True Blue Animal Rescue had some small visitors over from Alton elementary school to view some T-bar horses and learn about animal health care on April 10th. Even though the clouds threatened to drop rain that Friday, the kids and T-bar volunteers managed to complete the whole day of planned activities and treated the kids to a great deal of fun before the sky finally opened up.
The day started with True Blue Animal Rescue founder and president, Melanie Deaeth, teaching the class the proper way to behave around horses. Rules like those about not patting noses, or walking behind horses were taught. As the children were learning about horse care, the T-bar mascot, Willie the barn cat, decided to sit in and listen to the lesson. Willie, who adopted T-bar as his home many years ago, is always a huge hit with visitors, big and small, that come to T-bar.
Once the lesson on horse care was done, the group of kids were split up; a few stayed with Melanie while the rest of the children were treated to a famous Dale Deaeth hay ride! Though it was cold, Mr. Dale, as the kids call him, had blankets to keep the kids nice and warm and they took off on an adventure.
While one group was off enjoying the countryside, the other set of students had the pleasure of meeting camp horse Jasmine. Jasmine is a very special horse that was struck by lightning as a pony. Somehow she survived but she lost her gift of sight. Still, when the kids first meet the horse they have no clue she cannot see as she gets around so well and is very trusting with T-bar volunteers. Jasmine loves when she hears kids on the grounds because they give her treats from the treat bowls at the barn.
New to the T-bar ranch is Roman, a beautiful black Percheron that was taken in just two months ago. The Percheron breed is in league with draft horses, or warm bloods, which are typically large horse breeds. If you wonder at how big these horses can be, I always tell people to think of the Clydesdale horses used in Budweiser commercials. The reaction of the kids as Roman was pulled from his stall was priceless. The kids were excited and a few were a little nervous. But as with most draft horses, Roman was gentle and sweet as pie. He too was treated to horse cookies and then the kids even took turns brushing him.
Once Roman was put away, the kids formed a line to see miniature donkeys, Dolly and Madison. They too were given treats and the kids enjoyed their small stature. At times, the tour led the class away from the barn, but Willie the barn cat always made sure to stay nearby! After looking at the donkeys, the class then headed over to look at the big pasture of horses. All the kids loved seeing Zelda, the zebra/horse hybrid, and the many other horses at T-bar ranch that need homes.
Just as the day was winding up with some craft time, the rain started to fall. And all too soon it was time for the kids to head back to school. Kid camp days are personal favorites of many T-bar volunteers like Amy Hemsell. “It puts a smile on my face to see the innocent children having a wonderful time with no worries when they’re around the animals.”
True Blue Animal rescue would like to thank all volunteers that helped make this camp day possible. From those that came the night before to groom horses and clean the barn, to those that came to help the kids and handled the horses. Without you, days like this one would have been impossible. Thank you!