Heritage Girls Visit Rescue Horses

Braving chilly temperatures in February, several families from a local Heritage Girls group spent part of a day with our education coordinator where they learned about basic horse care, horse rescue, and more.

The students watched a special video about Front Range Equine Rescue which taught them about our mission and how to understand the ways that horses in a bad situation can be rescued and have a good life going forward.

Participants were then able to explore three learning stations where they were taught about some of the different horse breeds, proper grooming techniques, and horse anatomy.

They were introduced to three horses Splash, Cricket, and Cookie, and were allowed to feed them a few special horse treats from Winnie’s horse cookies, which they (and the horses) loved.

Everyone then engaged in some hands-on learning where students (and their family members) were shown how to properly clean stalls, add extra shavings (a form of bedding to go on top of the stall mats) for cold winter nights and then sweep out the barn aisle area.

Even more fun was direct hands-on with the horses where everyone had a chance to participate in grooming all three horses and practicing safety around horses, including how to approach a horse, haltering, and some basic leading.

Four regular volunteers were available to assist FRER’s education coordinator in all of the planned activities. Two of the Heritage girls loved it so much they have committed to returning to become regular volunteers.

Wyoming’s Wild Horses Under Attack

For nearly two weeks, heartbreaking scenes have unfolded as Wyoming’s iconic Red Desert wild mustangs endure being brutally chased down. Full of terror, they are undergoing the largest wild horse helicopter roundup in history.  At least 613 have been captured, with 1,800 more innocent mustangs targeted before this cruel, unnecessary roundup ends.

The BLM seeks to deprive 2,400 wild horses in the Red Desert Complex of their freedom by capturing them using dangerous helicopter stampedes. What results are injuries, sheer exhaustion and even death, which included tiny foals.

The massive roundup comes after five months of brutally hot and too often smokey conditions making innocent horses suffer even more cruelly than ever. With no end in sight for the targeted horses, the BLM already is planning to extend these roundups into 2021.

These are just a few of the tragic results:

  • On one day, 121 wild horses lost their freedom. Meanwhile these same public lands permit over 20,000 sheep to graze each year, and just under 10,000 cattle.
  • On another daythe BLM captured 126 wild horses with one reported death. Note that more deaths often occur post roundup.
  • Just over a week ago, 84 horses lost their freedom after a terror filled chase. One horse who managed to escape the chute was seen alone in the hills, head hanging low from extreme exhaustion and despair as the rest of the family band were gone.

Additional roundup reporting included:
263 wild horses were captured a few days ago at what is called the Lost Creek HMA. One mare died in the temporary holding pen after being kicked in the head by another horse. Below freezing temperatures ranged between 15 to 28 degrees. A foal was seen struggling to keep up with the group as they ran for their lives.

Politics and Wild Horses

Keep them safe and free

Elected representatives in D.C. have pushed forward with full funding for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse plan which calls for massive roundups, and an agenda to kill off wild horses via dangerous and controversial surgical sterilization methods.

Right now, America’s wild horses are being chased down by helicopters for miles in summer’s scorching heat. Frantic mares have been cruelly separated from their terrified foals as they are roughly captured, then held for hours without food.

On July 10, the House Appropriations Committee passed the Fiscal Year 2021 budget of $122.6 million for the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program, even though the agency did not have a “well-defined action plan.” This is more than a 25% budget increase over FY20’s budget. The bill does include a prohibition on killing healthy horses, but there is no guarantee that the horses will not continue ending up at low-end slaughter auctions.

The House did take a stand to ensure that the BLM will no longer proceed spending zero percent of its budget on humane fertility control, while spending two-thirds on cruel roundups and removal of wild horses from taxpayer funded public lands only to warehouse tens of thousands of them for life at taxpayer expense.

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate must now review the BLM’s Fiscal Year 2021 Wild Horse and Burro Program budget. It is critical for the Senate to include provisions to ensure any additional funding requested is used for humane on-the-range management.

The Senate must be convinced to protect wild horses and ensure that extra money allocated to the BLM’s wild horse and burro budget is dedicated to humane on-the-range management.

Reach your Senators through www.senate.gov to speak up for America’s endangered wild horses and burros.

From Rags to Riches? Meet Chloe, A Lucky Mustang Filly

After 3 months of rehabilitation, Chloe progressed to training evaluation where she has learned many new things. Donor support has given this lovely mustang filly a second chance at life.

Chloe is one of over 50 horses rescued during late September into November 2019 to keep them out of the slaughter pipeline.

She is a young mustang who was very stand-offish initially but slowly became more curious and friendly after being rescued and settling into a new routine. Along with several other horses, she remained in a quarantine situation as they had been removed from a lot where many sick horses are located.

Chloe was also very lame at first, but in time improved (once she was able to receive basic gentling/handling it was discovered she was healing from a hoof abscess).

Chloe’s further rehabilitation progress and beginning stages of training can be seen on her special page here.

Meet Sadie – A Mustang Rescued from the Slaughter Pipeline

Once living wild and free, Sadie was taken from her home on public lands and eventually ended up on a kill buyer’s lot. Thanks to donor support, Sadie is now safe and in a special training assessment program.

Sadie is one of dozens of horses (including several mustangs) rescued during a large scale removal of horses in the slaughter pipeline during late September 2019 into November 2019.

She was buddied up to Roxy (another mustang mare) on the lot and both remained together during their initial quarantine and early rehabilitation phases. The two mustang mares also befriended an older Quarter Horse mare we named Bella.

Read more about how Sadie has progressed from her page on our website. Additional updates will be posted over the coming weeks and months.


Fall Roundups Decimate Wild Horse Herds

Wild horses run for their lives during unrelenting roundups by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Bureau of Land Management is moving fast with devastating fall roundups. Just recently, they finished a roundup in the Challis Herd Management Area (HMA) located in central Idaho. The herd size consisted of only 429 horses.

