Olivia is Doing Great!

Olivia’s trainer Emily Diess says she is doing great in her new home and she is loved!


Piper: Love and Patience Pay Off!

Here is an update on Piper we received from her adopter, Wren. We want to say thank you to Wren for sticking with this very nice mare through the first more difficult months! We can never stress enough that horses, whether they are adopted or purchased, are all living, feeling beings with minds of their own. Most of them come with baggage from the past that they can’t tell us about. Responsible owners are those that are willing to give them the time they need to settle in, learn to trust, and learn just exactly what it is we want from them. If we are willing to give them this time and patience (and yes, it can often mean working with a trainer!) then they reward us by becoming our willing partners. Well done, Wren!

“One year ago I started a long eventful journey with my first horse. Piper has been a wonderful project who has taught me and continues to teach me more and more everyday we work together. Our journey started off quite rough. For the first two months I was terrified to ride her, let alone go and work with her as something usually went wrong. We had issues from rearing up to bucking under saddle due to her lack of wanting to work. She was unhealthy and out of shape, making exercise unappealing. Piper struggled with many trust issues as well as anxiety over lack of food stemming from when she was starved as a yearling. Piper’s favorite thing to do is jump, don’t let her size fool you, she clears 2’9 with ease. We enjoy jumping together and plan to go to attend a few schooling shows this upcoming summer. She has gained a huge amount of trust and respect for me over this past year. It amazes me how much of a different horse she is, she loves to work and enjoys giving kisses for peppermints. This past year has gone by quickly and I couldn’t have asked for a better horse!” –Wren

Bug: From Orphan Foal to Cherished Family Member!

bug-and-ella-2We were told about the MHARF organization from a local barn that fostered horses for MHARF.  My daughter was looking for a horse that she could grow and learn with after leasing different horses for lessons.  We learned about the MHARF organization and all the wonderful things they do for abandoned and abused horses. Our trainer at the time told us about a Spanish Mustang named Bug that was going to be in the trainers challenge that may be a good fit for my daughter.  We got the opportunity to meet with the trainer and Bug over the course of a couple months to see if the horse would be a good fit.  The trainer gave my daughter opportunities to ride Bug and gave us information about her.  We found they were a good match for each other and pursued adopting her at the trainers challenge.  At the trainers challenge we were lucky enough to be the high bidder on Bug and to call her our own. My daughter cried tears of joy that day when she heard Bug would be going home with her.   My daughter says, “Without Bug I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have had, and we both wouldn’t be where we are today without each other.”  MHARF is a wonderful organization that does so much.  Not only for the horses but the trainers.  The trainers challenge gives the trainers an opportunity to work with these beautiful horses and gives the horses the opportunity to showcase their talents and show how much they are capable of.  With a little love, good care, training, and proper nutrition these horses get a second chance at life. Without MHARF my daughter would of never met Bug and she wouldn’t be the person she is today.  Bug and my daughter continue to bond and grow as a horse and rider team and this all started because of MHARF fostering Bug.  We will be forever grateful for all that MHARF has done for us and for what it continues to do.  Thank you!



Twizzler (formerly Ian)

twizzler-ianThe lovely horse standing with such pride in this picture is Twizzler (Ian). He rocked his costume and he and his little girl won Most Elaborate in the costume class. They also won first place in their dressage class. Not too shabby!  I think he thought he looked nice in his flower garden costume! -Sarah R.

Violet (formerly known as Dynasty)

Violet When we first met Violet her coat was bad and bald in  places, she was too thin and had a detached expression on her face.  She wasn’t what you’d describe as a pretty horse but something more like majestic. We liked her right away and wanted to take her home. Violet is very smart and quickly picked up on and took advantage of our inexperience. For example, she would push past us at gates, refuse to pick up her feet, stand still, and refuse to be led. This behavior earned her the nicknames “Freight Train” and “Violent”. All joking aside, we knew we needed help and we hired a trainer and sought advice from experienced horse people. Once we learned how to communicate and be leaders, it did not take long for Violet to accept us as her “bosses”. She is now the most affectionate, gentle, loving mare of the herd.  She loves attention and  often seeks it out.  She will come close and put her big head on your chest and just  breath.  Or she will walk up slowly and position her body to be sure you pet just the right spot. And my very favorite thing of all: she will put her chin on your shoulder and gently pull you into her chest while you are scratching her neck. She is also great to ride with a smooth trot and lope. She is calm and confident and very compliant; I always feel safe on her. Also she is patient and gentle when we give “pony rides” to the kids who visit. Violet has blossomed here and is now healthy and content. Long gone is the detached expression. She can frequently be seen playing and frolicking with her herd, Willow, Perdita, and Honey (all MHARF alum!) She is a very special horse, a one in a million, and we love her dearly. Thanks to all who have helped us on our journey: Everyone at MHARF, Cindy Werronen, Aubreanne Dockter, and Scott Boe! –Catherine and Lynn

Violet at intake

Violet at intake