Christmas 2011

Holiday Greetings,

As the end of 2011 draws near, I would like to thank all of our Equine Spirit Sanctuary friends – our volunteers, our sponsors, our donors, our clients, our visitors – each and every one of you have made this year memorable and wonderful. Each year ESS our circle of friends grows as we experience more with the horses, the donkeys and our pony. We are very blessed to have friends who join us as we celebrate the good times and help us through the difficult times.

I could say we had a good year, but that wouldn’t begin to cover it. It was a great year! After years of working hard to get a therapeutic riding program going, this dream finally came true. We weathered the smoky days from fires in the Southwest and had lots of rewarding moments with our riders, who ranged in ages from 3 to 43. Our therapy horses – Kat, Dustee, Mandy, Scribbles, and Hava the pony – were wonderful. A whole crew of volunteers helped out, making the program a success.

Our beautiful little Tali donkey struggled to overcome spinal column injuries, under the watchful eyes of her equine friends Bindy and Mateo and a host of humans that loved and cared about her. She rallied the best she could, happily joining in the day to day activities, welcoming visitors (as only Tali could!) and showing us all that life doesn’t have to be perfect to find happiness.

Bindy, our very special miniature donkey, was honored this year with the 2011 Milagro Animal Award from Animal Protection of New Mexico for “outstanding courage and intelligence.” This brought a lot of good publicity to ESS and Bindy made many new friends.

Scribbles, our beautiful paint horse, was adopted out to a new home this fall. Rehab is continuing with the newer ESS residents, preparing them to be part of our programs. Sadly, in October, we had to say goodbye to little Tali after her prior injuries were causing her more pain and making it difficult for her to get around. Shortly before Tali was put down, we’d taken in Grace, a rescued jenny donkey that was pregnant, saved from a kill buyer. Less than a day after Tali was gone, Grace gave birth to a beautiful little coal black baby. We named her baby Joy. Joy will never replace Talitha, but she is indeed a precious little bundle of joy.

We were blessed in so many ways this year – our equines, our kids’ programs, working with the disabled, meeting many new people who found their way to ESS. Thanks to a very generous donation, our horses now have a large shelter in the west field. All our horses’ hooves are all in great shape thanks to Bas and John, our fantastic hoof trimmers, who come regularly to donate their time. And we have been lucky to find hay, despite the drought and high cost. So many things to be thankful for!

And we have much to look forward to the coming year – continuing the therapeutic riding program, rehabbing the horses in our care, equine-assisted therapy and other ESS programs. We look forward to sharing these with you. Your continued support and encouragement make everyday miracles possible!

From all of our ESS family to you and yours,
Best wishes for a holiday filled with joy and peace.

Ruth Bourgeois,
Director, Equine Spirit Sanctuary