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Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary has a three-fold mission: 1) to provide rescue, rehabilitation and lifetime sanctuary to abused, abandoned, neglected and unwanted horses; 2) to promote awareness of the principles of natural horsemanship through educational programs at the sanctuary; 3) to provide outreach assistance to horse owners in the community
Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary was founded in 2007 by Robin Cain, a professional animal handler who has extensive training in the Pat Parelli natural horsemanship program. The "nature of the horse" serves as the foundation for everything done at the sanctuary. Cross-ties, tie-downs, twitches, force, fear, and intimidation are not used. The horses are handled by everyone who works with them in a humane and natural (for the horse) way.
Since 2007, more than 55 horses have been rescued and given a lifetime home by Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, which depends solely on donations and volunteers. There are currently 29 horses and 2 donkeys living out their lives in peace and tranquility on a 23-acre ranch in Ona, Florida, not far from Bradenton and Sarasota. Additional horses and ponies have been placed in foster homes. All receive the physical care they need, but just as importantly, they are provided with the love, compassion, and attention some of them have never known.
Education and outreach are important components of the Sixteen Hands mission. Robin Cain conducts sessions designed to prevent abuse and teach children and adults about proper, humane horse care and handling.