14-year-old Giordanna George is well on her way to accomplishing her dream of owning a horse sanctuary. Giordanna is assisted by her family in running a sanctuary just east of Stettler for seven horses but will soon be growing her operations take in additional herd of nine horses in May. In addition to caring for the sanctuary horses, Giordanna sells preservative-free all natural treats for horses and dogs to help cover the costs associated with the care of the horses.
The entire operation began with the rescue of a senior horse named Mick Jagger at a horse auction in December of 2020.
“We had rescued an old outfitters horse from some auction. He was going to the meat buyer and that's the first rescue that we did bring home. She knows what happens at auctions and things like that. She was kind of wanting to do her part and we thought we'd bring him home and give him a nice sanctuary for the remainder of his life,” said Jennifer George, Giordanna’s mother.
Mick Jagger ended up being very scared of people, he had scars on his body, and he couldn’t stand on his feet due to a condition called coffin bone rotation. The horse needed certain medication but wouldn’t eat anything. Giordanna began the quest to find her new senior horse the perfect treat to administer his medicine.
“Long story short, these treats saved his life because he wouldn't have been able to have any quality of life without his medications and now with all kinds of therapies, and he's trotting around and all the neighborhood kids come over and ride them. It's quite remarkable," said Jennifer.
Giordanna has always been an animal lover. One day, she hopes to become an equine vet that helps low-income families with expensive procedures and care. Her goal is that the money from her small business called Sisters’ Horse and Dog Treats will be both enough to take care of the horses as well as provide an income to help put her through veterinary school.
“It’s originally started for her and her baby sister. It's kind of where she came up with the name. We have apple trees all over the place. That's one of her main ingredients in her soft horse treats. Her and her little baby sister go out in the yard and pick all the apples…. Her baby sister is now two-and-a-half and she puts all the labels on the packages and puts little bows on pretty stuff like that. Now she has a baby brother who's 11-months-old so we may need to alter the name because he likes to help too,” explained Jennifer.
This Valentines Giordanna is selling chocolates with all the proceeds going towards the care of the sanctuary horses. From vet care, farrier work, vaccinations, medications, dental work, blankets, heaters and food, it is no secret that the care of these senior horses can be quite costly.
“I think the easiest way to look at it would be a six-pack of chocolate covered strawberries is $20, that's 20 kilogrambag of senior horse feed for one horse for one week we have seven right now,” said Jennifer.
Jennifer estimates the care of each horse runs around $500 a month on top of many veterinary procedures that are often very complicated.
“That's why everybody surrenders their senior horses or auctions them because they just can't afford to take care of them especially with the economy right now. It’s really sad,” she added.
You can purchase everything from chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, and more to help support Giordanna’s dream. You can order the Valentines treats or the horse and dog treats from Giordanna’s Facebook Page here.
Additionally, the George’s will also be attending the Horse Expo at the Westerner Park from April 15-17th.