Source: Sherman Publications

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From Lake Orion to rescuing horses

by Megan Collier

May 18, 2011

Five weeks ago, a female horse arrived at a "kill" pen to await shipment to a slaughterhouse. Three days later, pen operators went to pack up the mare and found two horses instead of one.

A miracle occurred saving both lives, says rescue farm owner Lisa Marriot. Sometime in the night the mare gave birth though no one knew she was even pregnant.

"The colt literally saved his mom's life," said Marriot. The former Orion Township resident now runs Day Dreams Therapy and Rescue, Inc., helping abused or neglected horses heal and find new homes.

She added, "Slaughterhouses won't take foals, although they wouldn't have cared about killing her if she had still been pregnant. They do that all the time unfortunately. So, he decided to be born at just the right time."

Kill pen operators handed the horses over to Day Dreams Farm for $400, donated by one of Marriot's team. She says the mare is a beautiful standard bred horse, but with plenty of scars and harness marks from years of hard work.

"She has a really ugly knee like she was in a bad accident, but so far she seems sound. We'll know more when we try and ride her," noted Marriot. She added, the colt was terrified of Marriot and her team at first, but curiosity got the better of him and he walks right up to them now.

"It's pretty cool having a baby around, everybody loves him," she said of the now month-old colt. She believes he was born April 10.

Raised off of Clarkston Road where her brother and parents still live, Marriot now resides in St. Clair County. Her husband works for the sheriff there – her mother works as a dispatcher at the Lake Orion Police Department.

"I've always rescued animals," she said, including dogs and cats from Pontiac in the freezing cold. "I even rescued a bat once, but he didn't survive."

Happy endings to sad stories is why Marriot started Day Dreams Farm and why she's been rescuing animals since she was growing up. She and her team have had the farm for 10 years. Now officially a rescue farm, Marriot used to run it as a private service.

"We're just trying to educate people about the plight of the unwanted horses. What they don't realize is that horse slaughter is alive and well, and horses have to endure unspeakable abuse," she said. The way to end abuse is to stop breeding so many horses and be educated about what could happen after sending a horse to auction. In other words, just like folks spay or neuter their dogs and cats, so too should they spay or neuter their horses.

"I just talked to a girl the other day who was sending her horse to the auction because she really thought that since there are no slaughter houses here, he'd find a good home," said Marriot, but that's not the case as horses are regularly shipped across the US border to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico.

Anyone interesting in donating time or money to Day Dreams Farm can learn more by visiting their web site at www.daydreamsfarm.com. There, visitors can also find information on horse rescue, riding lessons and the farm's 2011 goal to become an Equine Assisted Learning and Handicapped Riding Facility.