Author: SaveHorses (page 2 of 7)

Miss Annie Oakley


Late morning on Sunday, we welcomed a new little girl into our herd.
Annie Oakley. Annie for short.
Annie is black as night with a beautiful white blaze and white foot, is in her early 20s, and has some arthritis in her front legs. Her left front knee tells the story of possible osteoarthritis, and her eyes tell the story of loneliness.
For Annie’s full bio, visit her on the ‘Meet the Horses’ page or our Facebook page!

The Homes For Horses Coalition Conference


It’s that time of year again! The Homes For Horses Coalition Conference is coming up in September and we’re trying to send our Executive Director Alexis to Orlando this year! In addition to our #GiveLove Campaign, we’d like to raise enough for her to go (as we do every year). Our guesstimate right now is $800. We thank you in advance for making our networking and outreach development a possibility!



Give Love Campaign


This Valentine’s Day, we need your help.
We need to raise $10,000 for some of our most hefty expenses in 2018 this year: alfalfa deliveries, manure dumpster haul-off, and our medical bills.
There’s a lot to cover in this post, and part of me doesn’t know where to start. The last thing I want is to overwhelm you with information about the current happenings at this ranch or turn this into too much of a novel.
So I want to focus on one thing here. The only thing. The most important thing.
Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday, and as society tells us, it’s a day for which we buy our significant others some sort of frilly red-pink-or-white-themed gift or spend time with good friends raising a glass (or six) to the single life.
Trust me, I worked at Hallmark for several years. I know the shtick.
I also know that Valentine’s Day represents something deeper than obligatory retail mush.
I know its origins stem from sacrifice. From commitment. From devotion.
From love.
This – this realness – is not only what our Valentine’s Day is about, it’s what the other 364 days of our year are all about.
Sacrifice. Commitment. Devotion.
And you know what the most amazing thing is?
As much as we put into our horses, they give back everything we put into them. Our horses give love to everyone who walks onto this ranch:
Our volunteers, who come from all walks of life and – like us all – face many challenges while walking their individual paths.
Our friends from Greenway High School, who light up when they spend time with our herd and feel good about completing projects for our ranch.
Our friends from SARRC (the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), who now know more about horsemanship than most of the population and savor each moment they get getting their hands dirty.
Our newest friends from Partners in Recovery, who are making enormous strides in their personal paths to independence thanks to the help of our horses.
Our members of Tierra Madre’s horsemanship class, each of whom are learning not just how horses see the world, but how *they* see the world.
Our participants of the equine experiential coaching program, for whom our horses serve as mirrors and a way to look deeper into their every-day actions.
And everyday people who walk into the ranch, unawares, unsuspecting, and see the beauty of our previously abused, neglected, injured, and abandoned horses enjoying their lives and are moved to the depths of their souls.
These horses work magic, just by being themselves.
And we want to keep doing what we’re doing for our community. Right now, though, it’s difficult.
In 2018, we’ve spent roughly $4,225 (I rounded to whole numbers) so far on our herd. See copies of medical bills for exact numbers. (One bill hasn’t come our way yet. Heighten had an emergency colic Thursday night that required us to give him IV fluids as a precaution. Based on past episodes, we estimate this will be around $1,000. We will post that bill when we get it.)
I’ll be honest, as we always try to be: We’ve having a hard time raising that money for medical bills. The month of February is not the greatest in that regard.
This week we’re also planning to get a squeeze of alfalfa (88 bales – that’ll last us about 3 weeks) to the tune of $1,000. We’d like to plan ahead for the next few squeezes and raise $2,000 for those.
Finally, we’ve had four manure removals since the beginning of the year. At $325 each, that comes to $1,300.
This adds to roughly $8,500 ($8,525 to be exact), and we’d like a $1,500 medical emergency cushion so we don’t have to scramble to fundraise when we’re hit with an emergency again.
Our wild, crazy goal for Valentine’s Day.
We’re wild and crazy for doing this, so hell, our goal goes hand in hand with what we do. What our horses do.
What can you do?
$10,000 is a large number, but when you break it down into small chunks, it is totally doable. If 400 people gave $25, we would be golden! All donors who give during our Give Love campaign will be sent a 4×6 picture of one of our horses and a special little thank you from all of us.
2. Buy a T-Shirt
We are selling Give Love t-shirts on Bonfire for $25 each, and a large portion of the sales will go to Tierra Madre! Check them out here:
3. Become a Sponsor!
You can sponsor your favorite horse at four different levels: Bronze ($25 a month); Silver ($50 a month); Gold ($100 a month); and Diamond ($200 a month). 100% of your monthly donation goes to covering the meals of the horse of your choice! To become a sponsor, go to our donation page, and enter the amount you wish to donate monthly. Then select your horse under “I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund.” Finally, before you hit submit, select “I would like this donation to automatically repeat each month.” You will be sent a 8×10 picture of your horse as well as their bio and a quarterly report card.
4. Become an Ambassador
We are looking for fun and outgoing people to help us with fundraising and doing outreach in the community. This is a really fun gig and we are really excited about it! Join us as we set up tables in North Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, and Carefree and talk about our herd to interested passerby. Have a blast hosting fundraisers – both ones that Tierra Madre plans and ones that you want to come up with! Work around YOUR schedule and work with YOUR friends for a cause about which YOU are passionate: our herd.

