From neglected and abused horses to young and un-started horses, we rescue, rehabilitate and re-home our horses here at Drifter’s Hearts of Hope (DHOH). DHOH has never looked back since the first 3 horses stepped away from the kill auction, and into our hearts. On July 16th, 2014 DHOH saved Spirit, Clarity and Hope; since then we’ve rescued over 340 slaughter-bound horses, donkeys, mules and even a few calves. Our commitment to such an incredible number of horses, as well as our commitment to ensuring each horse is brought back to health and finds their perfect home has earned the respect of the entire equine community around us. Every pair of boots tells a story and this is ours.
In these Idyllwind boots, we will continue to write our story and save as many slaughter-bound horses as we can. Find out how you can be a part of our amazing journey here.
This is our "In these boots I..." story, what is yours?
Rescue Horse: Pistol Annie
Boots: Tough Cookie by Idyllwind Fueled by Miranda Lambert
We like to think of ourselves as adoption matchmakers. Horse Cupid, even. In other words, we help good people find their right horse.
When you first set foot into the Drifter’s Hearts of Hope (DHOH) facility as a potential adopter, you’ll be greeted with the question, “Tell me more about what you’re looking for in a horse?” While we’ve already reviewed your adoption application, we always like to get more detail in person.
That first question is just the beginning. We’ll then walk you past each available horse in the barn, discussing your basic preferences. What style of riding do you prefer and what kind of activities do you want to participate in with your potential horse? What characteristics do you like in a horse? What characteristics do you not like? What are your must-haves? What are your deal-breakers? Simply put, we are using these questions to help us fit you with the best potential “right horse” that will meet your needs.
From there, we’ll talk to you about the horses as we pass by them. We will highlight and pause by the stalls of horses that might be a good fit. Here we like to dig a bit deeper. What could make you nervous on or around a horse? How do you react when you get nervous? Have you had any bad experiences that are important for us to know about? Since safety is extremely important to us, we always want to be sure that we fully understand where the rider is in their horsemanship journey.
After hearing more from you and understanding your horsemanship, we’ll introduce you to the available horses we feel might be the best fit. We explain what the horse is looking for and needs in an adopter and living situation, what riding styles for which they’d be well suited for (English, western, trail riding, arena work, etc.), what kind of rider they prefer (soft hands, quiet legs, experienced rider, kid friendly, etc.) and what their deal-breakers and must-haves are. The horse is a key portion of this equation as they need to match with the potential adopter just as much as the potential adopter needs to match with the horse.
The key to these conversations is honesty and openness. We try to get to know you, your background and your goals to match with the knowledge we have of our horses, their backgrounds and their goals.
Once we have discussed and selected a horse or two that might be a good fit, we have you help us get the horse tacked up and ready to go. Once we are bridled and saddled up, we head out to the arena. From there we hop on the horse first and take him for a spin, talk you through what we’re doing with our leg and hand, what we’ve found to be successful with the horse, and what we like to do to warm them up.
If you like what you see of the horse under saddle, we will hand you the reins and a helmet. You’ll be able to swing a leg over and see how the horse feels. If needed, we will walk with you until you feel comfortable. We support you throughout the entire trial, providing helpful tips and hints to best work with the horse.
Sometimes these introductions ask us all to step a bit out of our comfort zones, which is conveniently located in a saddle, but here at DHOH we have found it to be very successful in helping match the right people with the right horses! 270+ matches to be exact.
We were honored to be invited back to the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association (CDGRA) to speak about The Annie Project and give an update to the member ranches. The Annie Project has been selected as finalists for The Right Horse Innovation Grant, wish us luck!!!
Horse showing is always an exciting opportunity for riders to test their skills and their horse's too. As a hunter/jumper rider, shows were always one of the highlights of my year. This year, my highlight was watching our riders compete at The Battle on the Rockies in Denver, CO on March 1st and 2nd. Not to brag, but our horses and our riders did a great job. They worked hard, put in hours of time they already didn't have between their jobs, school, families, other animals, and the rest of the world, to prove what we all have known already - rescue horses are show horses too.
