Paul Gregory never imagined that he would be rehabilitating horses.After his father died three years ago, the younger Gregory quit his job as a real estate agent in Fort Lauderdale one day and then never looked back.
Located in Alachua, the Retirement Home for Horses serves as a safe haven to horses of many different backgrounds.Some are active military and police horses ready to retire, while others are abused, neglected, unwanted or overworked horses from rescue groups. The facility does not accept horses from private owners.
The horses are never worked or ridden again and stay at the farm until they pass away.Dakota, one of the horses who “welcomes” visitors by the kiosk when they arrive, is 44 years old – the equivalent of almost 128 human years.
“When it’s passed away, we bury them here at the farm,” Gregory said. “And we plant an oak tree in their memory.”
The farm is open to visitors every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Price for admission? Two carrots.
Cindy Frazier and her husband, Errand, run the Throw Away Rescue from their two-bedroom home in Chiefland. The overflow of animals at local shelters have prompted animal-loving people like the Fraziers to take in abandoned or abused animals.