Nestled in a forested area off of Highway 17 in Mattawa, five horses are living a second life due to the efforts of two local teenagers.
“A rescue horse can be just as good, if not better, than a horse you purchase or a horse that has been trained already,” said 16-year-old Alexandra Grigorov.
“Because they’re just so thankful for like their second chance and their opportunity.”
Along side her sister Adrianna, the twins have been rescuing horses since their parents brought home their first set when they were just 9-years-old.
“When I was turning 9 I got my first horse and it was an OTTB (off the track thoroughbred) and we knew absolutely nothing about horses,” said Adrianna.
“But we learned. So just the fact that like she was going to go off to slaughter if we didn’t take her. I just liked the fact that we gave her a second chance.”
Since then, the girls have been saving horses whenever they can. Right now they have five on the property, including a pony named Bam Bam who they adopted when they were 10.
However, on top of giving these horses a second chance at a good life, the two teens have also re-trained them all so that they can actually help pay their own way.
“We take people, guest that stay at my parents resort, on trail rides and they pay us for them,” said Adrianna.
“Then we use that money to pay for their vet bills, their grain and stuff to feed them.”
“Horses are normally quite expensive and it’s actually very beneficial for us to use that money for something like horses because then they pay for themselves instead of us having to pull out of our pockets to pay for them,” adds Alexandra.
“And honestly, the horses deserve the best, they’ve had a hard go at it in their past lives so I feel like they deserve the best care they can have.”
All of the money earned from trail rides at the Mattawa River Resort immediately goes back into the horses making sure that they have everything they need.
“We spend quite a bit on grain,” said Adrianna.
“We spend like $300 every two weeks on grain for them and then they need hay for the year, which costs a couple thousand. Like vet bills every year, they need their shots, which is a couple hundred per horse. They’re expensive.”
As for the guests, they get the chance to see everything that Mattawa has to offer from horseback.
“We take them throughout our 140 acres worth of trails and our neighbours are nice enough to let us use their trails that connect to ours,” explains Alexandra.
“So we go through all of them and we get to go through the bush and see the ponds and the rivers and the pine trees on horseback and it’s very, very beautiful.”
Due to the provincial wide shut down, the horses are currently taking a small break, however, bookings are expected to resume on Jan. 11 and can be made by messaging the resort.
With post-secondary school in sight for both girls, they say five is enough for now, but when they get more horses in the future, they will be rescues too.
“I believe that adopting is a lot better than purchasing from a breeder or something like along the lines of a fully trained horse. They just deserve so much better then what they were treated before they came here,” said Alexandra.
“Horses that are rescued are just so grateful and they’re so happy to meet everybody and get all the attention. They just love it.”