Horse rescue in Quebec giving front-line workers a space to heal

VAUDREUIL-DORION, QUE. — The Horse Tale Rescue farm is no ordinary equine farm, as it’s providing a therapeutic place for health-care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When I’m here, my head is here, my feet are on the ground,” said youth and family social worker Darlene Job. “I enjoy every minute of it. I’m focused on what I can do for these awesome horses and what joy that brings me.”

A Horse Tale Rescue provides a place for abandoned horses or former working animals in the horse-and-buggy industry.

The non-profit organization created a program for community groups with special needs to bond with the animals. It has since expanded the program to include health-care workers, and will soon be reaching out to teachers.

“They’re giving so much of themselves to help us during the pandemic so it’s the least we can do, give them the opportunity to come out and spend time with Max and Rusty and the rest of the horses,” said founder Mike Grenier.

Job’s grandmother and uncle recently died, and her daughter in Australia recently had a baby boy named Caleb, who she is unable to visit.

“It makes mad, (and) makes me sad at the same time because I love babies and I’ve devoted a lot of my career to helping other people with their children and because of the pandemic I can’t go and help my own child,” said Job.

What Job can do is care for the horses, who have been through their own hardships.

“It’s calming, and also it’s kind of impressive,” said social worker Genevieve Tousignant. “It’s big, so you need to pay attention. It brings you in the present so that’s why it feels good.”

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