THE INSPIRATION: The seeds of Zeb’s Wish Equine Sanctuary were planted in 1998 with the rescue of a blind and starving mule named Zebediah. Over the years of shared trials and triumphs together, Zeb taught many about the power of faith and compassion, trust and forgiveness. His inspiration has continued even after his crossing at the age of 50.
OUR THREE PROGRAMS
1. EQUINE WELLBEING: Since Zeb’s arrival, we have rescued or assisted in the rescue of over 200 Equines and provided direct sanctuary care for more than 80 equines coming from dire situations such as abuse, abandonment, and being destined for slaughter. All are allowed the time, compassion and space to blossom into the precious beings that they were meant to be, to know unconditional love, to provide healing to others and to die with dignity knowing they were cherished. We also provided consultation and referrals for about 150 equine assistance requests a year that are not a target population of ours or fall outside of our capacity.
The sanctuary herd has special needs that render them ‘unadoptable’ in the traditional sense but, with appropriate care, they can have happy and healthy lives. Finding other like-minded humans helps us to extend our mission through loving adoptive homes that are screened and supported in the care of these equines. The majority of our herd are in their golden years and we respect each equine’s natural progression through life and support their health needs along the way with special feed and integrated health care; from traditional and homeopathic veterinary care to natural hoof care, Reiki energy work, chiropractic, and massage therapy. Although the need is great, we never take on more animals than we can afford to give the utmost care to.
As opposed to traditional rescue, rehab and adopt programs, which aim to rescue able-bodied, young and ridable equines, our population requires extra love and care. Many stay with us until they cross the rainbow bridge which means that we will never recoup the expenses through adoption fees. It is this model which makes the act of sanctuary an expensive ordeal and our reliance on donors is great. Some of our special needs equines have gone on to be cherished pasture pals, some have become therapy animals, showing the world that to be different is just another beautiful part of being an important player in the world.
2. HUMAN WELLBEING:We engage humans as well as animals and partner with Equine Assisted Services (EAS) professionals that use sound relationship principles with equines as co-facilitators for growth and healing experiences for humans. We also provide opportunities for volunteers to care for and connect with equines. These two activities resulted in 130 person hours of equine services facilitated and 3,000 volunteer person hours.
These activities provide a sanctuary environment that allows for healing experiences for both humans as well as equines. Our goal is to model that these animals and their story of survival and resilience are extremely helpful and a relationship with them is valuable. It is through this process we aim to change the interaction between horse and man from one of “usership” to one of “relationship” that is independent of their physical or mental ability to be ridden, shown or used in some other utility.
You can book Equine Experiential Education and Equine Assisted Learning sessions HERE and volunteer opportunities HERE
(Note: If you are an Equine practitioner (Therapist or Equine Specialist) and interested in working with us, contact [email protected])
3. ECOLOGICAL WELLBEING:We manage the property and bordering wetlands in a sustainable manner, restoring the watershed with native plants and trees. We also manage pasture health and stormwater runoff, and use a state-of-the-art composter that decreases manure loads on the property. Last year, Zeb’s Wish conducted educational tours to over 300 people through open houses, individual tours to local property owners and group presentations to area equine and environmental groups. We presented alongside “Horses for Clean Water” to 30 participants in a horse-keeping master class. Our commercial composter processed over 32 yards of compost which was donated to community gardens.