A decade after Jennifer Swanson and Brad Gaver established Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue in Loxahatchee, Fla., the once business only partners tenderly professed their words of love to each other early Saturday evening in front of a flower embellished altar (huppah) in the middle of the rescue’s training paddock. Eric Frank officiated at the ceremony as family, friends, and horses participated in the couple’s romantic exchange of vows. As the groom stepped on and broke the ceremonial glass, the audience clapped while a barn full of horses in the background whinnied in excitement.
The couple sent out invitations to their guests informing everyone they wanted the horses to be the benefactors of the wedding, and in lieu of any gifts a donation be made to Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue. Their wedding registry listed only their local feed store.
The new Mrs. Gaver traded in her designer shoes and suits for blue jeans and boots. Her handsome groom dreamed of helping horses and watched as his dream turned into reality. Now the couple work hand in hand and hoof in hoof as more than 1500 horses have found new homes since the rescue began in January 2002.
The couple’s hard work has resulted in the rescue of pregnant mares, race horses, abused, neglected and the slaughter bound. Each year more than 130,000 horses from the United States are transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter to produce meat for human consumption overseas. Statistics reveal that 92 percent of American horses slaughtered are in good health; not the lame or the old as some would want Americans to believe. All horses are in danger of slaughter – whether Thoroughbreds, Arabians, pregnant mares, ponies and even miniature horses. Quarter horses have been the most popular breed slaughtered.
The new home of Pure Thoughts is located on F Road on a sprawling 25 acres of beautiful Florida farmland with 25 stalls, three paddocks, and plenty of room for expansion. The couple dream of building 14 more stalls, and a medical and quarantine barn for intensive care cases.
Through their hard work and the devoted volunteers who work side by side at Pure Thoughts, 33 horses and ponies are fed, trained, and made available for adoption when they are ready. Of course there are a few “lifers” who will always have a safe home at the rescue, but the goal is to find each and every horse a human to love.
Congratulations Brad and Jen. May your union bring you happiness and continue to save the lives of many more horses.
Click here to make a donation in honor of the bride and groom.
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