EQUUS Foundation Announces 2020 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award Recipients - Monty a Winner!
Monty, our beloved mascot, made an incredible name for himself when he was a part of this world. He has since passed on to greener pastures, but his legacy continues on.
Monty was recognized as an EQUUS Foundation Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award Runner up for his work at the rescue. You can read more about Monty, Equus, Platinum Performance, and the award below.
Thank you so much to Equus for honoring such a deserving horse that is near and dear to so many of our hearts!
Drifter’s Hearts of Hope (DHOH) rescues at risk horses, horses whose future is likely dismal or non-existent without rescue. The process in finding the right forever home with the right forever person considers many factors. The environment where the horse will be kept is an important one. A pre-adoption home check tries to foresee the safety, health and happiness of a horse that might be placed in that setting.
Things That We Look At:
Is there adequate and safe shelter? Horses need protection from direct sunlight, precipitation, wind and other inclement weather. Shelters should be well constructed and not have any nails, boards or other projections that might injure the horse. The shelter should be high enough that the horse can stand naturally and the entrance to the shelter should be wide enough that the horse will not bang a hip on the way in or out. There should be adequate ventilation and light. There should be good footing without unusual accumulation of manure.
If kept in a stall and run, the horse should have reasonable turn out time to exercise and, if possible, graze in a pasture. Is the fencing in the pasture and/or pen safe and secure? Is the height appropriate for the horse that may be adopted? Sagging wire creates a hazard, as does barbed wire in any condition. Barbed wire is only acceptable on large acreages where the horse has little likelihood of being run into the fence. Are t-posts used? If so, are they capped? DHOH requires that t-posts be capped. We look for hazards such as debris or discarded equipment that might injure the horse.
How will the horse’s nutritional needs be met? What hay will be fed? Is the potential adopter prepared to meet the special nutritional needs of a senior or very young horse, if applicable? Will the horse have reliable access to fresh water? Salt must be available.
How many horses will be kept on the property? Over-crowding increases the potential for injury, but at the same time horses have a strong herd instinct and are happiest with horse companionship. DHOH requires that adopted horses have at least one other horse for companionship. If there are horses on the property at the time of the visit, what is their condition? Do they look well fed? Have their feet been cared for? What is their behavior? Are they interested and alert, or do they seem bored? Do they seem comfortable around people or frightened or disinterested?
We hope that potential adopters are not intimidated by a pre-adoption home check. Our goal is to assure a safe place for the horse and a good experience for the adopter. DHOH will work with you to prepare for the home check, and if necessary, can do a repeat visit after any suggested changes are made. Before scheduling a home check, consider the following:
On July 25th, we had to say the hardest of goodbyes to one of our most cherished rescue horses: one that has certainly had a huge impact on hundreds of both human and horse lives. Our mascot, DHOH “Monty”, made his way over the rainbow bridge at the early hours of the morning, off to greener pastures.
This horse was the definition of a rescue success: he was saved out of a kill pen at the age of 29, and although he had soundness issues he taught kids how to ride, taught kids with special needs how to groom, how to lead and most importantly, he taught us all how to love unconditionally. He practically raised all our foals once they were weaned... he was the best uncle! He’s been to gymkhanas, many, many events, birthday parties and has even gone on road trips to help teach frightened horses how to load in a trailer. His 4 1/2 years at DHOH had to have been his best years. Everyone that has come through our gates has probably met him... the big sorrel gelding that roamed loose in the day.... grazing at will and talking to all his lady friends over their gates. He was a legend and this barn will never be the same without him in it. Monty had gone off his feed his last few days and although he still loved to wander around, he wasn’t quite right. He passed away in his stall overnight with no sign of struggle... so we can only hope that he passed away peacefully in his sleep. Monty was buried this up on the hill with many of his favorite people gathered around. Rest easy Big Guy and know that you were very loved. See you on the other side, our sweet boy.
