MAJOR: Megan finally got her man. We know Major and Megan will love each other forever.
Tragically, Major passed away from complications of colic. He will always be remembered.
OREO: left for his new home today. It is a lovely home and we are so excited for him and the great opportunities in his future.
He has been a staple in our barn for a few years now and earned the love of our Barn Buddies. While there were tears...they know that this is ultimately what we work for...every single day.
VEGAS: went to a wonderful new home. He instantly clicked with his new family. He is going to be a therapy horse at Unbridled Performance and we couldn't be more happy and proud of him! He has plenty of friends and pasture to graze in. Congratulations, Vegas!
MERCEDES: December 4, 2014 our group went to an auction in Jackson County. We'd been to that auction and much worse ones before. We knew what to expect. We were a brand new group at the time still doing most of our work out of pocket. So we knew...despite what our hearts might say, we could only save one.
There were many who needed us. There was an entire herd of completely unhandled yearlings. Some were injured. Some just had horrible deformities. There were old ones. There were lame ones. We had to think about which ones needed us most and which would be the most likely to be adopted after being rehabbed.
We narrowed our choices down to a thin gaited mare and a senior horse in the same corral as her. We chose the thin gaited mare. I can't tell you why. I don't know what happened to the senior horse. It makes me sick to imagine it.
We bid on the thin mare as she went through. We had the top bid....a mere $50.
Board member Victoria named her Mercedes...."Mercy" for short. Of all the deserving horses that day she had been the one shown the mercy of a loving group of rescuers.
As we walked her away from the auction house that day she tried to jump in every trailer on the way to ours. She was ready to go.
Mercy had dental problem that made it painful for her to eat. She was so emaciated it caused her to get fecal matter in places that resulted in a horrible urinary infection. She struggled to gain weight for months even though we did all the right things and followed the vets advice. She fostered with three different board members but didn't truly thrive in any of them.
Then one day we were facing the possibility of some new intakes and were trying to make room. That is when the Reed family stepped up and volunteered to foster. There was snow on the ground that day when we delivered Mercy. There was a brightness and a joy in her eyes from the moment she arrived. It was a look and a spirit we hadn't seen before. Since Mercy arrived with the Reed family she has thrived. She's a great healthy weight. She is happy and healthy and loved.
Months have passed. We've made video upon video of Mercy being awesome, riding her through a variety of situations. We've taken her to trail rides. We've taken her to horses shows. There's been interest but never one single application. We've always wondered why? How could no one want this mare.
Mercy grew especially fond of the mother of the mother/daughter Reed foster duo. Mercy loves this woman so much. When Mercy looks up and sees someone other than her -- you can see the disappointment on Mercy's face.
So now, the beautiful crescendo of this tale. It turns out, as our board suspected, the reason we had no applicants for Mercy was because she was already where she belonged. She was already home.
Her foster family has decided to make it official and adopt Mercy.
We are so happy for all involved heart emoticon Congrats Mercy and the Reed Family. It was always meant to be.
The first two shots are of Mercy recently the others are of her the day that she started her journey to a better life.
ARIZONA: Several people applied for Arizona. Several were approved. Several went to meet her and loved her. But for some reason it seemed something always came up at the last minute to keep this little mare from finding a new family. But now we know why. She was waiting for her perfect kid to come along smile emoticon Barn Buddy Layla and her family went to meet her and fell in love.
ICE: was adopted in April 2016 by Paige. Paige is one of our Barn Buddies. Paige and Ice shared a special connection from the moment he came to WVHN. A little girl found her perfect horse and a horse found his perfect little girl. We couldn't be happier for these two.
STORMY: is well loved in his adoptive home with Sharon H.
PAISLEY: came to West Virginia Horse Network as an owner surrender when her family was no longer able to care for her. She was under a year old at the time. Her foster dad ended up falling in love with her and decided to adopt her. Paisley is a pretty girl and has a great future ahead of her.
PEANUT: Congrats to Peanut and Miriam I hope you enjoy your new home in Florida.
APACHE: Congratulations on finding a family to call your own. We know you will be loved. You will also be missed by all of us. Apache embarked on the long trip home to Michigan yesterday.
SUMMER: has officially been adopted by her long time foster, trainer and friend Abigail.
Abigail her been there since day one of Summer's journey with West Virginia Horse Network, Inc. We are so thrilled these two were able to find each other.
JAX: It is with tremendous happiness that we announce Jax has been adopted by his long time
foster. Jax has come a long way in just under a year with West Virginia Horse Network, Inc. Congrats to both of you.
PEPPER: Pepper has been with West Virginia Horse Network longer than any other horse ever rescued.
We are very excited to say though that Pepper has officially been ADOPTED!! 🥳🥳 She will be staying with her long time foster mom, Marlo, for good. ❤️ Congratulations to both Pepper and Marlo
AMARA: went to her new home. She was excited to meet her new friend Shrek.
