Quebec equestrian farm is a joy to seniors and frontline workers in the face of a pandemic
HALIFAX – A farm in Quebec dedicated to improving the quality of life of retired horses is also making a difference in the lives of those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including isolated seniors and workers in health.
A Horse Tale (AHT) Rescue is a non-profit horse farm located in Vaudreuil-Dorion, Quebec. which rehabilitates abandoned horses and former draft animals in the horse and stroller industry.
The program was first created for community members with disabilities and those struggling with their mental or physical health to bond with horses. It has since expanded to include healthcare workers, the elderly and teachers – all of whom face the height of the pandemic.
Senior Jackie Ranger is part of a group at a retirement home in Montreal that uses the farm as a therapeutic means to escape the daily stress of the pandemic.
“It’s like a big drug for us. It’s really cool, it makes us feel a lot better, ”Ranger told CTV National News.
Horses are generally available to the public, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the farm only allows certain people to spend time with the horses. Once the restrictions are eased, the organization says it will slowly return to normal visitor capacity.
Suzanne Precourt, also a member of the retirement home, shares special moments with a horse she calls her “darling”.
“Just looking him in the eye gives me energy. I can’t explain it, but I love it, ”Precourt said in French.
While the farm works to rehabilitate retired animals, horses are in fact the ones that improve the welfare of others.
Mike Grenier, managing director of AHT Rescue, says bringing a horse like Rusty to the retirement home is very helpful for the elderly.
“Life is short. We’ve seen a lot of hardship with the pandemic recently, and if we can give up on time and if Rusty can give himself, that means so much,” Grenier said.