We stopped to grab a bite to eat yesterday in our way to pick up 3 mares coming into rescue. It was a long trip and along the way, I happened to find the Duke 

Thank you to Angela, who changes a trailer tire quicker than I can pose for for a photo and Stephanie P of Pauley’s Rowdy Acres


The three newest intake rescue mares from the Long haul yesterday.

We got in very late and the girls haven’t been cleaned up yet as they were afraid (having not been moved in many years from where they were) and need to just settle in and know food and good stuff are all they will find here!

The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.
— Albert Schweitzer



These 3 new rescue intakes need YOUR Help!

Each mare will get a new name to start her new life here with HOP, but they each are in TRUE need of dental floats and farrier care ASAP.

The cost of a float, with our discount is $100 each
The cost of a trim is $30 each
The cost of coggins, exam and vaccines is $60
For a Total of $190 per horse

Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC
PO box 81 Shoals, WV 25562 and let us know it is on the way with a PM of your name suggestion

or Donate Via Paypal: equinerescue@live.com

Those donating to cover the cost of any or ALL 3 of these needs for one or all mares will be able to submit a NAME suggestion!

((((We got in very late and the girls haven’t been cleaned up yet as they were afraid (having not been moved in many years from where they were) and need to just settle in and know food and good stuff are all they will find here!)))))

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Rudy and 13 year old Luke do some ground work today in his foster home!


Come join the Heart of Phoenix team for a Christmas Gala!

This event is a meet, greet and evening of fun.

Please considering attending! We would love to see you our supporters there!

Location: VFW post 1064
Huntington, WV
This event will include an evening of dancing with a talented local DJ following an awesome dinner catered by the Fabulous K’s Sweet Shop

There will be a Cash Bar

$25 Per Person – limited to 50 people, so please purchase your tickets early! Cut off date is December 2nd!



I appreciate the owners of these mares contacting HOP to get them into a safe rescue before Winter hit.

I know those who have never truly endured true poverty have a hard time understanding how situations like this happen. Those who have never visited West Virginia often have no idea the scope of economic depression here.

This family lives in a very rural part of the state where jobs are few and decent jobs even fewer, and after years of owning these three horses and trying their best to care for them, a decent job was lost and only minimum wage is found in it’s place.

Knowing when you GIVE horses away for free, the homes found are most often very poor situations or put the horses at risk for auction and slaughter, perhaps a person holds on too long, but what are the options? There aren’t awesome homes lining up to take free horses or any horses. We struggle to find good homes day in and out. Horses in lovely shape and UTD on everything are sometimes hard for even HOP to place with a HUGE network nationwide.

So tell me how folks in the back county of West Virginia snap their fingers when a job is lost and magically find a safe place for 3 mares?

Not easy. No easy answers.

People ask how I do not get angry. In cases like this, where I see people trying their best and in tears at animals they love having to do without while they have tried to find a safe place for them. . .

I am ONLY Thankful they found us, THAT WE Had space and that the horses are now going to be safe and well fed through the winter and able to be placed into homes through HOP in the future.


Spicy will be going to her new home in Georgia next weekend with a lovely adopter and two little girls who will put pink all over her I suspect! For now she is enjoying the company of Champagne, her friend that she met at Lucas Farm. — with Jenny Moore Sutherland.


Schmidtty has been with the rescue a bit over a month and he is looking MUCH improved!

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Pretty, elegant Grace! She will be adoptable soon.

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Claire is a tiny little bit of cuteness.

She is close to finished with rehab but will need to be started undersaddle before adoption.


Gorgeous Quarter Horse mare, Blake, will go to training soon. She is a well trained mare, but she needs a refresher.
Suitable for a very confident western rider


Some of our adopted HOP horses this morning enjoying breakfast with their friends!

First picture is Poppy (left) who was adopted to Michigan

Second picture is Skye and Kate who were both adopted to Ohio — with Stephanie Pauley.

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Don’t forget,

December 6th is Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue’s Christmas Gala.

