The Gritty Bit: A Series on Real Horse People - Person 1
Brent Glover runs Orphan Acres, a 250-acre horse rescue in Viola Idaho. He started taking in horses nearly 45 years ago but never intended to run a rescue. He offered a soft landing for a horse here or there and helped a few horse owners overcome training obstacles, but when an Arabian breeding operation needed to place 28 horses, things changed quickly.
After hearing the heartbreaking story, Brent decided to help. He took in the 28 Arabs and continued to help run the breeding operation from his property. The owners paid him for his help, and the extra money provided funds for him to rescue more horses.
As the original Arabs aged and the breeders decided it was time to retire, Brent realized that if he wanted to run a rescue, he had to stop breeding. There were too many horses without homes. In 2003, he officially incorporated as a 501c3 and has been running Orphan Acres solely as a rescue ever since.
Today, if you visit Orphan Acres, you will see over 80 horses dotting the hillside, enjoying life in the pastures. Brent will be busy caring for a horse or fixing a tractor, and various groups of volunteers will be grooming, feeding, or mucking stalls.
"Over 4,800 horses have come through these gates since I started rescuing horses. About 3,700 have moved on to find new homes. The rest have been given a safe place here as long as they live.
It's hard in the summer and around the holidays without help from the college students. It's just me with 80+ horses. But what are you gonna do? In the morning, I give all the older horses their medications. Then I feed, muck stalls, and tend to whatever needs maintenance. There's always something that needs fixing around here.
By around 5:00, it's time to bring the horses into the barn, feed, dress wounds, and check on everyone before bed. If snow, mud, colic, or a broken fence slows me down, I won't get into the house until well after 11:00. Then it's up around 4:00 the next morning to do it all again. Someone's gotta do it. There are mouths to feed out here.
Those moments when it's quiet and the horses are sleepy, happy, and calm, when I feel a soft muzzle brush against my hand in thanks, that's when it's all worth it."
There are two State Universities within 30-minutes of Orphan Acres, and they provide the bulk of the rescue's volunteers. Students come out to take a study break and enjoy some horse therapy, getting away from the stress of being a student.
Brent lets the volunteers and the horses give each other what they need. Both learn to let go of whatever is bothering them and put trust in each other while he quietly looks on, making sure everyone stays safe.
If you ever find yourself in Northern Idaho, stop by and see the place. You won't regret it. Check out GoHorse to find horse rescues near you.