Noble

Noble and at his new home!

 Horses are a job like people, if someone will take the time to believe in them, they will become something exceptional. People in my life took the time to invest in me, speak words of encouragement, take me and steer me in the right direction, sometimes in drastic ways. It’s my turn to invest in the horses that have no place to call home, no one to tell them they’re worth it. I took Noble as a foster but quickly realized that I saw much potential in him, as much as any horse I have ever had. This month, I made him mine! I highly encourage my horse friends to consider fostering HERD horses.

Horses are a job like people, if someone will take the time to believe in them, they will become something exceptional. People in my life took the time to invest in me, speak words of encouragement, take me and steer me in the right direction, sometimes in drastic ways. It’s my turn to invest in the horses that have no place to call home, no one to tell them they’re worth it. I took Noble as a foster but quickly realized that I saw much potential in him, as much as any horse I have ever had. This month, I made him mine! I highly encourage my horse friends to consider fostering HERD horses.

Another happy beginning with "Willing"

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HERD makes dreams come true! With the help of HERD I was able to take home a beautiful 3 year old gelding that was picked out by Heather. She made the process so simple and I was able to rescue him from the slaughter lot. He is gentle, sweet, loving, and thanks to HERD he is now safe with a family who loves him. Thank you HERD for being so organized and amazing to work with, because of you we’ve gained a forever family member. --Tiarra Nicole

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Hope

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HOPE

“MY BEAUTY”

THIS IS MY BEAUTIFUL HOPE, WHOM I DISCOVERED IN A KILL PEN IN LOUISIANNA. HOPE WAS ON THE SHIP LIST TO SHIP FOR SLAUGHTER THAT DAY WHEN I FOUND HER ON THE BASTOP KILL PEN PAGE ON FACEBOOK. MY HEART SANK, I COULDN’T BELIEVE THIS BEAUTIFUL BABY, AND JUST 17 MONTHS OLD, WAS BEING SENT TO SLAUGHTER, A HORRIFIC DEATH, FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD.

I SEEN SOMETHING SPECIAL IN HER, AND I TOOK THAT CHANCE AND I WAS RIGHT.

 I IMMEDIATELY CONTACTED MY FRIEND, AND CO-PARTNER IN HORSE RESCUE, HEATHER FREEMAN OF HERD RESCUE, TO HELP ME SAVE THIS PRECIOUS FILLY. I NEEDED HELP; I WASN’T ABLE TO AFFORD ALL THE COST AT ONCE AT THAT TIME. HEATHER GOT THE FUNDRAISER UP AND RUNNING, AND COORDINATED THE TRANSPORTATION TO GET HOPE SAFELY TO NORTH CAROLINA INTO HERD RESCUE  TO BE QUARANTINED AND EVALUATED BY A VET FOR ANY SICKNESS AND A POSSIBLE EYE INFECTION . HERD RESCUE GAVE ME TIME TO PAY THEM BACK FOR ALL EXPENSES ON HOPE BEFORE I RECEIVED HOPE HERE IN OHIO.

HEATHER HELPED ME GET HOPE INTO THE GENTLE HANDS OF RICK MILWEARD. I SO ADMIRE RICK AND HIS NATURAL SKILLS THAT HELPED HOPE REGAIN HER TRUST OF HUMANS AGAIN. SHE HAD GONE FROM LOVE AND SECURITY TO PURE HELL AT THE KILL PEN.  RICK KNOWS HOW MUCH I LOVE HOPE AND JUST HOW SPECIAL SHE IS, AND HOW SPECIAL SHE IS TO ME. RICK TOLD ME HE WAS TRULY IMPRESSED AND AMAZED WITH HOPE, THAT SHE IS ONE SPECIAL GIRL AND SO BRAVE.

KILL PEN HORSES SHOULD NOT BE DISREGARGED. THERE ARE QUALITY HORSES IN THESE PENS THAT ARE GOING TO SLAUGHTER.  HOPE STILL HAD HER BREEDERS CERTIFICATE WITH HER FROM THE AUCTION THAT THE KILL BUYER BOUGHT HER FROM, AND THE KILL PEN SENT IT ALONG WITH HER. I CHECKED WITH THE BREEDER AND SHE IDENTIFIED HOPE AS THE FILLY ON THOSE PAPERS. HOPE’S BREEDING GOES BACK TO TOP DECK/MAN O’WAR/DOCS SUG/DOC BAR/THREE BARS/ LEO/KING/POCO BUENO.

