Look for our funny hints that your child might be horse crazy a little later today!

1. Has your child been taught basic horsemanship such as how to properly approach a horse, lead a horse, walk around a horse, make a horse back up?

2. Is this a horse that you want your child to learn to ride on or has your child already been taking lessons? It really is better for a child to take lessons first at an established barn with seasoned lesson horses. That way your child will get a good foundation.

3. Is your child gonna to stick with riding? Is this just a phase? Have they pestered you and pestered you to go ride horses? The last thing you want to do is buy a horse just to turn around and sell it again.. (Referring back to #2.. Taking lessons is often an excellent idea so that you can know if this is going to be something they want to commit to.)

4. Does your child persevere? Are they going to give up just because they can’t master something on the first try? Are they going to be upset when they join the “Dusty Butt Club”?

5. Is your child responsible? Will they take care of the horse like it deserves? Will they go out in the snow and cold to feed the pony (go down to your boarding barn) Will they properly warm up and cool down the pony? Are they willing to put in the effort? (Hint, if it is a big battle for you to get your child to water the dog or cat, owning a horse is not for them)

6. Is your child good at following directions and taking instruction? The last thing you want to happen is for your child to ignore good advice while directing a 900 pound animal.

7. Is your child timid around horses? This type of child takes a special horse. Horses are very intuitive and can sense what is inside of a person. You may need the input of a seasoned horse person to help you find a good match for this child. You are looking for one that can instill a sense of confidence in your child and be exceptionally quiet.

8. Does your child have a respect for the feelings of animals? Nothing makes us cringe more than to see a child jerking on a horse’s face and whacking them with a crop while yelling about “this stupid horse”. There is a difference between a child who is learning to ride and is therefore using the reins to balance (who someone is hopefully coaching to overcome this) and a child who is just being plain old insensitive to the fact that their steed has feelings.

9. and finally, and PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL!!! HAS YOUR CHILD BEEN TAUGHT THE ONE-REINED or ONE-HANDED STOP? This tool could quite literally save your child one day down the road. We hope that all instructors will teach this to your child almost from the very beginning. It doesn’t matter if your horse does not know it (although it certainly helps);only that the rider does!

This little fella is one of our most famous rescues. Many people followed Turner’s story as his leg was corrected. Heart of Phoenix will be publishing a book featuring Turner as a fundraiser! We hope to have it released before Christmas season for all those relatives of pony loving children! Here is Turner’s video if you haven’t seen it!

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Heart of Phoenix has a pretty awesome announcement. . .

Our board of directors decided that it was in the best interest of the rescue to invest in a heavier duty, newer truck given how often we haul horses instead of repairing the older truck. Safety and knowing we will not break down with horses in the trailer is paramount, especially given the distance we haul often.

The great folks at Old VicDonalds Farm, who have kindly helped HOP in the past, let us buy this truck for many thousands under book value to give the rescue the best truck for the money possible.

Thanks to the Tractor Supply Contest win and the matching offer we had last week on likes and donations, we are able to purchase this truck, cover the rescue intake costs of two horses (Schmidtty and the senior STB) and buy 20 round bales of hay and square bales for winter!

While $10,000 does not last long in rescue, we are so THANKFUL we were able to have so many needs met with this amazing contest win!

The dodge truck will be sold, as is, in order for the rescue to buy a large flatbed trailer for hauling large loads of hay, which will work out great!

 — with Tinia Creamer.


Jakes loves the creek

The Fabulous Jake Fiddy!!!

Seriously wanted zilch to do with the creek…then upon believing that getting in the creek was his idea…opted to become a fish  Kim Nuckles was my witness— with Tinia Creamer and 4 others.

What questions would you like answered? They can be questions about a specific rescue horse, about horse husbandry, about horse products, or maybe about one of our volunteers or fosters. We are trying hard to be a “holistic rescue” who serves both equines and humans with equines.

We may not know the answer to every question but we will sure try hard to answer the ones we can! (feel free to pm them if you like)

Here is the first question we will answer.

“What does Coggins mean?”

Getting a Coggins means that a horse has had blood drawn and sent off to a lab to test for Equine Infectious Anemia. Without a negative Coggins certificate, a horse is not allowed to cross state lines, be at a show grounds or often live in a boarding barn. All of our adoptable horses come to their new owners with a current Coggins certificate.

