I selected Central New England Equine Rescue, Inc. (CNEER) as my rescue of choice. I already had a rapport with Mary Stone, one of the volunteers who spends time there, and was excited to get involved myself. She introduced me to Vicky Berry, the organization’s owner and manager. Together, we planned a day of volunteer work. I also brought my friend Linda along to help out. Ever since Linda was a kid, she has always wanted a horse, but never got one. So, spending time with horses at a rescue is the next best thing for her.
CNEER is located in beautiful and historic West Brookfield, Massachusetts. Our day started out with a pleasant drive through green rolling hills with large oak and sugar maple trees shading the country roads. As we drove up the barn’s long driveway both of us were excited to visit the herd. It was pretty quiet as we arrived because all of the animals had already been fed. Quiet, that is, except for our welcoming committee of Emmy Lou & Max, the farm’s guard dogs! And I can’t forget Minew the Cat, head of security!
After all the introductions, I presented Vicky and Mary with some Absorbine® product for the herd. They were so thankful, which made us feel great, and we were off to a good start.
Next, we began our chores for the day. First we started putting horses into their pastures, and I got a chance to lead Belle’s Midnight Star, known as Belle. Every horse who comes to CNEER has a unique story. Belle is an OTTB who raced at Suffolk Downs with nine starts, and was later surrendered by her owner. She’s a beauty – a black throughbred standing at 15.2 hands, and just six-years-old. You have to watch your back with this one though, she wants to come straight out of the gate with when you turn to leave!
Next, I brought out Juliette who was joining Belle in her pasture. Juliette is a 15-year-old Hackney pony cross, and she is a bit feisty. She came to CNEER from a negelct situation. It is horrible to think of how these animals were once treated, and yet they are able to learn to trust humans again.
Badonk is the resident donkey on the farm, and he’s an “in your pocket” kind of guy . He loves attention and is very curious about what the humans are up to. Badonk was rescued from slaughter. He became a permanent resident at CNEER, which we were so grateful to hear. So, if anyone goes out to CNEER, please go cuddle with Badonk or take a donkey selfie!! He is a total sweetie.
Next up we have Jersey girl – a Quarter horse – who came to the rescue from a feedlot. She had been in foal and was on her way to slaughter. After being rescued, she ended up foaling out and delivered a healthy little colt who has since been adopted.
Last but certainly not least to bring out to pasture was Mama – Mama is a stunningly beautiful 24-year-old Haflinger. She was another horse who was sent to slaughter while with foal. She seemed to have been severely abused when she first arrived at CNEER, and she would not tolerate human touch at first. This poor girl is starting to come out of her shell and now will wear a halter, can be groomed, massaged and fly sprayed.
A story that needs to be shared is –that of Bandit. He is in his late twenties and came into the rescue starved and very sick, surrendered by his owner. Bandit has Cushing’s disease and has foundered severely. He is tough as nails, though – he survived starvation and many days of sickness. Vicki told me, “Many a time we wondered if today was Bandit’s last, but he made it through it all. Our vet was always sure he would. He is bouncy and fun loving and can be quite feisty, which we love. He is a sanctuary pony, meaning this is his forever home.”
My friend Linda had the pleasure of giving Bandit a bath. Since he has Cushing’s disease, one of the symptoms is delayed coat shedding, or inability to shed at all. The day we visited was very hot, in the 90’s, and he really appreciated the nice cool bath!
After bringing all the horses outside we tended to the barn chores. We washed and filled water buckets, cleaned stalls, and raked the paddocks. Because CNEER does not have a tractor, we used the all-terrain Kawasaki Mule which was wonderful!
After the chores were finished, horses out to pasture nibbling hay, water buckets cleaned and filled, and paddocks raked, we headed up to the house for a nice homemade lunch courtesy of Vicky. We felt accomplished knowing we helped and supported all of needy equines, and are amazed that they can still trust humans given what they have gone through. I am completely honored to be working for a company that wants their employees to experience the Absorbine® legacy of compassion for horses and animals! It’s no wonder that Absorbine® is The Horse World’s Most Trusted Name.®
All horses in this article are up for adoption (except for Badonk) – please visit the CNEER website to view more horses or to donate to helping them.
-Elizabeth Adams (Betty) Corporate Sales Coordinator