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Blue Star Equiculture – where horses can retire

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Blue Star Equiculture – where horses can retire

Samira Abdul-Karim, Staff Writer

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Students from Professor Carol de Carlo’s courses engulfed on a journey to Blue Star Equiculture, in Palmer, Massachusetts, on February 15, 2018.

Anticipating what to expect, students engaged in conversation amongst each other with excitement. Each questioning, “are we there yet?”

Behind a small white fence were beautiful horses gazing in our direction. It was as if they knew, they had company on the way.

Alexander Fontanez said he loved the experience, adding, “Never would I have imagined during my time at AIC spending a morning with horses.”

Aromas of morning dew, hay, and compost filled the noses of the students as they stepped off the bus.

Ergo, nothing was more hospitable than Pamela Rickenbach, president and founder of Blue Star Equiculture, waiting and ready to educate.

Blue Star is a non-profit organization that gives well needed tender love and care to draft horses that are retired, in transition. As well as horses who have disabilities.

People may not know that horses are one of the most human-like animals. Which is why our connection with them is so great.

Samira Abdul-Karim
Mariah Mauke gets personal with one of the horses at Blue Star Equiculture in Palmer, MA

The organization maintains jobs for these horses because little do people know without work, the horses are incomplete. From various work jobs like plowing and pulling, to one of the most impactful, equine therapy, these horses stay busy and productive.

The society we have come to know tends to forget the true powers and value of horsepower. It wasn’t long ago that we were still using horses for a majority of jobs to efficiently work as they did for centuries prior.

Those born into the evolution of only knowing motorized vehicles would never understand the true value of the work ethic and genuine relationships these animals formed with Americans.

Luckily enough it’s only a 15 minutes drive from American International College, so the opportunity to engage and learn from the horses as well as the organization are endless.

When visiting New York City, one of the most popular tourist activities is the horse carriage rides. Blue Star now has two amazingly beautiful horses that were retired and sent from the city.

We got a chance to meet them, Arthur and Prince. Rickenbach shared, “while grooming them, I could really feel how appreciative they were simply off of their responses within each step as if it was a full day at an all-inclusive spa.”

It was clear although they were new to the farm, they were more than comfortable because after they had a field day running through the acres of land rolling and playing in the mud.

Rickenbach wasn’t upset the least bit about the mud party they had after their grooming. It was almost a sense of confirmation that they were comfortable and she was giving them the environment and attention they needed to feel apart of the community.

She told us a famous saying, “Show me your horse, and I will tell you who you are.”

From what she showed the classes, it’s more than clear the kind of person she is. It takes a lot to be passionate about something in a world that doesn’t give the chance to find an understanding.

Daunyelle Morales interacts with a horse at Blue Star Equiculture in Palmer, MA.

Yet, trips like this enable the chance to pay it forward and share the experience with someone else. So they too can feel first hand how just being around them for a certain part of time is beneficial.

As the Yellow Jackets boarded the bus preparing to leave due to some inclement weather, there was a consensus amongst us all. Everyone seemed to have a sense of peace in their auras.

The best way to get involved is to Join the Herd! It’s super easy and even the smallest donation of $10 a month can help tremendously.

Blue Star Equiculture is always willing and ready to give the opportunity to share this experience with the community. For more information visit, http://equiculture.org.

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One Response to “Blue Star Equiculture – where horses can retire”

  1. Christina Desmartesu on February 18th, 2018 6:42 am

    Daunyelle is pictured here with Bleu. Bleu is the daughter of a PMU mare. Premarine, a medication to treat symptoms of menopsuse, is made from the urine of pregnant mares. Horses like Bleu’s mom are impregnated over and over so their urine can be collected for the drug. Unfortunately, there are not enough adopters for all of the resulting foals and many like Bleu will be shipped overseas for slaughter. Blue Star currently has 4 PMU babies. Upon visiting you learn quickly that each of them, and each retired carriage and farm horse, has their own personality. The best surprise is finding out which one you connect with the most. (It may take a couple of visits because they’ll all want your attention!)

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