Saturday, January 31, 2009

Benefit Clinic for Serenity Equine Rescue's "Green Project"

We have exciting news- On Saturday APRIL 11TH there will be a Benefit Clinic at Serenity Equine Rescue with proceeds benefitting our Green Project, which is our fundraiser to create a compost system to reduce waste and provide local gardeners with organic 'garden gold'.

Multi World Champion Kim Gately (of Gately Training Center) has offered to spend the day helping you become a better rider. You don't have to be headed to the show ring to benefit, Kim is an interactive trainer with the ability to help you troubleshoot your issues no matter where they take place- including leads, communicating with your horse, balance, cues, and much more.

Kim has a way of making every rider comfortable and has many years experience with all levels of riders, so don't be intimidated- this is a great opportunity to get some professional insight, have a fun day among fellow horse friends at our rescue and learn a lot.

The clinic will take place in our indoor arena, so it will happen rain or shine! Here are our tentative clinic details (more information will be posted as the clinic is closer) :

Benefit Riding Clinic for Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation -Kim Gately, Trainer
Clinic to be held at the Serenity Equine Rescue Farm in Maple Valley, WA
SATURDAY- 4/11/09 from approximately 9AM-4 PM

  • Cost will be $100 per horse/rider team, cost includes haul in fee. Participation is limited to 10 horse/rider teams- enrollment is first come first serve but only paid participants are guaranteed a space.

  • Payment: Payment will be accepted by PayPal or by mail. Prepayment is required- submit paypal payments to (via

  • A limited number of stalls are available for the day, first come first serve with a cost of $20 for the day.

  • Serenity Equine Rescue respectfully asks that participants only bring the horse enrolled in the clinic to the farm (no 'buddy horses' tied to trailers please).

  • Clinic fee is for one rider (with one horse) team and each rider may bring one parent/guardian or spouse/significant other to audit (watch) the clinic free of charge.

  • Additional auditors will be charged $35 per person, sign ups for paid auditing will open once the clinic fills with riders.

  • Payment can be made in cash, money order or by paypal (using your credit or debit card).

Kim will be reviewing all registration forms to tailor the clinic to the riders, to ensure that the clinic is tailored to the riding level and needs of the group.

Here is what the day looks like:

9 Orientation in arena
9:30 Clinic in arena
12- Lunch Break
1:30 Clinic in arena
4 pm Clinic ends

To register, please e-mail the below requested information to

Rider Name:
Rider Age (if under 18):
Rider Address:
Rider Phone (home):
Rider Cell:
Horse Name:
Horse Breed:
Horse Age:
What are your goals for this clinic? Is there anything specific you want to ask Kim or learn more about?

Once payment is received, participants will receive a conformation email with driving directions, etc. If you have questions, contact GATELYTRAINING@PARADISESTABLE.COM

Serenity Equine Rescue wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Gately Training Center for their support in our rescue and environmental efforts.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

IMPORTANT- New Hours- and Special Adoption Sunday

We have changed our visiting hours to 11am-2 pm now. We are also now dedicating the last Sunday as Adoption Sundays- for potential adopters only (no appointment needed- details below).

As many of you know, we open the farm to visitors on Sundays as we work. We welcome the public to see our rescue at work- just Serenity Equine Rescue as it is every day- a place of peace and care for horses.

We think hosting these hours is pretty unique. Many rescues offer open houses annually or bi-annually but since we are relatively new, we wanted to encourage people to get to know us and see how we do rescue. It has turned out to be very fun for us, meeting new supporters and sharing our mission, education people about proper horse care and the issues facing animal rescues today.

What will you see? A rescue farm at work- horses in all phases of rehabilitation (depending on who we have- sometimes newer horses do not look well, but you'll be thrilled with our rehabilitated horses. Many comment that they "can't even tell they are rescues", and that's the goal- return these beautiful creatures to health, trust and happiness.

You may see volunteers working with or grooming horses, you may see people mucking stalls or cleaning pastures and paddocks. All the things we do on an average day at Serenity Equine Rescue.

If you're considering donating or volunteering, you are welcome to come to our farm to visit on SUNDAYS FROM 11-2.

We are also implementing Adoption Sundays which will be the last Sunday of each month.