 HERD RESCUES PRESIDENT AND ADMINISTATOR, STUART EVANS, AND HEATHER FREEMAN, ARE REMARKABLE. THEIR KINDNESS, GENEROSITY AND COMMITMENT TO SAVING THESE HORSES FACING SLAUGHTER, AND GIVING THEM ALL THE LOVE AND QUALTILY CARE THESE ANIMALS SO DESPERATELY NEED AND DESERVE IS SO HEART WARMING AND ADMIRABLE.

I CAN’T THANK HEATHER ENOUGH, I’M IN TEARS AS I WRITE THIS. I LOVE MY LITTLE BEAUTY SO MUCH. SHE IS MY PARTNER FOR LIFE AND I HAVE HEATHER AND STUART AND ALL THE HERD MEMBERS AND DONORS TO THANK FOR HELPING ME BRING HOPE HOME TO HER FOREVER HOME.

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Magnetic Girl

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I recently adopted Magnetic Girl aka Breezy from H.E.R.D. And they rescued her from a kill.pen in Texas. I was lucky enough to find her through Heather Freeman from H.E.R.D. And made her my new dressage companion. She is on the thin side right now but she is gaining weight everyday!! She is a 6 yr old thoroubred and is just beautiful.. Thank you to all of the individuals at H.E.R.D for bringing us together. I absolutely love her to death!!! Thank you Heather Freeman especially for coordinating everything!!

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Danny

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I started off a little skeptical about adopting a horse.  After all, owning a horse is a very big responsibility and I had several goals for a new horse.  I wanted the new horse to be easy enough for my husband and grandchildren but interesting enough for me to enjoy for trail riding, hunter pace events, and some dressage and jumping.  When it was time to let my two old horses go (they were both with me for over 30 years), I decided to at least look into what HERD had available.  That was one the best decisions I have ever made as we ended up with a really wonderful horse who is well on his way to meeting all of my goals.  

 

I soon realized that HERD is a very special organization.  HERD horses are beautifully handled and get excellent health care.  Once I told Heather Freeman of HERD what I wanted and what my experience was, she showed me the wonderful guy I ended up with: General Morgan.  He was just three and not yet backed.  I told Heather that I wanted to know that he could be ridden and she immediately arranged to have him started by Demetrios Alvarez.  Demetrio did a wonderful job and my smart sweet horse just seemed to love having a fun job to do.  I took over the training after just nine sessions with Demetrios and while I am very careful to keep everything slow and short, I have been trying to expose Danny to lots of new situations.  I have trailered him to a friends farm for short trail rides with a wonderful older gelding.  I ride him on the trails at my farm.  Bridges, streams, logs are just fun for Danny.  He is so gentle that I have taken my son, husband and grandson on short trail rides--they ride Danny and I ride my mare.  

 

As if all that is not enough, Danny is a pretty nice mover and really fun to ride.  He learns so quickly and he just seems to love doing things with people.  We just love this little horse.  The wonderful handling that Danny had while he was with HERD almost certainly has a lot to do with his great attitude.  Heather made it clear from the start that Danny would be welcomed back at HERD if he did not suit our situation but we knew after just a few days that he would be a permanent part of our family.

 

Elizabeth Dicey
 

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Stitch

My grandson Korbin texted me about a horse he really liked at the Stroud Oklahoma Kill Pens. With the help of HERD who helped with half of his bail, I was able to give him the best birthday present ever. Stitch is a wonderful boy who took right to my grandson, he is a very gentle and patient horse that has taught my grandson so much already. HERD does amazing work and their dedication to saving these magnificent animals is greatly appreciated without there help Stitch would have ended up going to slaughter. --Jacie Kirby

