After their previous owner was unable to afford their upkeep, four healthy and capable horses were headed to the slaughterhouse. In light of that news, Valeriu and Cristina felt that they had no choice but to rescue the horses. This put them, two young dreamers with 4 horses, on the road, until they were warmly hosted by the EcoVillage community in Rîşcova.
The goal of the Horse Sanctuary is two fold: Firstly, in the short-term, to create an environment where the horses can live happy, fulfilling lives in the grounds of a stable, an arena for safe interaction and practicing natural horsemanship, and a pasture.
Secondly, our long-term goal is to create a foundation to promote better care for horses and natural horsemanship so that other horses in Moldova will not find themselves being sent off to the slaughterhouse, like what had almost happened to our horses.
We now have a stable, a small winter paddock and an arena in a space we’re renting out. We’re currently working on gathering the funds to finish and furnish the rooms above the stable for hosting our volunteers and visitors and adding the last major part of our infrastructure - fencing something close to 2 hectares of pasture for the horses to finally be able to roam free as they naturally should.
We wouldn’t have been able to build so much of our infrastructure without the generous support we received over our fundraising campaign on the GlobalGiving platform and in-kind help from our local community, friends and family.
From the beginning we have been focusing on training our horses and giving them happy and fulfilling lives. Later, we started integrating horse interaction in some EcoVillage events. In January 2021, we held the first Natural Horsemanship training. This program is about how to establish trusting contact with a horse, how to feel each other and start the unusual non-verbal dialogue. The training lasted 4 months and was attended by 12 people. We plan to hold such programs once a year with a deep immersion in the topic of respect for horses.
Sharing best practices about horse related activities like eco tourism visits and carriage rides, horse interaction therapy and even horse interaction mentorship, we can restore the horses into pillars of resilience for the villages.