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Kentucky Equine Humane Center to offer tours

The Kentucky Equine Humane Center has partnered with Horse Country Inc. to start offering tours through the company beginning in March.

Horse Country Inc. is a non-profit organization that connects visitors with the horses, people and land across the Bluegrass. The only other stop offered in Jessamine County besides Taylor Made, Kentucky Equine Humane Center, at 1713 Catnip Hill Road, will begin offering tours for $20 as a way for those who are interested to understand more of what they do and how they do it.

“We are happy to be one of those stops,” Karen Gustin, the executive director, said. “We work closely with Taylor Made and they are a good partner. We wanted to partner with Horse Country Inc. because we are part of the equine industry and it is important to understand what happens after horse races.”

Gustin said the mission of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center is to take care of horses that need help. She said the center serves 100 horses a year, with 50 horses in its care at any given time.

Sitting on 72 acres, the average length of stay for a horse in the center’s care is eight months, Gustin said. 

Gustin said starting this spring, the tour will be 45 minutes to one hour long. Each one will start with a general orientation, followed by a short walking tour which is accessible by all, she said. A horse, or two, would be pulled out for visitors to meet and its story to be told.

“Depending on the time of day the tour takes place, if there is an interesting vet case in the barn, people may be able to watch that,” Gustin said. “We get very interesting medical cases. I have learned a lot I never knew about horses before. If a farrier is here we can show them what that entails. If a veterinarian is here… maybe X-rays or ultrasounds. It just depends on what is going on. A lot of things are accessible.”

Gustin said another reason the Kentucky Equine Center was interested in partnering with Horse Country was because not a lot of people realize the center exists. Gustin said people may not know there is a local option they can turn to for help.

“We take horses that owners can no longer care for, or maybe someone has passed away in the family,” Gustin said. “Maybe the horse is off the track and not racing, or someone lost their job. We want to help those people and help horses and whatever transition they are going through in their life. We want people to know about us because we can help.”

All the horses that come through the Kentucky Equine Center are eventually adopted back out into homes, Gustin said.

After personal reference checks, farrier and veterinarian checks, submission of pictures where the horse will be living, a residence check, an application and processing fee, the center works to put the right horse with the right family.

“Our goal is to put the right horse with the right person,” Gustin said. “We are about making sure it is a good fit and making sure that we put both horse and person up for success because we want it to be a good experience. We have a lot of other programs and public events scheduled as well as interesting ways people can donate.”

For more information visit www.kyehc.org