The Horses of Spring Farm CARES
The Birth of a Horse Rescue
Spring Farm CARES was founded by Bonnie Jones Reynolds and Dawn Hayman. Back in 1987, before Spring Farm CARES was even born, our first venture in the animal field was to be a small breeding operation for Thoroughbreds and Arabian horses. For Arabian horses it was to preserve a bloodline that was literally dying out. And for Thoroughbreds, the goal was to breed a well bred horse and to use holistic and gentle training techniques to show that horses could be trained humanely to race. We weren't going to start them until 3 years old and we had no ambition to race them for money but to bring something different to Thoroughbred training. Well, that was the dream, but we quickly learned that it was not reality.
From 1987 through 1990, we bred a total of 3 Arabian horses and 5 Thoroughbreds. During this process, Bonnie and I discovered the truth of what was happening in the horse world. We discovered how horses were over-bred and how there were way too many unwanted horses in the world. And our dream of racing in a holistic training was out the window. We could find no one who was willing to work with us. No one. We immediately withdrew our plan to race any horses. We refused to let any of the horses that we bred become victims to a system that needed complete reformation. In fact, of the 8 well bred horses born here at the farm, only one of them ended up being rideable. The universe was making sure that we got the message. And the horses were making sure we understood what they really came here to teach us and to show us. Those 8 horses were the teachers who showed us the plight of horses and what we could do to help. We decided to dedicate the rest of our lives to helping them. Spring Farm CARES was born.
By 1990, we understood that there was an incredible need for retirement and rescue places for horses. We completely switched gears, took up a no breeding policy, and became Spring Farm CARES. In 1991 we became a 501c3 not for profit corporation. The small animal part of our mission began a couple of years later. Horses have always been where we got our start and the mainstay of the farm. Many of the horses in our care have been with us for over 20 years. Still others stayed with us for shorter times as their lives ended sooner. Some came to spend their last few weeks/days with us in hospice care. We have learned a lot about special health issues affecting the aged horse. We have done a lot with other conditions such as founder over the years. They have taught us much and we then can apply what we have learned to help others.
Most of our horses have stalls and pasture access. Although some of them have physical conditions that limit their ability to go outside, they still get daily turnout in our indoor arena area. Many of our horses are elderly or have physical disabilities such as blindness or extreme lamenesses. All of them are loved and cared for around the clock. As well as conventional medicine and veterinary care, we also use a lot of holistic techniques and remedies with them. We do a lot of preventative care as well. Some of the modalities we have used on them include: chiropractic, massage, energy work, homeopathy, and of course, animal communication. It is not uncommon for our horses to live into their 30's. We have had many live to be between 30-35 years and one even lived to be 40 years old.
We do not adopt out our horses. They live with us for life. Because of this, we are very limited as to how many we can take in. We do not maintain a waiting list because the only way we get space available is when one of them dies. We don't like to have a list waiting for someone to die. We continue to work on behalf of horses through education and networking to bring much more awareness to the plight these most honorable creatures sometimes meet at the ignorance of humans.
Below is a list of all of our horses. Each one is available to be sponsored. You can make a direct difference in their lives by sponsoring them. Just click the red "Sponsor Me" heart to find out more information. Each horse has a description of how old they are and how they came to the farm, followed by a quote directly from them.
Sue Sefscik - January 2017 - December 2017
Belle is a bay Morgan mare born around 1990. Belle came to us as a three year old who was going to be euthanized because she could not be ridden or trained even by the most gentle and holistic methods. She has several behavior problems, most notably that she will not let us handle her. To Belle, these are not behavioral problems at all, but simply are traits she has so that she could live the life she came to live. We provided her with a place to just be a horse for the rest of her life. She will not let us halter her so we can not do much with her. She loves living outside with a large enclosed run in shed and has three other horse friends for whom she is the boss mare. She is very beautiful and is friendly over the fence. Sometimes she will even let us groom her beautiful mane, but only from the opposite side of the fence.
"Life is a compilation of choices. Freedom is the ability to make those choices. Wisdom comes from learning from each choice. Forgiveness comes from understanding that there is never a right or wrong choice. And Happiness comes from knowing that the choices I have made have lead me to exactly where I needed to be."
Mikki Dorsey - January 2017 - December 2017
Charlie is a Shetland pony cross gelding who was born around 2000. He came to the farm in 2011. He had been rescued by someone once from an auction, became a kids riding/show pony, and then unfortunately fell into a neglect situation. He foundered, and for many months went without having his feet trimmed, which caused his feet to become very badly overgrown. Charlie's riding and driving days are done and he will now stay here being rehabilitated so that he can live the remainder of his life comfortably.
Charlie is a character and full of spunk. He is a joy to be around as his sense of humor shines through. He also can be a "naughty little pony" and be very stubborn at times. But he is always kind and gentle - and, of course, extremely cute - which gets him everywhere. Charlie is doing very well and now walks on feet that are normal. However, the damage done to his feet is permanent and so Charlie will live out his days here at the farm. His feet and diet will be closely monitored to minimize any laminitis episodes. And we are sure that Charlie will go on charming many hearts over the years to come.
