Let’s put an end to homeless horses!
Aureole Ranch Horse Rescue
This small grass roots organization emerged as the obvious need for rescue became more apparent. We exist with the idea that together WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! And when we say "we", we're referring to You too! Our supporters are truly the ones to thank because without all of you and your willingness to get involved, whether donating, sharing our missions or just being a shoulder to cry on once in a while, this rescue would not exist. .
How It all began....
Anne Houghton, animal lover and founder of Aureole Ranch has been riding since she was 3yrs old. Her first pony, a shetland named Peanut, who in her ordinary ways taught Anne a great deal about life. First and foremost, if you fall off, get right back in the saddle or you'll probably not want to try again later when the bruises appear...! After the pony came other horses who would help set the stage for Aureole Ranch.
A special mustang cross named Dandy changed everything. The stout buckskin cost $300.00, the amount owed for Dandy's 2 months outstanding board. He wasn't trained; and apparently two months in the classifieds yealded zero interested parties. His next stint would be the local livestock auction where horses often went to the killer buyers.
Anne came 3 times a week to work with him, and after 2 months decided it was time to test the waters for her first ride. Her first mount was fantastic and every one that followed was even better.
Through friends and the internet, Anne started reading about the female hormone replacement drug, Premarin. Horses are bred, and while the mare is pregnant, she is put in a stall, a catheter attached to collect her high dosed hormonal urine (PREgnant MAre uRIN). Of course with thousands of mares giving birth, this means thousands of new born foals and the unfortunate bi-product of an uncaring industry. The foals are often sold to feed lots where they grow, get fat and are sold to slaughter houses. The majority of the yearlings sold are for human consumption over seas; Japan, Italy, France, and Belgium all consume horse meat.
Sickened by this appalling news, Anne started looking at the thousands of horses up for adoption, as news spread and rescue groups gave foals and even adults a second chance. She found a beautiful Percheron filly in Santa Maria, CA and decided to adopt her. A month later Adelaide was brought home. Unused to human contact and already a year old, it was slow going. Funny things happen though! It was late May and Addy's winter coat now becoming a mangled mop, looking more like dread locks was being pushed out by a soft summer coat. A brush turned out to be the answer as the filly got itchier by the day. She is 16.1 hands and putty in our hands now, all because of a brush!
Anne's true love, Dandy, was with Anne for 6 great years until the property owner where he was boarded, put a huge pile of mixed and deadly toxic brush in the pasture with the horses. The tough little buckskin who ate the toxic mix fought for three days, but the poison had taken it's toll on his body and blessed Dandy was euthanized Oct 19, 2004. A sad day.
His death led to wondering if there were others like Dandy that perhaps were passed over because they weren't yet perfect. Even being out of a job couldn't stop Anne from going to the local auction, a place she stayed away from for good reason. The sight was appalling. 'Drop Calves' just a day old pulled from their mothers, suckling on fingers of those who felt the ache too, unlucky to been born the day before the auction and to have been born males. Dried up dairy goats getting eyed over by those who ate goat, dairy cows with major disfigured backs and swollen bags, their offspring most likely the doomed 'veal' in the next pen. It was a terrible sight. In the back were just a few horses. One, amazingly carried the same numbers on his rump as Anne's address. If that's not a sign, what is?
The auctioneer, going faster that she could keep up, was done with the calves, horses now being shuffled from one shoot to another. All of a sudden two horses burst into the ring. She hesitated when the first bid was on. "No job. What are you even DOING here..." she asked herself? Someone next to her said something about the man with the current bid. "Ashame, they look like nice little horses..." A killer buyer...; an ugly name for an ugly truth; Buy nice fat little horses and truck them off to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. The bid was on. Thirty seconds later Anne had won two horses... for 0.13 cents a lb. Had she just had her first real rescue...? It felt good and that day has prooven to be the driving force for Aureole Ranch. Truly seeing with her own eyes what it looks like in that auction yard has set the course.
Our organization is in loving memory of Dandy, Anne's little mustang who taught her to look beyond the surface
Remember! Knowledge is Power
mission & vision
No need is too small and no voice is too quiet to be heard. We will devote the time and energy necessary to educate, advocate and feed.
More volunteer HELP can make the difference in the lives of cherished equine friends. Find out how to become our partner.