Adoption Sundays are dedicated to those who have been adoring a rescue from afar, are considering adopting, want to learn more about our adoption process, etc. This will not be an opportunity to leave with a horse- potential adopters are still required to complete our adoption process- Application, Site Visit (to the property you plan to keep the horse at) and approval by Private Treaty. Patricia can further explain- it is not a long process, but is required to adopt from SERR.

We still welcome potential adopters on other Sundays and also to make private appointments- just contact Patricia at but these Sundays offer an additional and more casual opportunity.

To give you an idea of how Sunday Visiting Hours look, here are the next 2 months


February 1- Visitors welcome 11-2
February 8- Visitors welcome 11-2
February 15- Visitors welcome 11-2
February 22- Adoption Sunday 11-2


March 1- Visitors welcome 11-2
March 8- Visitors welcome 11-2
March 15- Visitors welcome 11-2
March 22- Visitors welcome 11-2
March 29- Adoption Sunday 11-2

As always, we look forward to meeting you. In the meantime, if you have questions e-mail us at

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For the Record...

Serenity Equine Rescue has been featured in many television and newspaper articles, as well as online blogs and we thank our supporters. Many online articles, blogs and boards offer space for ‘comments’ and we are disappointed to see that there are individuals posting negative comments about our rescue in an attempt to get attention.

These comments are usually posted under fake names and with no contact information listed, which is an excellent indicator of their lack of accuracy, truth and accountability.

We find it unfortunate that we even have to address this, but because those who post can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet, our Board of Directors felt it appropriate to respond:

"Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation performs a valuable service to the community by taking in, rehabilitating and re-homing abandoned, abused and neglected horses. In addition, we have provided evidence that was instrumental in the Dean Solomon/PEC case as well as two other active animal cruelty cases, our rescue works hard to serve as a resource to King County Animal Control as well as King County Prosecuting Attorneys. The work we do saves money for taxpayers by reducing the workload on our County resources, and so far we have done it all on donations and grants.

We maintain a facility that provides excellent care for our rescues, as evidenced by the condition of the horses who have been in our care. Every Sunday since spring of 2008 we have welcomed the public to visit our farm between (hours are posted on website- current hours are 11-2 with the last Sunday of the month dedicated to potential adopters only- no appointment neccesary on these days) to see the horses we are caring for, in their various stages of recovery. Our open farm hours are not at times when we have cleaned and prepared the facility, but rather in the middle a normal day for us.

Regardless of a few naysayers we have countless volunteers, donors, supporters, horse adopters, foster homes, members of local media, fellow rescues and corporate sponsors who are thrilled with the results we are achieving with the horses. We will continue to do this good work because we are devoted to these beautiful creatures. We are grateful for the opportunity to do what we do and we thank you for your support."

The Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Board of Directors
December 18, 2008

Monday, January 12, 2009

Can we get any Greener?

We're sure going to try! At Serenity, we already do many things to protect our planet.

Here are just a few of the things we do to be earth friendly at Serenity-

--we use exclusively solar fencing on our electric fences
--we do not use chemicals on our grounds, lawn, or plants. (our piggies are natural weed eaters- the dandelions don't have a chance!)
--we use natural biodegradable cleaners whenever possible
-- we currently turn and work our manure pile and have several local gardeners who pick up manure.

--we keep our turnout pens, paddocks and arena clean to naturally reduce flies and other insects
--we brought in tons of gravel to help reduce mud in our front pastures- our mud management program is a work in progress but this winter is already much better than last overall.

--we rescued goldfish for our pond to keep disease carrying mosquito populations down (yep, you're right- we have rescued horses, ponies, donkeys, dogs, pigs and goldfish!!)

But we've got a new goal- raising funds to build a compost system that will provide soil to local gardeners and reduce our waste as efficiently and quickly as possible. We tried to build one of wood, but the poo couldn't be contained, it broke. :(

So now we're raising funds to bring in huge cement blocks (large ones) to make a nice large 3 space compost set up that will maximize our ability to turn manure into gardener's gold! By providing this to our community we can reduce the amount that local gardeners buy in bags, cutting down on waste and spending.

Our wonderful volunteer Lorrin
is going to help by coordinating thefundraising. You can e-mail her at to discuss our Green Fundraiser. Lorrin grew up riding and is an animal lover, we're lucky to have her.

