Therapy Horses Missing From Pasture

The owner of a nonprofit group that provides equine-assisted therapy to war veterans and disabled children says two horses used the program were taken from their pasture in LaValle, Wis., last week.

Barbara Knopf, owner and operator of Veteran Equine Trail Services, said that a 3-year-old palomino Morgan horse and a sorrel Morgan yearling filly went missing on March 13. Both horses were in training to be used providing therapy for disabled veterans, those suffering from traumatic post-traumatic stress disorder, and their families. Knopf said the missing horses were among 30 animals used in the program.

“The palomino was the personal therapy horse of a major in the Wisconsin National Guard and the filly was the personal therapy horse for a K-9 (police) officer from the Chicago area,” Knopf said. “It was devastating for them, and for me, too.”

Knopf speculates that whoever took the animals was familiar with the program rural location.

To recover the animals, Knopf has contacted local veterinarians, farriers, and horse trainers as well as veterans' groups and even postal carriers; “We hope someone has seen something,” she said.

Knopf said the Sauk Sheriff's Department is investigating the case; however, she said she will not prosecute those responsible if the horses are returned safely.

“I don't care if they dump the horses in my back yard and say nothing,” Knopf said. “I just want the horses back safely.”

Anyone with information about the horses is asked to call 608/393-6315 or 608/985-8886, or email

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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