About Us

Healing. Hope. Happiness.

TIERRA MADRE HORSE AND HUMAN SANCTUARY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Cave Creek, Arizona that provides a forever home to previously abused, neglected, injured, abandoned, or surrendered horses. Founded in 2006, we have been saving horses for nearly two decades and have saved over 70 since the beginning.

We have one job: to give our horses healing, hope, and happiness. And our horses only have one job: to live the best lives they could have ever imagined.

Tierra Madre is the only exclusive horse sanctuary in Maricopa County, and the vast majority of our horses are retired and have a chronic medical condition that must be professionally managed. In addition to the exemplary medical care provided by our veterinarians at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center (our partner for 15+ years), we provide to the Tierra Madre horses daily turnout, stall cleanings, fresh water, three square meals (with lots of snacks and a handful of treats in between), farrier care, and all the love in the world.

Over the years, the humans at Tierra Madre began to recognize that while the horses were being healed, the humans were receiving healing, too. 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.

Today, the horses of Tierra Madre serve as healers in a variety of programs, continuing our mission of promoting a circle of healing between human and horse that has existed for centuries.

Our vision is that all horses will have a safe place to retire at the end of their working years and be provided a forever home in which they can live out their years in happiness. Our mission is to save each and every horse with nowhere else to go, one horse at a time.