Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue (SAHR) is a small, family operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Ault, Colorado, dedicated to helping slaughter-bound, abused, neglected and unwanted horses.
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Featured 'Rescue of the Month':
Bucking Stock Gelding
Not yet named... (but nicknamed 'Toothless' for now)
Black draft-cross gelding
Estimated birth: 2008
Approx. 16.2 hands
Sometimes you lose your heart to the most unexpected someone...
We caught sight of this gelding on the slaughter feedlot on June 24th, 2014... and I was immediately captured by his majestic presence. But then I saw the bucking stock brand on his hip (signifying that he was a 'rough stock' bronc used in rodeos) and my heart fell, because in my experience that meant he was off limits. Every other bucking stock horse that I have ever come across on the slaughter feedlots has been extremely fearful or actually aggressive towards humans... Which is not surprising considering what they are used for and how they are treated during their rodeo career.
But as I went about my business of evaluating the other horses out on the lot, I noticed that this boy was trailing along behind me and seemed VERY interested in what I was doing. I stopped and tried to slowly approach him, hoping that maybe I was wrong about him and he was tame after all... But he was very nervous and would not let me near him (let alone touch him).
I turned my back on him once again, but this time watched him intently from the corner of my eye. He continued to inch closer and closer to me while my back was to him. I talked softly to him the whole time, and his kind eyes observed me closely. I finally stopped again and, with my back still to him, held my hand out in behind me and waited. After a few seconds, I felt his nose softly touch my palm and breathe in. I held absolutely still while he proceeded to take his upper lip and gently dust it up my arm and onto my shoulder, exploring and breathing in my scent. I fell in love with him at that moment, at his innocence and curiosity. I left the lot after getting him to take a cookie from me, and with him weighing heavily on my mind.
I couldn't stop thinking of him, and the fact that he would be shipping to a slaughter house in Mexico any day. Our rescue certainly didn't have the funds to spare to pull him, and quite frankly it probably wasn't the smartest thing to consider taking on a 16.2+ hand draft cross that was NOT halter broke or used to people.
After telling his story to friends at another rescue organization, they generously offered to pay his bail if we wanted to pull him and see if we could work with him. Needless to say, we couldn't say no to that offer and the chance to offer him salvation and refuge, so we arranged to pull him from the feedlot and see where things would go from there.
When I pulled into the feedlot again a few days later to pick him up, I knew that I had made the right decision when he trotted up to the fence to see me, and my heart melted all over again.
Founder & Director at Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue
In the time that he has been here at Shiloh Acres, we have that he was indeed not halter trained and seems to have NEVER had much human contact (aside from the traumatic experience of being branded). His lack of handling is actually GOOD news, because it indicates that he was probably never used as bucking stock in a rodeo even though that is what he was bred for.
We have had him evaluated by local trainer Sean Davies (http://coloradoreinsman.com/), who has done two training sessions with him recently here at the farm. We will be sending him to Sean's facility starting October 1st so he can officially start full time training. And while Sean is generously giving us a discount on his training rate, we still need to raise funds to pay the bills!
For anyone interested in helping 'Toothless' have as bright of a future as possible, please consider making a donation to his training fund. All donations are tax deductible, and we will send out a gift of a matted and ready-to-frame 8x10 photographic print (above) of this handsome horse to everyone who makes a donation of $50 (or more).
Be sure to watch our website and follow us on Facebook for updates on this special horse as he begins his journey!
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