"I used to think, when I was alone, that no one remembered me anymore. I was someone's distant memory that they misplaced out in a field. I almost got to the point where it didn't matter anymore what happened. But deep down inside, it did matter. I wanted to matter to someone again. When the trailer came to pick me up I had just about lost all hope. And then I wondered where I was off to now. What would be expected of me now? And what I found was unbelievable but good enough to be true. I found a home. Not just a temporary home, but a forever home. My heart can trust once again."
Clyde W. Peeperman
In Memory of Lynne Carol Dorsey - January 2017 - December 2017
With a name like Clyde W. Peeperman, you know there has to be a story! And there is. Clyde is a draft horse mix gelding born in 2002. He came to the farm in late spring of 2013. Clyde came to us from another rescue who was forced to close and he had no place to go. At that time his name was Peeperman. It indeed is a long story but after his arrival, several of us at once got that his name should be changed to Clyde. None of us knew why, exactly, but several of us came up with that without knowing that any of the others also came up with that name. It was obvious his new name would be Clyde. However, co-founder Bonnie, got that his full name should be Clyde W. Peeperman. She hadn't a clue why but it came strongly to her. In talking to the person who ran the rescue from where he came, we understood the significance and realized the name indeed had to stay.
Clyde was one of 80 foals to be rescued from a PMU farm by his original rescue. He was the smallest of all the foals and was given the nickname of Pee Wee. It was assumed all of the foals would be placed into homes and all of them were except Pee Wee. When he got to be 4 years old and was a big strapping guy, a trainer began working with him to see if he could be trained under saddle and then adopted out to a good home. But Pee Wee as a name didn't cut it, so that trainer began calling him PW. Unfortunately, PW had several significant training problems and he really could not be safely ridden. The rescue knew they were looking at keeping him for life. His caretaker then began calling him Peeperman or Peeps. Unfortunately, due to health issues of her own, the rescue was forced to close and all the horses needed to be placed. Her beloved Peeperman was the last one to go. We had already taken a mare, Ginny, from the same rescue a few months before and as it turns out, Ginny and Peeperman had been best friends. We ended up with an opening and accepted Peeperman in to our herd where he will now stay for the remainder of his life. Now known affectionately as Clyde, we are happy to have him with us. He is a very gentle soul who has had more change in his life in the last few months than he knew what to do with. But he has handled the transition well and is forging new friendships in his new herd.
"I am still learning new things everyday although learning new things is not always easy. I am alive because of the kindness of loving people and I am aware of that everyday. I like to keep things simple. There is no need to over think things really. What's most important to me are all of my friends. Friends can get you through anything."
Carina Pascucci - September 2016 - August 2017
Lynie de Beer - February 2016 - Jan. 2017
Ember is a Thoroughbred mare born in 1990 here on the farm before we became SFC. Her mother, Iron Isle (Ginny), was free leased to us for two years and two foals. Ember is somewhat shy but a very friendly mare. She was originally bred to race but we did not want to put her into that environment. Ember is very low key but enjoys spending time with all of the other Thoroughbreds running in the pasture.
Ember has spent her life with her herd just being a horse. That wasn't how her life was supposed to go but she let's us know she is very happy and grateful it has gone the way it has. She was fortunate to grow up here on the farm with many of the original elder Thoroughbreds as her friends, teachers, and mentors. She has lived a life that few horses actually get to live. By human standards, she was "useless." However, by horse standards, she got to be a real horse. Ember holds a space at the farm that is hard to really define or describe. The horses hold a space, an energy, that literally grounds the farm and keeps us centered on what we are here to do. Ember is a big part of that energy. She has been with us since we became Spring Farm CARES and is actually one of the founding horses. Because of those founding horses, many other horses (and other species of animals) have been helped. Ember is a solid presence and daily reminder of why we get up each morning and do the work that we do. And all the while she just quietly eats her hay, grazes in the pasture with her buddies, and relaxes in the barn at night. It may look like she isn't "doing" anything. But just by being Ember, she has done a lot.
Ember is healthy but has a condition called Heaves which is basically like asthma. Hers are seasonal allergy based and she is on medications to help keep her breathing clear. She has been prone to getting pneumonia though because of this so we keep a close eye on her and try to keep her environment as clear from dust as we can in a barn.
"I remember my mother who told me all about her life as a race horse. She told me she hoped I would do something different. I've always hoped that she knows I did do something different and that I am safe. I hoped to see her again one day. I liked her. They say I look just like her now. I'm glad to carry on her legacy. She felt that no one really knew her. I hope that changed for her."
Ingrid Weisz - December 2016 - November 2017
Felix is a gelded Donkey born in 2003. Felix and fellow donkey Leo arrived at SFC in November 2003 from a horrific animal abuse case. Both donkeys were severely emaciated and very near death. To increase their chances of survival, they lived for that entire first winter in a pen in Dawn and Margot's heated garage. With lots of nursing and tender loving care, they pulled through but by then had developed an amazing bond with both Dawn and Margot. The barn was remodeled to add two more stalls and they now both live in that barn with the horse herd of Jeremy, Ginny, and Charlie. They are affectionately known as the donkey boys. And Felix especially can be heard all over the farm at dinner times.