Huntington, WV VFW

7pm – 11pm

Ticket sales are limited to 50 and many are already spoken for!

This event will entail an overview of what HOP has accomplished this year, our plans for 2015, a slideshow of this year’s SAVED horses, an amazing locally catered dinner, cash bar and DJ.

Thinking of something worthwhile and fun for December?!

Please do not miss this event. If you’ve not attended a Heart of Phoenix event before, let this be the one where you learn about what we do and meet those involved and supporting the rescue!

Tickets are only $25 and must be paid for by December 1st.

Visit WVhorserescue.org and click the event link to register!

Local and National Businesses, consider Sponsoring the DJ for our Christmas Gala, and in return, throughout the evening, attendees will hear YOUR Business supports HOP in our rescue of horses in need in this impoverished area of West Virginia. You can sponsor the entire evening’s entertainment for $350 or be a partial sponsor for $175.

What great and worthwhile advertising!


The 5th member of the HOP Team carries on with:

Susan Sunday of Sunday Stables

I don’t know how many people realize that equine rescue usually runs quite apart from the working horse community, and here at HOP it is no different.

There is little out spoken support from the equine industry professionals about the work rescues do, and I long ago accepted that and moved on.

So you can imagine how shocked I was when a trainer and boarding facility owner who had been working in the local horse industry even before I was born wanted to help. . .

Shocked is an understatement.

Susan had actually adopted from us quite a few years prior. . .there was a lovely little Arab mare full of Sass that she adopted for her lesson and show program. We were glad to see Niteza end up there (though she has since been adopted by another HOP volunteer as her attitude didn’t work so well in lesson program), but we never imagined so much more would come from the relationship.

In 2013,there was a pitiful senior mare at a county shelter wasting away named Addy that we couldn’t find a way to haul due to trailer issues. Susan posted on the rescue’s page that she’d be happy to go pick her up.

Let me tell you, even that small thing was huge for us because, honestly, it was rare anyone, even if it saved a life, would offer to help haul a horse to safety. She headed out with a HOP adopter the next day to bring Addy to rescue. She not only hauled her, but she brought her to her barn, pampered her, groomed her and bathed her before we arrived.

That was something we simply were not used to.

It wasn’t long before Susan offered a spot at her barn for the rescue to fill with a rehabbed horse where the rescue essentially pays actual costs only. And we pay nothing for the hours of handling, riding, training and work beyond food and board. This was a wonderful opportunity for us because prior to that time, no one with a facility had made this type of offer. . .

We moved Moon over that very moment as it allowed us to take in a Dire needs horse and allowed Moon to be worked and handled on a daily basis.

I hoped. . .but was afraid to believe. . . we could expect this to continue. I didn’t imagine it would continue four fold.

It is always my fear that a new volunteer will find this doesn’t suit them, doesn’t work for their schedule, doesn’t jive for some reason, but it took only a little time for me to see. . .This was a fulfilling work for Susan. It meant something to her. Giving back to horses was worth something!

One thing lead to another, it was no time before 4 HOP horses resided at Sunday Stables –

It isn’t just a safe place for horses to be until adoption – they receive the highest, most kind level of care you can fathom. They are not just another horse in a barn of 20. They are special. They matter there. They are valued in a way many have never been before.

It doesn’t matter that many others there are show horses with far higher dollar values, she never treats a single horse differently.

She has never hesitated to say. . .bring another, save another, we have a spot. The small board price we pay does nothing to offset the time these horses are given – the one of one riding and handling and care is such a labor of love. . .

And stands out so much to me. . .

Having someone who has more horse savvy in her small foot than I have in my whole body care for so many of the HOP horses (currently housing more than any other member of the team), watching every small thing about each and giving each a degree of respect and care unknown to them before rescue brings me nearly to tears just the thought of it. . .

So, so many have been saved because of her kind offer that started last year. . .it allowed us to literally save four more horses at a time. . .over the course of a year, without her, I can honestly say, so many would have had no where to go, we would have had to say no and leave so many behind. . .

