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Gracie and friends hang out at the stables.Mountain Horse Thrive at Five Star Rocky Stables posted on 09/01/2012
The Rocky Mountain horse has an ambling gait which provides for a smooth ride.
Unlike horses that trot – with two feet off the ground – the Rocky Mountain’s gait always has three feet on the ground.
On a ranch in Brightwood, there are numerous Rocky Mountain horses with their feet on the ground – thanks to the rescue efforts of Jerry Carlson and Jackie LoBosce.
“The Rocky Mountain horses were almost extinct in 1987,” Carlson said. “That’s how I got interested in them. I’ve been around horses all my life. Keeping the numbers alive became important to me.”
In 2005 there were only 16,000 registered Rocky Mountain horses.
Today, that number is up to 19,000.
But rescues are not the only thing going on at Carlson’s Five Star Rockies stables in Brightwood – the art of healing is a major part of the reclamation process.
That’s where LoBosce’s magic comes in.
She developed her interest in serving, and healing, with stints at Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring, and the Therapeutic Riding Center in Brush Prairie, Washington.
“We not only rescue these horses, but we find Rocky Mountain horses that (also) need healing,” LoBosce said. “Our methods are holistic, using acupuncture, oils, Chinese herbs, hair analysis, lasers, sound and crystals.”
Carlson, a self-proclaimed skeptic at heart, was turned around by LoBosce’s methods.
“I’m a cowboy, a hunter,” he said. “I wasn’t sure about this (healing), but your mind opens up when you see it work.”
The rescue-healer combination was first employed when the couple went to Texarkana, Texas to see about a Rocky Mountain – named Gracie – who was slated to be put down.
The horse had tendon problems that it was unable to rebound from, according to LoBosce. They adopted Gracie and spent $5,000 trying to heal her. It got to the point where the humane thing to do was to put her down. The traditional methods were not working.
At the Brightwood stables, LoBosce turned to holistic alternatives. Gracie not only survived, she thrived, and has a foal named Karma born one year ago.
There are 16 other Rocky Mountains at the stables with stories not unlike Gracie’s.
Besides the dwindling numbers of the breed, the couple had other reasons to be attracted to the Rocky Mountains.
“I like to hunt and trail ride,” Carlson said. “The Rockies – with their even gait – are great for that. I’ve never been bucked off.”
“They’re so friendly and even tempered,” LoBosce said. “And they’re the best at giving horse hugs.”
The healing of horses has created a by-product as well: the healing of people.
Cancer patients and abused women interact with their Rockies. Children with emotional problems go for rides with Carlson.
“It’s an amazing thing to see how these horses give back,” LoBosce said.
But the keeping of this stable of horse miracles takes a toll. It’s an expensive operation, which is why the couple created a non-profit corporation to attract contributors and volunteers.
“We need help with brushing, bonding, manure hauling, and especially we need horse blankets,” LoBosce said.
One such volunteer already at home at the stables is Jade Wilson when she has time from her regular job at The Wraptitude in Welches.
“I was searching for a place that shares my ideas of healing and understanding,” Wilson said, as she stroked Gracie’s nose.
A trip around the stables features all the stars. Besides Gracie and Karma, the lineup includes rescues and foals such as Crystal, Yakina, Cairo, Stetson, Dreamy, and the two who might best describe the Five Star Rocky Stables: Serenity and Magic.
Anyone interested in volunteering or contributing to the cause can e-mail Carlson or LoBosce at: email@example.com.
by Larry Berteau/MT