Rio Rancho woman seeks to start state’s only young horse rescue

RIO RANCHO, NM (KRQE) – A Rio Rancho woman wants to start the first rescue facility in the state for young horses.

The matter will be discussed at Tuesday night’s Zoning and Planning meeting at 6 p.m.

Shani Silver wants to start the Penny Lane Foal Rescue and Training facility, named for one of the horses she rescued.

“It would be the only foal and young horse rescue in the state of New Mexico,” Silver stated. “While it is a small operation, it is the only one designed to take on horses under six months of age.”

She said it’s also an opportunity for kids to learn to train and care for the young animals.

The fees from students would go toward medical expenses for the foals.

Silver said the facility could save lives.

“If people are unable to step up and help these young horses, there’s a possibility they could end up in livestock auctions and be brought down south into Mexico where they have meat processing plants,” she said.

She has already faced hurdles of trying to get this venture off the ground: her acreage limits the intake to six horses and the facility would need oversight from the Planning and Zoning board, the Building Department, Livestock Board and Animal Control.

“These foals are brought in, trained [and] given medical treatment,” she said. “That is very unusual for a residential community.”

Still, it’s a passion she said is worth pursuing.

Silver said if the board does not approve her request for the conditional use permit, she will seek out other permit and zoning options or look for land suitable for her cause. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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