Lucy ambles slowly through the middle of a big barn at Harmony Farms near Poulsbo, Washington. The thin white mare’s back is bowed and you can count every rib. But her soft brown eyes turn a trusting gaze toward farm manager Allen Warren.
The mare has gained 39 pounds since she arrived here three weeks ago and is well on the road to recovery from a neglect situation. Lucy is the latest addition to the 19 horses that have been taken in permanently at Horse Harbor Foundation at Harmony Farms, an 11-acre horse sanctuary for abandoned, neglected and abused horses.
These are the horses that no one wants and that the Humane Society of Kitsap County has not been able to place for adoption. Here, thanks to Allen, his wife Maryann Peachey-Warren, and their group of dedicated Foundation volunteers, these animals can live out their natural lives in safety, peace and dignity.
Choco is blind; Desi has a clubfoot; Honey is a former racehorse with severe arthritis and Buckshot nearly starved to death. Without the intervention of Horse Harbor Foundation and most of the horses on this farm would likely have perished.
Many of these horses are now amazingly fit and able to help pay for their feed and care by providing mounts for Foundation student members who pay to ride them.
The emphasis of this student program is to teach responsible horse ownership such as anatomy, grooming, checking for medical conditions, riding styles, saddling and bridling. Scouting badges can also be earned and public clinics
“Two of our students on two of our rescued horses walked off with three ribbons each at a local horse show recently,” says Warren proudly.
But the main emphasis here is on the care of the horses and creating a harmonious relationship between humans and horses.