TREVOR: found his new home. We can't wait to hear about all of the awesome adventures he has with his adopter.
CHEROKEE: has found his forever home. He has been staying in a foster home with a wonderful family, who has decided to make him a permanent member of the family. Cherokee now has several fenced in acres to play in, and new friends (miniature donkeys and mules) to run around with. He is ridden and groomed regularly. While we will all miss him, his new family absolutely loves him and are happy to welcome him to his new home.
GEORGIE: He was adopted today by a family that we believe is perfect for him!
SWEETIE Congratulations on finding a great new home Sweetie has officially been adopted.
PILGRIM: has stolen the hearts of everyone at the barn in his short time here. We are all so happy for him and his new family.
WILLIE left for his new home today ❤️ We will miss this little fella! Congratulations to him and his new family.
Click the Picture to see her get the news!
Thank you Rainhill Equine Facility for welcoming our Lily Bug with open arms today. Lily will spend the rest of her years at this beautiful farm that specializes in blind horses. We are so thankful. They even sent our team home with goodies for WVHN horses.
Thanks also to Deb and Tristan P. for making the trip. This was an emotional trip for Deb...Lily's long time foster and friend.
All is well and good. Stormy is in good shape for winter. He and Raja are still great friends. He is still running with the cattle and followed them into the hill meadow. He has a new buddy, too. The border collie and Stormy play and frolic. It is pretty funny. Stormy is so laid back and as Butch says - he is so easy and no trouble. We are very happy with him and think he is a pretty happy boy. I really think he is the perfect horse for us.
LILY: arrived at West Virginia Horse Network, INC. in February 2015. Lily was surrendered by her owner. Lily went blind in 2012 from a condition known as Moon Blindness. By the time she was surrendered to us her condition was so advanced "treatment" to reverse the condition was no longer an option. Based on the advice of our veterinarian we opted to have her eyes removed. The surgery was in March 2015. The surgery relieved Lily chronic pain and discharge from the diseased eyes. This mare lives to graze and enjoys time spent in a pasture.
CAPTAIN: left for his new home in Virginia. His foster family was there to see him off.
Adopters - Fosters - Donors - Volunteers - All are so crucial to what we do here at West Virginia Horse Network, Inc.
DOLLY: has found her forever home! Audrey and her mom, Brittany have been fostering Dolly for the past month, and have absolutely fallen in love with her. The two of them love horseback riding together. Dolly was a perfect fit for Audrey. We wish them many happy years together. Enjoy your new home, Dolly!
ARABELLA: is one lucky girl. She gets to stay to stay with her foster family forever. Arabella has such a kind heart, and is very empathetic. She will be able to use that gift to assist with Veterans and others suffering from PTSD. She will have plenty of playmates, and tons of attention. This is a perfect match!
BOURBON: Congratulations to Bourbon! She has found a wonderful new home with Ms Jennifer. She is going to a wonderful new forever home and we couldn't be more happy for both of them! :)
AUTUMN: found a beautiful new home in Roane County with a family excited to share their life with her.
HOPE: We are thrilled to report that Hope's long time foster has decided to make it official. Hope has really thrived since she went to stay with her foster family. Some things are just meant to be.
REGGIE: Our sweetest boy Reggie went to his new home today. He will be working as a therapist at Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center.
REMINGTON: A precious love that you have watched develop over the past few month...became "official". A kind friend of our organization reached out to us...moved by Kadence's love for Remy. She offered to cover his fee. We let Kadence's mom know about the offer...and well....
Mom signed the contract - obviously - but so did Kadence and her brother Jakob. Remy really will be a family commitment. I do want to point out the joy that it gave these kids to sign the contract -- committing to care for Remington for the rest of his life and return him to WVHN if for some reason they can no longer keep that promise. So many adults are unfortunately offended and put off by the requirement. This...is an example of what every rescue horse deserves.
THOR: was adopted today! He went to a lovely new home in Virginia.
Thor came to us in October 2016...when he got off the trailer he didn't even know how to lead. When the vet first saw him while he was still with Roane County shelter he was too skittish to handle.
In the months since his rescue our Barn Buddies have worked to build him into a smart and confident pony. He is well adjusted, talented and has a very sturdy foundation in place that his adopters can build upon. The kids did most of the work on their own...with guidance from us. We are in awe of their talent and dedication.
They built him literally from the ground up.
There were tears today...tears of pride...tears of happiness...that Thor's life has turned around for the better.
SCOUT: found his new home in Virginia. He was a prayer answered for his adopter and her family. Happy Trails sweet boy. Congratulations on your wonderful future.
DUKE and RORY: were adopted in October 2016 to a lovely family in Pennsylvania. They will be working with a trainer to help keep up with Duke and Rory's progress. Duke was rescued toward the end of winter in 2016 after his previous owner fell on hard times and could no longer care for him. Aurora was rescued on July 4th after she got out of her owner's fence and went wandering. The owner told the people who found her to "keep her or shoot her". Thankfully they called us to come and get her instead. We are so happy to see both of these horses get their second chance at the life they deserve.