Our sponsor is Gately Training Center, multi world title holder Kim Gately is going to be at Serenity in March for a clinic to help fund raise. Details on the clinic are coming soon, if you are interested e-mail to sing up. Cost will be $100 per rider (10 rider limit) but worth every penny- you won't believe how much you'll learn. The clinic is one day long and riders of all different backgrounds can benefit from Kim's amazing ability to help horses and riders connect and succeed. Kim's website is and we're thrilled to have her sponsorship for our Green Campaign.

How can you help?

Contact Lorrin at for more information on ways you may be able to help. Meanwhile, we'll be seeking grants and other funding opportunities for this special project.

Stormy Weather

We have been so lucky during this stormy weather- we had a bit of flooding in our aisles during the initial snow melting but otherwise we've gone through this crazy winter quite seamlessly. Here (above) we see Peanut, our wee little rescue runt piglet headed down the hill to see what's happening at the barn.

Our tractor helped us in the snow... but it was our tireless volunteers who have been by our side working to keep things running smooth. Some are out with the horses, others picking up blanket donations, others fostering horses, and still others behind the scenes fundraising, advertising and helping with adoptions.

Our first big freeze required some interesting water bucket filling techniques... it's been a great learning experience. We're working on getting a generator, some rain barrels,and a kerosene heater for the next time we lose power and heat (and Western Washington tries to resemble Eastern Washington)!

Both Kat and Risky went to Foster Homes (potentially adoptive homes) this past weekend, and we think Reba may have found a forever home as well. Kat may return to Serenity to foal soon, but will likely be adopted by her current foster momma.
Our fabulous farrier came out despite the terrible weather to tend to Risky, Stormy, Kat, and others who were due to have their hooves trimmed.

All in all we are pleased with our ability to navigate the surprising weather and keep all our horses safe and healthy. Many of them seemed to enjoy the snow, running and playing and rolling and enjoying just being horses...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Re-Homing Matters- Selling Your Horse Safely

An original resource article by Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation. If you wish to re-print or post to your site, we would appreciate credit or a link back to us at .

People often ask how the recession and economy are affecting us at Serenity Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation. The main effects are increased feed costs, equipment costs, supporting materials cost and other of course the increasing costs of caring for the horses like shavings, medicine, supplies. One of our biggest challenges is having enough space and resources to take in the horses that desperately need us. As we always say, we just do our best to help horses, one by one.

But there is another challenge- not rescue, but ‘re-homing’. We get frequent calls for assistance with re-homing people’s horses. Many want us to take them into our rescue and ‘find them a good home’. We appreciate their desire to find someone excellent to take their horse but our mission is to rescue horses that are ill, neglected, abandoned who need our help. We try to answer every call that comes in but have to give priority to rescue situations and our donors, because our limited time and resources require it.

For that reason, we have worked hard to create this compilation of information to assist others in finding their horse a new home (selling or rehoming). With a little effort, your equine friend can find a quality new home.

· Determine if you really want to sell/find a new home for your horse- can you lease him/her out or find a way to make it work financially? Consider your commitment to this pet.
· Be realistic about your price- the market is slow, and chances are you aren’t going to get back any investment .
· Be honest about your horse’s condition. Many horses end up at auction or abandoned because someone wasn’t being up front about behavioral issues, soundness, or capabilities. Some estimate that 1/3rd of the horses that go to autcion these days go to slaughter.
· Screen potential buyers- ask about the location and conditions of their facility, what they plan to do with the horse . Visit the facility if you can.
· Get cash- payment plans and other arrangements require a private treaty to be legal. If you agree to take payments put it in writing (see TERMS section below)!

Where can you go to sell? You can pay to run an ad in the little nickel, the Seattle Times, the PI (NW Source), or the Reporter papers.

Free online ads- place a free online ad at any of these sites. Most offer paid upgrades to add photos, which may have your horse sell faster. See photo tips at the bottom.

