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HORSEPLAY: Olympic Peninsula Equine Community appears to be like for assist

BY NOW OLYMPIC Peninsula Equine Community, or OPEN, runs like a well-oiled machine. However even a well-oiled machine wants extra new oil to stick with it and operating.

For years, even earlier than they turned OPEN, a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, I watched founders Valerie Jackson and Diane Royall spend numerous hours placing their entire hearts and souls — plus their very own cash — into serving to horses in disaster . Their approach of working wasn’t sustainable, particularly the half about utilizing their very own cash. They wanted assist, and after they shaped their non-profit and reached out to donors for assist, the group grew by leaps, offering a much-needed useful resource for each horses and their house owners.

They’ve even been referred to as upon quite a few occasions by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Division to assist tackle circumstances of extreme abuse or neglect.

I do not know the place they get their vitality, and even the need to maintain the doorways of OPEN, pardon the pun, open. I applauded them then and now. The 2 have constructed up a whole community of individuals to assist make their horse community successful. Their husbands are most likely grateful they are not the one ones serving to out anymore, and issues have gotten appreciable simpler now that Diane’s daughter and horse coach Kate Tibbits moved again to Sequim. They’ve additionally bought an energetic group of board members, farriers, horse practitioners and veterinarians, native enterprise house owners and extra all offering a serving to hand.

Success wouldn’t have come in any respect with out the oldsters who donate to OPEN. Lately, nonetheless, Valerie’s discovering herself a bit nervous as a result of, “Transferring out of the COVID pandemic we simply have not seen the donations we have had prior to now.” But, they’ve seen simply as many horses, and their house owners, in want of assist.

“Sadly, over the 12 months we have had provide chain issues, and, coupled with the inflation we’re all experiencing, we noticed our prices significantly enhance, and that put us in a deficit on the finish of the 12 months,” stated Valerie . “Regardless of that, we have managed to soak up horses in want and take care of them on the similar stage we at all times have.”

She credit OPEN’s many supporters who’ve helped fill within the gaps alongside the best way.

Diane spends many hours on the telephone volunteering her time to assist house owners by means of a disaster, or serving to them to rehome a wholesome horse the proprietor is now not in a position to take care of. And that is why they included the phrases equine community of their title.

“Regardless that OPEN would not get any cash for serving to to rehome a horse, like we might if we took the horse in and adopted it out,” stated Diane, “we all know we will solely take so many on, and we simply wish to discover a good final result for each the horse and the proprietor.”

Valerie stated, “We have helped so many individuals this 12 months and final 12 months. They arrive to us saying they love their horse, however they cannot afford the hay, or they cannot afford the vet invoice, or farrier, so we do what we will to assist.” Their worst concern is what’s going to occur to the horse if they do not, or cannot.

Their skill to assist depends upon the quantity of donations coming in. It would not must be giant, one-time donations both. A lot of the work is funded due to those that donate commonly on a month-to-month foundation, be it $10, $25 or $50 a month. Donors can set the quantity and frequency by clicking the donate tab at Olympic Peninsula Equine Community ( All donations are tax deductible.

Fundraising plans for 2023 embrace a number of tack gross sales on the retailer, a tooth floating clinic, and one other OPEN the Trails occasion. In addition they hope to carry one other dinner, dance and public sale fundraising occasion this 12 months, which they could not do in the course of the COVID pandemic shutdown.

“Folks advised us how a lot they actually loved it, and, for us, it was an enormous fundraising success,” stated Valerie. She stated it price OPEN $5,000 to fill its barn with hay this summer season, which is greater than two occasions as a lot as they’ve paid prior to now.

“Fortunately, our Save the Trails occasion funded our hay provide this 12 months, however there’s a lot extra concerned in taking good care of horses, particularly as a result of most come to us needing additional care and assist to get them again to well being.”

Kate is engaged on a private mission, which, when prepared, “might find yourself serving to lots of different horses.” She advised me she “wasn’t fairly able to share,” what her enterprise de ella was de ella, however I managed to pry some info out of her.

vivid boy

Her mission is Rupert, whom she calls a “very particular man.” He is an 8-year-old, 13.2 hand, purple sorrel Haflinger/Mustang cross with a flaxen mane and tail. He got here to OPEN well-trained, and with no particular wants or vices, by a lady who merely determined to get out of horses; who she knew by donating him to OPEN his sale worth de ella might go a good distance towards serving to to additional fund the rescue operation.

Whereas not a newbie’s horse, just because he responds higher to a assured rider who might be his chief, he’ll make a superb grownup or succesful kid’s horse. Each the Haflinger and Mustang breeds, whereas typically might be smaller in top, are identified to be extraordinarily sturdy and in a position to carry heavy hundreds.

Throughout her time spent using him, Kate’s been overjoyed to find the numerous issues Rupert already is aware of the best way to do. She’s additionally taken his coaching from him a step additional by educating him to put down for somebody to get on his again from him.

Her son Casper, 17, is working with Rupert to study horse vaulting. In vaulting, riders carry out acrobatic and dance maneuvers on horseback.

Casper, who goes to Sequim Excessive Faculty, is a baseball participant and a pure athlete who has ridden “since a child,” stated his mother. She stated he already has Rupert calmly accepting him vaulting over his again from one aspect to a different, standing on his again de él and making different strikes.

“He is only a unbelievable horse who’s going to be very particular for somebody,” stated Kate.

For extra info, and to find out about different horses out there for adoption, go to the Fb web page ‘OPEN (Olympic Peninsula Equine Community) Group group’ or depart your title and quantity on its message line at 360-207-1688. OPEN is positioned at 251 Roupe Street in Sequim.


Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, seems the second and fourth Saturday of every month.

When you have a horse occasion, clinic or seminar you prefer to listed, please e mail Griffiths at kbg@olympus.web no less than two weeks prematurely. You too can name her de ella at 360-460-6299.

Casper Royall, 17, grandson of an OPEN founder and son of its horse coach, has loved using vault coaching (a kind of gymnastics on horseback) with Rupert, a Haflinger horse, who will quickly be up for adoption by OPEN.

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