It’s time to cast your vote for your favourite Hero of the Horse. You may vote once a day, from now until September 15th. Please spread the word and help recognize the efforts of these exceptional horse people.
The winner’s story will be featured in the November/December issue of Horse Canada and they will receive a trophy, along with $2,000 to continue their work. PLUS, Canadian Saddlery will donate 12 blankets of any size (234 Goliath Regular Neck Turnout or 235 Mid Neck Turnouts) – a $2,100 value!
For over 20 years, Deb Harper has used her natural horsemanship techniques to rehabilitate discarded horses. It began with fostering rescues through Pipsqueak Paddocks, a rescue group for miniature horses. While Deb was unable to find the funds to donate at the time, she was able to offer herself and her knowledge instead.
Her current foster is Benson, one of five Canadian yearlings saved by the Canadian Horse Rescue and Rehoming Society in 2015. Just 36 hours away from being slaughtered, the group took them in and found homes for each one. Unfortunately for Benson, his new home did not work out, leaving him even more fearful of humans. He ended up with Deb, who worked tirelessly to bring him around. She has chronicled his journey in a book called Take a Chance on Me: A Story of Rescue and Rehabilitation, available on Amazon, the proceeds of which go back to the rescue group.
From Abbotsford, British Columbia, Deb strives to show people that even horses that have been abused, hurt or neglected, can still live full and valuable lives; and can even be useful in sports such as eventing, trail riding, dressage, carriage driving or for companionship.
In addition to her rehabilitative work, Deb is a clinician and trainer, as well as a riding and driving instructor. Deb sustained a childhood riding injury that left her with brain trauma and single-sided deafness. She believes her impairment has become a gift, enabling her connect with animals. She says it makes her more intuitive to what the horses are trying to tell her.