Each member of this group means the world to me. . . they are each someone who stands between life and death for a horse and allow HOP to grant life to one more, one more, one more. . .

a THANK YOU really isn’t enough at all. . .


It is very hard to make a video with the lighting in my barn (S. Central Ky location),, but we tested out the thought that Arizona knows how to drive and it appears that she may. This girl seems to have been so traumatized, it is a wonder she trusts us to do anything but she sure wants to have contact with humans despite her wariness.


Willie and his adopter, Lisa in Ohio 


Stitch is adoptable now! He has some possible applications incoming, but if interested, don’t hesitate to inquire! He is ready for his new home!

Stitch – Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescuewww.wvhorserescue.org Follow our blog at: http://heartofphoenix.org/

We are super excited to announce the book based on Turner’s story will possibly be finished and ready to be sent for Printing the end of this week!!

Abby and Suzanna have worked very hard on this project.

Abby W. is a very talented illustrator and artist who has spent many hours working, as a volunteer, on this project for HOP!

Please consider adding this to your Christmas Gift purchase list. It will support local, original and charitable gift giving all in ONE swoop!


 — with Suzanna Johnson and Abigail Jayne Wojtecki.


Tara has made an easy going buddy, Muppet, in her foster home


Kismet’s adopter reports her horse, Champ, will not let her out of his sight! They had a photo shoot this evening. She was one of the loveliest little creatures we have had!

The last picture is her a few weeks after intake. She was both starving and basically untouchable when she first arrived

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We’ve made our event tickets and fundraiser items MUCH easier to purchase! Check out the NEW page for Shirts, event tickets, books and decals!

Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescuewww.wvhorserescue.orgHeart of Phoenix is now the proud owner of a Gently Used Truck donated to save horses who have not been so gently used.

I am grateful that I will be given the chance to speak and present a power point with/to many WV Mine land owners / companies at a conference on Thursday this week to work on action for the horses being kept and abandoned on mine sites through out WV.
Please take a moment to visit our website link below to learn more about this horrible issue.


Folks, we are headed into winter. That is always a very hard time for horses in our area and for the rescue in terms of keeping hay and costs.

We currently have 19 (Yes, you heard right. . .19) horses in rescue.


Part of me wants to run away to the Tahitian Islands at just hearing that and never return, I’ll be honest. . .but seriously, let us work together to share their stories, find them homes, raise more funding and open spots to SAVE more horses!


We’ve named the 3 new mares (I’ve dubbed them the 3 Musketeers!)

Gemma, Sienna and Lettie  

Thank you to those who have donated and suggested names so far! We are still under our goal for each horse, so please keep donating!

Each horse definitely needs a teeth float and a pedicure

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We are super excited to announce the book based on Turner’s story will possibly be finished and ready to be sent for printing at the end of this week!!

Here is the link for PRE-ORDER. The cost will be $12.00 per book plus shipping if not a local pick-up


Abby and Suzanna have worked very hard on this project.

Abby W. is a very talented illustrator and artist who has spent many hours working, as a volunteer, on this project for HOP!

Please consider adding this to your Christmas Gift purchase list. It will support local, original and charitable gift giving all in ONE swoop!

Though we don’t know exactly what the finished product will look like, the book will likely be around 13 pages with high quality illustrations. The text will be on about the reading level of a 7-9 year old and the book will appeal to a wide variety of children.

 — with Shakira Goomanee Goomanee.




Debra Sarkozy is an artist living in Iran who wil be doing a custom watercolor painting of ONE of the HOP horses for an auction before Christmas for us!

Her painting are just breathtaking,as you can see from the one displayed here! Please visit her page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Debra-Sarkozy-Fine-Watercolors-and-Artwork/742591222444975 and watch for updates!


Grace has put on SO much weight since her intake!

What a smart, kind and loving girl she is.

Thankful we do what we do? Please donate at: http://www.wvhorserescue.org/donate.html to help us continue this effort.

