Pandemic Pets: A Horse, of Course!
Jaime Rice and her husband purchased a farm during the pandemic, in June 2020, and she has made it a new home for some rescue calves and horses.
Most people who have chosen to adopt animals during COVID-19 have gone the typical route of a cat or dog. Or maybe a bunny rabbit or a lizard.
But most people aren’t Jaime Rice, a yoga instructor from Frankfort, Kentucky.
She grew up on a farm in Henry County, but when her grandfather had a stroke, the family moved into town. Ever since that time, she had longed to purchase a farm and return to her roots in some form or fashion. An unexpected silver lining of the pandemic is that she and her husband, Mike, found and purchased in June 2020 a farm, which they named Lost Acres, which is five minutes from their house. Jaime was hopeful that she would be able to adopt a horse, but her friend, who owns an animal sanctuary, told her about two calves that needed adoption. “I looked at my husband and said, ‘Oh, can I?,’” Jaime says. “So we adopted a blind baby calf (Boulder) and got a friend for him, the same age, a lame baby calf (Beauty).”
The calves came to Lost Acres Farm in July 2020. “Everything was closed up. I would go and spend hours at the farm. Caring for the cows was such a joy. I’m caring for this sentient being, and it helped me,” she says. Even though Jaime doesn’t consider herself a touchy or huggy person, the pandemic’s isolation had affected her.
Over the months, Jaime continued looking for a horse at Willow Hope Farm, the Kentucky Humane Society’s equine facility in Simpsonville, Kentucky. It was there that she found Blaze, a Bureau of Land Management mustang. “He had a pasture mate (Breeze) who was rescued from a hoarding case,” she says, and because they complemented each other, she decided to bring them both to Lost Acres. She has been training them both to understand sign language and hopes to one day be able to ride them.
Even though taking care of the animals has brought Jaime immense happiness, with two barns on the property, she hopes to eventually turn one of them into a yoga studio. As a yoga instructor who has practiced mindfulness for years, she sees a real connection between the animals and that mindset. “You’re thinking about something else other than yourself and caring for something else. That touch helps you be in the present moment,” she says. “You lose yourself out there in the farm.”
She and Mike hope to invite others to the farm so they can see the sustainable practices and the role that animals play in it.