ISPMB Mustangs

These 6 young mustangs came in recently from a South Dakota humane case where they were seized from the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (read about the ISPMB case here ). They range in age from approximately 6 months (orphaned sorrel colt) to approximately 18 months (gray colt). They are currently in a foster/quarantine facility and are learning to trust people. We have not been able to handle them yet. So far we know the gray, the sorrel, and the black with star are colts. The gender of the 2 bays and the brown is still undetermined. These 6 will be made available for adoption once they have had all necessary vet and farrier work completed. In the mean time, we would really love to have donations of high quality alfalfa grass mix hay in small squares to assist with hand feeding to gain their trust!

fb_img_1481571708059fb_img_1481571683481-1fb_img_1481571689626ispmb colt


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

Rest in Peace, Willow (formerly known as Golden Girl)


DSC_0807Hello MHARF family,
Because you were all part of her life, we wanted to let you know of the passing of our sweet Willow (aka Golden Girl).   She had bad arthritis in her neck and up until recently, we were able to keep her comfortable with anti-inflammatory meds and massage therapy.  With this management, she seemed content and able to do her natural “horsey” things and be a part of the herd.  But ultimately, the arthritis progressed to a point where we could no longer keep her comfortable.  We were watching her closely and we knew the time had come when one day, she didn’t want to go out in the pasture with her sisters.  Something she had done with enthusiasm every day.  With heavy hearts we called the vet and made an appointment for the morning.  On July 9th Willow passed away peacefully in her favorite pasture surrounded by all who loved her.   Including her sisters, Violet, Perdita and Honey, who stood silently watching over her until she was gone.
Although Willow had a quiet personality, she projected a powerful presence in our barn.  Her passing left an empty space and we miss her dearly.  But we are comforted by the knowledge that she was happy here, she was loved wholeheartedly and we did our best to give her the best care possible.
Thanks for bringing her to us, we will always be grateful for having that sweet mare in our lives.
Some pictures of happier times attached.
Willow’s guardians,
Catherine Master and Lynn Seacord


brutus 2We adopted Brutus last fall and he is just a wonderful horse. He is always the first one to the gate, friendly and willing. We don’t ride a lot, so it is great to have this big guy who is ready to go for a ride whenever and doesn’t fuss about anything. The most important thing about my story is that he isn’t the first horse we adopted from MHARF. The first horse, through no one’s fault, just wasn’t a good fit. Natalie worked with us to not only find him a better home, but then to match Brutus with us. It gave me great peace of mind to know that the people at MHARF are there to put the right animals with the right people! They were so helpful and understanding. I couldn’t be happier now, and I believe Brutus is as well.  ( and I just love how his stripe sways to the side of his face, fits his personality!)–Mollybrutus


perditaPerdita has been with us for four years now and it has been quite an adventure.  When I first met Perdita, I could see that she was curious, smart and friendly but a little stand-offish.  There was also something very intriguing and irresistible about her that made me want to take her home.  I quickly learned that she came with baggage that resulted in some challenges including trust issues and dramatic reactions to things like being wormed, putting a bridle on or just touching her face or ears.  Being a rookie horse owner, I knew I needed help right away.   I worked with a trainer and slowly began to gain her trust and become a better leader for her.  There have been many challenges along the way including bucking and rearing.  I’ve made plenty of mistakes but I’ve learned from them.   There were times when I wondered if I would ever be enough for this mare and if I would ever be able to have safe and pleasant rides with her.

After years of learning (mostly on my part), Perdita and I are finally in a place where I feel confident and knowledgeable enough to be a good leader for her.  Therefore, she is becoming more and more willing to follow my lead.  The bumps, bruises and shaken confidence along the way have all been worth it.  I can now ride without anxiety or fear and Perdita is calm and willing, no longer frustrated by my poor leadership. This new phase of our relationship has made me fall in love with her all over again.We are looking forward to peaceful trail rides and meandering walks in our pasture.

Perdita has come to trust me and has become a silly, playful girl that steals my heart every day.  Having her in my life has taught me patience, self awareness and a big dose of humility. In the end, I’d like to encourage those out there who are working to build a relationship with a horse that is challenging, to not give up.  But to be patient and look first into yourself for causes or barriers and seek help from professionals.

Lastly, to those of you who have helped me along the way, I can’t thank you enough.  Including my trainers whose patience is never ending: Aubreanne Dockter and Leanna Giles.  To Drew Fitzpatrick, Cindy Werronen and the many fosters and crew of MHARF who got Perdita to me.  I am so thankful.

Sincerely, Catherine Master

Perdita face

Perdita with her "foster sister" Blackberry

Perdita with her “foster sister” Blackberry