The roundup of 295 wild horses occurred during November 5-11. Next, the BLM is expected to complete a census flight to determine how many wild horses will be returned to the 169,000-acre area. As of now, two horses died as a result of this forcible removal.

The BLM also announced their intention to move forward with a plan to cut the size of the wild horse and burro population in the Twin Peaks HMA located in northeast California by 80% over the next 10 years.

The vast majority of wild horses removed from taxpayer-funded public lands will never be returned to the wild. Many will be confined to living in the BLM’s holding facilities for life. Even more troubling the horses face being killed or sold for slaughter if Congress refuses to provide funding for their long-term care.

Roundups will greatly increase if the Senate approves a $5 billion plan, pushed by the livestock industry and BLM’s Acting Director, to reduce wild horse populations in the West dangerously close to extinction levels.

California Wild Horses & Burros Threatened

Wild burro herds also face “manage to extinction” policy threats similar to those experienced by wild horse herds.

The BLM has released a management plan for the wild horses and burros of California’s Twin Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) which includes future helicopter roundups and fertility control over the next ten years.

The Sierra Sun Times reported that the BLM’s plan “calls for several approaches, including using helicopter drive trapping, bait-and-water trapping, and fertility control to reduce the herd … over ten years.”

While the use of safe, proven and humane fertility control keeps more horses living free, a majority of wild horse advocates do not support the drastic reduction of herd sizes for wild horses and burros in this HMA (or others).

Close to 90% of the current wild burro population is slated for removal over ten years, leaving only 72 burros on the range which completely destroys the genetic health of this herd.

The plan’s goal for the Twin Peaks wild horses aims to gut the herd by 80% and release castrated stallions (geldings) onto the range. Not only does this negatively impact the herd’s genetic viability and survival, but the wild horses’ natural behaviors will be destroyed. There is a chance legal action currently in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals might delay/stop the proposed permanent sterilization of the stallions.

Nevada Wild Horses Threatened by Removals

Wild horses are under attack even more as special interests and the BLM work on massive removals.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently announced their decision to round up and permanently remove ALL wild horses from Nevada’s Caliente Herd Area (HA) complex.

Continuing to use horses as scapegoats for land issues, the BLM did not bother to consider any reduction to domestic livestock in the same area. The intention to destroy this group of mustangs is shameful but not a surprise since the BLM’s Acting Director repeatedly sides with private livestock owners over the legal rights of America’s wild horses.

This decision is not about a single roundup. It is intended to eradicate mustangs in eight of the nine Herd Management Areas (HMAs) in the Caliente Complex.

There are numerous reasons this is absolutely wrong, including the fact that more than 500% of BLM land is authorized for livestock than for wild horses and burros in the West. Many private livestock owners benefit from as much as half a billion dollars annually via taxpayer subsidies. Claims of wild horse “overpopulation” by the BLM and others are lies, further evidenced by the factual reality that wild horses are not found on 88% of BLM lands.

Stand strong on behalf of wild horses and burros by contacting your elected officials to ensure their protections on taxpayer-funded public lands remain. Reach Senators through www.senate.gov and House Representatives via www.house.gov.

Horse Racing Integrity Act Reintroduced in Congress

This off-the-track mare was in danger of shipping for slaughter when Front Range Equine Rescue intervened to save her. She was rehabilitated, provided further training and successfully adopted to a new home as a pleasure/trail riding horse.

U.S. Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) reintroduced the Horse Racing Integrity Act, H.R.1754. This federal bill aims to better protect America’s racehorses by (1) replacing outdated state-by-state drug and medication rules with one national standard, (2) ban race-day medication and (3) increase out-of-competition testing. The bill has support from a number of racing industry leaders and animal welfare groups.

For many years, the drug crisis in the horse racing industry has led to the premature deaths of thousands of horses. The problem started in 1980 when Congress decided to leave it up to individual states to come up with their own rules on what drugs to allow in horse racing. This led to various state laws with no uniform national standard. The lack of one standard opened the door for unethical trainers who travel from state to state to avoid penalties while continuing to dope and race the horses.

The widespread use of legal and illegal drugs has caused many problems for both horses and riders. Drugs that allow a horse to push through pain, which intensifies any injury, or the forcing of worn-out horses to compete, have resulted in career-ending injuries and even death. Overuse and abuse of drugs administered too close to race time can mask lameness in horses during their pre-race exams endangering both horse and rider during a race.

Many American racehorses are currently given race-day drugs to enhance their performance, a practice which is banned in most other countries. If a horse needs drugs in order to compete, that horse should not be on the track.

When this bill was introduced in the last Congress it had 132 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. House reps and urge them to cosponsor the Horse Racing Integrity Act, H.R.1754. Find your reps here.

US Department of Agriculture Coddles and Excuses Longtime Violators of the Horse Protection Act

2015 Soring Investigation

The following is an excerpt from a media release by Animal Wellness Action:

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to coddle and tolerate serious violations of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), meting out token and virtually meaningless penalties for people who’ve repeatedly harmed Tennessee Walking Horses in order to win ribbons at horse shows.

Using a legal mechanism called a consent decree, the supposed targets of the USDA essentially maintain their claim they did nothing wrong, and then promise never to do it again. The agreements would allow scofflaw trainers to continue to compete in events during the 2019 show season, with several “penalties” not even barring the alleged violators from participation in events that drew scrutiny, until after the 2020 season.

“The ‘penalties’ imposed by USDA on chronic abusers of horses are so weak as to be meaningless,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a past president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. “To allow admitted abusers to compete uninterrupted until the end of 2020 and 2022 is despicable and is an invitation to other horse abusers that they may continue soring horses and they won’t have to pay a cent or miss a horse show for years.”