Felix is incredibly sensitive and very caring. He also tends to be a bit hesitant at anything new. But once he gets used to something, he is very solid and dependable. For the first year that Felix was here, he suffered from horrible nightmares during the night. We had never experienced that with another horse or donkey before. He literally would start braying as if he was being killed and we'd run down to his stall to find him madly running in circles, terrified. When we'd come in to the stall, he'd stop running, and come up to us and bury his head in our chest and breathe deeply until the fear subsided and he knew he was safe once again. To see anyone carrying that much trauma, especially at such a young age, was heart wrenching. To know that this sensitive being went through all that is difficult. But to see him playing with his donkey body Leo and knowing that he no longer has nightmares and that he totally feels safe is immensely gratifying.
"I have my barn now. I have my farm now. It is my world. I watched many of my friends die when I was little and knew I was next. I couldn't run away. But I don't have to run away any more. It is like a dream that I woke up and realized the dream was real. I treasure each and every day."
John Andersen - July 2016 - June 2018
Frankie is a Shetland pony gelding estimated to have been born around 2009. He came to the farm in early 2016 after recently going blind and needing to have a safe place to live out the rest of his years. Frankie is a dynamo. Right now, he is still adjusting to going blind. He has been blind in one eye for several years but recently lost sight in his second eye. He hasn't figured out yet that it is better to slow down and think things out instead of just plowing forward and seeing what happens. But Frankie is learning fast here with us as we are working with him. We are seeing his confidence return and his ability to slow down and think things through to get better. He's not been here for long but we all love him already. He has quite the spirit and willingness to adapt to whatever comes his way. And we can see already that he has figured out he is home and that he will never have to move again.
We look forward to sharing many years to come with him and watching him find his place here in the herd and at our farm. Welcome home Frankie!
"I know I may be little and cute but never underestimate the energy behind my charm. I have always known I'm in this world to do big things. It's just that I didn't know what they were. But now ... now I'm on the way to finding them. Stay tuned...."
Leanne Jardine - December 2016 - November 2017
In Memory of Marianne Lines - March 2016 - February 2018
Ginny is a Standardbred mare born in 2002. Her journey to Spring Farm has been one with many twists and turns. She was trained and raced for the first part of her life. But her career was cut short and she found her way to pulling a wagon for an Amish family. It was during that time that she suffered an unfortunate accident. Her hoof was impaled by a very long nail that she picked up on the street and she actually drove for miles with this nail embedded in her foot that went clear to the bone. This was not only a "career" ending injury, but in most cases would have meant the end of her life. But luck found Ginny in an amazing way. A horse rescue heard about her plight and agreed to take Ginny into their care. A donor came forward and helped pay for extensive surgery to try to save the foot. It was an 18 month long process of healing and rehab for Ginny's life to be saved. And thanks to the dedication of the person running that rescue, she survived. Unfortunately, Ginny also developed another condition in her front feet called navicular which is also incredibly painful. A whole lot of work and corrective shoeing and pain management got her through that - but she still would be lame at times. The question was now a matter of keeping her comfortable enough for her to have a good quality of life.
Another twist of fate entered Ginny's life when the horse rescue who stood by her no matter what was forced to close due to health reasons of it's founder. We were asked if Ginny could live out her days with us and when we heard her story, had a space come open, and realized that Ginny would fit in perfectly in our herd, we were able to say yes. Ginny is magnificent. She is funny, kind, incredibly loving, and very trustworthy. And now, Ginny, got an unexpected gift. Thanks to our veterinarians at Syracuse Equine, they knew about a drug that has had amazing results with some cases of Navicular. It was costly but, for a young horse like Ginny, it was worth a try. The results have been nothing less than miraculous. Over a 3 month process, Ginny is now barefoot and totally sound. To watch her run and gallop in the field with her buddies is a sight to behold. Thank you Drs. Romero and Tan!
"Sometimes there are long days that are hard to get through. When I find one of those, I just remember that tomorrow is an opportunity to be better. The nice thing is that change always comes. Some changes are hard. I was beginning to think my life didn't matter. I never dreamed I'd end up someplace safe where I didn't have to perform or carry a load when my body could no longer do it. I thought I was dead. But I found out that it changed and I've never felt more alive."
Ann Hellman - January 2017 - December 2017
Gypsy is a Thoroughbred mare born around 1983. Gypsy has been at SFC since 1988. She was retired off the track along with her sister Lamoka Babe. While Babe won lots of money on the track and was very famous, Gypsy only won one race because she would always slow down as the other horses got closer to her. We figured out later that she was stopping to kick them as she didn’t like other horses coming up behind her. Gypsy, Babe, and Bo were three horses that made up our Thoroughbred breeding program before we officially became SFC. She had one foal, Mariah.