* You do NOT have to be an official Tierra Madre volunteer to be an ambassador. Family and friends are welcome to join! No orientation necessary. *

We can do this. 10k. Let’s go!

Arts and Crafts Festival – April 21


Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary is hosting its first ever Earth Day Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, April 21! Join us for a day of shopping local vendors who will have all kinds Western, Mother Earth, or horse themed arts and crafts for sale: drawings and paintings, photography, home decor, writings and music, food and wine, jewelry, body products, horse-themed items, and SO much more. All organic, sustainable, and locally owned/produced.
You yourself will get the chance to create art as well! The Tierra Madre herd – 31 previously abused, neglected, injured, or abandoned horses (plus one donkey) – loves to paint, and you’ll get the chance to take home a creation of theirs that you help them make.
Get up close and personal with the horses on a free tour of the ranch, where you’ll meet different personalities, hear miraculous stories, and fall in love with the horses who now help their community heal after being healed themselves.
Join us at Tierra Madre (‘Mother Earth’ Horse Sanctuary on April 21st. We can’t WAIT to see you there!
$10 per adult; free for kids 12 and under
27115 N. 45th Street
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

A Year In Review – 2017


Every year, we send out an end-of-the-year letter to our wonderful friends and donors which we like to post after the holidays. 2017 was an action-packed, memorable, and fulfilling year here in Cave Creek, Arizona, and one of our favorite things to do during the New Year is look back on what has happened over the course of twelve quick months. We reflect and move forward into the brand new year a little stronger, a little wiser, and more grateful for people like you who support our mission and our horses.
2017 started out with an array of activity in the form of the usual farrier and vet visits, open ranches, fundraisers, and volunteer orientations. We began to lay the foundation for a brand new board of directors and strengthen our ties to our community. In February, we welcomed a 32-year-old OTTB – Tommy – into the family. Our oldest horse, Tommy is still thriving nearly a year later and is a shining example of how every horse deserves a happy, safe retirement after years of serving humans.
Towards the beginning of this year, our sweet and opinionated Quarter horse Jazz was diagnosed with an acute case of laminitis and we embarked on a seven month journey to bring him back. He and his best friend in the world – Rain – actually fought through the same disease together, and after diet changes, corrective shoeing, the right supplements and medicines, and all the love in the world, those two gallop around our arena today with nary a limp, with laminitis far in their rearview mirrors.
March saw the beginning of our first-ever social media campaign in preparation for the ASPCA’s annual Help A Horse Day celebration and contest. During the days leading up to the event, we launched a series of videos – one for each horse – which highlighted each story and personality. And on April 22, we hosted our second Help A Horse Day in partnership with a number of local vendors. To our astonishment and delight, Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary was chosen by the ASPCA to receive one of the grand prizes: a $10,000 grant!
With light must come shadow, for even with all of our wins that we experienced we had to deal with loss, too. In May, we lost our wild, beautiful, spirited Sonora after a swift and devastating battle with acute laminitis. The ranch will never be the same without her.
In June, our queen – big Suze – was hospitalized at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center for a nasty cellulitis infection in her hind right leg. She made a full recovery, and you guys jumped in with both feet to help us fundraise for the thousands of dollars we needed in order to save her life. We continued through the rest of the summer, caring for Suze as well as several other members of the herd, including Studley who gets nasty summer sores each year! We all survived thanks to our misters in the stalls, our sprinklers in the arena, and lots of water for horse and human alike. And, you know, the occasional box of donuts in the tack room.