ROSE: Congratulations Rose and Brady!
UNA: Congratulations on finding your very own little girl. We are pleased to announce that Una was adopted this week. Una was rescued in October 2015 as part of a cruelty case in southern West Virginia. Happy Trails ladies.
VADER: has found a new home with a great family!
BUTTERCUP and VINCE
Buttercup was part of the herd of 6 from Roane County rescued in June 2016. She was a yearling at the time. When she was ready she was put undersaddle by our Barn Buddies and volunteers who spent endless hours with her. She's grown into a smart and willing little mare. We know she and her adopter will have a great partnership.
Vince will be joining the family as well. He came to us just over a year ago -- auction bound with no training and very little hope. We can't wait to see what great things the future holds for these two very special horses.
DAISY: congratulations on finding a little girl to love. Her new name is "Baby Horse" now, and her adopters couldn't be more excited!!!
LEGEND: Found his forever home with a beautiful stable in Whipple, OH. He made a new friend (Cody, a mini horse) on the ride home. He is loved by a little girl named Cayley. We are so happy for Legend and his new family! Looking forward to many updates in the years to come.
CHASE: Has found a new home. We hope he and his new adopter live a happy life together.
REBEL: Found a new home!
SARGE: Our dear sweet, silly Sarge has found his forever home. We watched Sarge come home from the kill auction as a skinny, defeated, sad horse. He has brought us all so much pleasure, as he gained weight and strength. He showed us his spirit and personality. I'm so glad he will be going to live with Jessica as a pasture companion. He will enjoy occasional light riding around the fields, and lead line rides. He will have 40 acres to play in, and we know he will have a great future!
FERGUS: CONGRATULATIONS to Fergus and his new family. We couldn’t be happier for him ❤️
PERCY JACKSON: left for his new home. His new family is amazing. We are so thankful for great adopters like these folks.
A LUCKY HORSE: I remembered back to the day that me (Nicky) and board member Deb went to meet Daisy for the first time. A couple, who were not her owner but were helping her owner, are the ones who reached out to us initially. Daisy had been injured twice in her owner's pasture. She had been moved to a boarding facility to be on stall rest...for the second time in a year. The owner was no longer able to provide her a place to be that was not in his pasture.
So we talked to the couple that day. They told us Daisy had three options...1) Go to a riding therapy program 2) Go to a rescue 3) Go to auction.
Riding therapy programs typically need sound horses for the activities they offer the community so they cannot be expected to accept horses that are healing from an injury. They also typically do not have funding available for extensive vetting and diagnostics. So that wasn't an option for Daisy.
So the conversation really came down to rescue or auction. Many times owners will throw the "auction" threat around without a plan to back it up...but in this case Daisy had a plan to get to the sale. It was going to happen.
Deb and I couldn't make any decisions without talking to our board of directors. But I spoke frankly to the couple that had contacted us on Daisy's behalf. I said "IF we cannot take her into rescue and you cannot find another rescue to take her in a timely manner I would like to offer you financial assistance to have her euthanized." From me of all people this is not something you'd typically hear. But the words came out of my mouth with confidence and certainty that they were the correct advice. NOT because Daisy would be unable to heal or because she was in horrific pain...because honestly neither of those seemed to be true.
I have observed first hand many of these auctions, not just in West Virginia but also in Kentucky and Ohio. (Daisy was headed to an out of state auction). While it might not be something we like to think about -- horse slaughter is a real thing. I'm sure many presume it is an internet myth or animal welfare propaganda. But I have watched "the meat man" in action buying horse after horse to be hauled out of the country for slaughter. Sound, healthy, trained horses DO go to the "meat man" who can easily outbid the private person. So can you imagine the fate sweet Daisy would have met at auction? Visibly lame. Nameless. Unable to be "ridden through" the sale. Even after only meeting her a few minutes I knew enough and loved her enough to make sure - no matter what - she did NOT get on a trailer to be shipped to auction. A humane death surrounded by people who loved her would be far more just.
We never made a big deal of it because we didn't want anyone to adopt Daisy for the wrong reasons. But now that she is adopted I feel ok to say...her AQHA registered name is Big Steppin Cow. She has a pretty impressive bloodline. But at an auction I am certain she would have ended up on an over crowded stock trailer with all of the other nameless discarded horses.
Thankfully our board agreed to work Daisy into our network. It was a gamble on our part. Would the injury ever heal? Would she ever be adoptable as a riding partner? Or would we be trying to place her as a pasture mate, a job title that people typically aren't looking for in a horse. Thankfully....after months with us Daisy is on the road to recovery and has found someone who is thrilled to have her.
It could have ended so differently. Instead of getting on the trailer headed to a horrific and fearful end...she is getting on a lovely trailer to spend her life with a family that was absolutely giddy and honored to give her a beautiful home -- before they even knew her bloodline.