Our Story

“Mom, do you think we could ever have a horse in our family?”

My own childhood love of horses was stirred with this simple question, and I couldn’t say a definite “no” to my daughter, Betsy. We really couldn’t afford it, knowing that the budget was so tight it squeaked, our family did not have room for frivolous whims of fancy. My answer was: “If this isn’t a fad, Betsy, and if after a year you still want to muck out a stall, we will talk about it then.”

Betsy’s horse experience started with a sad little pony that had been bought from auction in Agawam. Betsy and her friend Bonnie groomed him on weekends and cleaned out his stall. It was the only attention this pony received. One year later, we were searching for a horse that would be safe and affordable. We found Abir al Saif, the most beautiful half Arabian horse that ever lived. Things just fell into place and with a small loan from Aunt Beta, we were able to buy “Abe,” thus begining a lifelong dream of living with horses. (Our logo is created from a picture of Betsy and “Abe” from back then.)

Twenty-four years later, both Betsy and Mom now have two barns full to the brim with beautiful horses. The road was bumpy but worth every mile. All through the “teenage” years of raising a family, a bond had been set that would not be broken. Both daughters, Betsy and Danielle, loved trail riding and showing and they both had a habit of rescuing someone. From chickens to horses, our family always had someone on the mend in the backyard (and many times, a little critter would be up in the bedroom unbeknownst to me).

Something else became painfully obvious to us back then. Many horses who had outlived their monetary usefulness seemed to get lost along the way. I received via email a video of horses in a slaughterhouse which made me ill for weeks; sadly, I’d had no idea what I was clicking on. This video, coupled with not knowing where so many beautiful horses would end up, catapulted the creation of a place where horses could come to for safety and kindness.

Betsy and I talked and decided we could give a little something back to the horse world for all it had done for us. We decided to start a rescue, help one or two horses that were in peril find a good home. We began the process of paperwork and state and federal applications. The two horses per year turned into no less than sixty-five in four years. We have rescued horses from New England to Canada and we still cannot give back what the horse world has given to us. We have made friends across this grand country of ours, strong bonds with people who have horses, lease horses, and those friends who cannot own a horse but love them and want to help them.

The plight of Premarin (PMU) mares and foals came to the forefront early on in our work, and we joined the many who wanted to educate women about the facts of hormonal drugs that are prescribed during menopause. The outcry from women was phenomenal and these Premarin (PMU) farms are fast becoming a thing of the past. We have seen firsthand how public outcry can bring about change; it takes time but it does make a difference. There is power in knowledge. The awareness of how carriage horses in our big cities are being ill-treated is also on the rise. There isn’t much romance for the horse that pulls the carriage.

We now have an executive board of dedicated volunteers who love being part of the horse world; saving horses that are abused, neglected, and abandoned is our mission. No one is given financial compensation for their work in the rescue. The pay is much richer than that. It is in the soul, where we all truly live that the rewards are doled out with abundance. To see a horse go from skin and bones and without hope to the fun-loving, playful, healthy being it was meant to be is reward enough for all of us. As for my precious family, all four kids are grown today and help with the rescue efforts in any way they can.

I truly wonder, is it us who saves these horses…or is it they who save our souls and remind us what this life is truly about, caring for one another?