An exciting partnership emerged over the summer when – through the continuation of our Equine Experiential Coaching program – we met with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and they agreed to bring their CommunityWorks program to the ranch. For the past few months, groups of high school students have followed in the footsteps of our friends at Greenway High School (who have been coming to the ranch for several years!) and worked with our team to learn about hoof care, feeding, and basic horsemanship. We are excited to continue in January!
During the summer we additionally saw one of the hardest cases Tierra Madre ever had to endure. We took in an older gelding named Marvel who had laminitis and was to be put down to spare medical bills. Tragically, just a day after we took him in, we discovered he had an impaction in his intestinal tract that was not allowing him to pass manure. After four days of flooding his system with IV fluids and doing everything in our power to save him, his condition deteriorated and at the advice of our vet at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center, we sent him to the Great Herd. It was a devastating loss, and one that reminded us acutely of the importance of continuing our work.
In August, we were contacted about four abandoned donkeys living on privatized land, and after partnering with the Arizona Equine Rescue Organization and Triple R Horse Rescue in Cave Creek, we were able to safely rescue the four donkeys. Three of the bunch were younger, healthy, and more likely to be adopted. One, an older and less healthy donkey, risked homelessness – that is, if she survived the malnourishment and dehydration she endured out in the desert. To our happy surprise, this little donkey made it through, and in September, she came home to Tierra Madre to live out her days. She is now our Abuela and the love of our lives. Her happy, excited braying is the highlight of our days!
Towards the end of this year, we hosted our third annual benefit dinner and silent auction here at our ranch – and it was our most financially successful benefit yet! We welcomed CMA artist Ashley Wineland to perform and the Wandering Donkey to feed the crowd of 125+, and best of all, we raised roughly $7k for our horses.
And even now, as we wrap up this year, we still have a great deal going on: Tater is thriving after struggling with laminitis; Rusty is newly free of ulcers in both his eyes; and Suze is getting over a second round of cellulitis, for which our friends at After the Finish Line awarded us a $1,000 medical grant! On December 21st, we sent our little Chiquita to the Great Herd after a long, hard fight with laminitis. We are still reeling from the loss, but we are taking comfort from knowing she is out of pain.
Between the highlights – and lowlights – of this year are the untold stories – the wonderful, fleeting moments that remind us why we do what we do: watching our horses run as fast as they can in the arena; coming up with new fundraisers like “Root Beer Floats for Teeth Floats”; welcoming the Boy Scouts through our gates; making new friends; working with our vet and farrier team on difficult cases; looking into the eyes of our herd and knowing they are safe and happy and loved.
We live and we laugh, we mourn and we cry, we set our standards high and aim for the best we can offer our horses in any circumstance. We seek to help those in need – the two-legged and the four – and we charge into any battle with which we are faced with determination to come through on the other side.
It has been a wild ride of a year, with so many lessons learned and so many new opportunities for us all, and on behalf of each of us here at Tierra Madre, I want to thank you for being a part of it. Whether you donated your time, your talent, your treasure, or some combination of the three, I want you to know that you are appreciated beyond anything we could ever express.
Thank you for being part of our family and part of our journey. May your New Year be as wonderful as you!
With warmest regards,
Alexis Roeckner Ferri
Executive Direcor
Jim Gath
Founder and President
The two-legged team of Tierra Madre
And… Solo & Suze & Kiss & the Min & M’Stor & Miss Hidden River & Studley & Chance & Sweet Boy & Sedona & Hiz Nibz & Rusty & Hollywood & Cadence & Guess & Princess Bella & Hudson & Heighten & Jani & Buddy & the Iron Man & Slayer & Hard Bourbon & Spencer & Jazz & Danny & Rain & Sunny & Chianti & Tommy & Abuela & Lee