In Monty's honor we are looking to do something special. Specifically we'd like create a scholarship to be awarded annually to someone who saves an older, at-risk horse like Monty. We've seen first hand how much of an impact older horses can have. To help us kick this off, please consider donating to the Monty Memorial Scholarship Fund. You can donate through your platform of choice: PayPal, Venmo, mailed check or cash.
Sidelines Magazine features an article on a charity in each issue, and this month DHOH was chosen due to being the first charity to receive the EQUUS Foundation's 2020 Guardian Seal of Transparency. We are honored to be featured and have the ability to share our story through this amazing magazine. Pick up a copy of their July Issue or read the full story below!
Thank you so much to Rocky Mountain PBS for showcasing our Annie Project: a partnership with 13 Colorado dude ranches, including Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch! We greatly appreciate the collaboration with both the ranches and this news outlet to get the word out about how we can help ranches during the COVID pandemic and beyond.
Here at Drifter's Hearts of Hope, one might not notice the impact of COVID-19 at first. But, when you look below the surface, you'd see the extra hay in the barn for our COVID-19 Equine Assistance Program, the extra horses that came to us as financially-impacted owner surrenders, and the extra expenses from rehabilitating horses that needed additional financial support. We have seen the impact of COVID-19 on our rescue and our community, and have sought to increase our contribution to our horses and our community.
The ASPCA took note of our commitment and responded with a $25,000 grant to support our initiatives to help our local horse community! This funding will go directly to our COVID-19 Equine Assistance Program and the horses that we have and will take in as a result of the pandemic. Thank you so much to the ASPCA for helping us help more horses!
We recently partnered with A Home for Every Horse on an article covering COVID-19 and resources for horse owners during these times. This article was published recently in the Practical Horseman as well as Horse & Rider - pick up their June issue today or read the full article below!
We are always in need of items to help our horses in addition to maintaining our ranch. If you would like to donate something from our Amazon wish list, please remember that AmazonSmile will donate .05% to DHOH if you select us as your charity of choice.
How do I support Drifter's Hearts of Hope when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to smile.amazon.com, you need to select Drifter's Hearts of Hope as your charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.
Your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation. AmazonSmile will occasionally contact you about donation amounts disbursed to your chosen charity or about the program.
Recently in a collaborative effort, a combined total of 58 horses were brought into Colorado rescues. Drifter’s took on 10 of these amazing horses and have already begun rehabilitating them. We are so thankful for the donations we have already received, but the sudden influx of this many horses requires a massive amount of resources to help bring them to ideal weights and to help with vetting, farrier and dental attention. We have launched a specific “Nebraska 10” Sponsorship Program for anyone who wants to generously invest in any of these beautiful horses’ individual journeys to forever homes.
If you can find it in your heart to sponsor one (or more) of the “Nebraska 10,” we are offering three levels of sponsorship based on the specific needs of each of the horses. Sponsorship commitments can be as short as a month or as long as you're willing.
Level 1 sponsorship: $300 per month
- Level 1 horses need basic care and maintenance such as dental care, farrier, vaccinations, de-wormer and hay.
- Level 1 horses: Bulletproof (formerly “Bullet"), Blue Goose (formerly “Barbwire”), Shannon, and Sierra
Level 2 sponsorship: $400 per month
- Level 2 horses need Level 1 basic care and maintenance plus 'senior feed' for weight gain.
- Level 2 horses: Two Socks, Doc, and Blue Duck (Ducky)
Level 3 sponsorship: $500 per month
- Level 3 horses need the Levels 1 and 2 care plus special food and vetting to help with digestibility, problems chewing (due to lack of teeth), weight maintenance and other senior horse complications.
- Level 3 horses: Cola (formerly “Coke”), Pebbles, and Big John
Our “Nebraska 10” are pictured below with their associated level of sponsorship. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the horse you would like to sponsor, and we will set up your sponsorship via cash, check, Venmo or Facebook payment. In return for your generosity, we will update you regularly on the progress of your sponsored horse until they find the owner and home of their dreams.
