Get in the spirit and ride the wind |

Get in the spirit and ride the wind

Manzie before a stay at Spirit Wind Horse Rescue.

“When God wanted to create a horse, He said to the south Wind, ‘I want to make a creature of you … Condense,’ and the Wind condensed.”

~ Emer-Abd-al-Kader

Spirit Wind Horse Rescue has been around now for the past three years and Vee Stockdale and Beth Keenan certainly have no lack of spirit or enthusiasm for what they do. These two women are dedicated to helping their equine friends who – for one reason or another – are either left homeless, sadly neglected or abused, find greener pastures.

Beth and Vee initially started Spirit Wind Horse Rescue when they saw the need for such an organization. A call from Allen Sitton of the sheriff’s department alerted them to the predicament of two starved horses he’d taken from a man who was determined to get back at his wife through the animals. Older and undernourished, they were due to be sold at the next horse sale and, due to their condition, may have ended up being slaughtered. So the two women went and bought Roxie and Tango. They also saw a small, starving, little yearling that captured their hearts and they bought her, too.

Out of necessity, Spirit Wind Horse Rescue had to start small. Rescuing animals, feeding them and taking care of their medical needs all cost money. So far, the two women have managed through donations, yard sales and reaching into their own pockets, particularly when they go to a sale to buy a horse. Their goal is to find homes for these magnificent beasts. In the meantime, many of the animals stay in foster homes until they recover.

Beth explained that when they rescue a horse, they never know what they are getting. Usually, there is baggage from the abuse or neglect. While the animal may have good ground manners, maybe it doesn’t like being touched around the mouth. Perhaps another horse has never known a halter. Just like humans, the younger ones recover sooner; the older ones take more time. A little love and patience in an equine’s life can make a world of difference though. And sometimes a horse can make a big difference in a human’s life as well. Danielle Kemper, a psychotherapist certified in equine therapy as well as a horse trainer, hopes to develop a program, using the older rescued horses with kids.

In January of this year, Spirit Wind Horse Rescue elected its first board. The board wants to educate the public as to the dilemma of these horses as well as offer resources such as vet referrals, assist first time buyers to choose an appropriate horse and – a future goal – provide financial assistance through grants.

In the meantime, Spirit Wind Horse Rescue’s main objective is returning the horses that have been abused or badly neglected to health. This process usually also includes any necessary training.

Sadly, Beth told me, they have noticed a trend that’s accompanied the faltering economy. People are taking the horses that they can no longer afford to keep and letting them loose in deserted areas to survive as best as they can. Sometimes one of these abandoned animals show up in someone else’s pasture.

This is another area where Spirit Wind Horse Rescue offers its services. If a person simply can’t afford to keep their horse any longer, they will try to find a home for it if the owner can hang in there awhile longer. This is usually done through an online service called Pet Finders where some of Spirit Wind Horse Rescues are also listed.

To learn more about this organization, some of the horses they’ve rescued and those that are available for adoption, please visit thier website at You can also call Beth Keenan at (970) 872-4804 or her home at (970) 921-5646. Currently, they have approximately 20 horses in their care.

If you’re an individual or a business who’d like to help Spirit Wind Horse Rescue in some way, you can also sponsor a horse by paying for its feed or one of the other costs involved in its care. Actually, any assistance at all would be appreciated – even if it’s volunteering your services in some small way.

So, ride the wind … that is Spirit Wind Horse Rescue and help save a horse.