The Ultimate Gift


As you all know, we lost our sweet little Chiquita on Thursday. But there is a little silver lining out of this loss. For those of you who don’t know, Chiquita was surrendered to us in October of 2014 by her owner, C. C adopted Chiquita from the BLM 23 or 24 years ago, when Chiquita was only a year or two old. And C boarded Chiquita for all these years, caring for her and loving her.
Earlier this month you saw that I posted about Chiquita and how she wasn’t doing well. C saw the post and texted me the most beautiful, heart-wrenching text I’ve ever received, saying that she didn’t deserve to come visit Chiquita but if I would allow, could she come spend time with her again before it was time to say goodbye? Of course we said yes in a heartbeat. And we assured C that she had done everything right by Chiquita, she shouldn’t feel guilty in any way, because if she hadn’t surrendered Chiquita, she likely wouldn’t have been able to live as long as she had. So C came to spend time with Chiquita. After a few years of not seeing each other, those two got to spend time with each other again, heads close, Chiquita munching on some carrots C had brought, just whispering little secrets to each other and remembering their happier days.
Then, on Thursday, C came out to be with her girl during her final moments. As sad as she was, she was so thankful to be with her and that she had a chance to say goodbye. Jim told her that when the sun rose the next morning, she’d see Chiquita leading the Great Herd across the sky. The doc and her assistant gave her a big part of her tail and mane and Shana very thoughtfully took down Chiquita’s name plate and gave it to her.
So, as tomorrow is Christmas Day, our sweet little girl will be pulling up that bright holiday sunrise with the Great Herd, leading the way with the essence of the desert herself Sonora, God’s warhorse Bentley, the medicine men Moose and Wild Bill, the gentle Venture and Dawnie, the Argentinian prodigy Ted, and our forever King John. She’ll be flying with the angels Akira and Steele and matching speed with the great Charlie. She is one with Secretariat and Barbaro and Man O’War and Ruffian. All others we have released to the Great Herd are there to greet her with a whinny and nudge.
Run fast, our tiny mustang. We’ll see you in the morning.


A Word On the California Fires


It’s a new day & there are some people who might need to see this, but haven’t as yet.
We can’t even begin to wrap our heads around the terror, pain & death that so many horses in SoCal are experiencing right now. Or, their two-leggeds’ on-going horror.
There’s so little that Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary can do for them right this minute. We don’t have a trailer nor extra hands to send their way.
Although we realize that it’s a long, long drive from SoCal to Phoenix, we will open our arena & our round pen & any other space we can to accommodate as many horses as we can.
We have plenty of food, supplements & helping hands here at the ranch.
Should this help anyone, please don’t hesitate to contact us at once.
May God be with you all.
Jim Gath

Giving Tuesday Success!


