Tuesday, May 10, 2011
This blog is specifically for Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, a 501 (c) 3 located in Central Maryland. A little [as I finish up this post, I now see it is a LOT] about the Rescue:
The Rescue was incorporated in 2005, but was started by now-President Christine Hajek as a hobby for years prior to that.
Today, the Rescue cares for 55 horses on several properties in Central Maryland, including those in professional training off site.
You have probably heard of Clydesdales and Belgians, but there are a bunch of other draft breeds out there. At the Rescue, we have Clydes, Belgians, Shires, Haflingers, Percherons, Spotted Drafts, and I’m probably forgetting a couple. We’ve even had mules and various crosses between drafts and other breeds, such as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, and Paints.
We wouldn’t be anything without our network of incredible volunteers! XOXOXOXO
We also wouldn’t be anything without your donations! While every once in a while we will be astonished by a large donation, those small donations add up tremendously and are a vital part in funding our day-to-day operations. Let’s face it- draft horses eat A LOT!
Speaking of food… did I say draft horses eat a LOT? Well, let’s emphasize it again… they EAT A LOT! The majority of the horses get some amount of grain every day. Our feeds are specially-formulated and made by the Farmers’ Cooperative Association in Frederick, MD. They are always fresh and tempting enough to want to take a bite yourself!
More food fun- We go through a tremendous amount of hay. The horses who are stalled overnight (approx. 10) get fed a delicious Alfalfa-Timothy mix grown and baled locally. All of the fields have free-access to a just-as-yummy Orchard grass hay in round bales. It’s a sight to see when half a dozen draft horses are chasing the tractor as Jamie is putting out hay!
Being called “Gentle Giants DRAFT Horse Rescue,” one would think we only have draft horses… but where there is a horse in need, we do what we can with the resources available to us. We just assisted in a huge seizure of Polish Arabians, transporting 20 and housing 10 mares (more craziness about them to come soon!).
Did I mention our incredible volunteers? They are absolutely critical to keeping the farm up and running! They help with feedings, mucking (all that food they eat has to go somewhere!), scrubbing water troughs, grooming, basic maintenance, cleaning, handling, training, showing… whew, I’m getting out of breath just typing all that they do! Our volunteers are incredibly efficient, too… occasionally, we even get chores done before noon! Volunteers are rewarded with the opportunity to ride once they put in 20 hours of work. They even get super-cool GG shirts!
I plan on doing several blogs a week concerning the goings-on at the Rescue, and I will feature horses up for adoption as well. If there is some big issue going on in the horse world, I will probably put in my two cents, especially if you all, our readers, bring something up. So speak up!
This blog is designed to be a relatively family-friendly atmosphere, so please keep swearing to a bare minimum, and if you must have a vicious cat-fight with someone, please take it elsewhere. I welcome friendly debate between adults, not tantrums!