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Parker

Dear H.E.R.D., fundraisers and donors; Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for everything you’ve done to help us in adopting Parker for my daughter. This is the 5th horse we have adopted from a kill pen and every one of them has been wonderful, simply thrown away through no fault of their own. Parker is the second horse we’ve adopted thru HERD, and the communication and total process was smooth and easy, due to the positive relationships they have built with many of the lots they work with. A special thank you and appreciation to Jennifer B-Demyanovich for her tireless efforts on fundraising, which without, so many horses might not be saved. Thank you to the donors who responded to the call for help. You have saved a life and made a girl’s dream come true! Parker has only been with us a week, but he and my daughter Mikenna have developed a very strong bond! He’s still in the process of gaining weight and recovering from his ordeal of auction/kill pen stress, but he’s getting healthier every day with good feed and supplements to bring him back to full bloom! Once he’s fully recovered, his training will begin in earnest. We are planning on training him in hunter/jumpers and will be doing a lot of trail riding for relaxation and fun! Although he’s young, Parker seems to be a very sensible guy and has been sweet and willing to try anything! When I was about my daughter’s age, I had a horse that turned out to be my once-in-a-lifetime Heart horse. From the way things look between Mikenna and Parker, I truly believe they are on the road to that same kind of partnership, as this horse has already touched her heart in a way that will impact her life forever. Thank you again to all the caring, generous people who selflessly give so much of themselves to save these horses. We appreciate it more than words could ever express. God bless you all.--Michelle Mace

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Daisy

On March 29th of this year my Face Book feed was nothing out of the ordinary. Another horse at another kill pen - one day away from deadline. I try not to look. I am overwhelmed by the atrocities humans can inflict on the innocent. So I don’t look. At least not long.. but this was posted by simply one of the best humans I know, Betsy McCray...Betsy’s daughter (& mine now since the majority of her life is spent on my farm) Elizabeth & I kept going back to the photo..there is something about that mare’s eye. Mare?? Oh no way..but there is something about her eye. We couldn’t  possibly bring in another horse. Then Betsy tells us “there’s just something about her eye, she touched me’.’ Betsy already had her ‘bail’ money together but she needed a safe place to land...So Elizabeth & I said what the hell & the ‘mare’ arrived after a 30 day quarantine. 

 

Being that I am hardened to life in general and I am a dinosaur & a realist - I fully expected a crippled, crazy horse that I’ll be stuck with the rest of its life. Because that’s how it works. I have found all but a very few rescue groups to be well meaning but are crazy people (they have to be to do what they do) who do their best but typically wind up spending their meager resources trying to save the unsaveable while so many good horses, dogs etc. fall through the cracks. But then enter Herd (Helping Equines Regain Dignity & yes they have) they are a little different. Their reputation is to try & save horses that they really believe have a lot left to give & yes they splatter your FB page with photos of horses you can’t believe are headed for slaughter. That can be depressing - HOWEVER- you can help change that & quite possibly wind up with a storybook ending that can warm the frostiest of hearts, this I KNOW for fact.

 

The ‘mare’ arrived late one night. She unloaded off the trailer thin and somewhat disinterested in life around her. She had hauled from TX to SC with a Mustang stallion and not even a nicker as she unloaded. She went quietly into my riding ring and dropped her head into a pile of hay. I looked her over & saw that she had a dent in her left side you could put your hand in. I could feel the seam of broken ribs healed on their own. She tossed her head a little as I touched her face, but she let me. As I checked her gums I saw extremely crooked, sharp teeth. I looked in to slightly distant, but soft eyes... I grabbed a blanket & settled down with her telling myself it would be easier than getting up & down the rest of the night. 

 

‘The mare’ went through a lot of name changes because I am saddled with Ryla, an 8 year old dreamer that wormed her way in to my farm with a Breyer collection, a love of sparkly things & a Disney movie ideal of the perfect horse. Insert eye roll here. Much like naming a child, you never realize how many people you dislike until you try to come up with names... Ruby was decided on by Ryla & I couldn’t come up with a reason to hate it. Ryla & Little Bit (her name in my mind) liked each other from the beginning. For some reason this chatterbox of a child quieted with the mare. The first week the mare was here I popped Ryla up on her bareback for a very short pony ride - I know, but I had seen videos of the mare ridden by Herd - & I’m confident in my ability to snatch a child off an unsuitable horse if the need arises - it didn’t. Had her checked over by our vet & amazingly enough - she was sound.... our wonderful dentist, Jeff Hurst, was coming in a week so we waited to have her teeth done. They were a mess. Never seen such crooked teeth. Upper 3rd molar on the right was cracked with a piece broken partially off & imbedded in her cheek. Teeth in general were very sharp & Jeff did what repairs & reshaping he could for her first dental work. Poor girl had been that way for a LONG time...no wonder the head toss.. after Jeff finished he was rubbing her head & she pressed it into his body & stood quietly. Jeff said ‘she’s a daisy isn’t she’.. thus she became Daisy forever. 

