have put on a few pounds during quarantine. Don’t worry about it, we are thrilled to have you present and well. When you don’t understand what is going on around you, focus on what is right in front of you and take it one day at a time.”