Athens Review, Athens, Texas

October 26, 2012

Abused, neglected horses discussed

Official from horse rescue center talks to Athens Rotary Club

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Horses are big and beautiful, but they need a lot of care.

Stormy Logan of Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption in Murchison told the Athens Rotary Club Thursday that thousands of abused and neglected horses are reported in Texas each year.

The center opened in the spring of 2011, with a goal of setting a standard for horse adoption and rehabilitation.

“There really is no standard for horse rescue and rehabilitation,” Logan said. “You get a lot of people who get into it with a big heart, and they want to do a great job, but they get worn out rather quickly.”

Logan said many recent seizures of neglected horses are from breeders who have fallen on hard times due to the economy.

“Some of these seizures have been large scale, with a hundred horses at a time taken,” Logan said.

The Doris Day Center can only take in a few, but they help out by finding the horses that are likely to be rehabilitated.

Many of the them are fearful of humans, and it takes the work of an expert trainer to earn their trust.

“We don’t use force or punishment as a training tool,” Logan said. “We try to let the horse find its own path, show us what it can do, and see if it will be suitable for riding.”

Five Arabian horses came to the Center recently from a seizure in Maryland.

“They are absolutely beautiful horses,” Logan said.

Another seizure in Oregon involved a large number of thoroughbreds.

“Sadly, it’s very tragic to know, sometimes a horse has won a lot of money in the races, but after the owners are no longer interested in it, that horse is just turned out,” Logan said.

One horse, named Shane, was found malnourished with chains around his feet. He was terrified of humans, Logan said. The trainer at the Center has been able to earn the horse’s trust, and now rides him regularly.

“It is so wonderful when we see horses transformed like this,” Logan said.