By Joan Reinbott
Joining Hearts and Hands to Hooves at Parelli Charity Fundraiser Clinic
In June, Animal Guardians Horse Rescue, Inc. (AGHR) in central California used a Parelli Foundation Horse Welfare grant to buy Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) tools and hire 4* Licensed Parelli Professional (LPP) Susan Nelson Thibault. In the high desert town of Tehachapi in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, the group gathered for a Parelli Charity Fundraiser Clinic at 3L Ranch, which Susan operates with her husband, Maurice, also a 4* LPP.
AGHR’s Deborah Greene-Dellvon said: “The purpose of this clinic was to teach our volunteers, foster caregivers, adopters, and the animal shelter staff that we work with in L.A. and Ventura County how to use PNH to better understand equine body language and non-verbal communication, create better partnerships, and solve problems with horses that are otherwise assumed ‘unadoptable’ due to fear or trauma behaviors from abuse and neglect. We also did this clinic as an outreach project for our rescue, to develop relationships with Parelli students and practitioners around California to further expand our connections outside of the counties we serve.”
AGHR’s mission is joining hearts and hands to hooves. The nonprofit serves as a comprehensive rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, rehoming, and retirement equine sanctuary for unwanted, homeless, abused, abandoned, and impounded equines. Many of the horses are seniors and those with special needs. AGHR is a member of the Humane Society of the United States Safe Stalls Network Program, The Homes for Horses Coalition, etc. The staff’s long-term goal is to become an accredited equine retirement sanctuary with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
Among the success stories that have emerged from using PNH methods is that of a senior mare. Deborah said: “Snow is 28 years old and came to us from a sanctuary that closed down in Oregon over a year ago. She had lived in a pasture for 10 years with no handling, other than occasional hoof trims or vaccines, when she allowed herself to be caught. By using the new Parelli training tools and kits we purchased with half of our grant funds and the techniques we learned from Susan Nelson Thibault, whom we paid with the other half of our grant funds, we are now able to catch, halter, fly mask and spray, groom, and hoof-handle Snow. She is no longer kicking the farrier, biting people to escape, and pushing so hard against the pressure, causing her dangerous bolting and rearing behaviors of the past. Snow is far from perfect and is still a work in progress and always will be. However, she is much safer to deal with and has much improved ground manners in handling her.”
For more information, visit www.animalguardianshorserescue.org