Giddings to the rescue

Written by Bob on September 21st, 2009

Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch has a variety of beautiful and well trained horses available for adoption.
By BOB OTTO / Writer and Photographer

PERRIS, CA – Leigh-Ann Giddings works 12-hour days, seven days a week. And in the past nine years she’s yet to take a vacation, or even a day off.


“I love horses, I love these animals, and it (hurts) me to see them abused,” Giddings said.

Giddings owns and operates Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch, where she boards, sells, and consigns horses of all breeds.

But more importantly she rescues horses that need a knight in shining armor to come galloping to their aid. And in this down turned economy, more and more horses desperately need her help.

And that means that Giddings spends nearly all of her waking hours either running her ranch or hitching up her horse trailer to her truck and setting out to pick up another horse in need of rescuing.

Vacation? Time off? Forget it. She has no time off.

Job losses, divorce, and the high cost of owning a horse, can ignite a disastrous situation for horses and ponies. As well as the owners.

Her latest rescue involved a family living near San Diego who lost their home and ranch, and subsequently had to give up their horse. One call to Giddings and she “saddled up” and headed south to bring the horse in need of a new home, home.

Some of her rescues are near tragic. She’s encountered situations where the horses are so malnourished that their ribs are showing. Cases in which the horses’ hooves have become elongated and curve up vertically like snow skis because the owners have neglected to trim them.

She’s rescued horses infested with mange and fungus. And she’s rescued horses locked up in stalls with barely enough room to turn around – horses that have gone without any exercise for months.

When Giddings brings them to her Perris ranch, she nurses them back to health.

In one corral, two beautiful and gentle mares munch on slabs of hay side-by-side. “Their hooves were so bad they could hardly walk, and their ribs showed when I got them,” Giddings said.

That was a couple of weeks ago. Now, their coats shine, their hooves are neatly trimmed, and their ribs no longer show. Seeing them gallop about her large, oval training corral with their manes and tales flying, enjoying the freedom to run, you wouldn’t think that at one time they had been mistreated.

Giddings feeds, grooms, exercises, and trains her equines so that they can be adopted (for a sales fee) out to loving homes. The sales fees helps pay for the rent, feed, and costs to operate the ranch.

She has beautiful horses of varying breeds, such as a thoroughbred named Sampson; two mustangs, Sage and Isis; and Trinket, a playful four-month-old with a blaze running down its forehead.

Work on the ranch never stops. Whether the weather’s cold or hot, rain or shine, the horses need tending. And she can’t do it alone. With about 20 horses on the ranch, the workload can be daunting. So she asks for volunteers to help out.

Volunteers get to groom, exercise, water and feed, and clean out stalls and corrals.

“I’m so thankful for the people that help out,” Giddings said, adding that those who have been thinking about owning a horse can get valuable training – hands on – to determine whether or not horse ownership is right for them.

To learn more about volunteering or adopting a horse, and other ranch services, call Giddings at (951) 295-8114. Or visit the ranch website at the following link:

Giddings Horse Rescue Ranch

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