Gypsy was adopted out for a couple of years and ended up in a horrible abuse situation where she was starved when the adopter broke our contract and sent Gypsy off to someone else without our knowledge. She almost died but a veterinarian fostered her for a year and really brought her back to health. She then came home to SFC where she is retired permanently and promised to never leave here again. She was very attached to her daughter Mariah and to Bo with whom she grew up before coming to SFC. Sadly, her daughter Mariah passed away very unexpectedly in February 2008. Because of the abuse that Gypsy encountered while being adopted out, and some other issues with other horses we had adopted out, we decided to change our policy and become a retirement home for horses rather than a rescue and adoption facility.
Gypsy is now the last of our original herd. She has welcomed and watched many new horses come in over the years. She is the seasoned voice of reason for many of the younger horses who have come to the farm and are now older and wiser as well. Gypsy is in good health other than some vision loss in one eye and normal aging issues such as loss of teeth that require her to be on a special diet.
"I've never been one to complain. I figure if I don't like something, I'll just move to something else. However, it took me a while to gain that valuable wisdom in life. I used to think that kicking my way through any obstacle was the way to go. Now I know that it isn't. However, sometimes a good kick at my stall wall towards my neighbor is just something I have to do."
Beatrice Adler - June 2015 - May 2017
Harriet is a Thoroughbred mare born in about 1991. Harriet arrived here as a two year old when her owner on Long Island could no longer keep her. Harriet was very difficult to train and had some behavioral problems. She has been retired to spend her life here rather than being euthanized. She lives outside year round with several friends with access to a full run in shed. We are at least able to halter her and lead her and do necessary medical things with her. She is a complete sweetheart but likes to live life on her terms. She is very happy with the life she has carved out for herself here at Spring Farm.
Harriet is sometimes the voice of reason in her herd. She understands the concept of living peacefully and truly seems to enjoy her horse friends, but also, the physical connection to the farm as well. Out of her many handling issues that she had, Harriet was never nasty or mean spirited. She is a very gentle and soft horse. Other than summer allergies, which cause her to have skin issues, she is very healthy.
"My philosophy about life is to try to keep things simple. When things get too confusing, its usually because there is too much going on. Its easier to make small steps and then see where you are going than to just leap in without looking. That's how I see things. I love to watch a sunrise and start each new day and then to watch the sun set and know its time to rest and be grateful for the day we just had."
Margot Unkel - Lifetime Sponsor
Jeremy is an Arabian gelding born around 1984. He came to the farm in 1995 when our Director Margot moved here from Idaho. Rescued from a hunting dude ranch where he was terrified to have people shooting guns from off his back, Margot tried to rehab him to be a riding horse. But Jeremy had other plans and basically had had enough of people trying to work with him. Margot opted to retire him and let him live out his days just being a horse.
Jeremy also has the distinction of having survived two abdominal surgeries because of a twisted gut. His recovery was remarkable. When they moved to SFC, Jeremy was thrilled to find a place where other horses could just live without expectations of them performing. He continuously reminds us of how grateful he is to be here and to just be part of a loving family herd. Jeremy has been invaluable in helping us raise both donkey babies Felix and Leo and then later, orphaned foal Shawnee. We affectionately call him Uncle Jeremy and he is worth his weight in gold for what he has brought to this farm and to the horses in his herd. Jeremy is a friend to everyone.
"I am most proud to have my very own barn. I had the pleasure of watching people build it and knowing that it would be my barn and I'd live in it with my friends. It's a great barn and this is such a wonderful place to live. All of my original friends have died and I now am in charge of everything myself. Well, almost in charge. We have a new mare in my barn named Ginny and I'm sure she has a differing view. But it's still my barn."
Deborah Vitale - January 2017 - December 2017
In Memory of Peter James - December 2016 - November 2017
Jane Remington - November 2016 - October 2017
Janey - February 2012 - January 2018
Leo is a gelded Donkey born in 2003. He arrived at SFC in November 2003, only a couple of months old, with another donkey baby, Felix. They were both rescued from a dreadful animal abuse case where they were both found starving and near death. They spent their first winter in Dawn and Margot's heated garage to increase their chances of survival. After much nursing care, they made it and then later moved into the barn with horses Jeremy, Dulcie, and Shawnee. Leo may be the smallest in stature in the barn but he is the largest in attitude. Stubborn doesn't nearly describe Leo when he doesn't want to do something. He is a very sweet and loving guy and holds his own out in the pasture with the big horses. In fact, his favorite play buddy other than Felix of course, is his uncle Jeremy.
