Wild Horse Rescue Center, Florida. Image: Orlando Sentinel.

Unique ranch helps rehabilitate abused Mustangs

Volunteers find purpose working with horses

When Jorge Pousa volunteered eight months ago to put his strong back to good use at the Wild Horse Rescue Center, he expected to muck stalls and occasionally tackle fence repair.

But Diane Delano, owner of the Webster-based nonprofit, knows a thing or two about matching humans with horses. Four months ago, she matched Pousa’s warm heart with Pegasus, a beautiful but skittish horse with a lengthy history of abuse and neglect.

“It was rough, really rough,” Pousa said of the months he spent trying to bond with the horse.

Eventually, Pegasus warmed up. In fact, the horse now allows Pousa, a resident of the Village of Country Club Hills, to saddle up and ride.

“Pegasus has learned to trust me,” Pousa said. “But he won’t let just anybody ride.”

“Horses are hands-on animals. You learn what they like and don’t like,” he added. “They get used to you, and they don’t forget you.”

Although Delano enjoys matching horses with the right volunteer, her main goal is to match the animals with the right adoptive home.

“I only want the horses to be adopted for life,” she said. “I don’t want them to go from home to home to home.”

See The Villages Daily Sun, Sherry Coner reporting.

Another chance

Over the years, the nonprofit has rehabilitated, trained and found new homes for hundreds of formerly wild mustangs purchased through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse Adoption Program.

Purchases by the public don’t always work out. Delano said many people purchase horses with the intent of taming them, only to realize the task is beyond their abilities.

“If they have no knowledge and they get this wild horse, they, unfortunately, resort to very harsh, hard, abusive treatment because they think that that is acceptable,” Delano said. “That’s when they end up here, where it can take years to gain their trust. It’s not a quick fix. We do not turn our horses over quickly.”

See Wild Horse Rescue Center gets results for American icon, ClickOrlando.com.


The rescue center is always looking for volunteers to help. For more information, call 321-427-1523.

Note: If you have little to no hands on experience with horses, be not dismayed. There are plenty of chores that need doing that anyone can help with. If you are not particularly “fit” it will get you fit fast. Wink! — Tuesday’s Horse

Featured image: Orlando Sentinel. Thank you.

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