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Massapequa Observer - Schools

Horses Trot To A Healthy Lifestyle

College student Lucia Rothe trotted her way into the hearts of the abused and neglected animals at H.O.R.S.E of Connecticut this past month. These innocent animals were once tortured and Rothe hopes to raise awareness of that adding to the success of this organization and to put these horses on the road to health.

This past month, Rothe, a North Massapequa resident and graduate of Farmingdale High School, visited H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut with her public relations class to get a better understanding of the horses. Each student in the class was assigned to a couple of horses at the farm that are up for adoption in which they were able to meet them, take pictures with them and learn a little about their past.  

“Seeing the horses at the farm was really an eye-opening experience for me,” said Rothe, who now attends Sacred Heart University in Connecticut studying communications and public relations. “I never could imagine that something could hit this close to my heart and inspire me to get so involved.”

H.O.R.S.E of Connecticut is a horse rehabilitation center that is looking for people to adopt and/or donate to these once tortured, starved and abused animals. This stable is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of these abused and neglected horses where the care and help is greatly appreciated.  

The instructor of the class, Debbie Danowski, Ph.D., who has worked in public relations for more than two decades, is a firm believer in creating active and engaged learning opportunities for students.   

“I am very grateful to offer students the opportunity to combine real-world public relations experience based on theoretical knowledge while at the same time helping a respected non profit organization. The students have created publicity materials that are already being used by H.O.R.S.E of Connecticut,” said Danowski, associate professor and chair of the Communications and Media Studies Department at Sacred Heart University.

Rothe was delighted to work with this organization not only because it serves as a great benefit towards her work experience but also because she believes it is a wonderful cause.

“This experience gave me the best of both worlds. It was so nice to be able to help such a great cause but also get the experience that will help with my career,” said Rothe. “I am so inspired to get more people involved and work towards my goal.”

Wilbur and Breezy are the names of the horses Rothe was assigned and met with on her visit to the farm. Wilbur is a 31-year-old; registered standard bred gelding state starvation case that loves trail rides with other horses. Breezy is a 20-year-old BLM Mustang Mare who also loves grooming and attention. These horses all have inspiring background stories about their way back to health which makes you want to do whatever possible to help. There are so many opportunities’ and ways to help these horses, without having to visit the farm or without even having to be in Connecticut.

According to Ann Lynch, treasurer of the organization, it cost approximately $5,000 a year to care for a standard-size horse, not including medical expenses. Lynch estimates that the organization will spend nearly $25,000 on Duke next year.

Sacred Heart University students are working with this organization to gain understanding in the PR field while at the same time helping such a respected organization.  

“We are thrilled to have Sacred Heart University students working with H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut,” said Patty Wahlers, president of H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut, which has rescued more than 650 horses over the past 30 years. “The students have already created flyers, brochures, email articles and even a banner that we’re using. The quality of their work is excellent and they share a real passion for helping the horses that have been abused and neglected. We are entirely volunteer-supported so the students working with us means a lot.”