Post Star Article December 2008
By NICK REISMANreisman@poststar.com
Updated: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 6:22 PM EST
ARGYLE — Her cheeks a bright shade of rose, Shannon Hahn bounced around the horse stables and spoke as crisply as the temperature. “I’m probably turning down 12 horses on average, a week,” she said quickly, as a caramel-colored mare nuzzled her. “Oh, hello my dear. They just can’t run fast enough to make people money.”It was a typical Wednesday at the Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary — if there is a “typical” day for the Argyle sanctuary for animals that, through abuse, neglect or circumstance, find themselves without a home.Hahn was hosting a group of four high-functioning young adults with disabilities who are part of the Innovations program at Community, Work & Independence (CWI).
The Queensbury-based program is designed to help them become familiar with a work environment, like keeping track of multiple responsibilities.
There weren't a lack of tasks to do on Wednesday, as Hahn’s stables descended into a form of controlled chaos.Horses trotted in from the pastures to happily munch on grains, two cats darted around the barn and a Saint Bernard named Georgia slumped lazily on the floor. Meanwhile, a collection of turkeys and chickens clucked outside, oblivious to the racket inside the barn. Mary Rose Kana, a participant in the program, filled a red plastic scoop with a generous helping of grain and placed the food in a bucket for a horse named Russell.The horse dug his nose into the bucket.
“I love every part of this,” she said. “I love being around animals. When I’m upset or sick, they make me feel better. It just works for me.”Kana works at McDonald’s part-time. She was a little hesitant to work with the large, sometimes unpredictable animals.“I was scared at first,” said Kana as she was sitting in Hahn’s living room, enjoying a warm cup of apple broth near a wood stove. “But I got the hang of it. You have to know what you’re doing.”