Soring is a practice that results from intentional infliction of pain to Tennessee Walking, Racking, and Spotted Saddle Horses’ front limbs to achieve an artificial, manufactured exaggeration of their gait, known as the “big lick,” that’s exhibited throughout the Southeastern U.S. Trainers apply caustic chemicals, such as diesel fuel, kerosene, and mustard oil, to the legs and insert sharp objects in the hooves to achieve this grotesque appearance that’s rewarded at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

“Now more than two years into the Administration, we see a distinctive pattern from the new leadership at USDA: they either won’t investigate or won’t mete out meaningful penalties when it comes to people who hurt animals,” said Joshua Marquis, director of legal affairs and enforcement at Animal Wellness Action, and former Oregon District Attorney for 25 years. “We ask USDA to show us even a single case when they sent a clear signal to animal abusers that their conduct won’t be tolerated. Simply allowing them to say, ‘we didn’t do anything wrong, and we won’t do that again for an upcoming two-year period is barely enforcement.”

USDA has recently posted numerous “consent decisions” related to walking horse trainers who have long records of violating the federal law. Suspensions for the trainers Herbert Derickson, Dick Peebles, Larry Edwards, and Gary Edwards don’t begin until after the 2019 show season that will be kicked off at the Walking Horse Trainers’ Show in Shelbyville, Tennessee on March 21st. Both Derickson’s and Gary Edward’s suspensions don’t begin until December 2020, and September 2022 respectively, allowing those trainers to continue to compete for the next 2-3 years before receiving any punishment. Each of these individuals are “World Grand Champion” trainers who have served previous years’ long federal suspensions for violating the HPA.

The Horse Protection Act of 1970 bars exhibiting horses in shows if they had been subjected to soring. Veterinarian U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL), have introduced the U.S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings’ Memorial Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act, H.R. 693 to update and upgrade the 50-year-old statute, and Animal Wellness Action continues to lead the charge on Capitol Hill to pass this critical measure. The PAST Act would eliminate the use of large stacked shoes and ankle chains integral to the soring process, replacing the industry’s failed self-policing program with licensed USDA inspectors at no cost to the taxpayer, and increasing penalties for violators. The measure currently has 174 cosponsors in the House and garnered 290 in the previous Congress. A Senate companion should be introduced soon by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Understanding Your Horse’s Body Condition Score

The 6 Vital Sections to Horse Body Scoring.

The Importance of Your Horse’s Shape

Body Condition Scoring is a great way to judge a horse’s shape and how it affects his/her overall health. Regardless of use, body condition influences all aspects of your horse’s life and well-being. Scores range from 1 being extremely thin to 9 being extremely fat. Some of the key zones to use when evaluating are:

A. Along the Neck
B. Along the withers
C. Crease down back
D. Tailhead
E. Ribs
F. Behind shoulder

Here is how Purina Mills described each condition:

  1. Poor
    Extremely emaciated. Spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, hip joints, and lower pelvic bones project prominently; bone in withers, shoulders and neck are easily noticed. No fatty tissue can be felt.
  2. Very Thin
    Emaciated. Slight fat covers base of spinous processes, transverse processes of lumbar vertebrae feel rounded. Spinous processes, ribs, tailhead, hip joints, and lower pelvic bones are prominent. Withers, shoulders and neck structure faintly discernible.
  3. Thin
    Fat buildup about halfway on spinous processes. Transverse processes cannot be felt. Slight fat covers ribs. Spinous processes and ribs easily discernible; tailhead prominent but individual vertebrae cannot be identified visually. Hip joints appear rounded but easily discernible; lower pelvic bones not distinguishable. Withers, shoulders and neck accentuated.
  4. Moderately Thin
    Slight ridge along back. Faint outline of ribs discernible. Tailhead prominence depends on conformation, but fat can be felt around it. Hip joints not discernable. Withers, shoulders and neck not obviously thin.
  5. Moderate
    Back is flat; ribs easily felt, but not visually distinguishable. Fat around tailhead feels a bit spongy. Withers round over spinous processes; shoulders and neck blend smoothly into body.
  6. Moderately Fleshy
    May have slight crease down back. Fat over ribs spongy; fat around tailhead soft. Small fat deposits behind shoulders and along sides of neck and withers.
  7. Fleshy
    Might have slight crease down back. Individual ribs can be felt, but noticeable filling between ribs with fat. Fat around tailhead soft; fat deposited along withers, behind shoulders and along neck.
  8. Fat
    Crease down back. Difficult to feel ribs. Fat around tailhead very soft; area along withers filled with fat. Area behind shoulder filled with fat, noticeable thickening of neck. Fat deposited along inner thighs.
  9. Extremely Fat
    Obvious crease down back. Patchy fat appears over ribs. Bulging fat around tailhead, along withers, behind shoulders and along neck. Fat along inner thighs may rub together. Flank filled with fat.

Ideal Body Condition Scores

A good score for most horses, including performing and growing horses, is between a five and a six. A broodmare can range from five to seven for reproductive efficiency. It is unhealthy for your broodmare to dip under a 5 during the breeding season. If your horse has a score over 7, they may be at a greater risk for metabolic disorders.

Read the Full Article Here.

Rescue Horses Participate in Educational Summer Camps

The kids were visited by Dr. Holly who floated Splash’s teeth

Since our beginning in 1997 we have combined our rescue program efforts with educational efforts to help end the abuse and neglect of horses.

This year’s “Care and Keeping of Horses” camp promotes the responsibilities involved with horse ownership. Participants learn via an age-appropriate curriculum which gives information on the history of the horse, horse behavior, types of horses, what horses are used for, what horse abuse is and basics of horse care. Learning involves books, video, hands-on and other interactive tools.

Summary of Mid-Week Activity

Campers started their day by cleaning the barn, sweeping, filling waters and mucking the pasture, a necessary skill for horse ownership! We were visited by “Little B” and Lena who is leasing her before making a commitment to buying a horse. Lena demonstrated bareback riding as well as skills she practices before trying out for Rangerettes. We played a Prey/Predator game where we learned about mountain lions and wild horses. We also studied horse markings on their faces and legs as well as anatomy. Both Splash and Cricket had stickers all over them as campers showed they knew the parts of the horse by placing a small colored sticker on that part.