Your ad: photo ads usually cost money ($10 and up per site) but also tend to bring a lot more attention to your ad. Be sure take the time to really describe your horse- a description that is 10 sentences long is going to garner more interest than a one sentence blurb. The market is saturated with horses- tell what makes your horse different, what made you fall in love with your horse…

The more honest you are, the more likely you are to actually sell the horse rather than deal with a bunch of lookers AND the more likely your horse is to find a home where he/she will stay. Use words like ‘potential’ with caution- have you ever tried the horse at the potential discipline?

Include the following
· Name
· Registered name
· Breed
· Height
· Broke to ride? Be sure to note if he/she is green or rusty from not being ridden. Remember, potential buyers will want to ride the horse if you’ve advertised him/her as broke.
· What disciplines- (English, western, trail, gaming- be specific about what he has done.)
· Experience (trails, shows, sports, etc)
· Basics- does he load, trailer, clip, bathe, stand for farrier?
· Is he current on shots, worming, feet, teeth?
· Any injuries/illness (current or healed) or any limitations to what the horse can do
· Any professional training?
· Behavior- any red flags (bite/kick, prefers men or women, aggressive to other horses, hates arena work, loves trails, loves water, etc)

A good potential buyer is going to ask for all of the above information (and check on it- looking at teeth and records) so be ready to answer.

Honesty when selling/re-homing can be the difference between a forever home and a pit stop on your pet’s way to the auction. Be sure to LISTEN to what the potential buyer is going to do with the horse. For example if your horse hates water, and they want a trail horse- discuss your concerns or the potential challenge of getting the horse to endure water obstacles.

Photos - take a photos of your horse clean, brushed, and without tack so prospective buyers can see his/her conformation.

Ideally take one from front, back, left and right side. Additional photos of horse being ridden are good and even better is video of the horse working. Upload video to a service like and you can just email a person a link to your video.

Remember, photos and videos are part of your horse’s resume so don’t use unattractive pictures and/or videos of him that are not flattering. Use your good tack- be sure it is clean and fits well. You do not need to coax your horse into tricks or unsafe situations to ‘show off’ a personality (a good buyer does not need pictures of you standing on your horse to believe he/she is trained and calm).

Ask a friend to help you out, photos and videos are much better done without trying to use self timers, etc.

Be ready to promptly answer calls and emails. Sometimes it is worth saving your first few responses to copy/paste into additional ones, since many people ask the same questions. People are going to want to know: any information from the Suggested Details list that you did not include. They’ll also ask how long you’ve had the horse, why you are selling and if he has any health issues. They will likely want to see you ride as well as ride themselves. Always have them sign a release before you let them ride your horse. Unfortunately it is a very litigious society that we live in.

· Most people prefer to have the horse cleaned up and groomed
· Be sure you have space for them to ride- if you have nowhere on your property you may need to haul out somewhere to meet them
· They may want you to ride first, to watch, before they do- be sure you are dressed and ready to ride
· If your horse is due for shoeing or a trim be sure it is done before the meeting- you never get to change the first impression.
· Do not ever medicate, sedate or tranquilize a horse before you show him to a potential buyer- they will notice (signs are visible to those who know) or they will buy the horse under false pretenses.
· Be sure to provide any information that has not already been discussed and ask if they have any questions.
· Remember- even if you’ve talked online or by phone, a potential buyer is a stranger and should be treated like one. Do not leave valuables out, invite them into your home without supervision or offer information that could tempt someone to commit a crime.
· It’s always best to have a buddy with you for safety reasons.

· Consider in advance how much you are willing to reduce your price (if offered a lower amount) and if you are willing to accept trades or terms. Planning ahead will help ensure that you don’t get the short end of the stick.
· If you decide to allow ‘terms’ (payments, etc) please remember that getting money from someone once the horse has gone home can be tricky- many horse owners have been left empty handed in these situations, use a written contract signed by both parties (preferably notarized) and consider how you’d handle no payment in case it happens- can you afford an attorney to collect your money or are you prepared to not be paid (worst case scenario).
· Do you want the horse back if it doesn’t work out? Discuss that before the horse leaves your farm. If you’re concerned, get it in writing. Many horses at auction and/or on the feedlot were once someone’s treasured pet.

· Remember to have anyone who comes to meet your horse sign any release forms used at your farm or barn.
· If your horse is registered be sure to located his/her paperwork and have it ready to hand over.

Serenity Equine Rescue wishes the best of luck to anyone with the difficult decision to sell their horse.