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Gemini Farm Sanctuary ~ Rome, PA
A 501c3, Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Sanctuary
for domestic pets and farm animals in need.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Gandhi
The current horses and ponies of Gemini Farm were not rescues. Originally we purchased riding horses and when we purchased the last riding horse Ginny, we discovered that she was misrepresented to us and was a handful and above our riding abilities. We decided to keep her anyway. For a short time, she was leased to a friend who was a better rider. Ginny, now spends her day as a pasture ornement. Lounging around, eating, sleeping and dreaming of horsey things. She came to the farm as a seven-year-old and is now 27.
Our minis were an experiment in breeding nice ponies for people who wanted driving ponies and pets. We quickly discovered that the vast majority of people who purchase minis lose interest within a couple of years. The ponies were then sold, sometimes with no other consideration than to just get rid of them. We decided we did not want to put ponies in a situation where they were always in danger of losing their home so we castrated our stallions and decided to keep the entire herd, which now numbers nine. We did find one exceptional mini lover and she now has two of our minis on a free lease. Other than her, we could not bring ourselves to separate the herd just to reduce the numbers in order to save in management costs.
Gemini Farm has been the home of several rescued horses over the years. Most of these were not adoptable and they lived here for the remainder of their lives. Ponies, riding horses and even a draft horse have enjoyed the farm and known that they were loved when they needed that love the most.
Caring for horses, and other large domestic livestock is extremely labor intensive so we have not taken on any more equine rescues. If we had more help to do the heavy work, repair fences and handle the horses for hoof trimming, bathing, vet visits, etc. we would love to add a few rescues. We know that the horse and ponies that currently live here are safe and for that we are grateful.
We are always looking for qualified individuals to volunteer in the barn, and allow us to do more for our equine friends.
The Heart of a Horse
When your day seems out of balance and so many things go wrong...
When people fight around you and the day drags on so long...
When parents act like children, in-laws make you think "Divorce"...
Go out into your pasture...and wrap your arms around your horse.
His gentle breath enfolds you, and he watches with those eyes
He may not have a PhD, but he is, oh so wise!
His head rests on your shoulder, you embrace him oh so tight.
He puts your world in balance, and makes it seem all right.
Your tears they soon stop flowing, the tension is now eased.
The garbage has been lifted, and you're quiet and at peace.
So when you need the balance from circumstances in your day...
The best therapy that you can seek...is out there eating hay!!
Blue Jay, the Miniature Horse in front, was our original pony. She was a birthday present from my husband 20 years ago. Blue Jay is a cranky little thing and hardly the pony for a child. She has a mind of her own and is not fond of attention or even handling. If I was to compare her temperament to another animal I would say she is like a cranky independent cat. Her attitude is “wait on me hand and foot and never make me do anything”. But, we love her and she will remain here on the farm for the rest of her life!
Blue Jay produced beautiful babies...most of which are still on the farm because we couldn’t find homes that we felt would keep the babies for the rest of their lives. Watch for photos of her babies in the near future.
Henry, at 12 years old, is the youngest and the smallest Miniature Horse on the farm. He was born here right after I decided to stop breeding these little guys because the people that purchased them, while kind and caring, were doing so because the ponies were/are a fad. I originally thought that the Mini was the perfect solution for the horse lover who just wanted a couple horses around in their retirement years without the expense or work that a big horse demands. I was wrong.
So many owners purchase the ponies and keep them for two or three years and then realize that they are more lawn ornament than handy working pony. Since the pony can’t do much of what a regular size horse can do, the owners often reevaluate their situation and decide to find another home for the pony. I wanted to provide sweet ponies to permanent forever homes and it quickly became clear that I couldn’t do that. My only option was to stop breeding and commit to the ponies that were with me.
Henry had a condition called cryptochid....which basically means retained testicle. He went to Cornell University to be castrated because the condition requires surgery to look for the missing testicle in the abdominal cavity. A $100-$200 simple castration on the farm became a $1500 major surgery. Miniature Horses seem to have a serious problem with this genetic condition and because castrating them is so expensive, people often remove the testicle that is outside the body but leave the one that did not descend. Removing the normal testicle makes the pony sterile but the remaining testicle creates both temperament issues and the very real possibility that the remaining testicle will become cancerous. Even if I had continued to breed these ponies, I could not ethically continue to breed his mom. Many breeders continue to use breeding stock that produces this problem and pass on the babies with the condition to unsuspecting buyers. Of course there are very good breeders out there and a little research by a buyer will give them the information needed to find a good breeder.