Jenn Bruyer and Rae McMahon have bonded over their shared love of horses. Photo Submitted

Horses rescued from Princeton farm find happiness

SPCA seized 97 animals in September 2020

Jolene and Hermione are proof that some of the best friendships are born from tragedy.

The two mares were rescued as a part of cruelty investigation near Princeton at the end of September 2020 in which 97 animals were taken in by the BC SPCA.

At the time, the emaciated horses had to go into strict quarantine immediately. Tragically, several didn’t make it.

Jenn Bruyer had been interested in finding the right horse for a long time but didn’t really have the right support to adopt a horse with special needs or whom needed training until she met her friend Rae McMahon, a professional trainer, last August.

The two instantly bonded over horses and became fast friends, spending many summer days riding through the mountains of B.C. together on Rae’s thoroughbreds.

“We bonded by riding her two horses and by training my two mini horses who both have their own issues,” said Bruyer. “We found through our time together with these four animals that we share many other interests and similarities.

When the Princeton horses were ready to be adopted late last year, the pair went to the BC SPCA Good Shepherd Barn in Surrey to look at the horses. As soon as she met Jolene, Bruyer said, “I knew she was the right kind of challenge.”

McMahon had also been causally looking for a younger horse to train when she met Hermione, and decided to adopt her on the spot.

“Things just worked out well for us both that day,” said Bruyer. “Rae already had two horses of her own and these two mares made for a complete herd.”

That is, if you don’t count Bruyer and McMahon.

READ MORE: Ninety-seven distressed animals seized from rural Princeton property

The friends, who both have backgrounds with caring for horses, work regularly with Jolene and Hermione together, and are currently focusing on slowly building their confidence with various training exercises, including tack, handling, and positive reinforcement.

Bruyer says the two mares, who live together, adjusted very well to their new home, and were able to join the herd “almost immediately.”

However, the mares didn’t come without their share of challenges.

According to Bruyer, Jolene was initially terrified of the saddle pad at first, and demonstrated head tossing, a behavioral issue in which a horse tosses their head often into the handler that can be dangerous.

In addition, her feet could not be picked up easily, and

“She was a little underweight,” said Bruyer.

As for Hermoine, “She came slightly lame with no boundaries and little obvious training. Their training past was so uncertain that we chose to start both horses completely from scratch, skipping no steps.”

READ MORE: Horses seized near Princeton suffered cruelly, says SPCA

After a few short months, both mares have shown enormous progress already.

“Both can be tacked English and Western, both are very willing to learn, happy to see us and interact,”added Bruyer. “They have taken some weight under saddle but have not been ridden yet.”

Both horses have also taken lead and followed while ground driving (driving a horse forward using “long lines” that are secured to the bridle, while the rider walks at a safe distance behind) around unfamiliar trails, which, says Bruyer, is “very brave of them!”

The two horses also love running around their field together where their personalities really get to shine.

“Jo is very sweet and stubborn. Hermoine expresses strong opinions in the sweetest adolescent way,” she said.

Next up for the horses and their guardians?

“We are certainly looking forward to a summer of continued training, trail riding, roping, jumping, overnight camping trips, and many adventures with both of the new girls,” said Bruyer.

“We are both learning a lot with these new girls and enjoying every minute of it.”

READ MORE: SPCA refuses to return seized animals to Princeton area breeder

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:mailto:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Armstrong’s Jesse Crowe, shown at the home of golf, St. Andrew’s in Scotland, has been named the Royal York Golf Course’s director of golf operations. (Facebook photo)
Armstrong golf pro soars to home course position

Jesse Crowe becomes director of golf operations at Royal York Golf Course

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Pivot Rx is a new downtown Vernon pharmacy that aims to combine face-to-face care with the latest technological offerings in pharmaceutical care. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
New Vernon pharmacy takes ‘old-school’ approach to cutting-edge care

Pivot Rx has set up shop downtown in a building formerly home to MacKay’s Prescriptions for 40 years

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
Despite additional death, COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional loss in last day

Two North Okanagan-Shuswap rural communities, including Lumby, will receive B.C. government grants to support new jobs and economic opportunities to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19. (Black Press file photo)
North Okanagan-Shuswap communities collect government grants

Lumby and Blind Bay to benefit to help recover from economic impact of COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Students from Summerland’s Okanagan College often posed for photographs on the Big Rock. The rock was on the northern slope of Giant’s Head Mountain. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Big Rock had been desposited during last ice age

Rock was once a prominent feature on Giant’s Head Mountain

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Ranchero Deep Creek firefighters respond to a blaze involving two adjacent structures at a property off of Deep Creek Road on Sunday, Feb. 21. The buildings were believed to have been used as part of a cannabis growing operation, and RCMP are investigating. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)
Shuswap firefighters responding to structure blaze find cannabis grow operation

RCMP investigating, attempting to track down owner of property

Most Read