by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Soul of Photography

Horse Whisperer

Kendall Peterkin is passionate about caring for animals. She and her family have five dogs, three cats, and two fish. “It can get pretty hectic at times but I wouldn’t have it any other way!” admitted Kendall, who has always dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Kendall is currently staying at her family’s Rancho Santa Fe home during her summer break from college. This upcoming fall she will be attending her senior year at Princeton University, where she is team captain for the women’s volleyball team. While home for the summer, Kendall’s goal was to find work that involved helping animals. “Fortunately I became aware of Laughing Pony Rescue from my mom,” shared Kendall. “I was immediately interested in helping out and becoming a volunteer.”

The Laughing Pony Rescue is a nonprofit organization that rescues and rehabilitates sick, abused, and abandoned horses. “The facility also provides therapeutic riding sessions for individuals and groups with high-functioning disabilities of all ages, including veterans,” noted Kendall, who seems to have a knack for caring for the horses. “I absolutely love the hands-on experiences at Laughing Pony. The goal is to give them as much love and care as possible, rehabilitate them, and train them in basic skills.”

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Kendall further explained that her favorite part of volunteering has been witnessing the positive changes the horses have made since their arrival at the facility. “Sadly almost every horse has had a traumatic experience, whether it be locked in a small cage for years or put in a feedlot ready to go to the slaughterhouse,” stated Kendall. “Watching the animals transform into happy, ‘laughing,’ and loving horses is a remarkable, rewarding experience.”

Kendall noted that the organization is always looking for more people to get involved. “There is a Kids Day coming up on Aug. 7,” added Kendall. “Children will have a chance to ride, brush, and feed carrots to the horses. The money raised at events like this one is used to buy food and other supplies for the animals.”

As for one wish she would grant to Laughing Pony Rescue, Kendall replied, “To ensure that Laughing Pony has unlimited supplies and financial support to foster and care for the rescued horses. This would aid training and rehabilitation efforts and hopefully lead to quick adoptions so more room can be made for other neglected horses that require care.”

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Name: Kendall Peterkin
Community: South Point Farms
Volunteer Affiliation: The Laughing Pony Rescue
Occupation: Student at Princeton University
Family: Dad – Chris Peterkin; Mom – Joanna; Stepdad – Frank Tufaro; Sister – Devon (17)
Hobbies: Volleyball, working with animals, traveling
Favorite Local Spots: The Pancake House, Naked Café, Mille Fleurs


Group: The Laughing Pony Rescue
Mission: Laughing Pony Rescue is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to rescue and rehabilitate unwanted and abused horses of all breeds. Their long-term goal is to have a facility where disabled children and adults can take part in therapeutic riding programs featuring rescued horses.
Website: www.laughingponyrescue.com