HORSE RESCUE & rehabilitaTion PROGRAM
The Southlands Riding Club Rescue and Rehabilitation Program was established at the Club in October 2015 enabling the Club to make a meaningful difference in the lives of horses and ponies in need of a 'second chance' while also fulfilling the requirements for maintaining farm status.
Program horses and ponies benefit from the training provided by certified SRC instructors. Each Program horse or pony has a primary trainer responsible for establishing and meeting both short- and long-term goals tailored to the individual needs of the animal. Once fully rehabilitated and deemed ready to graduate from the Program, these horses and ponies are offered for sale to approved homes, making way for a new horse or pony to enter the Program.
Program 'residents' live on-site at the Club in our show stabling facilities. We are in the process of planning for permanent stabling on the property as part of the Club's longterm strategic planning efforts. Care for the ponies/horses is overseen by the Program Coordinator who is supported by an amazing team of volunteers who provide daily feeding, mucking and grooming the Program residents.
Click here to read an article from the Vancouver Sun about our Program.
program staff & Committee
Rescue Program Coordinator: Danica Patton
Rescue Program Trainers: Meghan Parlee (Calypso), Robyn Hunt (Cohen), Deb Bell (Kiowa)
Rescue Program Committee: Alison Martin, Jane Milton, Sheri Henshall, Kelsey Campbell, Lori Hill
how to get involved
We are often in need of volunteers with previous horse experience to help with the day-to-day care of our Program horses/ponies. Volunteers help with the following: AM Feed, Mucking, Lunch Feed, PM Feed. With our new online sign-up system, it's easier than ever to see where help is needed and to lend of your time. Please contact Danica Patton - Program Coordinator - or the Club Office to get started!
Additionally, we rely on sponsors and in-kind donors to help cover the costs of the Program, including veterinary and farrier care, hay, bedding, etc. If you are able to help sponsor this amazing Program, please contact Danica or the Club Office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-263-4817) for details.
Meet our current horses
We welcomed Calypso (aka Cali) - a 5-year old, 16HH Thoroughbred/Paint mare - to our Rescue & Rehabilitation Program in November of 2017. Cali had been under the care of the BC SPCA since December 2016 when she arrived emaciated, anxious and wary of people. Thanks to foster care, she has transformed into a beautiful mare, with her confidence and trust in people building more and more every day.
SRC coach and member, Meghan Parlee, has generously offered to serve as Cali's primary trainer and along with Rescue Coordinator, Clare Perry, they are helping Cali to settle in and start her new life here at the Club. Welcome, Cali, we are so happy to provide you with a second chance!
Cohen is a 2.5 year old bay gelding who is extremely friendly and precocious. He is halter trained and is learning to lunge in the round pen with his trainer Stephanie Burtchett. He is an intelligent, independent boy who loves attention. He is currently around 13.2hh but is very much a growing boy. Already he is showing some nice movement during his round pen sessions and we are excited to see how he grows and develops.
Kiowa is a two and half year old buckskin filly. She is from a herd that lives freely and without fences at the north end of Kootenay Lake. They are watched over by a couple that travels and camps with them as they graze. They are known in the area as the “mountain mustangs”. The woman Storm who owns them likes to say that “they are not wild, but free”.
Kiowa is as sure footed as they come and has a great mind to match. She has taken well to the natural horsemanship Deb Bell has been teaching her and is a keen learner. “She is just the sweetest and smartest little thing and I just love her to bits” says Deb. She will mature to be around 14 hands and is looking like she will be an amazing all round prospect. Keep an eye out for this pretty buckskin with a bright future!
MEET OUR GRADUATES
Foster is a 2013 black/bay Quarter Horse/Paint/Arabian gelding standing 14.3hh. He arrived at the end of October 2015 very wary of both horses and people. He was rescued, after careful negotiation, from the truck of a meat buyer at an auction in Kamloops.
Under careful the careful training of Club Instructor, Marta Modzelewska, Foster blossomed from a barely halter-broke colt into a beautiful riding horse able to compete in both dressage and jumping. One of Marta’s students, Sophie Drysdale, began helping Marta with Foster’s training; riding him in lessons and schooling shows, and helping with his day-to-day care. It became apparent that the two were meant to be together. They developed a trust and bond that this gelding so needed and deserved; Foster had found a girl of his own!
In November of 2018, Sophie and her family purchased Foster from the SRC Rescue & Rehabilitation Program and moved him a short walk from the Club where he now lives with his fellow graduate, Cedar. We are thrilled for Sophie and Foster, and excited to get to watch this team develop and progress right here at the Club for years to come!
