The calming effect of horses is good for children

Unlike other horse rescues, their work doesn’t just benefit horses. 

A Lotte Opportunity Foundation is a local nonprofit horse rescue, located in Santa Paula (it seems like Ventura), unlike other horse rescues, their work doesn’t just benefit horses.  Begun in 2016, with the belief that horses and children do better together, ALOF works to provide riding lessons to children who are from low income families; they have some of the cutest rescue horses, like Finn and Ole, a couple of Fjords, a small but very strong breed, who are lifelong friends, and that can’t be separated!

ALOF believes that the calming effect of horses is good for children, where they learn respect and responsibility, how to be firm while being kind, and how to take a tumble but get back up again. Horseback riding can be costly, and has been called “the rich man’s sport.” buying a horse is expensive enough, but then tack onto that all the equipment needed, maintaining an adequate living space, food and veterinarian bills, most parents can’t afford, no matter how much their kid begs for a pony.  ALOF seeks to remedy that situation by granting low income kids riding lessons.

ALOF is more than a horse rescue, it is a much needed chance for children as well as horses, taking in horses that are unwanted, and from all walks of life. Some are off-the-track Thoroughbreds, horses that made thousands of dollars in the racing industry and tossed aside due to injuries or underperformance. Some are last chance babies, that never got the chance to have a loving home before they found themselves in the lineup headed to a slaughterhouse, others are old ponies that once raced cross country courses for the owner’s children, only to be outgrown and passed onto retirement.  ALOF welcomes all ages, breeds, sizes and lifestyles as a safe place to land, if these horses can go into the riding program, they will, carefully walking their young charges, the children, around the foothills of Santa Paula. If they are not able to be ridden, they are still teachers. Ole can’t be ridden, but spends his days teaching the kids what to do when a horse lets himself out of his house and goes for a slow speed march on the quest for food, they learn, do you run after him begging him to come back or do you offer him a bucket of something even tastier than what he’s munching?

ALOF relies heavily on volunteer help to care for the horses and their living environment, and in addition, provides paid riding lessons to members of the public at large to supplement as well as putting on fund-raising events. If you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer at ALOF please contact Claudia Gilman at  Please Visit ALOF’s website at  ALOF is seeking donations to improve the horse stalls for winter and has set up a GoFundMe account, contributions, great or small, would be greatly appreciated.

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