WOW, you guys.
The final numbers are in, and we raised $2,800 on Giving Tuesday!
Thanks to you, we were able to pay these vet bills from the past week or so. They total up to $3,014.42, nearly ALL of which is covered from our Giving Tuesday campaign! And for such a big number, it’s truly incredible to see us get so close.
You guys are truly amazing. And all of us here are grateful from the bottom of our hearts.
Thanks to you, Suze can receive another round of treatment for her cellulitis and Studley can get another professional wound care procedure for his summer sores (dang those flies!). Thanks to you, laminitic horses like Tater are walking better than ever and Rusty’s ulcerated eyes are nearly at full recovery.
We’re still catching up on October’s bills and continue to fundraise for food, labor, and facility upkeep costs (which – as you can imagine – are in the thousands each month). And so… It’s not too late to make a contribution if you would like to be a part of our end-of-the-year campaign!
Go to our website at tierramadrehorsesanctuary dot org/donate to make a gift to our herd! 100% of your donation goes to their health and happiness. And remember – your donation is tax-deductible!
Thank you to EVERYBODY who participated in our #GivingTuesday campaign. We are humbled, overjoyed, and honored to have you as part of our our family.
With gratitude,
Alexis and the Tierra Madre team

‘HORSE Day’ In Cave Creek


Join the Tierra Madre family while Jim and Alexis sign books (100% of proceeds go to the horses!) and talk about the horses that inspired them. Light refreshments will be served, and plenty of Tierra Madre paintings, pictures, and other fun stuff will be available for purchase (plus, a few lucky winners by take home stuff for free!). See you there!
First – The veterinarians of Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center will discuss a whole slew of issues that horses face – & how to deal with them (at Foothills Community Center, 10A-2P)
Second – A discussion & book signing with the leaders of Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary – Jim Gath & Alexis Roeckner Ferri (at American Legion Post #34 (7-9P)


What is Giving Tuesday?


Two weeks from today marks Giving Tuesday, a day of giving in which schools, churches, groups, businesses, and nonprofits all over the country participate. It is fueled by social media and in fact is picking up steam all over the globe.
In the craziness of the beginning of the holiday season we have Black Friday (or Black Friday weekend in some cases) as well as Cyber Monday. Those few days are usually about frantically getting the holiday shopping done, presents bought, food planned, homes decorated, clothes bought, travel tickets secured, and – if your family is anything like mine – listening to Christmas music at full blast while eating sugar cookies with reckless abandon.
Giving Tuesday is another, more selfless beast entirely.
The day after Cyber Monday and all the holiday madness is a day that offers you a unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Organizations everywhere participate in Giving Tuesday by setting a goal and asking their friends, donors, and supporters to participate in their campaign with a financial contribution in the amount of their choice. Alternatively, some organizations choose action over monetary campaigns and gather their supporters to a specific task, like feeding the hungry or passing out care bags at a hospital.
And you don’t have to belong to any particular group to participate! You can start a campaign all on your own, for the cause of your choice, by downloading the complete toolkit at Giving Tuesday dot org. (Type in the website in your browser as Facebook hides posts with links!)
Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary is participating in Giving Tuesday, and we are hoping to raise $10,000 on November 28th. Originally, the plan was for the money to go towards next year’s alfalfa costs. Now, with donations in decline and medical bills on the rise, we will be using every penny to cover medical bills during the months of October, November, and December. Anything leftover will be put in reserve for 2018 medical costs.
You see, the vast majority of the horses at Tierra Madre are no spring chickens. They are older and in need of more specialized, frequent, loving care that must be paid for. Some of the older crew gets along just fine with equioxx or glucosamine and a good trim every 6-8 weeks. Nary a complaint about some arthritis or creakiness.
And some others have some more complex problems and need more medicines and supplements, x-rays, trims from our specialized therapeutic farrier, and vet check ups. Chronic laminitis cases. Mysterious nasal discharge. Teeth issues. Cellulitis. Eye problems. Ulcers.
At Tierra Madre, our mission is to take the broken, the old, the sick, the abandoned, the ones no one wants. The ones that need some extra TLC but who offer so much richness to our lives with their worldly insight, their personalities, their wisdom. Their trust.
So, we hope you will join us two weeks from today as we embark on a 24 hour campaign to raise $10,000 for these horses without whom we cannot imagine our lives. Donations can be made in advance at our website, and a separate giving platform will be available on that day as well.
Why do you give to horses?
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