Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab, Inc. is the “brainchild” of it’s co-founder, Cindy. In 2013, Cindy was attending law school with aspirations of a long career as an attorney. Life, however, had other plans for her. Shortly before taking the baby bar exam, Cindy dislocated her left knee cap on the eve of picking up a one-eyed Arabian now named Kirby. The next morning, crutches, leg immobilizer and all, Cindy set off to bring him home anyway. A couple months later, she got the results of the baby bar exam and she had passed with flying colors! Then five days later she received word from her doctor: breast cancer. She was just 41 years old.
Cindy spent the next year and a half battling cancer and the devastating side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Her life, as well as her family’s, was turned completely upside down. She spent countless days barely able to get out of bed, thinking, dreaming, crying, and misplacing her anger on those caring for her. When all of a sudden, everything made sense. Something or someone was telling her that she was on the wrong path. Her heart had always been with horses. And suddenly she knew what she was meant to do.
In 2014, Pony Tales was officially born, she finished treatment, and the rest as they say, is history.*
Pony Tales takes in all breeds, ages and genders of ponies, donkeys and horses regardless of their state. “We have taken in and rehabilitated emaciated, orphaned, abandoned, abused and unwanted horses from owner surrenders and law enforcement seizures. We also specialize in nurse mare orphan foals,” says Cindy.
Pony Tales is a heaven on earth for orphaned ‘nurse mare’ foals. The ‘nurse mare’ industry egregiously breeds and throws away foals. These foals are torn from their natural mothers so that their mother can be used to provide milk for a ‘fancier’ foal. It is an reprehensible practice that is completely unnecessary. Foals can be raised on milk replacer with a companion mare, or nursed by a mare who already has a foal by her side and is willing to accept another — and most mares will say YES!
For rideable horses, Cindy is adamant that a horse must be trained prior to adoption in order to determine the best fit for both the horse and the new home. To help with this, she created an annual Trainer’s Challenge where trainers take in one of Pony Tales adoptable horses to trains for a certain period of time. At the end of the period, Pony Tales hosts a friendly competition. Material prizes aside, the ultimate goal for each participant is to have prepared the horse as much as possible to be ready to move on to a new home.
Cindy also provides horses who are condemned to death in a Kill Pen a way out through Pony Tales program Kill Pen Cut-Off. When a horse is adopted from Pony Tales, a portion of the adoption fee is allocated to help redeem the life of another by outbidding Kill Buyers at auction.
Cindy’s journey to rescue real horses and the work she has accomplished at Pony Tales is a testament to living your truth. Friends, our intuition does not lie, and the voice you hear within is there for a reason — it is your destiny calling you to live the life that only you can fill. How will you answer?