By Katharine Chrisley Schreiber
For the Bulletin
LAS CRUCES – Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary has acquired property near its present facility for expansion and refinement of the services it offers to horses and people.
As a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, licensed by the New Mexico Livestock Board, Dharmahorse has been caring for unwanted and abused horses since 2015 at its present location under the compassionate direction of Mark and Katharine Schreiber.
Dharmahorse was established in 1996 as an Institute of Gentle Horsemanship. As its founder and now president, I was caring for horses on her own, even bartering for hay in those days. Becoming a nonprofit meant that donations could be made to the Sanctuary for the feeding and care of the (mostly) special-needs horses.
Volunteers help with the daily horse care needs, and sponsors can pay a monthly amount to help a specific horse or pony.
In 2017 and 2018, a generous patron of the horses made donations specifically for the acquisition of land. This was planned so that Dharmahorse could have its own sovereignty through ownership of its facility. This would mean no longer using the Schreibers’ private property as its base of operations; the Sanctuary can now build the facility needed for the dynamic requirements of a special-needs herd.
After finding the right property, others, including a foundation that supports animal rescue and advocacy, joined to gather needed funds. On Jan. 9, Dharmahorse closed on the property that will become the new, primary location for the horses.
This location has a home and large building for hay storage. There is a swimming pool in need of repair that we plan to adapt for Equine Water Therapy. We have a caretaker lined up to live in the house, as Mark and Katharine will stay on their own property and keep the horses there who cannot live in a herd environment.
A “paddock paradise” path around the land will be constructed as funds become available. It will create a natural, varying terrain that the horses will live on as a herd with water and food dispersed in different areas to encourage exercise. There will be roofs and windbreak walls, trees and eventually an herb pasture.
The programs for special needs persons will be able to expand. There will eventually be room for more horses to be saved, healed, fostered, adopted or just able to live in the sanctuary. Dharmahorse is an Herbal Stable Yard using phytotherapy (healing with plants) to support the horses’ wellbeing.
Located on the East Mesa of Las Cruces, the Sanctuary survives on donations, which are tax-deductible and used to buy feed and pay for equine health care. We have established a building fund for purchasing fence materials, plumbing supplies to run the needed water lines and materials for shelters for horses that will live there. The new facility is owned entirely by the sanctuary and will live on for many decades, providing compassionate care for unwanted horses.
To connect with the sanctuary, visit www.dharmahorse.org, call 575-541-0137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.