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Miss Sass herself, Blake, heads to training this week with Adkins Quarter Horses

Stay tuned, Western Riders, this girl is a gem

(she is standing on an incline – overlook the odd pose)



Calli went forward with a rider on her back yesterday all on her own steam! It has been reported that she went down the aisle, out into the arena, and ambled all around in that area while packing one of our volunteers!

This is major progress for the girl who has stubbornly only wanted to go backwards previously! — with Kim Nuckles and Susan Sunday.


Are you looking for a Christmas gift for a child? (even if you are not you can still help horses by sharing this link)

TURNER’S STORY, a creative non-fiction book about the little pony whose foot was turned upside down (and he was going to be shot because of this) is available for pre-order!

This delightful book with professional illustrations is $12.00 plus shipping (middle picture is one illustration from the book)


ALL proceeds go to benefit Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, Inc, a 501(c)3 that proudly serves the WV, KY, and OH area!

You can see Turner’s amazing before and after videos here!




Rescue is a strange world.

Many people assume all equine rescues, including HOP, have a single facility where horses come into, rehab and adopt from. They often think we have paid staff and people on call all hours of the day and night. People assume we make money out of thin air, that dependable, knowledgeable volunteers beat the doors down at this remarkable building we have on acres of lovely pastured land to help us with the horses, And then we all just brush and hug and love on each one for no less than 8 hours each day. They picture hundreds of acres with white board fences and 2 story barns where rescue horses graze at leisure 24 hours a day. Where mud and winter never arrive. Where horses live forever and always rehab soundly and find forever homes.

While we would love to one day have a large facility like that, currently, we use foster homes in 3 states.

It has taken years to build our small network of safe foster homes.

No one is paid, though I am thankful we are all good stewards of donations and the rescue expenses all get covered. Donations and donors are hard to earn, but we are glad with hard work, we have a wonderful base we try to maintain.

Volunteers all have lives and jobs outside of the rescue that take up MUCH of the 24 hours in a day and squeeze in, fighting and kicking, the blood, sweat and tears they pour into Rescue with HOP.

The team we have now is small but mighty and amazing. But no one is bound to this work, and at anytime, a needed volunteer may walk away, and we are then placed in a most difficult spot. Most people who initially talk of volunteering never follow through, either.

Many of the locations we use are simple places. We have no grand locations. They are primarily little barns and farms and places much like most of you horse owners have out there. All do not have acres and acres of pasture, either. I, for one, can tell you my place is 23 acres of hillside and a little flat. But our land and barns have stories that warm the heart and soul of those who know them, humble though they are. They are places where lives are saved and changed. Where hard choices are made, no matter how sad or trying. Places that see the good and bad of rescue. The happy and the not so happy endings.

I travel from location to location getting photos and videos in a rescue truck we spent years praying for. I may go nearly 2 hours between some of these spots, and that is why sometimes updates come quicker on this horse and not that horse.

Horses do not start, rehab, train and adopt out from any one barn.

A horse may come into my barn, get stable and move to another location to make room for a more critical need here. When the horse is ready to really be ridden and adopted, he may move to a 3rd location.

There are days where mud, rain and life makes for dirty rescue horses happy to have hay in their quaint run in shed. . .where they could care less if I have 30 seconds to pop in and brush them for the aforementioned 8 hours. . .they really know they are safe here. . .

and Sure, it would all be made easier if volunteers came easy and a big facility was easy to come by, and money grew in manure piles, but somehow, HOP makes it work and it works very well.

The 6th and 7th members of Our Rescue Team. . .

We continue with Suzanna and Raven – the “Baby,” you could say, of the Minion Crew!

Trainers, Fosters, Haulers, Administrative working extraordinaires and adopter of the very sassy Teza!

This mother / daughter team covers so many bases for us from 4.5 hours away. . .it is simply some of the most awesome acts of dedication to Equine Rescue you can fathom.

From S. Central Kentucky, Suzanna meticulously processes our applications in a manner we have the utmost confidence in. This has been something I’ve personally never carried out either well or timely, and I’m beyond grateful to know that this important part of the adoption process is covered. It isn’t something you can do lacking solid intuition without wasting a lot of volunteer time, either.

