When you look into a living creature’s eyes, you see their soul. Some people, in that moment, decide to take a step of faith for that animal, in the belief others will be there along the journey to see their cause through to the end.
Teri Allen founded the TerolynHorse Rescue to foster, rehabilitate and re-home horses acquired from auctions, feedlot bailouts, abandonment, and seizures due to neglect or owner relinquishments. To date, over a hundred horses have received a second chance thanks to Teri’s love and sheer determination. When asked what drew her attention to this need, she says, “I have been involved in horsemanship my entire life. As a horse owner, competitor and owner of a successful training and boarding facility, I’ve seen firsthand some of the dark underside of the horse world. I’ve witnessed beautiful animals being surrendered after a lifetime of service because they could no longer perform their appointed jobs, abuse due to human cruelty, and horses abandoned for no other reason than interest was lost and their owners deemed them a burden.”
Non-profit rescues have their ups and downs, but one of Teri’s favorite success stories is Gambler. “Two years ago this July,” she says, “we brought in several horses from a feedlot situation. One was Gambler, a 10 year-old Palomino Quarter Horse who most likely had been a ranch horse. Gambler arrived at Terolyn Horse Rescue undernourished, with overgrown hooves and poor health.” Happily, during the course of his rehabilitation, he met and fell in love with a young girl who became his new owner and he became her first horse. In the past two years and as they have trained and learned together, they have grown to love each other even more, becoming closer with each passing day. His owner comes out every afternoon after school (Terolyn boards Gambler) to see and love on her best friend.
“Even better,” she adds, “Reeses, a chocolate colored Quarter Horse mare who was brought in with Gambler was adopted by the sister of Gambler’s owner. Both young girls are completely in love with their horses and are becoming quite the horsewomen.”
Since Terolyn Horse Rescue is a non-profit, all volunteer organization, 100% of all donations, monetary or in-kind, directly funds the care of the horses at the barn and allows them to rescue more from auctions and feedlots. Teri takes adoption seriously. “All adopters are screened prior to adoption and must have three lessons with the horse to ensure a good fit for the horse and new owner,” she says. “Riding skills must be matched to the horse and this also gives us the opportunity to see how they interact as a team. Our primary concern is for the long-term well-being of the horse, and adopters must sign an adoption contract. If for any reason, they cannot keep the horse, we require they return the horse to us.”
Teri urges people to understand the commitment of horse ownership before adopting or buying a horse. The time you personally spend with your horse is vitally important to creating a bond and partnership that brings you both joy and fulfillment. Horses can live to 30 years plus and veterinary, farrier, boarding, training, lessons, tack and general maintenance may come at a high price. Be prepared, have a financial plan in place for your horse’s ongoing care and any emergencies that may arise. If a situation arises where you must relinquish your horse, do your due diligence and make sure your horse is being placed with a reputable organization or private owner.
The Rescue is always in need of volunteers who have familiarity with horses to help with feeding, stall maintenance, grooming and loving the horses. Teri says, “Some of the rescues need more socializing than others and human interaction is critical to being able to successfully place them in loving homes.”
Teri and the volunteers look forward to meeting you, answering any questions, and introducing you to their rescue horses. Please support the silent auction! You can also donate to them directly, and find out more information about volunteering at their website: Terolynhorserescue.org.