Leo's tenacity is exactly what enabled him to survive the extreme deprivation at such a young age. Barely alive when he arrived at the farm, his eyes were completely vacant. It was like looking at an empty shell. To see this magnificent being get stronger, come into his own power, and to learn that life is indeed something good has been a wondrous thing to witness. It was a long journey for him. He endured more in his first two months than many beings ever have to deal with in a lifetime. He makes us laugh with his antics as he plays with Felix and they share everything together. They both love to play together with a jolly ball (a large ball with a handle for horses and dogs) as they carry it together all over the pasture. We often see the two of them making up games of chase or catch with the ball. He also can be quite an imp. One of his favorite tricks is to move the manure bucket while we are mucking his stall. He often will pick it up and walk off with it just as we are about to deposit a fork-full. He thinks that is quite funny. But to see his sense of humor and play is a blessing after all he has been through.
"Life is totally about having fun. I watch butterflies have fun. I watch birds have fun. If things get too serious, then it is up to me to be sure to create some fun."
John Andersen -March 2016 - February 2018
Annie Shaw - February 2016 - January 2017
Mabel arrived at our farm in January 2016. She is estimated to have been born in 1986, but we do not know her exact age. We knew the minute we saw Mabel that she was exactly the perfect friend for mini-donkey Mary Beth and we couldn't have been more right. The two girls hit it off immediately and quickly bonded. Mabel is a wise old soul with the very special qualities of being a donkey. We are thrilled to have her join our herd and to add her voice to the donkey choir. We look forward to learning more about her and from her over the years.
At this point Mabel does not have any health problems that we know of. She does have a deformed hind foot/leg that we will be working on with corrective foot care and we will be addressing any aging issues or special needs as they arise.
"I have been moved around a lot in my life. This time it feels like I found the place where I now will stay. I can see they need me here and it feels great to be needed. I love being a part of things and having a little extra care as well. My old bones are starting to creek a bit but I'm doing ok. This place intrigues me and I look forward to tending to whatever roles come my way."
John Andersen -March 2016 - February 2018
Sharon Branigan - December 2016 - November 2017
Mary Beth arrived at our farm in spring of 2015. She traveled a very long way to get to us and to find her forever home. Mary Beth is a mini-donkey born in 2011 in North Carolina. Sadly, just moments after her birth, her sire stepped on her neck, badly injuring her. The people who had her were unable to acquire the medical help needed to try to fix her neck and as a result, her neck was permanently damaged. Mary Beth has limited motion and mobility with her neck. She carries her head down low with a slight tilt. But this little girl knew that life was precious to her and she had no intention of quitting.
We were contacted by our friends at Pets with Disabilities in Maryland after they were contacted about Mary Beth to see if anyone could give her a permanent home when her people could no longer keep her. We just happened to have an opening for a small pony or donkey and when we saw her photo and heard her story, we knew she was supposed to be here with us.
Mary Beth is a beautiful soul. She is soft and gentle and filled with compassion and a zest for life that is amazing. No, she is not “normal”, but Mary Beth has figured out how to live life to the best of her abilities and she is taking to joining the ranks of many of our other equine teachers here at the farm. She settled in immediately, making friends with 2 goats who hang out with her during the day and the two ponies who live right beside her.
Her bray bellows out and fills the barn with her special music. Mary Beth’s body may have problems, but the light of her soul shines through her eyes and through her special donkey song. We welcome Mary Beth home and strive to do all we can to see if we can improve some of her mobility and make sure she is content and happy. And we also are excited to see what all she has to teach us as well.
"I am happy to know the safety of friends and the farm I now call my home. I am learning about many things as my world just expanded a lot. But I am ready now to see all there is to see and most importantly to be all that I can be. And when you hear me sing, you will know that it is from my heart, because my heart is filled with joy to be alive. And that is worthy of not just a song but a symphony."
In Memory of Marianne Lines - March 2016 - February 2018
Meloudee is an Arabian gelding born at SFC in 1990. Meloudee was born to Deelight as part of our Arab breeding program before we became SFC. He was originally supposed to be sold as a stallion but that did not work out. Meloudee was not having a good life as a stallion and we gelded him at 4 years old. He was the third generation of his family line to reside at SFC. His grandmother, Deeteza, held a very special place of honor here. A daughter of hers, Deelight, later came to SFC and was bred and had Meloudee. Meloudee is quite a character and has been known to make faces at workshop participants to get them to lighten up around him. He loves to run in the pasture with seven other friends and to be able to play with his stall neighbor and best friend TLC.
Meloudee, like his grandmother before him, has a determination and mind of his own. Most people would throw up their hands in frustration trying to do anything to work with him. He can be skittish at times, stand-offish at times, and can act like he has never been handled before in his life. And if you are in a hurry and trying to do anything with him where you think you have to win - he will instantly be all those things. But if you stay soft and quiet and centered and present, he can be an awesome partner. He has never been a mean horse. He actually is a very sensitive guy and frequently misunderstood. He can be challenging but a relationship with him is incredibly rewarding. He is symbolic of the true heart and spirit of the Horse. He also is incredibly handsome and has magnificent Arab bloodlines - and he knows that too!
"I am here and I am who I am. If you see me, you know me. But it takes a keen eye to see me. And an open heart to fully understand who I am. I'm still learning that myself."
