Yesterday, Cooper and I had the chance to volunteer with a local horse rescue, Laughing Pony, in honor of one of our donors, Rebecca Payette.
Laughing Pony is a small operation located in Rancho Santa Fe, just east of my hometown. The organization has a small staff that works day and night to care for 10-15 horses who have all been badly abused or neglected. The owner, Celia, works to rehabilitate these horses and provide for them, even sometimes staying up with them all night, and once they’re back in health she works to find proper homes for them. This process can take a while– we were told she once turned down thirty applicants for adoption for one horse because none of the prospective owners had a home that would be better than the situation the horse currently had at Laughing Pony.
Recently, Laughing Pony has been preparing to make the switch to a Equine Therapy Rescue. Once the horses have been rehabilitated and are back in health, they have the opportunity to serve as therapy animals for disabled individuals or individuals with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. They see this as an opportunity for the horses to come full circle, providing rehabilitation to those in need and giving the opportunity to disabled individuals to be active and in the outdoors. I’ve volunteered before with organizations like this, and it’s incredible watching disabled youth have the chance to ride a horse unsupported. It seems to provide a new sense of purpose and independence that I’m sure is not regular in the lives of disabled youth who may need to be reliant on care from others.
Laughing Pony is preparing for an event today that’s a national event for all horse rescues. Essentially, whichever rescue can get the most people at their farm will be rewarded with a donation. The rescue is run entirely by donations and volunteers, so the money they can earn from this event could make a huge difference in their ability to operate over the next year. While at Laughing Pony, we helped prepare for the event by setting up the event space and cleaning up any odds and ends.
Thanks to Rebecca’s donation, we will be able to ship ourselves two of our resupply boxes over the next 2,650 miles! Our resupply boxes will be bringing us a number of bulk food items that we bought and stashed away for ourselves, as well as some much needed gear replacements and letters from home. Without a lot of those things, we would end up spending double to get the gear/food/etc. along the trail. Thanks Rebecca for your generous donation and for helping us get ourselves our resupply boxes!
Today will be our first official night on the trail, but first we’re volunteering at the Balboa Earth Fair. More to come on that before we pitch camp!