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  • Ruth Bourgeois

Holidays are for horses, too (and donkeys!)


For as long as I can remember when I was growing up, all I ever wanted for Christmas was a pony. Or a horse.

Living in town, with parents who were both blind, my wish never came true. The closet it ever came to was the year that my father gave me a huge black plastic horse model that I named Fury. Actually that may have been the name on the box it came in. I don't remember. But I do remember that being the best present ever. I cherished it and dreamed of the day when I'd have a big black horse like that.

Many years have passed since that Christmas long ago. But sometimes dreams do come true, although not always in the way you thought they would.

I think of that when I look out my living room window and see Laureate, our gorgeous 17.2 hand Hanoverian gelding. "Lars" is one of the horses who is retired now at Equine Spirit Sanctuary. He is 27 years old, past his prime, getting lots of gray around his face. But he still reminds me of the gift horse from my childhood.

Of course, as I grew up and my love of horses turned into a lifelong passion, I dreamed of having many horses. It's true what they say - you need to be careful what you wish for. But for me, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Since the start of ESS in 2005 we have taken in 80+ horses, donkeys, and a pony. For some, it was their start in life. Orphans, a two day old, and one born here. For others, it was a new start in life after being abandoned, abused or neglected or simply saved from a situation like this because their owner's circumstances changed and they could no longer keep their horse. For a precious few, it was their last stop on this earth. A place where they were surrounded with love and cared for until their took their last breath. For all, it has been a place of sanctuary.

Christmas and wishing for a horse... how many children have had that dream? As in my case, sometimes it just isn't something a parent can give a child. But sometimes they can. Even if it's just a big black plastic horse. Or a book. Or a picture.

ESS is all decked out for the holidays. We celebrate this season in a big way here, beginning with our Holiday Horse Party. If you are in the area, come visit. Bring the kids! Make a dream come true. We will be happy to help! We have great gift items available for purchase and horses and donkeys that love visits from kids of all ages.


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Equine Spirit Sanctuary

13 Los Caballos Road

Ranchos de Taos, NM United States 87557