Here is Chism getting a Coggins and a teeth float
(He has long since been adopted and renamed Journey)

Love this photo of Memphis and his adopter today!! — with Jim Gerchow.
Seeing so many photos today of HOP horses out on the trail

We have started this Q and A post and had a question come in we were actually already planning to cover.

The horse pictured is Boone who we worked with the local sheriff to rescue back in May and he has since been adopted.

The question is, “What do you do when you see a horse being mistreated?”

First of all, this is a frustrating thing and depending on what state you see this in, it can get really frustrating. It escapes us why it is so very hard to get help for horses from the parties who are supposed to be the advocates for them but it surely can be. The following article can be a good place to start. Also, if it is within our “area” (which is WV, close to WV in Ohio, and close to Ashland, Ky or in some cases close to Louisville), you can pm us with photos and detailed descriptions of the problem and SOMETIMES we can help. We HAVE to work within the law and within our capacity with the limited space and funding we have.

But here is the article….

“If you suspect a horse is not receiving adequate care, it is important to take proper steps to report it.

We have all been there, though no one ever wants to be. You take a new back road route on your way to work, and notice a small herd of horses that look underweight. Or you’re walking through a barn, and observe someone reprimanding a horse too harshly. Any horse lover in these situations starts to have questions and concerns run through their minds. Do the skinny horses have access to food and water? Are they elderly, or ill? What did the horse being reprimanded do, and was this a one-time occurrence, or regular treatment?

It’s not unusual to feel somewhat helpless as well. What can you do? Who do you tell? How do you find out if the horses are at risk, and how do you prove it?

Are they at risk?

If you are concerned about a particular situation, it is first important to familiarize yourself with what constitutes reportable abuse and neglect. Stacy Segal, director of equine initiatives for the ASPCA Equine Fund, says: “The key to assessing if a horse is in need of assistance is having an understanding of basic equine care. Having knowledge about what constitutes appropriate feed and water, basic equine care (hoof care, dental care, parasite control) and even herd behavior will help determine whether a horse is in need of assistance. Definitions of abuse and neglect can vary, depending on the jurisdiction. Neglect typically refers to a failure to provide food, shelter, water and necessary veterinary care.”

“Abuse, on the other hand, translates into the intentional physical abuse of an equine animal,” explains Jennifer Warmke, president of the Northwest Equine Stewardship Center. “According to the legal dictionary, animal cruelty is defined as ‘the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on an animal…beyond necessity for normal discipline. It can include neglect that is so monstrous that the animal has suffered, died or been put in imminent danger of death’.”

Examining things in context

It is very easy to become extremely concerned when you see an animal receiving anything less than the best of care. So how can you tell if you are really witnessing equine neglect or abuse? “The first step is to consider the situation in context,” cautions Jennifer. “For example, seeing a person hit a horse once might not be animal cruelty, but seeing it over and over again changes the context. However, repeated incidents of cruelty are often signs of abuse because a pattern forms.

“The same is true for equine neglect,” she adds. “In the example provided at the beginning of this article, neglect was in the form of inadequate food, water and shelter. Again, it is important to consider the context of the situation. If a horse kept on pasture runs out of water one day, it might be an honest mistake. But if a horse is constantly without water and has no access to a potable water source, this probably constitutes neglect.”

Involving the authorities

If you have examined the situation and feel that further action needs to be taken, the next step is contacting the appropriate authorities. “In most cases, local law enforcement will be the agency that has the ability to investigate, and if necessary, intervene on behalf of neglected or abused animals,” says Stacy. “Let them know you would like law enforcement to do a welfare check on the animals in question. Be sure to ask for the name of the person you’re speaking with and make a note of the time and date of the conversation. While you can request a follow-up call, understand that law enforcement cannot always disclose the details of an investigation, and they need time to build a case.

“In some states, animal welfare agencies have law enforcement authority when it comes to animal concerns. This is why it’s important to have an understanding of who has jurisdiction in your community. Even if the local animal shelter or horse rescue does not have jurisdiction, it’s always good to notify them of your concern as well. Often, they have relationships with law enforcement and can act as an advocate for the horses, or offer additional resources.”

Reporting an incident

“First and foremost, it is important to remember that it is never a good idea to trespass when trying to help an animal,” warns Stacy. “If an animal appears to be in immediate need of intervention, call law enforcement, describe what you’re witnessing, and if possible, wait at the scene until they arrive.