We were visited by Dr. Holly who floated Splash’s teeth and wormed Cricket, two important steps to keeping horses healthy. We also read the story of MOLLY, a pony who survived Hurricane Katrina and learned to walk with a prosthetic leg. We then groomed all of the horses and played another Prey/Predator game.

Campers were able to watch a short video from Front Range Equine Rescue which showed some of the horses rescued from neglect/abuse over the years. The day ended with a story called “Lonesome” which taught us that since horses are herd animals they need companions, they should always listen to their mother and not eat Loco Weed. We then decided we all need to listen to our mothers!

I just wanted to thank you for sending out the summary of the daily activities. I’ve enjoyed reading what Sophia did during camp and it enables us to have a really good conversation about the day when I get home. Thank you. (Jason, CO)

End of the Week Summary (M. Nagle, education coordinator)

It was our privilege to have your children at camp with us this week. I was touched by their responses at the end of the day about what they learned and how horses should always be treated: with respect and love!

Our final day of camp started by cleaning the barn and then walking across the street to visit a neighbor’s two former racehorses. One had her eye damaged when a jockey struck her eye with his crop; the eye had to be removed. We returned and played a “wild band stallion” game and then watched a jumping presentation. Two former students (now age 16) and horse owners came and warmed up, eventually jumping 3′ jumps. Campers got to pretend to be horses while learning how to correctly halter and lead a horse. They paired up and created jump patterns in the jump field area. Everyone won first place – blue ribbons which serve as book marks! We also created horse collages and played horse relay games. We groomed all of the horses and ended the day with another “Quincy” story.

Thank you so much! Bridget Leslie had a great time. On our drive up to the mountains today, she was naming the different breeds of horses that we saw! (Shana, CO)


Horse Rescue Crisis in Florida

At the end of 2017 we received a desperate email plea for help from an animal sanctuary in severe financial trouble.

They have over 500 domestic and wild animals including close to 85 equines (horses, ponies, donkeys).

Sunny arrived at our Florida rescue farm malnourished, overdue for proper farrier care, with significant dental issues, arthritis and a yeast infection.

The disturbing message indicated there was no money available for purchasing quality hay; the grass was dead and veterinary care could not be provided if needed.

We’ve been rescuing the most urgent needs horses first but there are dozens more which require help now before this situation becomes a tragedy.

It’s a very challenging situation for many reasons. The majority of these horses must place with equine sanctuaries. A few will be released to private homes as companion only horses. A handful of the horses might be suitable for responsible owners looking to adopt a horse.

Conditions found in horses removed to date include lameness, lack of professional farrier care, thrush, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, heaves, malnutrition, cancer, arthritis, Cushings disease, neuropathy and training issues.

Donations are needed to ensure proper feed and medical care can be provided for horses removed.

Donate Now

Horse Rescue: A Year In Review

We need everyone to remain committed to speaking up for innocent horses
Remain committed to speaking up for innocent horses!

It’s been a very challenging year with rescuing horses from abusive situations, continuing legal actions to protect wild horse herds, managing preparations for and the aftermath of Hurricane Irma along with the huge battle against the 2018 federal budget bill allowing funding for horse meat inspections as well as allowing the unlimited sale, mass killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros.

We are so proud of and thankful for all of our supporters around the country who speak up and stand with us on behalf of America’s beloved horses. You are all true Horse Warriors!

Donors have helped to ensure at-risk horses are rescued, rehabilitated, undergo training evaluation and either successfully adopted to qualified homes or safely retired. Our supporters have signed thousands of petitions against horse slaughter and to protect wild horses which we forwarded to elected officials. And hundreds of phone calls to Congress in support of keeping wild horse protections and stopping the return of horse slaughter on American soil have flooded Congressional offices.

The federal budget bill has yet to be finalized.

This battle continues into early 2018. We need everyone to remain committed to speaking up for innocent horses. It’s truly a life and death situation.

In the meantime, we are at the beginning of an emergency situation here in Florida. We are at the early stages of working to remove horses from a failing animal sanctuary. More details to come shortly.

Please take a moment to view our 2017 slide show with photographs of our work in Colorado and Florida. We wish you and your family the very best for the coming New Year.


Wild Horse Crisis Continues

We The People Must Stand Up To Save Them

This article from The Hill states that the special interests lobbyists, many of whom are millionaire cattle ranchers, are pushing to slaughter America’s wild horses. The goal of the horse slaughter lobby is to clear public lands of wild horses and replace them with cattle.

Thanks to the greed of tiny but powerful industry lobby, congressional Republicans are about to legalize the slaughter of America’s wild horses – and commit political suicide in the process. Polls show that 80 percent of men, 90 percent of women and 86 percent of Trump supporters oppose horse slaughter. With nine Republican House seats up for grabs according to the Cook Report, opposition should be a no brainer. But this hasn’t stopped Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from leading the charge, while House Republicans have already passed legislation that would legalize an inhumane practice that has been outlawed for fifty years.

The push to slaughter wild horses is coming from a narrow – but powerful – special interest lobby in the D.C. swamp made up of millionaire and billionaire cattle ranchers on America’s federal lands. Public-lands ranchers make up just 2 percent of U.S. cattle operators, represent just 0.06 percent of total employment in 11 western states and produce only 3 percent of American beef.”

Read more here from The Hill.

Memorial Day Emergency

When Two Horses In Need Turned Into Twelve!

Sallie lived with structural leg deformities and no handling

Too often in rescue we have split second decisions to make. Late on Monday I received a call from our rescue coordinator in Colorado. A kill buyer had contacted her regarding two horses “we might like” – an odd choice of words but we knew it meant they were in bad shape.