Patricia Ford - December 2016 - November 2017
Molly is a Welch Pony cross who was born around 1997. She came to the farm in 2010. Her career as a hunter/jumper show pony was cut short when she suddenly lost her eyesight. Molly is functionally blind, meaning she totally trusts and relies on her human handler to move about like a normal horse. In fact, she was even being ridden by children up until 3 weeks before she came to retire here at Spring Farm. Molly goes out to pasture with TJ, a blind Quarter Horse. They are accompanied by their seeing eye pony Annie (see above).
Molly had a rough transition when she first came here. Not only was she now blind, but she also was suddenly without a job. She had been a career show pony and that was her entire life. To be in retirement at only age 13 was not even anything she could comprehend. She was in a new place with new people caring for her and her life had abruptly and totally turned upside down. Yet, sweet Molly trusted us and the horses who became her new family and kept communicating to her that she was safe. It took a while but Molly believed them and now has settled in beautifully to life in retirement at Spring Farm. Because she is so trusting, we are able to lead her out to pasture with her two friends and she has a wonderful life.
"When I lost my eyesight, I thought my life was over. And for many horses that is true. But I am very lucky. I was able to rewrite my own story within the safety of this farm. And what a wonderful story it is. I don't have to win any ribbons to be a champ. I've never really even seen what this farm looks like or what my friends look like. But I know what it feels like. And I love them all."
John Andersen -March 2016 - February 2018
Georgann Syphard - October 2016 - September 2017
Murfee is a standard Donkey who was born right here at the farm on August 9, 2016. He arrived in utero without our even knowing he was in there when his mother Mabel came to retire here at age 30 in January 2016. Little did we know she'd be pregnant at that age but what a surprise we had when in April we noticed some very strange movements coming from her belly. Little Murfee was quite active inside there apparently running laps around inside, impatiently awaiting the day he could run free. It took until August when out he came. It took him only minutes to spring to his feet and greet his mom and human friends with great enthusiasm. As if he was saying, "I'm FINALLY here!" We look forward to a lot of years together. He was born during our 25th Anniversary year and ushers in the next generation.
"I have so much to do. I'm so excited to be here. Wait until you get to see what I'm up to!"
Megan Basaldua - December 2016 - November 2017
Christine Davis - August 2016 - July 2017
Mystic is a Thoroughbred mare born in 2008 and came to the farm in summer of 2016. Mystic had a very rough start in life. She is a product of the horse racing industry and an unfortunate example of the collateral damage of the racing world. Mystic was bred to race and obviously started to train when it was discovered that she had some sort of leg injury. We can see this by the scars on her legs where they tried to expedite healing to get her into training. Unfortunately, she failed to meet their demands and was then sent for meat. This is not an uncommon scenario for Thoroughbred race horses.
It seemed that Mystic's life was about to improve when someone in California rescued her off of the meat truck. Unfortunately, this well meaning "rescue" bit off more than they could chew and Mystic and over 20 other horses were found abandoned at the ranch and in terrible condition - very near starvation. Mystic was not in good shape. A person on the East coast offered to take her but she was too weak to make the long trip. So she started off for rehab in Colorado until she was strong enough to make it all the way to Pennsylvania. There, Mystic's luck truly did change. For the first time in her life, she found people who were all about getting her the help she needed and offering her safe refuge. Their goal was to rehab her and rehome her. However, Mystic's trials and tribulations proved to be too much. The damage to her legs and back could not be overcome and it was determined that she could never be ridden. We were contacted and accepted Mystic into our herd where she will live the remainder of her life with no expectations other than to be a horse. Her healing now continues with us as we discovered she also suffers from ulcers (not surprising given her history) and we hope that she will be able to trust the fact that she is in her forever home now.
"I am grateful to know caring people. My body knew great pain and my heart knew great emptiness. Both are healing. I am finding comfort with my horse friends and being on land that is safe to all of us. I never thought I'd find this. I know I am very lucky. And I am grateful to all who have helped me."
John Andersen -March 2016 - February 2018
Ed and Linda Fox - December 2016 - November 2017
Noah is a Donkey estimated to have been born in 2011 and came to the farm in the summer of 2016. Noah and his horse companion Ziek came to the farm after their human caretakers could no longer keep them due to health reasons. Noah came in without much handling and basically only knew how to follow his horse friend around. But he showed us in short order how very intelligent he is and what a wonderful and special donkey he is. Within only 3 weeks, we were able to lead him around and introduce him to new friends at the farm. He is now paired up with blind pony Molly as her seeing eye companion. We are thrilled to have Noah with us now as he shares his amazing wisdom and gentle energy.
"I am here to learn as much as I can in this life. This is my home now and I want to settle in and learn and share so many things. I am very excited to be here in my new life. I am grateful for opportunities and hopeful about the future."
Ethan, Monique, Aiden, Avery, & Maison - December 2016 - November 2017
Promises is an Arabian mare born in 1989 and came to the farm in fall of 2012. Promises is a lucky horse who has always known the love and care of humans and other horses. She was retired with us after her human caretaker of many years could no longer keep her horses due to a health crises of her own. Promises has several health issues of her own, many of them age related, and also she has Cushings Disease, which made her in need of a retirement situation where she could be cared for and supported in her elder years. Promises immediately fit in with our herd and we are thrilled to have her with us where she can share all of her wonderful energy with all of us.
