It’s a magical time during a horse’s transformation! Watching a horse transform from a frightened sometimes dangerous frail being, barely able to walk and with a doomed future, into a healthy, now cantering across the pasture, playing, loving and trusting happy horse! This is the gift that we are blessed with to enjoy here at Iron Gait Percherons on a daily basis. This is why we are here!Denise Polydor
Iron Gait Percherons helps and provides sanctuary to Percheron and other draft breed horses from abuse, neglect, abandonment, slaughter, or victims of the economy. We refurbish all of their medical and nutritional needs, as well as try to help the them overcome emotional issues. If the horse is healthy enough, we then retrain them for new careers and provide a thorough screening process to find the horse(s) safe, loving, forever homes.
We receive pleas to help horses. We ask relevant questions as much as possible when we respond to help. We try to figure out what each new horse needs to be happy and healthy once again. It can take many hours, days or months to troubleshoot each horse to learn the answers, especially with the number that arrive into our care with little or no history. We can only learn by what the horses tell us and by what we are presented with each day as we progress through evaluation and rehabilitation. So we observe every move each day, watching how each horse reacts to different situations, as we slowly integrate with like minded horses and tryout different herd groups to see what fits the best.
As this dialogue develops, at some point the horse recognizes that there IS a dialogue, and that we are listening and responding. They want to tell us all that has happened to them in their past and they want to connect with a gentle loving human. Once trust between us has formed, we have a better chance at success.
Through the years we began concentrating mainly to help horses with significant medical and emotional issues. This means obtaining any veterinary, farrier or chiropractic care needed to help provide them with a comfortable life, one that they might not otherwise receive. Our Sanctuary Program provides each individual horse with specific diets consisting of specialized supplements and medications for the remainder of its natural life.
A few of the horses in our program came to us by “responsible owner surrender ” in which the individual could not financially afford the proper care or rehabilitation for their horse to survive a normal life. Occasionally we are asked not only for our help to save their loved ones life, but also to provide the horse Sanctuary to live out their lives safe, content, loved and well cared for.
Not only do we help horses, but we try to help individuals as well. We have helped military personnel transitioning back into a civilian lifestyle, individuals recovering from injuries (heart attack/strokes), those that have gone through a difficult situations in life, and troubled or under privileged children. Working with the sanctuary horses can be a therapy for many, and we do our best to help create a peaceful environment between our Sanctuary horses and their visitors.
We are very appreciative of all the support we have had over our past years and we try to always be there for all the needing draft horses when space and funds are available. Sadly the number of horses we are able to help is limited. Our helping them depends solely on the amount of sponsors and donations we receive. The needing horses truly are the ones who matter at the end of the day! Every day!