Cedar is a 2012 16.0hh Appendix gelding who arrived in Southlands in April of 2017. He came to us through another rescue program in the province with little known about his history.
In only a few months time, Cedar showed a willingness to learn and a love of humans. Under the guidance of SRC coach, Amanda Brook, he is destined for success. Amanda and her mother, another longtime Southlands member and local trainer/coach, have spent countless hours working with Cedar. He was backed in September of 2017 and Amanda has been training him under saddle since then. He has made quick progress and is now doing walk, trot, canter and starting over some cross-rail fences.
Cedar has been such a special boy with a wonderfully kind and intelligent personality that Amanda couldn't let him go - she is now his proud new owner and we are so happy and excited to see where they will go together in the future!
Paisley - a 4-year-old 14.2hh Quarter Horse mare - arrived in Southlands in November of 2016. As a yearling, Paisley was sent to auction as a part of a forced herd-dispersal sale where she was purchased by a kind family who saved her from a meat buyer. She remained with this caring family until - due to a change of circumstances - she was offered for sale.
Under the guidance and training of SRC instructor Claudia Zurmuhle, Paisley proved herself to be an eager and capable 'student'. Paisley quickly gained comfort with her new surroundings, and her willing attitude meant she was soon spotted trying a variety of activities around the Flats, from leading road walks and trail rides to participating in drill team.
The stars aligned for Paisley when a student of Claudia's - and former Club and community member - found herself looking for a new horse to add to her herd with an eye to being a mount for her growing daughters. We could not have imagined a better home for Paisley than with the Fogarty family - and we are so excited that Paisley will continue her training with Claudia even after she departs the Club.
Swagger was purchased as a 5-year-old Pinto pony gelding standing approximately 13.3hh. When Swagger arrived in October 2015, he was halter trained but had no under-saddle experience. SRC instructor, Robyn Hunt, has worked with him almost daily, first in the lunge ring and then starting him under saddle. Swagger is now able to be ridden anywhere on or off the Club grounds with confidence, including the cross country field.
Although diagnosed with having the early stages of navicular in his front left hoof in early fall of 2017, his life continues to improve as he is now living with his former Program paddock mate and "bestie", Valentine. Jenna, his new 'mom' will ensure that Swagger has a life filled with love, care and purpose. A very happy ending for this sweet boy and we thank everyone who was instrumental in facilitating this for him!
We purchased Valentine just before 14 February 2016, hence her name. She is a sweet, dark bay mare, approximately 4 years of age and about 13.3hh. She came to us from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan where she was at a meat auction. She arrived on February 28th - very furry, skinny, dirty, with bad feet and rather frightened. We do not know much about her history.
Valentine progressed quickly under trainer Robyn Hunt's guidance. Her transformation from a frightened, skinny, scruffy little mare with bad feet to a curious, friendly, gentle and kind riding horse has been truly amazing. And in April of 2017 she found her "forever home" with Jenna - a volunteer with the Rescue Program who formed a special bond with this mare. Valentine is thriving in her new home with lots of space to run, graze and just be a horse with her stable mates, including a sweet mini named Penelope.
MISS SAINTLY BLUE
"Missy" was donated by Kimberley St. Pierre with her funds from Telus “Dollars for Doers” for her SRC volunteer hours. She was purchased by the Club a 6-year-old blue roan Paint Appendix mare, about 15hh.
She was saved from a bid against the meat buyer at the Armstrong Auction in September. At the Armstrong Auction, horses stand in small, box stall sized pens all day as people view them. Miss Blue was in a stall for the day with four weanlings, one of which was her own foal. She allowed all the foals to drink from her throughout the day. She then watched as all the foals were taken from her with other buyers, including her own foal who was abruptly weaned from her that day. She was then taken to a nearby ranch to await transport to the lower mainland to get a better chance at a good, caring home.
When she came to Southlands, she had only been halter trained and had minimal handling beyond that. She did not like having her legs touched or picked up for hoof care and was sensitive around her hind end. Kind and gentle work by Robyn and then Kaya, who took on her training, saw Missy take to lungeing, walking around the grounds in hand, and being ridden. Kaya introduced Missy Blue to being ridden in the various rings at the Club and even did an SRC Percent Day dressage test with Miss Blue.
Missy Blue now has a new loving home in Southlands with Elyssa Kaufman, one of Kaya's students.