PRETTY PRAIRIE, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas family has made it their mission to care for and save animals in need, particularly senior horses.
“They have given their entire lives to people, and I think it’s only right that that’s reciprocated. I think it’s only right that we take care of them in their old age,” said Storm Creek Horse Co. Farm and Rescue Owner Lisa Loyd.
Loyd and her husband opened the farm and rescue, a nonprofit, situated on some land near Pretty Prairie about 15 years ago.
“I wanted to train horses, but the bottom fell out of the horse market and so we started rescuing them instead,” Loyd explained.
In that time, Loyd and her team have taken on all types of animals, including chickens, sheep, dogs, snakes and even a bearded dragon.
“We have got all kinds of things,” Loyd laughed.
While Loyd cares for all animals, she has a soft spot for the older horses.
“A lot of older horses get dumped at auction and they get taken to slaughter,” she said.
She said many people find it too difficult to care for a horse as it ages.
“A lot of people don’t realize how their digestive needs change when they get older, so we kind of created a senior diet, and as you can see, it works really well,” Loyd said.
The rescue’s most recent success story is a horse named Smokey. The 24 year old came to the farm in March severely underweight.
“His owner had had him at the vet and unfortunately he has no back teeth which is what horses need to chew hay, grain, and most horse feed. She said she didn’t have the time or resources to make sure that he was fed twice a day which is really what these guys need,” Loyd explained.
Within 10 weeks, Loyd had Smokey up to a healthy weight. He is now thriving and may be able to take people on rides sooner rather than later.
Smokey is just one success story. Loyd said she will never forget when Grace, came to the farm.
“Our vet took one look at her, and he says, ‘this thing is not going to live.’ She was the thinnest thing I have ever seen that was upright,” she explained.
Loyd was able to nurse Grace back to health in 18 months.
“We adopted her into a home last fall and she is being ridden. She is 21 and loving her life,” she said.
Loyd said she doesn’t help the animals for the recognition; she does it because she believes all animals, young or old, deserve a healthy, long life.
“They have given their entire lives to the service of people. You don’t know how many kids those horses have raised, how many shows that they have hauled to or how many calves they have drug or any of that,” she said.
The nonprofit used to offer trail rides and riding lessons to help pay for the animals’ care which runs about $5,000 a month. However, Loyd was forced to shut those services down in 2020 after a cancer diagnosis and the pandemic.
“I had a compromised immune system so we had to shut down pretty much. You know, that really affected things,” Loyd said.
Loyd said the community has stepped up to help fund portions of the non-profit, but Loyd will admit there is always a need.
“If it hadn’t been for the support from complete strangers, but also people who have been here and seen what we do, we would not have made it through the last year, not at all. I can’t even tell you how much it means that people believe in us enough and they have seen what we do enough that they are willing to help where it is needed,” she said.
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