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

Mary Clayton testing her ski and avalanche gear. As communications director, Clayton helped create Avalanche Canada into the success it is today. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Inspiring women: It was a men’s world – until Revelstoke’s Mary Clayton broke into it

She helped create Avalanche Canada into the internationally recognized organization it is today

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

From left to right. Jeremy, Ryan and Mitch Hunter are all third generation owners of Excel Tire, which will soon to become Trail Tire. (File)
3 generations later: Iconic Revelstoke tire business to be retread with new name

Excel Tire soon to become Trail Tire, but is still owned by the Hunter family

Ryan Bavin of Bavin Glassworks in Invermere. Photo: Submitted
Call for entries for Columbia Basin Culture Tour

Deadline for registration for artists and venues is April 15

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
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

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 crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Most Read