"I am always grateful for all the beauty in life. It is good to have a place to rest and be without any expectations."
Lindsey Grace Lougee - November 2016 - October 2017
Sawyer came to the farm in the fall of 2016. We are not sure of an age on Sawyer and it is difficult to tell due to severe deterioration of his teeth. We were told he was born around 2000 but we do believe he is actually older than that. Sawyer came to us in tough shape. His history is that he had to have his eye removed a couple of years ago after he got impaled on a stick. But Sawyer also has severe problems with his teeth. As he has had to scrounge for food, he has worn down his front teeth to small nubs trying to eat whatever he could find to eat. His teeth are so worn from age and from not having proper dental care that he can no longer eat hay - even after he now with us has received a complete dental treatment. Because he couldn't eat properly, he was in very poor body condition when he arrived. We have tailored a nutritional protocol for him that hopefully will be helping him put on the weight he needs. Sawyer also came to us with a severe injury to his genitals that make it difficult for him to urinate. He somehow sustained a severe laceration but the injury is so old that we are not sure we can totally reverse the effects it has had on him. We do hope to make it better however. It will be several months before Sawyer is back up to a more normal weight and better health but we are all working together to make his life better. He seems very happy and content in his new home and meeting his new horse friends. He has quite the optimistic spirit in life and is a great guy. We look forward to learning more about him as we go along.
"I am very grateful for help. I love life and expect to enjoy a lot more of it yet to come. Life is a gift that I most graciously receive every day."
In Memory of Marianne Lines - March 2016 - February 2018
Shawnee is a Quarter Horse/Tennessee Walker gelding born in May 2005. Shawnee arrived at SFC at just 12 hours old when his mother died shortly after giving birth to him and the people could not properly care for him. He also was badly injured from something that punctured him all over his legs and thighs. Unfortunately, despite massive medical treatments and around the clock nursing, infection still managed to set in. Dawn, Margot, and Bonnie took shifts nursing him around the clock for weeks, bottle feeding him and tending to his wounds. He pulled through but there seems to be permanent damage to one of his hind legs where the infection had gotten into one of his joints. The injury left him unsound and he will never be able to be ridden. He is however comfortable if he doesn't have to carry a saddle and rider.
Most orphaned foals grow up to be difficult adults because the lack the proper horse socialization that only a horse mom can provide. Shawnee ended up with a very special gift in his life. Shawnee was given a second chance at life when Margot's mare Tasia (who sadly passed away in February 2008) actually took Shawnee in and was a surrogate mother for him. She let him live in her stall while we maintained bottle feeding him. Tasia's gift to him afforded him the chance of having a horse mom and learning the ways of the horse. He is a kind, gentle, loving and now well behaved horse thanks to Tasia. But sadly, Shawnee has now lost two mothers in his life. Now that he is an adult, Shawnee has been moved to our bigger barn and is now integrated with a more active herd. Shawnee will spend the rest of his life here at the farm -really the only home he has ever known.
"I am a boy who was given the gifts of great moms. Not just 2 horse moms, but my human moms as well. I know my first horse mom never got to see me grow up but my second horse mom did and I always remember all the things she taught me. She was a kind and great lady who taught me that kindness is always most important. I hope my life is a good representation of who she was. That would make me great."
In Memory of Marianne Lines - March 2016 - February 2018
TLC is an Arabian/Quarter Horse gelding born at SFC in 1990. TLC was born to Tina as part of our breeding program before we were SFC. He was a very difficult little foal with a mind of his own and could be incredibly stubborn. He has since grown up to be a decent horse citizen and minds his manners well. Because of his difficult temperament, TLC was not sold or adopted out as we felt he could fall into abusive hands.
TLC is Meloudee’s best friend and enjoys his summer days out with his herd in the big pasture. When TLC was born, we couldn't immediately think of a name, so temporarily in our records he was TLC which stood for Tina's Little Colt. When we saw how ornery he was, we began to think that TLC may be a good name to influence the direction he developed in. It seems to have worked!
TLC has been in good health although he has had an episode of seizures that we do not know the underlying cause. We do know however that he is very happy running and playing with his friends, most especially Meloudee who he also lives beside in their stalls. They are always hanging their heads over each other's stall walls and playing and mutually grooming one another.
"I don't know if I really have anything important to say. I have lived my whole life here on this farm and it is just the way I like it. We have all been through a lot together and we know each other very well. We love this farm and the land and all the folks who keep us safe and loved."
Marijke and Girl Scout Troop 49 - July 2016 - June 2017
Trigger is a Thoroughbred cross gelding, born in 1985, who came to us in 2010. Due to lameness issues, he is no longer rideable and his person was no longer able to keep him. Trigger still has lots of spunk and energy but is also a very sweet guy. He still keeps up with the younger geldings in the herd, galloping and playing in the pasture.
