A good man will take care of his horses and dogs, not
only while they are young, but when old and past service.
-Plutarch Symposiaca c.100 CE
The Beasts of Dùn Sgàthan now have a Facebook page
Along with the hound, the horse was an important factor in the lives of the
Celts, from the Bronze Age through the present. The use of the horse
in many ways defines all the Indo-European peoples, they depended on this
animal for survival, migration, and trade.
We are very lucky to have the chance to have horses, and hope to use this
good fortune to give a good life to horses that, due to the overpopulation,
might have otherwise ended up meat on the table of the wealthy in another
country. Kym grew up with horses, but this
is a new adventure for Aaron.
We had started looking for a Standardbred, in keeping with our ex-racer adoption
habit....many people are aware of the need for homes for retired Greyhounds
and many horse rescue groups work to save Thoroughbred ex-racers but sometimes
the Standardbred is forgotten. Perhaps people do not realize that they do
make good riding horses despite being raced in harness. There is a part of
me (Kym) that would love to have an Icelandic, Fjord, Highland or other Northern
European or British pony breed, but none of these are common in rescue in
the US (Highland, my first choice, is extremely rare at all here). And, while
like Greys not all Standardbreds are in real rescue situations, they are
a breed that is often not recognized as valuable as a pleasure horse and
it was a place to start. We considered a PMU (Pregnant
Mares' Urine farm --Premarin) foal as well, but wanted an adult horse
for our first together. And frankly, any horse that is within "meat price"
is potentially a rescue, because if WE buy it a kill buyer can't get that
So we had looked at a couple, rather far away...but on my (Kym again) birthday
a ride "just too look at" some horses nearby with my father, we found
Saoradh, a severely underweight bay Arabian gelding.
He was not starving out of any real cruelty on a human's part, but
instead stupidity ---bad teeth coupled with pasture mates who bullied him
meant that while he was given a lot of food he just wasn't getting it in.
His pasture mates were fat and sassy...and one was a Standardbred
pacer, the very thing I was looking for. But of course, the one in
the most need was the one I had to have. You can read more about Saoradh
(Su ra --more or less ...long "u" short "a") on his
Saoradh came a long way since he arrived here a walking skeleton
with a bad attitude, on May 5, 2001. He was healthy until his last few weeks
and only showed his 32 years in his teeth and slight arthritis. As he showed
he was healthy enough to ride, he also showed that he suffered a lot of trauma
in the past. Through Natural Horsemanship methods, however, he became a sweet
and loving riding companion...there are more details on
his page. But his age did finally catch up with
him, sooner than we'd hoped, and we lost him on March 18, 2007
Our next horse was to be a "husband" horse for Aaron, however, as Saoradh
died before we were able to get one, we have decided to return to our plans
to get a PMU foal. We both do not feel ready to have another adult horse
in Saoradh's pasture and believe that starting with a youngster in the fall
will let us have a new start. Well, it was a bit more complicated than that
too, as we feel that we needed to open our home to a foal in need to honor
Saoradh, and that perhaps he'd return.
We were at one point hoping we'd not get a chance to adopt a
PMU foal, as in 2003 Wyeth-Ayerst stopped contracts
with 1/3 of the farms and the rest have to cut production by 1/3! It was
our hope that Premarin would be a thing of the past within a few years. This
is an important step both for the horses and for the health of women! Sadly,
W-A started up a new campaign and production continues. So there is still
much need for homes for this "by-product." For more please see the
PMU page, which is in some need of updating again.
On October 18, 2007 we brought home Saorsa, a PMU
filly, born on May 5, 2007. Although she was reluctant to load and then unload,
and was still unwilling to be touched, once out of the trailer at our place
she walked calmly down our makeshift chute to the stall Saoradh had died
in and made herself at home. This is our next chapter, you can read about
her on her page.
In October of 2008, we inherited Kym's father's Mini
In the Spring of 2010 we got two goats, Randvér and Elùna
In October of 2011 we brought Misty home.
For those Pagans interested in horses, please join us at the Sacred Horse Facebook GoupThere is also Pagans and Heathens for the Horses Blog and associated Facebook Page
We have been honored with these awards on Dec. 3, 03 for this site and our
work with Saoradh. Please visit the wonderful sites that awarded them and
meet some wonderful horses and their people...especially Blackie, in whose
memory the Rescue award was given. We are very touched by these awards
the person to visit us since Sept. 12 2000