Get to Know the Faces behind Keeper’s Haven Animal Sanctuary
I was introduced to horses as a baby. My mom started giving me riding instruction as a three year old and my earliest years were spent learning and loving horses. My first animal rescue experience started as a love affair between me and my first horse, Keeper. I was in the 8th grade and he was an underweight off-the-track thoroughbred needing some serious weight gain and tender care. Most importantly, he needed someone to trust. Over the years, Keeper taught me some of the most important lessons that a child can know; unconditional love, patience, and most importantly that horsemanship is a two-way street. Keeper would always test me if I wasn’t fully in the moment with him teaching me mindfulness well before I knew such a term existed. The smallest lapse of my attention in the barn would earn me a big nudge from Keeper’s nose! Keeper carried me on his back and always kept me safe even as I learned thoroughbreds have a tendency to imagine inanimate objects could be threatening. 🙂 We were together for well over 18 years. Keeper was truly my first love, my best friend, and confidant. As Keeper got older and slowed down, it was my turn to make sure that he was kept safe. I am so fortunate that I could take care of him through his senior years into his thirties! When it was time to say goodbye to him I was able to let him go with love, grace, and dignity. Keeper had the most peaceful passing that I have ever witnessed in a horse; he simply laid down on our family farm and went to sleep. No veterinarian or chemicals, he simply seemed to know that it was time. What I would give for one more visit with my old friend, for one more day or even just one more hour! Then I realized that I could best honor him by providing sanctuary for others. Now every new member of our sanctuary honors him and keeps a part of him alive. My wish is that all animals will have the chance to be a keeper for their whole life. As the founder of Keeper’s Haven Animal Sanctuary, I work to help all the “Keepers” live out their days in love, grace, and dignity.