Colleen Fitzpatrick - Miss Moppet
I learned just how important it is to do right by the horse in the show ring. Since I was aboard a youngster in her first show, I wanted to put a few positive show miles on her. Pushing her to the edge to see if we could win wasn’t the right answer in that situation; instead, we kept it calm and comfortable, knowing that we can try more difficult things with her in the future. She’s got plenty of time ahead of her! I also learned about how to best support people in their early days of showing - anyone who talked to me before going into the ring knows that my advice was to relax, trust their horse, and be as kind to them as possible. Kindness, quiet riding and a calm demeanor will always look best in my book! And I learned that Dani Ross and I can get an absolutely remarkable amount of work done in a very short period of time, and should probably go into business together at some point!
Dani Ross - Uptown
Riding a 5 year old who had (maybe) 50 days of training and who’d I’d only gotten to know two weeks prior, was a pretty incredible endeavor. It’s truly rewarding watching a horse grow from untouched and leery of people, to confidently showing in a coliseum stadium in a short amount of time. Words can’t even describe the feeling of knowing that you’ve played a role in helping this horse become the confident horse he is. It was also inspiring seeing the horse rescue community come together. While we were competing against each other, in the end we were all there sharing our passion for saving horses lives and to show the world what these animals can do when you give them a second chance at life. Each one gave so much heart and trust to all of us during this show even when it was probably sensory overload for all of them. This show was a wonderful cause to bring awareness to the amazing horses at rescue centers here in Colorado.
Kyle Griffin - Reba
The biggest obstacle was the arena with Reba. She didn't like being in the large arena with no other horses, people moving around and the banners. Reba will do anything Kyle asks of her and she was extremely spooked with the new environment. We feel like we need to take her to more shows, get her exposed to being the only one in an arena and working with her on her anxiety the best way we can. Kyle thoroughly enjoyed participating as it was a great experience for him. Reba and Kyle have a strong bond and he has taught her so much that with time, patience and practice, she could be a great competitor!!
Personally, it was a victory to see rescue horses competing at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo. Before I was part of horse rescue, I was part of the horse show world. It always seemed there was an unspoken division between show horses and rescue horses, that the two were oil and water- they never mixed. The Battle On The Rockies was a great step forward in removing barriers to potential adopters. A horse cannot control their past, their future, or their present. Only humans can determine that. We as humans have the responsibility to ensure these, and all horses, have a bright future- whether that is in the show ring, or the backyard.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of horses are transitioned from career or ownership. A growing number of these horses end up at risk of inhumane treatment. Led by the WaterShed Animal Fund, The Right Horse Initiative has been developed to unify horse industry professionals, equine welfare advocates, and the broader horse loving public to improve the lives of horses in transition.
The Right Horse Initiative promotes horse adoption as one of the preferred methods of finding your next horse. This unique partnership commits the time, talent, and resources to promote horse adoption through education, training, and public awareness on a national level. Together we will work to achieve our goal to massively increase the number of horse adoptions nationwide.
As a partner in The Right Horse Initiative, we’re proud to support a national movement reframing the conversation about equine adoption. Drifter’s Hearts of Hope is working with The Right Horse Initiative to promote equine adoption as well as the bond between horses and humans. We are good people for good horses, and everyone who loves horses has ownership in this movement. To learn more about The Right Horse Initiative, visit therighthorse.org.
We are so grateful to Gina and the Kuttrus family for their dedication and support of the mission at Drifter's Hearts of Hope.
#volunteersrule #supportlocalhorserescue #goingaboveandbeyond
Let's Be Buddies!
Meet Morris, a survivor of severe neglect who came to Drifter's Hearts of Hope several months back when he was saved from an LA kill pen.
Morris was nearly starved to death before being dumped at the Bastrop Kill Pen in Louisiana during the floods of 2016. At the time of his rescue, Morris had a body score of 1 when the kill buyer saddled him up to "prove he was broke to ride", a cruel and thoughtless act to say the least. But Morris is a fighter, and he survived the unthinkable.
Morris was able to not only survive the 1,100 mile trip to Colorado, but in his devastating physical condition and weakened state he somehow also managed to hep protect a young filly (Millie) and her baby (Hopeful) who also survived the kill pen hell they had been disguarded to.
Thanks to the help of several wonderful foster families, the “Louisiana Trio” are now thriving.