An hour later I received a call from our coordinator from the kill lot. She said multiple horses were in very poor shape — a sorrel gelding having tremendous breathing difficulty, a mare with extensive abrasions and infected leg wounds allegedly from horse tripping, a young chestnut mare with leg deformities, a pair of old horses huddled in a corner afraid of being approached and others with heart-wrenching conditions.

I couldn’t say no. We negotiated with the kill buyer and are in the process of removing all 12 horses.

Hank had severe COPD and struggled with every breath. He is at peace now.

Will you help me raise the $3,600 I need to pay the initial expense for this last minute, tragic rescue situation? Your contribution helps us cover the cost of purchase and initial veterinary evaluations.

Donate Now

Rocky (Arab) and Bullwinkle (Appy) brightened up once off the kill lot


Emergency Times Three

Winter dumps horses at low-end kill auction…

Meet Sherlock

Sherlock was found at a Colorado auction last week. Very thin and afraid, this poor boy has some unusual health issues. His enlarged jaw made us fear severe injury, fracture or the result of an untreated dental infection. But just as concerning is his inability to retract his penis into the protective sheath… the tip and several inches are both swollen and frostbitten. I cannot imagine his pain!

Will you help Sherlock? He’s only 4 years old!


We need $2,500 to provide surgery to remove severely damaged tissue to his penis which will be able to heal and have normal function as well as to help with other rehabilitation costs including feed, farrier, and much needed dental care. Please help Sherlock!

Emergency Donation:

If you’d like to donate by check or money order, please click here.

Meet Hanna and Josie

Sisters Hanna and Josie were huddled with their pregnant mother and father (intact stallion) at a Colorado auction. Little Josie was still nursing and had never been weaned. She was abruptly separated from her family after all were sold during the bidding to new owners. Fortunately, the man who bought Hanna asked us if we wanted her (he had only bid to keep her from the kill buyer). Reuniting the two helped both young fillies as their world had been turned upside down. We could not let these youngsters go to the filthy, disease-ridden kill lot in northern Colorado where countless horses have been sickened by illnesses for years.

Young horses are costly and we have many mouths to feed this winter. Please help us with feed, vet, and training (basic handling) expenses as our budget has been stretched thin by other expenses.

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Fast Donate for Hanna and Josie:

Mail in for the young fillies to get them on the right track! Please click here for the Reply Form.

We truly value your loyal support of our work.

Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!

For the horses,

P.S. – We’d like to schedule Sherlock’s surgery as soon as possible before Colorado has any more “arctic” blasts. Even an enclosed barn can’t keep out that kind of cold. Please send your most generous gift today! Thank you.


Veterinary Emergencies

sunnie.closeup.aug2016 (1)The past few weeks have been hectic with last minute rescue calls for horses in need at low-end kill auctions and needing removal from neglectful owners.

And to top it off, several of the rescue horses have required urgent medical attention!

With our critical lawsuit rapidly moving forward against the horrible wild mare sterilization, our budget is really strained right now. Can you help us get through this rough patch?

Fighting off Setbacks:

  • Sunnie’s nasty respiratory infection turned into pneumonia and she needs stronger (more expensive) antibiotics to help her get well.
  • Tilly’s blood work came back with strong indicators of Cushings disease. She needs long-term medication to manage symptoms.

We need to raise $350 to help Sunnie and Tilly:

  • Serena was kicked during turn out and required an emergency call, stitches and multiple bandage changes.
  • Jingo had a flare up of a painful eye condition and was prescribed several eye ointments and strong antibiotics as he didn’t respond to the initial medication.

Can you help us raise $750 to help Serena and Jingo during their expensive healing process:

Prefer to mail in a much-needed contribution to help with emergency medical needs?
Download our mail-in donation form here.

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We also have several new horses receiving initial medical evaluations. Can you send a gift today to support Misty, Genie, and Ole Man?

Veterinary care is crucial to truly saving rescue horses. We greatly appreciate your tax-deductible contribution to ensure our horses continue receiving everything they need to be healthy.

P.S. – Good news to share. Cinnamon and Sebastian were recently adopted into a loving new home. We’re happy this mother and son can remain together!

Two Ways to Help Today!

Johnny Boy’s leg was “rotting” from a massive infection
Johnny Boy’s leg was “rotting” from a massive infection

Less than two weeks ago we had a last minute call to help horses before they transported to a Western feedlot, and then onto a Canadian slaughterhouse.

We were very thankful that many of our supporters were able to help raise part of the funding needed to spare these horses. Sadly, several of these horses had pre-existing, chronic conditions which it was too late to treat, and too late to offer a pain-free quality of life. Instead of past owners doing the right thing, we were again put in the position to provide humane euthanasia.

On a happier note, a few of the horses are able to be treated for various health issues.

But we need your support to ensure they get every chance we can offer!

Click here to learn different ways you can help us save horses

Meet Riley and Sunnie

Riley and Sunnie need your help.
Riley and Sunnie need your help.

Riley is a former track horse with two bowed tendons and a super friendly personality. He has several veterinary and nutritional needs we need funding for in order to restore his health.

Sunnie is a little two-year-old filly needing TLC! Our guess is that she was thrown away due to her umbilical hernia which a former owner could easily have fixed. Her time in less than ideal conditions has left her sick with a respiratory virus which we are treating. She also requires veterinary care to assess potential shoulder/hind end issues which were reported to us. Once we get her past all of that, we need funding for surgery to repair her umbilical hernia.

Gift Match – Expansion Projects!

Front Range Equine Rescue was honored to be one of fifteen equine rescues awarded a matching grant from the ASPCA for expansion needs. We have raised $7,600 of the $10,000 needed in order to receive the grant match of $10,000.

This funding will finish fencing and barn/shelter projects we’ve worked on for many months. Please consider helping us make your donation a 2-for-1 match so that our rescue horses have more turn out pasture options and stall accommodations.

Expanded facilities allow for more at risk horses to be saved
Expanded facilities allow for more at risk horses to be saved.