“If you have legal access to the property or can gather information from a public road, here are the types of things that are important to share with local authorities when reporting an incident:

• Geographic location of the animal (exact address, if possible).

• Date, time and weather conditions; note the temperature if possible.

• Description of the animal: any distinguishing markings, other important features (e.g. injuries).

• Description of the physical surroundings: type of enclosure, type of footing (e.g., muddy, pasture), if food and water are available, type of food and water, if shelter is available and if so what kind, the state of the enclosure (e.g. clean or cluttered).

• Note any other animals in the enclosure. If there is more than one animal you’re concerned about, use the guidelines above to make notes about each.

• If possible, take photos. Again, be mindful not to trespass or endanger your safety.”
The horse world is a small place, and depending on the situation, it is understandable that some people may want to remain anonymous when contacting authorities. “While you can report anonymously, it is recommended that you actually file a report,” says Jennifer. “This is important because ultimately it is up to the authorities to determine whether or not a particular equine abuse or neglect situation is actionable. This process typically involves a thorough investigation, often while the animal(s) remain in the custody of the owner.”

“Be sure to mention up front that you desire to remain anonymous,” adds Stacy. “However, we encourage individuals to provide their contact info in case local authorities need more information or can’t locate the animal at the specified address.”

Going through the proper channels

With the advent of social media, it has become quite easy to spread news quickly. And while it is important to take swift action in animal cruelty or neglect cases, it is also important to do things properly and respectfully. From time to time, you see someone being unnecessarily vilified because there is a skinny horse in their pasture – only to later discover that the horse is a recent rescue being rehabilitated, or is recovering from an illness or surgery. Going through the authorities first will ensure that the case is investigated properly.

“It may be that the authorities are already aware of the situation and are monitoring it,” says Jennifer. “It could be that the authorities have placed the animals in a foster situation for rehab or that the ‘new’ owners have recently acquired a rescue animal. It is important not to put yourself in harm’s way, but if you feel comfortable approaching the owner and talking to them about what is going on, in some instances this can help clear up the situation as well.”

“If they are truly providing adequate care for a horse who is recovering from previous neglect, they should be happy to provide documentation to local authorities,” adds Stacy.

Our horses don’t have the ability to speak for themselves, so we need to look out for them and be their voice. By swiftly following the appropriate steps to report an abuse or neglect situation, you can help promote the health and welfare of our equine friends.”

Bettie, Boone and Clover in their home today 
Jake had too much excitement today! He learned the creek is a fun place and meet Kim K., one of our volunteers and all around horse lover extraordinaire
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A friend of mine just sent me numerous photos of this poor horse a bit ago. This happened today in Oil Springs, Ky near the school in that area. She said 911 was called repeatedly, but she is unaware if anything was done to help the horse.

Sigh. What in the world is wrong with people?

Skye enjoying some hay before it is unloaded in her adoptive home today!

Bettie has found her person. She is safe, and I believe she knows it.

She traveled the Earth for 25 years waiting for her person.

Sometimes, sadly, it takes that long, but I thank God HOP was able to bring them together, and that this grand old mare will finally know peace and love!

Her eyes told us all how hard and cruel the journey here was for her.

You’ve finally arrive, Bettie  I will always be sorry it took us so long to find you and get you safe.

To help us continue to help horses like Bettie, consider becoming a monthly sponsor. You will never know how much your commitment means, large or small!

 — with Will Lisa Allomong.

Pepper in her new home with a 12 year old rider who loves her already!

One of our followers is attending an auction not too far from her house tonight. While she was there, a horse colicked severely in the meat pen. When she tried to help, the buyer ran her out of the pen. The horse received no veterinary care and was taken out back to die. As we speak, they are currently loading 7 meat buyer’s semi trailers (NOT IN WV). She was able to buy some from her own pocket.

Please remember all horses deserve better than that.

Jake at the trot.
The Fabulous Jake Fiddy at a trot — with Tinia Creamer.
At Heart of Phoenix different volunteers work on desensitizing the horses in our rescue with a variety of objects. A ring of aluminum cans, a Parelli ball, pool noodles and helium balloons and a rope. We also use tarps, jackets and anything else that comes to mind! All of this silliness leads to a quieter horse under saddle!
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Misty is getting closer to her proper weight but she is still having some trust issues. Look at that baby sticking out the side of her belly! She is about 36 inches and 7 years old and is looking for an experiences pregnant mini home!
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Thank you so much for your continued support!