Debbie Barber, founder of the not-for-profit Hunter Horse Haven located at Anna Bay, has lost count of the number of horses she has saved in more than 40 years of rescuing animals.
Her love for horses was the reason behind establishing the sanctuary which is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of horses in need of care.
"We endeavour to intercept horses being sent to slaughter to provide rehabilitation and rehoming for them and neglected, abused and displaced horses," Debbie said..
"Horses are rehabilitated and trained via a natural horsemanship method including positive reinforcement and rehomed under an adoption contract. Training includes bitless bridle riding for all horses and socialising with people. We ensure each horse is provided with positive training without fear or abuse."
To provide the highest level of care for the horses requires volunteer help and funds. Support from people via volunteering helps to rehabilitate and rehome a larger number of horses.
To help ease the financial burden volunteers are organising the sanctuary's first ever fundraising event at the Medowie Bull N Bush hotel on Sunday, May 19, from 1 to 4pm. Organiser Allyson Page said the afternoon will feature face painting, live music, balloons, photography and a big raffle.
Debbie said the centre provided open family day on Sundays for adults and children to spend time with the rehab horses. "Our Sundays have expanded to help adults, teenagers and children suffering from depression which has provided a massively positive result in these people's lives who all leave smiling and return.
"We are currently expanding to implement a program for mentally disabled adults, children, their families and carers to visit our horses." To donate or learn more about Hunter Horse Haven contact Debbie on 0422 870 075.