The Highs and Lows of Horse Rescue

Horse rescue is full of highs and lows, the work heart-warming and heart breaking.

Once again, horses overlooked by so many people were dropped off for us in Colorado. Both were humanely euthanized to end their suffering.


The description from the vet says it all:

Sorrel 8 y.o. mare, 600#, severe bilateral flexor contraction, walking on dorsal fetlocks, very reluctant to move…

B/W 9 y.o. pony gelding, left hind leg locked in extension, cannot be flexed, chronic…

 – Sarge and Sadee’s Vet

I cannot imagine what could have happened to both Sadee and Sarge to have them so crippled up (and also starving for Sadee) nor the amount of pain both of these innocent animals endured for far too long.

Front Range Equine Rescue urges anyone seeing suspected (or obvious) abuse/neglect of horses to contact their local animal control to file a cruelty report.

Don’t be afraid to follow up as well to ensure someone provided a welfare check. Any photos you can send to animal control may be helpful with starting an investigation.

Help Stop the Summertime Blues!

Your help is needed to keep horses cool and ward off flies, skin conditions like fungus and rain-rot or other summertime woes…

Summer has arrived in almost full force here in Florida. The Virginia foster farm is starting to feel the heat (and humidity) and even our horses in Colorado are seeing some hotter days.


The summer season brings special needs for horses including protection from temperature extremes, heat or precipitation issues, and flies or other pests like ticks. Front Range Equine Rescue works hard to provide optimal care for each and every horse in our rescue program. Unfortunately summer conditions are tough to completely fight.

I hope you can contribute to help fulfill our hot weather wish list. Supplies run low quickly!


These are used to keep as many flies away as possible. We have other methods to work on the fly population as well, but the sprays and traps as well as using masks to protect horses’ eyes are a mainstay.


We go through a lot of a garlic-based supplement (Bug-Lyte) and organic Apple Cider Vinegar. These products are given to the horses’ with their food and have various health benefits including immune boosting and fly protection.

With over forty horses under our care between CO, FL, and VA we go through many bottles of fly spray and other products. And because horses will be horses, sometimes fly masks get torn during play so we like to keep extras on hand. I’m sure you can imagine that fly traps are a constant purchase as well!

Can you help us ward off flies and treat skin issues caused by summer conditions?
Donate to Help.



We are in need of fans to keep horses in FL and VA cool. While our barns are well ventilated, it’s critical to keep air circulating. We keep fans hung for each stall as well as using larger agricultural fans in barn aisle ways.

Right now, we need to replace 5 fans at the VA foster farm and add another large agric-ultural fan here in FL for the retirees. Stall fans cost $70 each; the large ag fan is $385.

Can you help keep our FL and VA horses cool? Donate to Help. 

I greatly appreciate any assistance you can give so we can stay on top of these weather related challenges. Several of the rescues at the VA farm developed rain rot after very wet conditions during May. They are being treated with a special shampoo and other products. Here in Florida, I’ve dealt with “summer sores” and signs of skin fungus on a couple of the horses. All are doing well with treatment, but we need to stay on top of it. Thanks so much for anything you can do!


Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Means Looking Beyond the Surface

At first glance, people often think just feeding a skinny horse will restore its health. Or, in the case of “Windsor” pictured, having a hoof trim (or two) is the answer.

At Front Range Equine Rescue, we believe that legitimate rescue provides thorough assessment and proper rehabilitation, not some quick fix or the “save and flip” mentality where horses are obtained and sold off in whatever condition to the next person. Too often this leads to more neglect, abuse, suffering and even death to these horses.

While the majority of horses with Front Range Equine Rescue can be rehabilitated and adopted to qualified homes, for horses like Windsor it is too late. Damage to internal hoof structures and lower leg joints was irreparable and the level of pain he endured from it could not be successfully alleviated.

Horses should not be viewed or treated as disposable trash. They require owners with knowledge of proper horse care along with the time and financial commitment to provide it.


Attention tourists and other travelers to the Grand Canyon!

There’s a new project called the Havasue Horse Project that is shedding some much needed light on the animal abuse associated with tourism in the Grand Canyon. Channel 12 News of Phoenix Arizona discusses the reality of the situation below.

Though animal abuse has been frequent for over 20 years in Arizona, most tourists are unaware of it. Many tourists unknowingly travel to Havaspui and pre-book travel arrangements, unknowingly designating their belongings to be carried by pack horses.

Katie Migliavacca and her sister from San Francisco were looking forward to their hike to Havasu Falls last April. However, shortly after their walk into the canyon, she says they witnessed horses with large open wounds on their backs from carrying heavy objects up and down the trail. She said the animal abuse they witnessed ruined what could have been a trip of a lifetime.

“We’re not animal rights activists, and I’m not overly sensitive to knowing horses are work animals, but what we saw was horrible,” she said. “We saw horses on short leads and tied to posts on the trail, with no shade or water and they couldn’t lay down because the lead was too tight. One horse had its body lying on the trail, but his head was still up off the ground.”
– Katie Migliavacca

Read the Full Story from Channel12 News Here.

Help Save the Havasu Horses, Click Here to Sign the Petition.

Front Range Equine Rescue Earns Coveted 4-Star Rating From Charity Navigator

Front Range Equine Rescue’s sound fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.


The 4-start achievement is the highest possible rating and indicates that Front Range Equine Rescue as an organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. Attaining a 4-star rating verifies that Front Range Equine Rescue exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in our area of work. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets Front Range Equine Rescue apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.

Click here to view our Charity Navigator profile. 



Lameness is pain…

A wise vet once said to me that “lameness is pain”. We know that pain means suffering.

There are varying degrees of suffering — at times there can be rehabilitation leading to a significant reduction of pain with careful management to follow. Other times, it is too late and the merciful decision is humane euthanasia. I don’t know what is more disturbing (to be polite about it), the owner who is so ignorant they have no clue about their horse’s condition or the one who just dumps it at auction to squeeze another $ from it.

