Noble Horse Sanctuary’s Catherine Kirby is very down to earth and friendly, so much so that her title of executive director seems pretentious. Kirby and one employee, Tracey Bagley, take care of 10 horses at the sanctuary currently with the help of 14 volunteers.
Though Bagley is a paid employee Kirby does not collect a salary. She estimated that she works 55 hours a week and the last vacation she took might have been six years ago. “It doesn’t matter. I love being with the horses.”
Of the10 horses on site only about half will be adoptable. Some are just too old or cannot be ridden. There are four mustangs Kirby took in from a shelter that was forced to close.
Jess and Blacky are miniature horses, both well over 20 years old and what Kirby calls her most photogenic residents. Their owner died.
Noble’s most recently rescued residents are Charlotte and her seven-month-old foal Georgie. They were malnourished and neglected. Charlotte and Georgie are the most adoptable of the horses but it will take time to tame the colt and get Charlotte healthy enough to go to new homes.
Space is limited at Noble so the only way any new horse comes on board is another has to leave, either by adoption or succumbing to natural causes. Kirby says that once a horse is at Noble it has a home for life. Rescued horses that make it to Nobel are very lucky.
Kirby has been around horses since she was ten. She rescued her first thoroughbred horse when she was 12 and rode it for more than two decades. Her second horse, Noble, for whom the sanctuary is named, was part of Kirby’s life for 24 years. Just a few years after his death Kirby missed horses so much she started the Noble Horse Sanctuary to help at least a few of the hundreds of horses that need a place to live temporarily or in the last years of their lives.
The Noble Horse Sanctuary depends entirely on donations. Much of its operating budget last year came from Love Utah Give Utah campaign. The Sanctuary is once again part of the 2014 annual day of giving, March 20. Check out their fundraiser happening now.
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