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November 12, 2013

Safety is my number one concern with anything horse related. Horses are dangerous no matter how gentle due to their size and strength. Every horse kicks, every horse bites, and every horse bucks; it all depends on each individual horse's breaking point. Anyone who is experienced with horses knows and accepts this risk every time we enter the pasture or go to mount, but environment can effect safety as well. Ask anyone who has taken a TaPs horse off of the property, and they will tell you their horse changed dramatically when they brought them home. Horses who could not be caught turned into affectionate horses. Horses who had anxiety and were disconnected from humans became connected and relaxed.

Throwaway Ponies is a safe place to volunteer if your family wants to come out and feed and be in the vicinity of horses; however, if you want to get involved with the horses, be prepared to be put in dangerous situations. In the chain of events I have witnessed at TaPs, one common theme kept reappearing. TaPs would rather put a human/child at risk with unsafe/unproven horses than admit that TaPs isn't the best place for that particular horse. Pride is the downfall of this nonprofit.

TeamHORSE is an accident waiting to happen. When I arrived at TaPs, a few people warned me "there are things you are going to see that will scare you half to death. If someone is about to get seriously hurt, step in, but if you step in every time you see something dangerous, you will spend all of your time fixing things and never get what you wanted to accomplished. By the grace of God, no one has been seriously hurt yet."

Most of the lesson horses have lameness issues and should not be ridden. Trainers come and go like a new fad, and "expert" beginners seem to find a way to stay. Since TaPs does not have a steady trainer to keep everyone in check, there are a lot of "expert" beginners out there who are ignorant of human safety. TaPs is fairly good at keeping their horses safe, so horse safety is not the topic of this review.

All of the volunteers hearts are in the right place. You can feel just how much hard work and effort goes into this place when you drive up. Rachel has done a magnificent job getting horses adopted out, Bob with maintaining the property, Donna as Office Manager, Anita, Sherry, Connie, and Midge with fundraising and work days, Heather with managing the Farmersville property, Vicki with the website, as well as so many other wonderful volunteers who keep TaPs running.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If TaPs would leave training to professional trainers, my whole view about TaPs would change. Just because a horse is physically rideable does not mean that the horse should be ridden by a beginner or a child. No other rescue that I know of trains. TaPs claims to be a rescue and theraputic riding center, but they are trying to branch out in areas where they lack in expertise ie: riding lessons, horsemanship lessons, training, and boarding facility. My advice is to stick with what your good at.

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