She shows spunk now. Just enough that I am relieved. She has gained weight & is more loving & interactive every day. She accepts every new thing thrown at her with quiet dignity. 

Daisy has breathed new life into our farm & charmed us all. For me personally she has warmed a jaded heart. She makes me want to talk Betsy into saving another. In doing my part to help these beautiful women & this amazing rescue save this little mare, quite possibly I might have saved more than a horse. --Ann Hamilton

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REA (The Edge of Reason)

Rea (The Edge of Reason) is very appreciative of life! She is extremely forgiving, given her past, as she was saved from the kill pen just shy of two years ago! She came to HERD emaciated, and that is an understatement. She was honestly lucky to make it through the night and arrived in North Carolina from Texas in the middle of winter with an opened wound on her face, freezing cold and truly sad! Through amazing care, she pulled through and now we are lucky enough to call her a part of our family.

It was an amazing experience for me to be part of adopting a horse that needed a second chance. She has taught me that you can have a new beginning and trust people, even though she has every reason to not trust. I don’t know if I could be as trusting, sweet and truly amazing as her.  

We are so excited for the years to come, she is brave, which is great, as she will be my next event horse! We are so fortunate to have her and would encourage everyone to look into adopting! --Catie Costa

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Rafi

I have owned horses and been an avid horse rider since I was a teenager. I survived those years and when I reached my sixties, I decided to minimize my risk factors. I started a search for a horse no younger than 10 years old, well broken, not spooky on the trail, a gelding and of course, sound. He was to be my trail partner for the rest of my life.

A friend showed me a horse on Facebook that had been rescued by HERD. He was a former camp horse in his teens. He sounded perfect. I met with HERD rescue angel, Heather Freeman to have a look at the camp horse. She said, “First, I want you to look at this other horse, Tuscany. He was a five year old, recently gelded, and green broke. The only criteria that he met was he was a gelding. Just to be polite I looked at him, but was not interested, not at all. He was not “the one”. 

The camp horse did not work out for me, but Heather said, “Come and ride Tuscany”. The weather was beautiful and I wanted to ride even though I knew this was not the horse I wanted. He did really well and the next week I took him for a camp and trail ride for a couple of days. I said yes to the horse and changed his name to Rafiki, which means “friend” in Swahili. I call him Rafi.

In a few months, Rafi went with me out west to ride in Colorado for a few weeks and we have not looked back. We primarily trail ride, but I love to take him to clinics to develop our partnership.

Life and Rafi continue to teach me not not make assumptions. He is the finest horse that has ever chosen me. We are a match.


 

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Jazzy-Saphira

 Working with HERD has been a fantastic experience. It is so evident that all of the people involved are so passionate about their work and are certain to provide the best experience to the horses in the HERD program. We adopted Jazzy-Saphira from HERD in April 2018 to become a part of our equine assisted psychotherapy program at CORRAL Riding Academy in Cary, NC. We are a nonprofit that pairs rescued horses with girls in high-risk situations for healing and transformational life change through a long term holistic approach. HERD pulled Jazzy from the Bastrop kill pen in Louisiana in December 2017. She is an amazing horse with such heart and willingness to connect with people. She is a great fit for our program and we are so excited to see her help change the lives of our participants.   Leanne Nieforth  Equine Manager   CORRAL Riding Academy

Working with HERD has been a fantastic experience. It is so evident that all of the people involved are so passionate about their work and are certain to provide the best experience to the horses in the HERD program. We adopted Jazzy-Saphira from HERD in April 2018 to become a part of our equine assisted psychotherapy program at CORRAL Riding Academy in Cary, NC. We are a nonprofit that pairs rescued horses with girls in high-risk situations for healing and transformational life change through a long term holistic approach. HERD pulled Jazzy from the Bastrop kill pen in Louisiana in December 2017. She is an amazing horse with such heart and willingness to connect with people. She is a great fit for our program and we are so excited to see her help change the lives of our participants. 

Leanne Nieforth

Equine Manager

CORRAL Riding Academy