Diane Delano – founder of the Wild Horse Rescue Center, a facility in Webster, Florida that rescues, rehabilitates and finds a new home for wild horses – recalls growing up in a family of horse lovers in an interview with Talking Animals she started riding at the age of three.
This was in the Catskills, where Delano says she often played outside and looked after various wild animals, including the woodchuck called the Peanut. A few years after the family moved to central Florida, something crucial happened for Delano at the age of 13: Her father gave her a horse named Raindrop, which had been part of Delano’s life for 34 years.
You can hardly imagine someone whose youth – actually his childhood – anticipated his life’s work more directly. Especially when Delano met her first wild horse. She describes her longstanding relationship with the Bureau of Land Management, which includes Delano, who was selected by the BLM as its Compliance Officer.
She talks about the Wild Horse Rescue Center, both by numbers (currently 64 horses on 42 acres), as well as some specific horse residents from the past and present, and how a new brand of volunteers – residents of The Villages, a nearby well-known retirement community – occurred when Covid-associated restrictions forced the suspension of the centre’s large international volunteer program.