Front Range Equine Rescue again teamed up with Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue (in CO) to give Shayla some peace at last.



Sorrow, Remembrance & Hope

Horses have played important roles in human history.

Where human footprints are found, so too are hoof prints.

Equines were our primary mode of transportation helping to settle ancient lands as well as sending Americans westward.

We salute the brave men and women of our military this Memorial Day weekend.
We salute the brave men and women of our military this Memorial Day weekend.

The Pony Express delivered the mail as other horses and mules worked on ranches and farm lands. Paddy wagons and fire trucks were pulled by horses. Thousands of horses were injured or died as they carried brave soldiers into battle.

From the right, from the left, and from the front, shot and shell poured in upon us. Many a brave man went down, many a horse fell, flinging his rider to the earth; many a horse without a rider ran wildly out of the ranks: then terrified of being alone with no hand to guide him, came pressing in amongst his old companions, to gallop with them to the charge. Fearful as it was, no one stopped, no one turned back.
-‘Captain, An Old War Horse’ from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Today, horses are used for pleasure, sport/competition, ranching, and as companion animals. Their therapeutic benefits have aided countless special needs children and adults including great advances with autistic youth. Programs using horses with wounded warriors are producing extremely positive results.

We honor those who serve our country.

My father, a retired Army captain, used to drive past the stables at Fort Myer in Virginia so his horse crazy daughter (me) might catch a glimpse of the horses kept there. It was a bittersweet day decades later as we walked behind the horse drawn caisson to bury my dad at Arlington National Cemetery.

In Loving Memory

Front Range Equine Rescue’s work is both heart-warming and heart breaking. We want to thank all of our loyal donors for allowing us to save the lives of horses in need, particularly those in danger of slaughter both domestic and wild.


To the “forgotten ones” where the suffering and abuse have gone on too long or to an extreme where humane euthanasia is the only option…


To the track horses who are over-drugged, raced too young, breakdown, die or end up at slaughter…


To stopping the war on America’s mustangs with cruel roundups taking away their freedom and destroying family bands forever…


To those rescued, rehabilitated and with a happy ending…


And we honor our brave horses whose lives we seek to change for the better. We salute the brave men and women of our military this Memorial Day weekend.

The Horses Thank you!

We are very grateful to everyone who donated to help ongoing veterinary expenses for Melody, Tilly and Whiskey.

While we wait for results from Tilly’s bloodwork, Whiskey’s results came back negative for Cushings disease.

Now the challenge is to find out what combination of nutritional supplements will boost his final weight gain needs.

Melody in support wraps.
Melody in support wraps.

Melody’s bloodwork did not indicate a genetic disease as feared, but she was low on several protein indicators. It is unclear why her levels are low as the hay provided has good protein content. She does have Epiphysitis* and treatment is going well. Melody has been stellar about having daily support wraps.

*Epiphysitis is a generalized bone disease of young, growing horses that is characterized by the enlargement of the growth plates in long bones such as the tibia, radius, and cannon bones. It is most commonly seen in horses four to eight months of age, when they are undergoing rapid growth.

Cricket’s scar from surgery is barely visible as she grazes with a friend.



We truly value your loyal support of our work. Working together we have changed many horses’ lives for the better!

Click here for ways you can help!

FRER has Earned a Spot on the 2016 Top Rated List!

Click here to view our certificate.
Click here to view our certificate.

It’s great to be recognized!

We have been honored with one of the first Top-Rated Awards of 2016 from Great Nonprofits. As you know, our work is both heart-warming and heart breaking so being appreciated in this way means a great deal to our dedicated team.

Thanks to all of our wonderful supporters who make our critical work on behalf of abused horses possible. We want you to be part of sharing this recognition because by working together we have truly made a difference for horses in need.

Read our reviews here.


Thank you from Cricket and Duke!!!

I’m happy to report that funding to help rescue horses Cricket and Duke for their veterinary needs has been raised.

We greatly appreciate everyone contributing to make sure these two deserving horses receive the care they need to continue recovering from abuses they’ve endured.

Special thanks to Jan in Texas and Gary in Florida to ensure we reached the goal needed for both horses.

Cricket’s Surgery

You may recall that Cricket was close to full health except for a recurring abscess on her right hip. We were told this sweet girl had been used at low-end Mexican rodeos in the illegal “sport” of horse tripping.

Her veterinarian suggested surgery to see if a bone fragment was the possible cause. Cricket recently underwent surgery and it was discovered that a patch on the hip bone’s surface had died and needed to be scraped off with some tools.

When a bone is hit hard enough (as with a sharp fall), it can cause bone to die off.

Cricket sleeps off the sedation post-surgery.
Cricket undergoing surgery.

Duke is a big boy with an even bigger heart!
Duke is a big boy with an even bigger heart!

Duke’s Healing Process

Duke is scheduled for additional chiropractic treatments to assist with recovery from back injuries. As you may recall, poor Duke was terrified of entering a starting gate at the race track. Clearly he fought attempts to force him in and suffered injuries as a result.

Once healed of his physical pain, Duke will have his trust and confidence rebuilt for going into enclosed spaces. It was so sad to see him trembling with fear when asked to load into a horse trailer the day we saved him from heading to slaughter.

Duke’s future treatments will be in 2-3 week intervals. He has shown some improvement after two initial treatments. We are cautiously optimistic he will be able to carry a rider again and become a pleasure/trail horse. Click here to learn more ways you can help.


The recent March blizzard, followed by more snow storms over the following week, wreaked havoc in Colorado. We have 14 horses currently under our care in northern Colorado at a private farm. While all of our horses are okay, portions of a hay supply were ruined as the relentless wind drove snow underneath the tarped hay.

“It was so nasty out that the visibility was only about 40 feet at times, and the wind and snow completely overran our barns, practically making them useless.”

