I tend to be leery of horse rescues. Often times it seems the people's hearts are absolutely in the right place, but sometimes the breadth of knowledge just isn't there and people can end up with horses they can't handle, or worse are dangerous. I was looking for a very specific type of horse because I needed a cow horse that could stand up to our rugged terrain. Juliane had Rollo advertised and from the picture, he had the confirmation, bone and depth of girth I was looking for, so I went to meet him. Juliane gave me all the stats on him: aged stallion who had bred mares (freshly castrated), born on the Yakama Reservation and then "rescued" into a hoarding situation, and oh by the way, he had been shot at some point in time and they had removed a bullet from his back. In my mind he was a recipe for disaster and I almost turned and ran out of there, but the way Juliane talked about him made me stay. She was thoughtful and pragmatic about what she thought it would take to bring him around. I really appreciated that she had done some ground work on him and had a really good understanding of what his strengths and weaknesses were. We even talked openly and honestly about what it would mean if he didn't turn into a good citizen. Looking back on that conversation is kind of funny because I'm pretty sure she was actually interviewing me even though I was the one asking the questions! I didn't say yes that day, but went home and made sure a trusted horse trainer was on board to take him on. I knew I didn't have the skill set to train him so when I picked Rollo up from Cowgirl Spirit I took him straight to the trainer's barn. It took a good deal of time, but not only is Rollo a good citizen, he is also an amazing working partner for me! I can't recommend Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Ranch highly enough, they have the knowledge it takes to get horses placed in appropriate homes so they don't just end up in another bad living situation.
I have known Juliane and Cowgirl Spirit since it was established. Early on, it was a rescue drill team (the only one of its kind) and then it transitioned to focus on just rescue, rehab and especially training.
Over 70 horses have been saved by this group and countless more assisted through education and resources. Many different people have volunteered together and in groups and kept Cowgirl Spirit Rescue going over the years.
Today the organization is known as Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Ranch, back under Juliane's leadership, partnering with her training business Diamond J to offer the rescue horses additional support and resources. I am so excited to see the legacy of Cowgirl Spirit continue and so grateful for all the people who have worked so hard to keep it going over the years.
CSRDT rescued a TB we had thought sold legitimately but he (a stallion) ended up at "the auction". This horse was so traumatized and fearful when he became the only horse abandoned in the corral after the buyer decided he didn't have a trailer and didn't want him. TBs are not used to being alone and uncared for as his only experiences to that point had been with humans who interacted positively with him and met his needs. Because the kill buyers do not transport stallions, this horse also underwent a "cowboy castration". CSRDT members bought him and worked with him patiently over the winter winning his confidence and trust. By summer he was able to participate in his first show, was purchased by a young girl and that same day went on to win a blue ribbon in equitation with her (she had not ridden him before!) It takes advanced horsemanship skills to retrain a TB, especially one that had gone through what Ready endured. But when you do it right, you have a versatile intelligent partner who wants more than anything to please his human. The women of CSRDT have those skills in spades! And we cannot be more grateful for what they did for Ready.
What drew me to Cowgirl Spirit was their focus on training. Most people do not have the facilities, skill, or time to train a horse, and green horses, or horses with "issues", languish in shelters or end up in the kill pen. The horses that Cowgirl Spirit rescues are often victims of neglect, and are generally headed for the slaughter house. The combination of training, nutrition, and veterinary care transforms unwanted horses into prized companions. Having seen the financials, I am amazed at what this group accomplishes. They stretch every dollar to the maximum. Overall, it's a great group, if you are looking for a volunteer opportunity that will get you close to horses, or are a donor looking for a great cause to support, I highly recommend Cowgirl Spirit.
Thank you so much for your great comments, Ms. M! We work so hard to take care of our rescues and find them the perfect homes, but we couldn't do it without the support of people like you! Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts about our group. - CSRDT.
Review from Guidestar
Cowgirl Spirit has been working hard to save slaughterbound horses for years. I really appreciate the fact that they do so much without a huge budget or large farm. They have been able to lease or have property donated to house their horse rescue and have made tremendous strides doing so. They're well known and well respected in the community- whether they're doing community education, training horses at local shows, or performing at drill competitions (to get horses adopted) this group isn't afraid of hard work. Dozens of horses have come through their (barn) doors to get a second chance at life, and they have assisted in the rehoming of many more. They always wear a smile, and their Board of Directors and officers lead this nonprofit with honesty and integrity. They treat every donated dollar personally, there is no waste here. Because of this, they are supported by many local businesses and are featured on King 5 Evening Magazine, as well as other horse publications. If you're looking for a FUN group to volunteer with, where everyone works side by side- this is the place. If you're considering donating, your money will be well spent.
Review from Guidestar