Trigger also has some extensive health issues. He has had repeated bouts of choke that finally required hospitalization as it damaged his esophagus. Because of this damage, Trigger can no longer eat solid food, meaning he can no longer eat hay. Luckily, he can eat grass during the summer months, and he has adjusted to eating his food made into more of an oatmeal consistency mash which he does quite well on. Because of that, Trigger is on lots of supplements to keep his dietary needs balanced. He also suffers from a sleep deprivation disorder that no one really knows why or where it comes from. But this will cause him to suddenly fall asleep standing up and fall to the floor. So his stall has to be outfitted in such a way that he cannot hurt himself. At first we thought it was a seizure disorder until veterinarians saw this happen when he was hospitalized and was able to determine what it was. It makes Trigger very unique and somewhat challenging for his care. But we all love him!
"Life just is what it is. There is no sense making it more complicated than that. I am grateful at the start of each day for a new day and thankful at the end of each day for the day I had."
John Andersen - March 2015 - February 2017
Viva (registered name: Zinkaviva Ursus) is a Quarter Horse/Arab gelding born in 1985 to Bonnie’s first horse Kazinka. Kazinka was purchased by Bonnie when she was already pregnant. Another mare Tina was also purchased around the same time when Viva was born, thus, he was raised by two mares, Kazinka and Tina. Kazinka died in 1993. These were the original three horses that got Bonnie on the path to founding SFC. Viva, especially, played a large role in that, as Bonnie raised her first foal and learned about all the things going on in the horse world. Viva developed a bad case of kidney stones which were really painful and gave him lots of back pain. As a result, he had a lot of pain under saddle and bucked people off, so he was never able to be ridden.
He thankfully has not had a problem with kidney stones for a long time now. He occupies his place of honor here at the farm with his mares that he takes care of in the outdoor paddock. He is a real clown, like his mother, and just as loving and caring as she was too. Viva is sort of like the class clown and the 3 mares he lives with love to get him going by picking on him. He puts up with a lot from them and still keeps in good sense of humor. We consider Viva to be one of the Founders of Spring Farm CARES.
"I guess it is true that I am famous. It's something that I have to live with but its not a big deal. The mares are a bit bothersome at times but the truth is that they'd be totally lost without me. However, when they kick me out of the shed I am not very pleased. I'm lucky that my best friend is Story and she is the leader of our herd. No one messes with her. And do you think it is by accident that she is my best friend? And they don't think I'm very smart!"
Marijke and Girl Scout Troop 49 - July 2016 - June 2017
Whisper was born in 1999 and came to the farm in 2012 when her owner could not care properly for her needs. Whisper had sustained a very bad injury to her hock after getting tangled in a wire fence. Unfortunately, the wound had not been properly treated, infection set in deep into the joint, and the joint fused and became immobile by the time we got her. She also had issues with her teeth that required a lot of dental work to get her back into shape so that she could get more nutrition from her food.
Whisper is a sweetheart and fit in with the herd as if she had always been here. While she will never have a leg that functions normally, she is able to walk and enjoy pasture time with her friends. She also is comfortable as there is no longer pain due to the fact that the joint was fused. Our goal now is to keep her comfortable and to help the rest of her body cope as she compensates for the problem leg. Unfortunately, this is the sort of injury that does affect her life expectancy. But for now, Whisper is fully enjoying her life. She is supported by chiropractic, acupuncture, and other holistic modalities as well. She will live out her remaining years with us and she knows she is safe now.
"I'm glad to be here where I am safe and where people care. It means a lot to me. I also cherish my horse friends. We are all here together because there was no other place for us. That makes this place all the more special to me."
Ed and Linda Fox - December 2016 - November 2017
Ziek is a Quarter Horse estimated to have been born in 1999 and came to the farm in summer of 2016 with his donkey companion Noah. He has quite a history of having been a camp horse in a summer camp program for several years. He came from somewhere out west originally before he ended up here in New York State. Ziek is now retired with us. He has become great friends with his new pasture mate Whisper and seems to be enjoying being a part of a larger herd again.
"I am not that complex a guy. I kind of like things easy and simple. When things get too complicated around me, well..... then so do I. I'm still trying to figure things out. But life seems good."
And then..... The Glue that Holds the Whole Barn Together.... Our Barn Cats
Bella and Izzy
In Memory of Cassie - March 2016 - February 2018
Bella and Izzy are littermates that were rescued from another barn where they were going to be killed at the age of 8 weeks. Izzy (the gray and white one) had a seriously injured and infected eye when she arrived which later had to be removed. Both Izzy and Bella are super friendly cats and they know their way around the horses, ducks, chickens, geese, and goats and sheep. They watch over the whole show and greet all the humans who come to visit as well. They are always very busy patrolling and keeping an eye on everything and everyone.
Bella is on the left and Izzy is on the right
You can also visit our Ghost Brigade page with the photos and bios of all of the horses and farm animals to have lived at Spring Farm CARES and who still lovingly watch over the farm