By: Chris Pennington
About 12 years ago the internet was a very different place. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter didn’t exist. The very first ‘social groups’ were email lists that interested people could subscribe to. Yahoo Groups was probably the biggest of the email servers and there were hundreds of horse related lists that had healthy memberships. Some of these lists were focused on the Morgan horse- its history, the people who love it, the horses who continue to make the breed great. One of the smallest of these lists was dedicated to helping Morgans who were in dangerous situations find their way to happier, healthier ones.
In the beginning it was a just a loosely formed group of people who were all members of the same list. They did their best to share the names and contact info of horses who needed help and they encouraged people to take a chance and adopt some of them. The moderator for that original rescue list found herself getting busy with life and so when she asked if I would be interested in taking over I agreed that I would do my best to continue guiding it. There were many people in those early years who didn’t believe that Morgans needed this help. There were many people who didn’t believe that individuals in a breed as small and wonderful as the Morgan ever would or could find themselves in serious trouble. But the list of dedicated members persevered. We could all see firsthand that many lovely, well-trained, well-bred Morgans did indeed need help. The first horse with an impressive show record that found itself in the kill pens and needing help was an eye opener for many people. It wasn’t long after that first high profile save that it became obvious that there were LOTS of Morgans needing help and that a loosely tied list would not best serve them.
At that point, after considering the needs that were beginning to swamp the list, I determined that the best way to help these Morgans, and all who might come after, was to organize. I put out a call for a full Board of Directors. Those volunteers who responded became the very first Forever Morgans Rescue Board: myself, Suzanne Edmonds, Virginia Bloss, Tricia Jumonville, and Helga Loncosky. That first core group of women put their hearts and souls into saving Morgans who previously had no one to help change the direction of the long one-way trip to the slaughter house. That group worked tirelessly and without pay- building networks, developing policies, fundraising, finding foster and forever homes, and in their spare time creating all the documentation that is required in running an efficient and effective horse rescue. Their task was complicated by two things: 1. There weren’t any other ‘virtual’ horse rescues- rescues like Forever Morgans that did not have a home base or facility, and 2. There were still quite a few movers and shakers in the Morgan world who did not believe any Morgans needed help from a rescue.