In Balance Ranch Academy youth community service project. “In Balance Ranch Academy is committed to assisting each student and his family in the journey of recovery, sobriety, and academic achievement. We endeavor to facilitate healing in the individual and in the family, equipping them with the necessary tools to live a healthy, productive and joyful life”. This mission is achieved through their Equine Assited Learning and Therapy and Leadership and Motivational Training. In Balance Ranch Academy has helped Equine Voices by assisting the horses and helping with projects on the ranch, and by fostering and adopting six of our rescued PMU mares and foals.
In Balance Ranch and Equine Voices Collaborate to Rescue Horses From Slaughter
The students at the Ranch have had two car washes in Sierra Vista during their Community Service time to raise money and awareness about the slaughter of thousands of mares and foals due to the Premarin industry. In only two mornings they have raised almost $500 towards the $1,000 adoption fee for Jesse and her beautiful paint filly Elle D, a mare and foal rescued in February from Canada. Equine Voices is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and adopts out mares and foals that are essentially thought of as “by-products” of the Premarin industry. Premarin is the hormone replacement drug many women use during menopause. Although there are safer alternatives on the market, premarin has been produced and used since the 40’s. Due to recent findings that Premarin is linked to ovarian cancer, blood clots, dimentia and alzheimers, the production of the HRT drug has declined leaving thousands of mares and babies slated for slaughter. The production of premarin involves a pregnant mare standing in a small stall, too small to allow them to lay down, while pregnant, hooked up to a device called a “collection cup”, which collects the urine used to make Premarin.
Equine Voices has rescued and placed dozens of horses to date and is needing to place their current residents as soon as possible, so they’ll have room for rescuing more from slaughter. The students, with the help of the equine program staff, have offered to serve as a foster home to others that are coming from Canada. These horses are traumatized and need to be socialized, and taught some basic skills so she can be adopted out as a riding or driving horse. In addition to the students feeling a huge sense of accomplishment in saving the lives of these wonderful animals, the process of nurturing and building a relationship with others coming to them from the Premarin farms, will be a very powerfully therapeutic opportunity for the students. They will help these traumatized mares and foals learn to trust people again, through reading their body language, empathizing with their fears and frustrations, all the while, teaching them new skills. Of course, the students will talk about all the issues brought up during these experiences in our equine therapy groups, internalizing and integrating their emotional growth as the horses learn and grow.
Since Equine Voices is a non-profit 501C3 organization, donations to them are tax deductible. As this project was not in our Ranch budget and the new living areas for the mares and foal will be costly, Equine Voices has offered to provide tax deduction receipts for any donations to the rescue project at the Ranch. If you are looking for charitable opportunities this year, please consider this project. With enough donations we could possibly adopt our foal’s best friend, (another beautiful bay paint filly with a lightning bolt blaze on her face,) and her mother as well. You can write a check to Equine Voices and send it to me at the Tucson office of In Balance, 6151 East Grant Rd. Tucson AZ, 85712. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me, 520-909-4740. You can also check out the Equine Voices website and see pictures of the mares and foals—equinevoices.org. Thanks in advance.
Sincerely, Shannon Dexter, LCSW, LISAC, Clinical Director and Equine Program Director.