She also keeps me from making a ninny out of myself at least part of the time by catching all the hilarious and ridiculous typos I am famous for all over this page and the website! Often we work together and carefully craft articles and descriptions until we get them just right!

Anytime I get a lead on a horse in need, I can send the most brief overview you can fathom, and Suzanna will make the calls, get the photos and help us figure out whether we can help in this situation and that situation. This applies to any inquiry I want to make but am simply pulled in too many directions to even remember to sit down and check into it. Knowing you have someone willing to do the non-fun, non-horsey stuff when needed is amazing. Let me tell you that!

This duo went out into Ohio when they heard of a young mare in danger of being euthanized in early 2013 because of dangerous behaviors . . . a horse no one else was willing to give the time of day to, and saved her life in more ways than one: Skye. The only thing between Skye and meeting a stark ending before they came was this team. . .Not us here. ..we had no room and no ability to tackle the challenge over here at that time. Raven spent many hours with Skye placing her under saddle, and thanks to that start, Skye has gone on to be adopted and is so loved!

They picked up an urgent needs mare for sale on Craigslist for the rescue, (Ariel), and gave her a soft place to rest until she was humanely put down when her condition proved too advanced to give her any quality of life. . .arranging vetting, a humane passing and burial hours from the support base we have here during such hard events.

They cared for nurse mare foals, sleeping in a barn to see them safely on their way to Lilly Pond in Maryland after a long trip from way out in Kentucky to WV to meet LP’s director, They held Sawyer at their farm and had him vetted and then brought him to our more local Ky location to finish up rehab. They took Alfie in to start training when he really wasn’t even sure how to lead. . .and Raven had him effectively under saddle for the basic, good rider in two months time; giving him the best shot possible at a future! Raven also undertook training Alfie to carry a flag for the HOP show, and they looked like an amazing team out there when they performed the opening ceremony!

It is not often that you find a teenager who has both the patience and skills to start a horse and then is willing to put forth the effort without any benefit to themselves and we are happy to have this youngest member of our team!

Niteza (2011 HOP Alumni) calls their farm Four hours away from us here in WV home, Alfie called it hard work, and it was, for Ariel, it is a final resting place to at last be free of debilitating pain. . .

For me. . .it looked like Paradise. . .

and reminds me when your heart is in it, if there is a will, there is a way to help. . .no matter how far away you might be.

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Headed to do a presentation on the Mine Horse situation to the land companies.

Hope this is a turning point for action

DO YOU WANT A SNEAK PEAK? (please share)

Here is a page from Turner’s Story which is available for PRE-ORDER now!


Our goal is to have it in by the first week of December.

If you would like to order one, please click on this link!


 — with Cheryl Sheldon and Michelle McMullen Salyers.


HOP will be taking in this 18 year old, palomino gelding today. We have already paid for him to have a teeth float so he should bounce back fairly quickly!

We would love to have some help with the fuel bill!

Mail a Donation Check to:
Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC
PO box 81 Shoals, WV 25562

Donate Via Paypal: equinerescue@live.com

Give a BIG thanks to Angela who is such a willing hauler!

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One of our volunteers (and page admin) has been working with Abby, our book illustrator, for quite some to finish Turner’s book. It is finished today, and I just saw the entire thing for the first time.

Just amazing beyond words.

You guys are in for a treat. Truly! Just wow!

If you haven’t ordered, go to the website and click the fundraiser page to order now!

Misty and Marlee in Massachusetts now
They are doing great!!!

Local HOP supporters? Have you reserved YOUR ticket to the Christmas Dinner Event?

We look forward to seeing you there! Please reserve your tickets soon!

Tickets are $25, and this includes an awesome meal, meeting our entire rescue team, hearing first hand about the year’s successful rescue and the plans for 2015, plus an evening of entertainment. A Cash bar will be offered.

December 6th 7-11pm
Huntington, WV
VFW on 7th Ave