Students visit horse-rescue ranch

By Roger Cardillo

josh feeds horseAll children have one thing in common — they learn in a multitude of different ways. Our recent field trip to Wildhorse Ranch Rescue in Gilbert gave my Gompers Private School students an opportunity to socialize with rescued animals and understand the value of being kind to all creatures.

Wildhorse Ranch Rescue was started in 1995 by Intel Corporation employee Kim Meagher. When she and her two young children, Nick and McKay, learned that more than 60,000 homeless horses in the United States are sent to horrible deaths each year, they knew they wanted to help.

burro cropFor the first five years, they rescued horses privately. Finally, in 2000, they received nonprofit status for Wildhorse Ranch Rescue and were able to broaden their rescue outreach.

I visited WRR one day nine years ago and, as a crusader for animal rights, I’ve been involved with the organization ever since.

Since its beginnings, WRR has expanded its reach to rescue other animals. Our students from Gompers Private School visited horses, burros and cats up close and were able to feed, groom and touch the various textures of the animals. They were educated on all aspects of animal care and anatomy.

roger and senekaThe students were very calm around the animals and very taken by their gentle behaviors. They especially enjoyed feeding and grooming. It was a great day.

In addition to WRR, each year we visit Hunkapi, an equine therapy organization in Scottsdale that allows the students to experience horseback riding. We also plan field trips to wildlife safari parks, the zoo and the aquarium because our students are so intrigued and captivated by various species and types of animals.


Roger Cardillo earned his master’s degree in special education from the University of Phoenix and is certified in all related developmental delays and disciplines.