When I was 8 years old I lived on 5 acres in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. We had two horses and we didn’t really know what we were doing. Like all horses they had strong personalities. At one point I got kicked in the chest by one of those horses and was rushed to the hospital where I stayed for a week. You would think that such an experience would have made me love horses less. I still love them. They are one of the most beautiful and amazing creatures on the earth.
However, I highly respect their strength and I understand my limits when it comes to caring for them. They are not my area of expertise. I am no horse whisperer. But I love to be around them. I love to watch them and I love to ride them. Secretly, I dream of owning a horse again someday but I know that I can’t take care of that horse the way it should be taken care of. How awesome would it be if I could afford to have a horse I could visit that was housed by someone who knew and understood how to care for horses. When I heard about the Dust Devil Ranch Sanctuary in Hamilton Fort, Utah (Just a 10 minute drive from my house.) I packed my daughters in the car on a freezing cold January morning and went to see what they were all about.
Dust Devil Ranch and its founder and operator Ginger Grimes, rescue, house and rehabilitate horses that have been abandoned, abused or neglected. They currently have 38 horses. With the help of donors like Tracy Del Negro who volunteers her barn, arena and stables they are able to provide a safe haven for these beautiful creatures. While most of the horses come to Ginger in some type of distress, they are able to get some of them to the point where they can be adopted to safe homes. They also have a sponsoring program where a sponsor can help pay a nominal fee for feed and care of the horse and then come and groom, ride or spend time with the horse. Meanwhile, Dust Devil Ranch continues to care for the horse. Because the ranch is a non-profit, sponsorships are tax deductible. Its a win-win for people who love horses but may not have the ability or space to house and care for them
My family and I visited the ranch to see what Ginger was doing but we also spent some time with a beautiful horse named Aspen. She is available to be sponsored, was a barrel racer and is on her way to recovery. We are considering sponsoring her. At some point my children may be able to ride her as well.
The only problem is that only one of my children seems ready to make the commitment to visit Aspen on a weekly basis. That amazing 7-year-old of mine even walked right into one of the horse stalls and started helping other volunteer youth there that day muck out the stall. Afterwards she got the reward of grooming Aspen. And it was a great experience for her.
The sanctuary is offering other opportunities for children and youth to interact with these horses through a volunteer program.To find out more visit dustdevilranch.org or call 435-569-5444
I love horses, I think that helping to care for them and spending time with them is a valuable experience for children and adults. I am excited to have Ginger in my community helping youth learn to work and volunteer while providing a service for these amazing creatures.