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Gerda's Equine Rescue: REDI Training Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant gave us a new perspective on how we screen our applicants and the requirements of what will make a good home. In the past, we've shied away from homes that had just a run-in or older barn, but this training really brought perspective that it is more about the love and care that the horse is getting than the fancy barn and fields.

It has also made us more aware of the need to see our community members who represent diverse groups in our community and to listen to them as to how we can best include others in our rescue and mission in a way that works for them.

We live in Vermont, which is 94.2% white, which really brings to the point that we need to actively seek out diverse groups in our area.

How many pets did this grant help?


Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Dash is a retired standardbred who has been at GER for a few years now. He has DSL, a degenerative disease that does not make him a candidate for adoption.

Thanks to this grant, we rethought what life could look like for Dash. We had a wonderful offer for a home for Dash to be a companion and live in a field/run-in with another horse until it was his time.

Instead of us keeping him at GER through the summer, he was sent to foster care with a family that will love him through the end of his life and GER will cover the costs of his care.

Since we were able to find a home for Dash, we were able to recue another horse, Olive (second photo), from a feed lot. I’ve attached a before/after picture of her here (third and fourth photos).

From Facebook, April 30, 2022: “TODAY OUR STB BOY DASH, WENT HOME WITH HIS LONG-TERM FOSTER, JILL! Dash has been with us for two years. The reason he has not found a home is due to advanced DLSD. He was a kill-pen horse, with this hereditary disease (degenerative suspensory ligament disease) which causes chronic suspensory ligament breakdown.

“This structure runs down the back of the cannon bone and attaches to the sesamoid bones. Without its support, the fetlock joints (most commonly the rear) drop below their normal angle, resulting in ligament breakdown, flexor-tendon injury, and osteoarthritis in the fetlock, hock, and stifle joints, lead to debilitating lameness. The disease is manageable but not curable.

“Today Dash struck his pot of gold. Jill needed a companion for her much-older horse, so Dash got his bags packed jumped on Jill’s trailer, never looked back, and here he is with his new-found buddy, both spending as much time as they have left peaceful, happy and safe.

“Our boy Dash on the left and his little buddy Mike (first photo) are pictured meeting for the first time. This is all every horse really needs and deserves to have: a friend!”

Further Reading