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A Place for Peanut


Peanut

Peanut

A Horse Lover’s Rescue Organization Helps Animals Escape Shocking Living Conditions

Text by Melanie Saxton Horse photos by Megan Stevens Cardet

Equestrian Megan Stevens Cardet enjoys sharing her love of horses with the families of north Houston and beyond. Today she oversees the rescue and adoption of horses and ponies from all over the state, and lovingly cares for them at A Place for Peanut in the Tomball area. These noble, beautiful animals have been given a new lease on life and many have found sponsors or forever homes thanks to the organization.

At her sanctuary, adults and children of all ages learn about the bright side of rescue, which is the rehabilitation of neglected, abused and abandoned horses. Many become companions and therapy horses, while others go on to lucrative show careers.

Megan’s a real estate agent and photographer. She and former sports anchor Bob Allen are getting married this month. Megan supported him throughout his recent — and successful — treatment for a form of T-cell lymphoma. She also introduced him to the world of horse rescue, a shockingly traumatic reality that few know exists. Bob serves as a board member for A Place for Peanut in addition to his longstanding service on the board of The Sunshine Kids.

 

Peanut’s Journey

A Place for Peanut was founded in January 2016 so that others can experience the joy of spending quality time with a horse. But it is also a sanctuary for horses who would otherwise face unspeakable plights. The acreage is home to a mix of 40 miniature horses, well-trained Arabians and Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers, Belgian Drafts and Mustangs — each with compelling backstories that are not for the faint of heart. The fate of unwanted horses is simply shocking.

It all started with Peanut, a miniature filly measuring a delicate 29 inches tall. One would think such charming, pint-sized horse would be cherished as someone’s pet, but this was not the case for Peanut. She was discovered in a Texas “kill pen,” a place where owners and breeders dump their unwanted horses. Peanut was separated from her mother, who had been sent to slaughter. This gruesome death sentence awaits horses who are transported to Mexico and killed for meat consumption in foreign countries. Some of the animals don’t survive the trip.

Thankfully, Megan intervened, and Peanut is now thriving alongside her herd mates. Currently in training to become a therapy horse, she’s the inspiration behind Megan’s rescue efforts.

 

Sad Starts to Bright Futures

Horses are intelligent creatures and can overcome abuse and neglect. Perhaps that’s why they make such great therapy horses for people of all ages. “We are an all-volunteer, nonprofit charity, and while most of our rescued horses are rehomed, we also keep a few as therapy horses to work with adults and children who have experienced traumatic events in their life,” says Megan. A Place for Peanut offers private sessions and plans to offer more once the organization grows.

Scout, who is extremely sweet, is a therapy horse. Hope became a nurse mare for orphaned Max, and they became therapy horses. Shortstack, who was untouchable and terrified of humans, learned to trust again and is also a therapy horse. Rosebud was rescued from the kill pen and gave birth to Vida the following month. Both are in training to be therapy horses, and many others in the herd are proof positive that loving care can work miracles.

The endless number of stories each have their own twist. One rescue involved a blind paint pony, Stevie Wonder, and his companion, a black Tennessee Walker named Lucky. “Stevie was separated from Lucky at the kill pen,” says Megan. “He was lost, inconsolable and couldn’t see a thing. So we tracked down Lucky as he was headed to slaughter and were able to reunite them.”

 

A Horse of Your “Own”

People love visiting A Place for Peanut, and anyone can set up an appointment to watch the horses run with the herd. Some families can’t afford the boarding and upkeep of their own horse, but support and spend time with the rescues. Their monthly sponsorship helps purchase hay, veterinarian care and supplies, and encourages children to develop a sense of “ownership” and responsibility. They also have the opportunity to see newborn ponies. In fact, Silvermist will deliver this month. She came to the shelter pregnant, extremely underweight, and with a foal at her side. Her foal did not survive, but Megan is working tirelessly to ensure Silvermist’s new baby will be born healthy.

People adopt the horses from as far away as Montana. Faith and her foal, Eli, who was born in the kill pen, were nurtured back to health and adopted in August. But many are still waiting for their “forever homes.” Rowdy is bonded with Daisy; they are available as a pair. Millie is a highly trained Arabian who would be an excellent show prospect. Sparkle came in over the summer and is healthy and rideable. Shiloh was once a free-range Mustang whose freeze brand (from a super cold iron rather than the traditional hot iron) denotes he’s from the Nevada range and was born in 2009.

 

Help the Cause

With the important role of the horse throughout history, it is incomprehensible to Megan that these noble creatures are betrayed by their owners and a predatory industry. Rescue groups are doing what they can to intervene, and Megan is an advocate for reform.

“While it is illegal to eat horse meat in the states, our government is sending thousands of our horses overseas for slaughter and human consumption. We must pass the Safe Act HR1942 so that our horses can no longer be sent to kill pens,” she says.

At this moment, A Place for Peanut needs 20 round bales of hay. Without help, Megan cannot sustain her mission to save these horses. “They are so grateful for a second chance at life and are blossoming into the horses God meant them to be,” she says. Call 832-689-5740 to talk to Megan about donating, sponsoring and adopting. Through donations, she is able to continue their rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming. Donating is easily done from Facebook (facebook.com/aplaceforpeanut) and the website (APlaceForPeanut.com). There are three monthly levels of sponsorship, so families can contribute comfortably. “Every bit helps, and we appreciate the community support,” says Megan.

 Diego, the Nokota war pony, with Megan. (Photo - Paige Holsapple

Diego, the Nokota war pony, with Megan. (Photo – Paige Holsapple) 

Sparkle and Lily

Sparkle and Lily

Alexander with Emme

Alexander with Emme

Sawyer with the babies

Sawyer with the babies

Emme with Indy

Emme with Indy

Daisy and Rowdy

Daisy and Rowdy

Zoe

Zoe

Benny

Benny

Rosebud, Vida and Emme

Rosebud, Vida and Emme

Sawyer with Shortstack

Sawyer with Shortstack

Scout and Geronimo

Scout and Geronimo

 


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