“He didn’t have to be like that,” she said. “It’s frustrating people think they can get a horse with no knowledge of how to take care of them … They’re big animals, and you don’t realize things can go wrong fast.”
That’s why one of the main goals of the group is to educate people about the ins and outs of raising and caring for the animals.
Right now, the Horse Guardians uses Facebook as its primary way to get out information, but Kulla said leaders have discussed starting a newsletter or magazine to reach more people.
“It’s all about education. People just don’t know,” Smith said. “I really want this organization to be a tool for education. Yeah, we rescue horses, but we’re also trying to educate.”
Right now, the group helps with a very specific set of horses — ones that are seized by animal control within the county.
Smith said if the organization continues to grow, however, there’s a chance it would expand its services to help more animals.
“If I win the lottery, maybe we can expand,” she said. “But we’re focusing on our own county for now. We have to be able to save the ones that are in our own house … If we opened up our doors as a horse rescue right now, it would just take too much money and too much property.”
So far, Kulla said, the group has been successful thanks to the strong community of responsible horse owners in the county. She said they all wanted to see something like this.
“It’s a good thing,” she said. “There are a lot of good people involved with it, and these people know horses.”
Smith said it’s good to know people support the group, but in the end, saving a horse that’s nearly dead is its own payoff.
“Watching them come back to life is pretty rewarding,” she said. “It beats any trophy I’d ever get.”
Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @carsongerber1.