We understand these are particularly trying times for everyone, so your generosity is even more appreciated than ever. If our leveled sponsorships are more than you can commit to, email us with the amount you feel you can commit to monthly and we will tailor a sponsorship for you. Any donation is whole-heartedly appreciated, whether it be sponsorship or a one-time donation towards vetting bills like Cola's. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and shared compassion and empathy for these beautiful horses.
Update Jan 7th, 2021 - Our COVID-19 Equine Assistance program has come to end. Thank you to all of you have helped us with this program. If you need assistance, you can find other equine assistance programs here.
In times of crisis, we often look to our neighbors for help. It can be challenging for us to see what our neighbors are currently going through as we practice social distancing. Even though we can’t physically see it, we at DHOH, and likely many of you, can hear it.
With thousands of layoffs throughout Colorado in a variety of industries, our neighbors are experiencing challenging and uncertain times. For many, layoffs and subsequent loss of income mean that they are struggling to find the money to support their horses.
Just this week, we’ve received a number of owner surrender requests, citing Coronavirus as the culprit. We have a full house of horses at the rescue, a substantial waiting list, and are unable to take on all of the owner surrenders while still maintaining proper levels of care for all of the horses. Helping keep the horses well fed in their current homes is the best option for now, and we will be looking for emergency foster homes of those who are willing and able to foster horses in need.
In an effort to help our neighbors through what we hope to be a temporary challenge, we are putting together a fundraiser to create an emergency hay and feed bank. The funds raised will go directly to the purchase of feed and hay which we will provide to folks who are struggling in Colorado. This will allow these horses to continue to receive the feed they need as their owners navigate these uncharted waters.
We understand that many of you may also be encountering challenges. We appreciate donations of any amount that you can spare. In times like these, the support of the community means the world. Thank you for being an important part of our community, we hope that you all stay well and healthy!
Resources for Horse Owners in Need
Emergency Vet Bills:
Surrendering a Horse:
Resources for Horse Lovers
If you see a horse in need of law enforcement intervention:
What to do if you cannot adopt but want to help:
Job Description: Jacqui is the president, founder, and de facto fearless leader of DHOH.
Catch Phrase: “Have you seen Pippy?”
Most Commonly Found: Bandaging legs, giving soaked senior to a skinny horse, making sure the barn is spotless or finding a way to save the world
Job Description: Rachelle is the fundraising chair and barn help extraordinaire.
Catch Phrase: “Have you heard about how our sponsorship opportunities can help your business?”
Most Commonly Found: Canvassing Parker, Elizabeth and Franktown for local sponsors, planning fundraisers, turning out one of the horses, or getting to the barn in under 3 minutes any time you need her
Job Description: Amanda is our event planner, creative guru and secretary.
Catch Phrase: “Do you want me to make signs?”
Most Commonly Found: Making anything and everything more beautiful than it already was, loving on one of the horses, or setting up an event
Job Description: Sally is our compliance leader and home check expert.
Catch Phrase: “Can you take me on a tour of your property?”
Most Commonly Found: Checking out potential adopters’ properties, reviewing the by-laws, helping out around the barn, or kick-starting a new way to help more horses
Job Description: Dani is our marketing manager, horse evaluator and Google aficionado
Catch Phrase: “What’s this horse’s story?”
Most Commonly Found: Meeting with potential adopters, updating the website, testing a new horse out on the trail, or asking people to review us on Google
Job Description: Colleen is our communications specialist, horse evaluator and grant writing guru
Catch Phrase: “Can you tell me a bit about what you’re looking for in a horse?”
Most Commonly Found: Hopping up on a new horse for the first time, meeting with potential adopters, typing up grants and emails seemingly at the speed of light, or never needing a microphone while speaking at events
Many of our volunteers, as well as our followers, grew up reading horse magazines (and still do today!). We spent countless hours reading and learning, and trying out new tips and tricks on our wonderfully patient mounts. Fast forward to today, Drifter's Hearts of Hope has found its way into one of those magazines!
