Meet Noah

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Our lead article this month is meant to ensure anyone considering raising their own foal knows exactly what they're getting into. In case you're wondering why we didn't paint a rosier picture, please read the story of Noah, from our friends at SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary, an outstanding horse-rescue facility in New York:

Noah came to our rescue still in his big momma?s belly. Sunshine Cathy, an off-the-track Thoroughbred, was a transfer from another rescue. The story is that she came off the track after being advertised by CANTER (www.canterusa.org). A woman took the mare and bred her to her gypsy cob stallion. When the woman didn't think Sunshine Cathy was in foal, she got rid of her.

Thankfully, a network of people found her before she reached the local auction. She was underweight, and nobody knew she was in foal. Sunshine Cathy came to us July 29, 2010. We worked to get her comfortable and put some weight on before she foaled.

Noah was born Sept. 7. He had a bit of a rough start but came right around and hasn?t looked back. Now a yearling, his black coat is turning gray, like his momma?s. He's 13.1 hands now , and we expect him to be around 15 hands. (We tracked down his sire, who is indeed a black gypsy cob.) Noah is available for adoption with a contract, as a gelding, for $1,600. We do reference checks. (Sunshine Cathy is also available.)

In our work, we see every type of horse, from off-the-track Thoroughbreds to Amish draft horses. Most are healthy and completely adoptable. They aren?t lame, crazy or dangerous, just another wonderful life about to be cut short by a trip to the slaughter plant in Canada.

When you think about breeding your mare, please consider this, the economy and the number of unwanted horses rescued or sent to auctions every week. At the New Holland, Pa., auction alone, more than 125 horses are auctioned each week. Someone bred those horses. Someone said, ?I'll make some money. I have a mare,? or ?I have a stallion.? Stop and reconsider. Even rare and desirable breeds have been hurt by the economy. We urge you to wait, reconsider entirely, or simply adopt an unwanted horse.

The women who run SquirrelWood are exceptional, caring individuals. Many horses they've rescued have gone on to productive second careers. As John Strassburger stated in his Commentary last month, over 170,000 horses become ?unwanted? each year. We need to help reduce these numbers.

If you're interested in Noah or other horses at SquirrelWood Equine Sanctuary, a 501 (c)(3) Charity in Montgomery, N.Y., call 845-361-2316 or go to www.squirrelwoodequinesanctuaryinc.org.