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Can you help us replenish the damaged hay supply?

We need $500 to replace the damaged bales and would like to have it delivered as soon as possible. To learn more ways you can help, visit our What Can You Do? page.

Thank you!

I know you have many options with your charitable giving. Thank you so much for supporting Cricket and Duke and the many other horses under our care.

Together we truly make a positive difference for horses.

For the horses,


No gift is too small and everything will truly help!

If you prefer to donate by mail instead of online, click here for our mail-in reply form.

How To Help:

Close-out: Embroidered Horse Head T-Shirts
Close-out: Embroidered Horse Head T-Shirts

Your tax deductible donations to Front Range Equine Rescue save the lives of at-risk horses. We need funding to provide feed/hay, veterinary care, farrier services, as well as expanded facility projects including fencing and barn construction at the new NC farm.


Cricket and Duke Need Help!

Cricket is a sweet Arabian/Quarter Horse mare who was dropped off by a kill buyer for us in Colorado.

Cricket when she first arrived
Cricket when she first arrived

We don’t know a lot about Cricket’s past but she is about 7 years old and was emaciated along with other injuries upon arrival. The story given to us was that she was used for tripping/roping practice at low-end Mexican rodeos. Horse tripping is illegal and done in secret.

Cricket was thoroughly examined for fractures, breaks or dislocations. Fortunately, none were found and she did not show neurologic symptoms. She was treated for a leg injury which healed over time.

Unfortunately, she has developed an ongoing abscess in her hip. The vet believes a foreign object or perhaps a bone chip from being thrown to the ground when tripped during her rodeo days may be lodged in there. Now she needs surgery to locate and remove this object in order to fully heal.

Cricket recovering
Cricket recovering

We need to raise $600 to pay for Cricket’s surgery and recovery care. Can you help Cricket?

If you prefer to donate by mail instead of online, click here for our mail-in reply form.

Every dollar will help! The good news is that Cricket will be ready for training evaluation and adoption if we can get her fully healthy again.

Duke at the Virginia foster farm needs your help!

This very sweet 3 year old gelding had a hard time in his short racetrack career. Last month we received a call from a racetrack worker about a kind Thoroughbred gelding who was heading to slaughter. He was being thrown away because of starting gate fears. We rushed to pick Duke up before the meat truck could arrive.

After careful evaluation, it is clear Duke not only banged his head when trying to load into the starting gate (he has a permanent small knot on his head as a result), but clearly had fallen over, more than once. The result of his terror and being beaten to get into the starting gate has left him with several injuries to his back. The good news is we believe all are treatable.

We had an equine chiropractor examine Duke and provide an adjustment. When Duke was re-checked, there was some improvement. However, Duke needs additional treatment before we can progress with further evaluation to ensure his safe future.


We need to raise $450 to cover additional care for Duke.

We’ll have a lot of reconditioning to do for poor, sweet Duke to overcome his terror of small spaces. But until we can get him pain free in his back, we won’t be able to fully recondition him for training evaluation.

At Front Range Equine Rescue, we see horses like Cricket and Duke too many times. We have a proven success record of getting them well again and into great new homes. But we cannot do it without you joining our effort to ensure we provide the best care for them. Horses like Cricket and Duke deserve better than what they’ve experienced in their young lives so far!

I greatly appreciate your loyal support and hope you can help us “do right” by these two very deserving horses.

For the horses,


Purchase a Forever Free Mustang Emblem Coffee Mug to Help Save Horses
Purchase a Forever Free Mustang Emblem Coffee Mug to Help Save Horses


Your tax deductible donations to Front Range Equine Rescue save the lives of at-risk horses. We need funding to provide feed/hay, veterinary care, farrier services, as well as expanded facility projects including fencing and barn construction at the new NC farm.

Purchase a mug here!

Florida Transition Has Been Busy

It’s been a very busy transition from Colorado to Florida!

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We thank everyone who contributed to the fencing project which faced numerous weather delays; it’s almost done!

With loads of administrative work going on to send change of address forms, year-end receipts, preparing for the 2015 audit, and a big overhaul technology-wise to bring our website and social media into the 21st century.

We’ve met new vets, farrier, and feed/tack suppliers to help with our horse care needs.

Ocala is a very horse -oriented town also known as “the horse capital of the world”

A big thank you to everyone who helped with the move, especially those who contributed to the barn and fencing projects!

The retired horses have settled in well and don’t seem to mind no snow at all.

All of FRER’s horses weathered the storm


Rescue coordinator Diane is working hard after the 2016 Blizzard to get her farm dug out and deal with mud issues as the snow melts.

All of FRER’s horses weathered the storm and enjoyed turn out once it ended. We have over 20 horses at the farm with several ready for adoptive homes. Our most recent adoptions were Apache and London.

We thank everyone who contributed to the fencing project which faced numerous weather delays; it’s almost done!

We also received our first call to save an OTTB before he heads to slaughter on February 12. We are making plans to get this poor horse before he’s taken elsewhere for the “meat man” to pick him up.





Beaux plays in the snow.
Beaux plays in the snow.


Colorado First Rescues of the New Year


Sebastian and Cinnamon join us as the first rescues of the New Year. They came to us from a kill buyer and were assessed for lameness issues due to overgrown hooves. Both are very sweet and friendly. Sadly, an older horse from the same kill buyer came to us and died from unknown causes before the vet could arrive to evaluate him. A few days later, good news arrived when Angus (a 2015 rescue) found a fantastic new home. Then another call from a kill buyer with a young gelding.

This poor horse could barely stand due to an old injury never treated or healed correctly. The damage to his hind leg/hoof were too severe to save him.

As I’ve always said, our work is both heart-warming and heart breaking.

At this time, FRER is supporting a dozen horses in Colorado in our partnership with Shiloh Acres Horse Rescue. Several of the horses are ready for adoption to new homes.