Ann Ewing, Futures For Standardbreds board member, left, puts graduate Aussie in the hands of Rebecca Nelson, equine manager at the University of New Hampshire. Contributed / Futures for Standardbreds

Retired horse goes to college

Futures For Standardbreds, a Buxton organization committed to rescuing, retraining and rehoming standardbred horses, recently placed one of its graduates in a prestigious equine studies program.

“(Aussie) is an Australian-born, 13-year-old gelding who, from the start of training, showed great patience, steady gaits and a noticeable confidence,” Robyn Cuffey, executive director of the organization, said in a press release.

“We believed his personality and demeanor would be a great benefit to an equine therapy program,” Cuffey said. “The well-respected program at the University of New Hampshire immediately came to mind, and we are so pleased that he has joined them. It is a testament to the versatility of these horses.”

Aussie will be used in the equine program in several different capacities. He will help students understand the physical, emotional, and mental changes a horse goes through as it transitions from one occupation to another. Students are learning the slow, patient process involved in training and conditioning a horse for a career as a riding and therapy horse.

Aussie also will help teach students about driving, including ground driving and hitching for pleasure driving.

And after he completes his initial re-schooling, he will be used in the Therapeutic Riding Program, assisting riders who have special needs.


“Therapy horses must have a certain temperament and need to be a certain size and have a number of abilities, and most are not suited for it,” said Rebecca Nelson, equine manager at UNH. “His confidence and calm nature make him a wonderful choice for all the attributes required. To find such a wonderfully talented and patient horse in a rescue program makes him that much more special.”

Nelson added, “We are so happy to continue this relationship with Futures For Standardbreds.”

Started in 2014, Futures for Standardbreds has trained and rehomed more than 50 horses. It is a nonprofit, certified by the Standardbred Transition Alliance. “We are delighted that these Standardbreds have bright futures with enthusiastic and dedicated owners,” Cuffey said.

Rabies clinic reminder

A rabies clinic for cats and dogs will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Buxton Public Works Garage, 215 Portland Road. The cost is $8 cash per vaccination. Dogs must be leashed and cats must be in carriers. For faster service and a three-year vaccination, bring the pet’s previous rabies certificate.

The Hollis Animal Clinic, town of Buxton, town of Hollis, and the Vacationland Dog Club sponsor the clinic. For more information, call Buxton Town Hall at 929-6171.


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