Horse care center seeks space to grow


March 09, 2000|By Lorraine Gingerich | Lorraine Gingerich,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DO YOU have an uninhabited 50-acre farm with stalls, fencing and a residence? If you do, folks at Days End Farm Horse Rescue would like to talk to you.

The Lisbon home for abused and neglected horses needs more space. The 15-acre farm houses 37 horses seized by Maryland animal welfare agencies. Staff members and volunteers must feed hay twice a day because of the lack of grazing land.

Kathy Schwartz, president of Days End, got the idea for a horse rescue facility in 1989, after seeing a neglected horse at a self-care facility, where people board horses but must continue to care for them.

She persuaded the owner to let her take the gelding home with her and spent a year rehabilitating him.

"Our main goal is adoption," she says.

The experience was so rewarding that Schwartz and her husband, Allan, began to look more closely at the plight of abused or neglected horses. They found no rescue organizations for horses were in the area, Schwartz says.

Some horses are brought to Days End because their owners simply don't know how to care for them, Schwartz says. "Many people don't realize that horses can't live on grass and water," she says, adding that they need vaccinations, worming and quality feed.

The horses are matched with adoptive families based on the animals' temperament and training and the riders' level of skill. Some horses have been highly trained; others have no training. Some have health problems and need special feed and medications. Some cannot be ridden but still would make good companions.

Days End Farm Horse Rescue recently held a casino night at the Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville. The event, attended by 1,250 people, raised about $8,000.

"It's just a drop in the bucket," Schwartz says, for an organization that requires $300,000 a year for operations.

Other fund-raisers are scheduled -- an open house June 24, a Fall Festival on Sept. 23 and a holiday party the first weekend in December.

Schwartz and her staff are constantly thinking of ways to improve the operation.

This year for the first time, they will train animal control officers and other professionals to handle abused and neglected horses in an Equine "Hands On" Seminar.

A Partners for Life Initiative teaches about animal abuse. Schwartz is sending letters to school principals, offering to speak on the subject.

"There is a link between animal abuse and people abuse," Schwartz says. "This is the first year we are taking a pro-active stance."

Girl Scouts can earn a Horse Lover badge by learning about grooming, foot care, worming and feeding. And they can ride a horse with a "sidewalker" -- an experienced rider who walks alongside.

Days End doesn't euthanize horses except in cases of extreme suffering. The farm's Save Our Seniors (S.O.S.) campaign helps pay for the upkeep of old and sick horses.

Foster Care allows donors to pay a monthly fee toward a horse's upkeep, and in exchange visit the horse and groom or ride it.

Days End has five full-time workers, including Kathy and Allan Schwartz, and two part- time. Volunteers play an important role at the farm.

"We have 320 volunteers, 35 of which are steady," Schwartz says. "Other people come in to do special events and Web pages."

The farm gratefully accepts donations. Medication for worming, stall mats, box fans, Bungie cords for securing horses, gravel, sand and shavings are needed.

If you know of a roofer, Days End could use help with the pony and arena stalls. Information: 301-854-5037 or 410-442-1564 or

Neighbors pitch in

Woodbine resident Cheryl Primrose was paralyzed five years ago as a result of an automobile accident. She is living at home and needs home health care.

Neighbors are organizing a 50/50 Raffle to help the family, which has no insurance, pay for a home health care worker.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling Donna Bennett at 410-489-7328 or Barbara Larimore at 410-489-7328.

They also will be available before the drawing, which will take place at the Lisbon Fire Hall Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday.

You also can send a donation to the Home Health Care Fund, c/o Bennett, 2275 Duvall Road, Woodbine 21797.

Chorus sings

The Clarksville Elementary School chorus has been selected by the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) to participate in the organization's "World's Largest Concert 2000," a video concert that will be aired on PBS stations from 1: 30 p.m. to 3 p.m. today.

The school's winning entry was a video of the chorus singing, "Let's Make Music, America," outside the school on a cold and windy December day.

Music teacher Karen Randall directed the chorus of fourth- and fifth-graders, and staff members and parents also sang. The video will be included in the MENC PBS broadcast on stations WMPT 22, WWPB 31, WGPT36 and WMPB 67.

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