Equine community torn apart by Stanford’s demands.
This petition had 721 supporters
Leland Stanford, co-founder of Stanford University, was passionate about horses. He established his Palo Alto Stock Farm in 1876, where top-of-the-line Standardbred and Thoroughbred horses were trained and bred. For decades, Stanford has been true to its equestrian roots, and has allowed hundreds of horse-lovers to board their horses on a small portion of its 8000 acres of land. However, as the years have passed, and the value of land has increased, it seems as though Stanford University has all but forgotten its pro-horse history. Stanford is now trying to close one of its long-term boarding facilities, Page Mill Pastures, where over 100 horses have lived peacefully for decades. The facility is simple and rustic, without even electricity,and its boarders are a quiet group who respect the land on which their horses live. Today, Stanford is swiftly forcing over 100 horses off its land, allowing a mere 25 to remain. For now. Their proposed lease allows them to demand any changes or even shut Page Mill Pastures down permanently with only a 90-day notice. Communication from the University's administration has been all but non-existent, and attempts at negotiation-stonewalled.
Once nicknamed "The Farm," Stanford University has turned its back on Page Mill Pastures (PMP) and grazing horses. While representatives claim it is interested in preserving sensitive species by removing the horses, there is no doubt that Stanford will most likely develop areas of this land that were previously reserved for our equine friends.
Once a relaxing and tranquil haven in the middle of the Silicon Valley, PMP is in ruin because of Stanford's harsh demands. Dedicated horse owners, some who have boarded their horses at PMP for decades, are witnessing the destruction of their tight-knit community. The alternatives are grim: sell their precious horses, with whom profound and loving bonds have formed, or board at a much more expensive location, where pasture horses are kept in small stalls or paddocks for a much steeper cost (if they can afford the price hike, which many cannot). In some cases, owners fear that they may have to even put down their beloved horses who need ongoing medical attention and care, as affordable boarding options are located in remote areas, quite far from their homes.
Many children have had their first ride on the back of a horse here. Others seek lessons to learn to groom, care for and ride independently. Those with disabilities have also benefited from hippotherapy or therapeutic horse riding, gaining balance, improving muscle tone and boosting self-esteem. The seniors who ride by daily in the transport bus look so forward to seeing these majestic animals on the way back to their care facility. These simple pleasures will be forever lost with the expulsion of the equestrian community.
What better way to escape the stress of Bay Area life than by spending time with or riding the winding trails while looking through the ears of a cherished horse?
Just last week, a man in a truck stopped on the side of the road, asking to merely touch a horse, an opportunity he had never been afforded. As he slid his hand along the neck of this gentle giant, a look of calm overcame his tense demeanor and a smile grew wider and wider with each passing moment.
If action is not taken NOW, moments like these will be forever lost, but distant memories in a past which offered solace and tranquility to its inhabitants. If nothing is done, we will lose these grazing pastures where horses are free to run, graze and roam to construction, housing and office buildings. Enough is enough! Please support the positive equestrian history behind Stanford, and say "NO" to their Robber Baron treatment of Page Mill Pastures. Allow Page Mill Pastures to continue to thrive, to change lives and to create wonder in the eyes of the young and the old. Thank you for your support.
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