When the going gets tough, the herd gets going…
Equine Outreach Inc. was rocked by the suddenness and severity of the pandemic just as we all were. We had to reduce our volunteer cadre from 75 to 5 in just a few weeks and cancel all of our Spring and Summer fundraisers.
With a new Board of Directors and our determined core volunteers we set out to not only make the best of bad situation but to rise to the challenge and do everything in our power to make life better for our senior and medically compromised herd. We took a cue from our 34 year-old herd Matron Bunny and dug deep to keep on moving forward every day.
A quick update of some of our accomplishments in the past 6 months:
Welcomed a new board of directors and board president with a diverse skill set including a corporate manager, a certified veterinarian, the owner/manager of a veterinary hospital and our ranch manager who doubles as our social media maven.
Redesigned the ranch facility to increase comfort, health and safety for the herd – we have already created new pens with softer ground, added new shelters, and are preparing to add new water and electric lines before Winter.
With the help of our vet team, we initiated a more comprehensive health and feed program for our special needs herd.
The community outreach program helped to support a former volunteer who delivered online, free nature illustration classes to thousands of children and adults to quarantined households, helped to fund and sponsor a new “Love Oregon Horses” website and held the first annual Art on the Range equine portrait contest.
With the help of our generous donors we hired an amazing trainer and horse whisperer to work with our lovely but wild thoroughbred mares to ensure that they can safely receive veterinary and farrier care and increase the possibility of rehoming some day.
We brought in a skilled body worker to help our senior equines who suffer from arthritis and other joint problems.
Were able to help the Oregon Haybank provide feed for equine owners in and around Bend needing assistance during the economic challenge.
Finally, we were able to welcome back many more of our volunteers to help keep the ranch mucked, provide TLC and do hands-on training with our prospect horses.
Completed our first annual Art on the Range contest in collaboration with the Art4Moore Foundation (see all the art at our website: https://www.equineoutreach.com/art-on-the-range-artwork
We know that none of this could be accomplished without support from our donors and our community. We are motivated every day by both the plight and beauty of at-risk horses in Central Oregon. We count our many blessings as we search for more ways to help our herd and be a voice for equines and their owners who are struggling during this pandemic.