A little piece of the American West arrived in NW Ohio in the form of five mustang foals who
were only 24 hours away from being shipped to Canada for slaughter.
Riverbend Equine Therapy Services/HOOVES is a non-profit organization in Grand Rapids, OH, which offers an alternative to traditional therapy in that sessions with licensed counselors are
conducted in a horse arena. Clients are put through exercises that simulate life and its
Adding horses, who have an innate ability to mirror those around them, allows the
client to visualize their issues and come up with their own solutions to their problems.
Recently, Riverbend has opened its doors to working with corporate teambuilding and local
Riverbend has been using five of their resident mustangs in their program and immediately
noticed the similarities between a horse once wild and humans who can be rebellious and
stubborn. With the realization of such an asset, Riverbend rescued five young foals from
Lifesavers Rescue in California this past March.
Mustangs on government owned land are protected from slaughter, however these “infants”
were captured off of a Nevada Indian Reservation and were therefore the private property of
that tribe. Thinking that these horses would be auctioned to potential buyers for enjoyment
purposes, over 300 horses were purchased by a slaughterhouse in Canada and rescued at the
eleventh hour by Lifesavers Rescue.
Four of them will call Grand Rapids their home and have begun the gentling process, an
extremely humane process compared to what was seen in old Western movies. Once it is safe,
they will be put to work doing what they do best … being playful and ornery … all for the good
For more information regarding HOOVES, visit www.hooves.us. If
you are interested in sponsoring one of these foals with a monthly pledge donation to help
cover the cost of their care, please call (419) 930-7936 or