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Volunteers sought to help repair damage after storms batter Colorado horse sanctuary

Journey with Equus says shelters, sheds and fences were damaged during severe storms
Posted at 6:47 AM, Jun 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-19 08:47:04-04

ELIZABETH, Colo. — Storm after storm has saturated Journey with Equus horse rescue outside Elizabeth in Elbert County.

"For some reason, we're right in the path," said Journey with Equus founder Candice Ensign of the multiple storms that have ripped through Elbert County in the last several weeks.

The nonprofit was founded in 2015. They rescue horses that are at risk of being surrendered or being shipped to slaughter.

"Our mission is to bring awareness to the gifts that horses have to give outside of being ridden," said Ensign.

In one storm, over a foot of hail fell shredding their tarp shelters, winds also knocked over sheds and ripped up support fences on the property. On top of that damage, widespread flooding has caused a mucky mess.

"Because of the way the rain came down, all of the mud and all of the other stuff that goes along with having horses made its way into our smaller pins. We are scrambling this weekend," said Ensign.

They are trying to get the wet mud cleaned up, but need fencing back in before they can move the horses out of the soaking-wet areas. It's dangerous conditions for horses to be standing in.

"It softens the hoof and we can have abscesses. We are going to battle thrush, which can cause all sorts of problems," she said.

On a good day, the small nonprofit does what it can to keep all its animals safe and healthy with a small group of volunteers.

"We're always operating on a pretty tight budget. The good news is if you come to see our horses, you see what we do," said Ensign.

They said the latest damage is overwhelming. They need your help.

"We need boots on the ground, anybody that is able to come help us move panels, help us start to split these paddocks, so we can get horses moved," she said. "The sooner we can get them moved into bigger areas, we can take down all of our panels and get a tractor in."

With a dry and sunny forecast ahead, Ensign said it's easy to find a bright side after the storm.

"All I can ever be grateful for is that none of our animals have been injured," she said.

If you're interested in volunteering on their property or donating to Journey with Equus click here.