Nonprofit Pegasus Rising in urgent need of a new home for horses


By Karen Billing

The horses of Pegasus Rising are in need of a rescue again.

After six years at the Valenti Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe, the organization that provides equine therapy to military personnel is in urgent need of a new home: They need to be out by Aug. 15.

Irene Valenti had donated the use of her property to Pegasus Rising but is no longer able to accommodate the program, according to Gary Adler, president and CEO.

“We are very grateful for Irene Valenti’s generosity and support,” said Adler. “We’re appealing to the public to help us financially with the relocation, and we’re also looking for information, anyone who knows or owns any property that is vacant and (is) willing to allow us to maintain it as our home and improve it so we can continue to operate our programs.”

Pegasus Rising began in the Sacramento area in 2008, when a herd of 14 horses was rescued from a farm that could no longer care for them. The 14 horses went from a life of neglect to serving a noble purpose: Their traumatic history allows them to be empathetic and mirror the anxieties exhibited by people who have been exposed to violence.

The organization serves between 1,000 to 1,200 people a year, predominantly military personnel, many of whom have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries. Through the therapy program, humans and horses are partnered for healing.

Adler said they are hoping to find a new home close by, somewhere above SR-56, between Interstate 5 and Interstate 15, south of SR-78. Having the horses too far east or inland will make it difficult to operate their programs, he said.

Adler said he has been working with some potential refuges for the horses if a permanent location isn’t found right away. Any help that people are willing to provide is welcome at this time, he said.

“The No. 1 thing that would save us would be a home,” Adler said.

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