TIERRA MADRE HORSE AND HUMAN SANCTUARY is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Cave Creek, Arizona.
It was founded in 2005 as a forever home to horses that had been previously abandoned, neglected, injured or abused. In the years since, nearly 70 horses have called Tierra Madre home. At present, we have twenty-six horses and are at capacity.
Our only mission was to give all our horses the happiest, healthiest home they could have ever imagined. And we are still dedicated to that mission as our number one priority.
As time has progressed, the Sanctuary’s upper management noticed that the horses that had been healed and acclimated to their new safe life were becoming healers for the humans around the ranch.
Volunteers and visitors began to talk about how the horses were helping them through their various challenges, whether emotional, spiritual or psychological. These people kept coming back – to spend time with their favorite horse or horses. Some came several times a week and some came only occasionally – when they needed their horse ‘therapy’.
Soon, entire classes from local schools and organizations brought out groups of young people with special needs and autism every week as part of their curriculum.
Another group who help those transitioning from homelessness back into society began bringing their clients on a weekly basis and began realizing the benefits of working with the horses.
Several people in recovery from substance abuse came and never left, saying that the innate honesty and spirituality of Tierra Madre’s horses were helping them greatly in their quests for long-term sobriety.
An Equine Experiential Coaching program was also developed for one-on-one and small group sessions to help people with emotional traumas and other issues in their backgrounds.
We realized that the Universe was pointing us in a specific direction and opening our eyes to the fact that the horses that Tierra Madre has helped have become healers themselves. We were beholding the circle the organization always envisioned; people helping horses to heal and then having those horses helping people to heal.
To that end, in 2018, Tierra Madre decided to formally recognize its new mission of helping horses to help humans.
And, thus, we changed the name to Tierra Madre Horse and Human Sanctuary.