A huge thank you to Horse Illustrated for featuring our amazing Annie Project horses, partners, and adopters. We are so appreciative for the exposure and look forward to seeing the growth of the Annie Project in the coming years. If you're new to the Annie Project - read up on it here (pages 30-35), as well as on our website!
The wonderful 5th grade class from Northeast Elementary in Parker completed a Shark Tank project where they learned the ins and outs of how a business is run - from creating a product to selling it. They even went the extra mile and picked a nonprofit to donate to - DHOH! We are so grateful for your donation and impressed with your entrepreneurial skills!
Meet the Team:
"Dear Drifter's Hearts of Hope,
My name is Gabby Goodwater. You may remember me from volunteering. I attend Northeast Elementary in Parker, Colorado. I am in 5th grade and we completed a project called Shark Tank. It is where you pick a nonprofit to donate to then you make a product and sell it and whatever money you make you give it to the non-profit.
The product that my group made was chakra bracelets and pura vida bracelets. We decided to make these products because big businesses make the same product, but super expensive, so that people want to buy them can't buy the. Our products were sold for $2, $3, $4 and we raised $274.20.
We chose Drifter's Hearts of Hope as our non-profit because I know a lot about Drifter's and it seemed like they should be more supported and known more, so decided to do Drifters "ps I begged my group".
After convincing my group to donate to Drifters, we would like the money to benefit the horses needs, like food, or to fix the barn when something goes wrong. Or if one of the horses had to have surgery, but I don't think it will be enough to pay for that.
Hopefully this is enough. Have a great year and a great Christmas and Thanksgiving.
PS....If Puzzle and Jigsaw are still there make sure to say hi for me. If not, then say hi to Cheyenne. Oh and if a volunteer named Ingrid is there make sure to say hi for me - she's my aunt."
"Dear Drifter's Hearts of Hope,
My name is Jake and I attend Northeast Elementary in Parker, CO. I am in 5th grade and we completed a project called Shark Tank. It is where we make things and sell them for money and with that money we donate it to a non-profit organization.
The product that my group made was bracelets. We decided to make bracelets because they are very professional and we knew people would buy them. Our products sold for $2, $3, and $4. We raised $274.
We chose Drifter's Hearts of Hope as our non-profit to donate our money because they save horses and take good care of them. After researching this non-profit we would like the money to go for food for horses.
"Dear Drifter's Hearts of Hope,
My name is Blake and I attend Northeast Elementary in Parker, CO. I am in 5th grade. We worked on a project called Shark Tank where we have to make something to sell to people.
My group made bracelets to sell. We sold our bracelets for $2 or $3 or $4. When we sold them on our market day we made $274 to donate.
We chose Drifter's Hearts of Hope because we wanted to help the horses. We want the horses to have lots of food and a safe place to play and sleep.
"Dear Drifter's Hearts of Hope,
My name is Olivia and I attend Northeast Elementary in Parker, CO. I am in 5th grade and we completed a project called Shark Tank. It was chaotic. It was stressful, but super fun.
We did it for two hours. The product my group made was pura vida bracelets and chakra bracelets. The chakra bracelets we made with beads the pura vida bracelets we made is with string. The producs were sold for $2 $3 and $4. We raised $274.
We chose Drifter's Hearts of Hope as our non-profit to donate our money to because we all chose that non-profit together an we want to help horses that are in need. After researching this non-profit together and we want to help horses that are in need. After researching this non-profit we would like the money going to Drifter's Hearts of Hope because we want them to get water, food, shelter, and medicine for the horses so they can live. I would love for the horses to get and have a good life.
Who remembers Fergus? One of the skinniest, most neglected and misunderstood horses we have ever saved. If you have a few minutes please take the time to read his story, written by his new (and forever) mom. It’s been a year now and Fergus has come a long way!!
Drifter's Hearts of Hope