Morris is fully rehabilitated, and is feeling great these days. He enjoys a rather relaxed life at the King of Hearts Ranch. But our work with Morris isn't quite finished, as he still needs a home.
It is the hope of DHOH that Morris will find placement in time for Christmas as this truly amazing and deserving horse surely has great things in store.
Morris is a very sweet gelding, is gentle, and has loads of personality. He will follow you around and just loves attention and cookies. Morris is well broke and best suited for a light riding home where he can be loved on as a cherished life-long companion.
Please like and share this blog to help Morris find his forever loving home this Christmas! After all, re-homing Morris is the greatest Christmas gift we could ever receive.
Interested in adopting Morris? Please make an appointment by contacting DHOH today! On behalf of Morris and all of the DHOH family, Merry Christmas and Happy 2017!
Many horse rescue groups call Colorado home, and many bring in horses on a regular basis to rehabilitate them and find them forever loving homes. But some people remain skeptical of horse adoption agencies, while others are completely unaware of the horse-crisis that we are all facing.
Today we want to highlight several worthwhile reasons to seriously consider adoption from a credible rescue such as Drifter's Hearts of Hope.
#1. You're saving a life, and then some.
We start with perhaps the most obvious reason to adopt a horse. By adopting through DHOH, you're essentially giving a horse a second chance at life, and because you're donating an adoption fee, you are also helping us save future horses. Who doesn't like the sound of that?
DHOH is the fastest growing horse rescue in the state of Colorado. Drifter's Hearts of Hope has saved 141 horses and counting, since the onset of our mission just two short years ago.
#2. Your wallet gets a little break too...
When adopting a horse from DHOH, you might be surprised at the kind of horse you can find for a fraction of what you might pay when buying a horse. Really. Just this week we have adopted out two well broke, kid safe horses with extensive training for under a thousand dollars. We've also saved several horses that are registered with papers! Still others come to DHOH with tremendous potential in arena sports like jumping, drill team, and cow sorting. From gaited horses to experienced ranch horses, you are sure to be surprised by the amazing horses at DHOH. We are continuously shocked (like on a daily basis) at how these horses were thrown away like trash. Whether you want a companion horse, or a horse to take out to a play day, we are constantly saving horses of all types, ages, and breeds and our adoption fees won't break the bank.
In addition, your adoption fee is actually a donation, which means that the purchase funds go so much further than those of a horse you buy via private treaty.
#3. DHOH has lots of street cred.
All horses that are rescued by DHOH undergo a structured program and evaluation prior to adoption, so that we can ensure each horse ends up with the ideal home. In addition, your potential new horse comes with dental work, chiropractic work, veterinary evaluation, and is up to date on hoof care, vaccines, and de-worming at the time that he becomes available for adoption. This means that you can rest assured your new family member has been well cared for and properly evaluated for you, saving you time and money in the long run. An easy, worry-free process that you can TRUST. How often do you find that when buying a horse?
#4. There's a return policy. (Really.)
At DHOH we will always take a horse back. In fact, it is part of our contract. We never want to see our saved horses end up in a bad situation, and we are always willing to help an adoption family if life circumstances arise that prevent them from being able to keep the horse any longer. That is a promise we make to our beloved horses and to you, as supporters of DHOH.
#5. It's the gift that keeps on giving...more than you know.
Drifter's Hearts of Hope isn't just a horse rescue. We are a horse rescue largely operated by a program for special needs youth who strive to give back by rescuing horses. The members of DHOH are youth with individual special needs, and they work very hard throughout the year baking horse cookies and hosting tack sale fundraisers in efforts to save more horses.
These kiddos are amazing, courageous, and have hearts of gold. They love their rescue horses and by adopting a DHOH horse, you're enabling the kids of DHOH to continue their good work in the community.
Plus, you'll get THE BEST horse cookies your new horse has ever tried. (We promise).
Adopting a horse gives the gift of life, allowing you to help save multiple horses with just one adoption. This also creates a chain reaction, helping alleviate the unwanted horse population crisis in Colorado and beyond.
By adopting through Drifter's Hearts of Hope, you're helping great kids continue to serve the community through their rescue program. Adoption can get you a great horse at a cost that doesn't break the bank, and allows you the peace of mind that comes with a straight forward, honest adoption process including return policy. You get a new (and awesome) family member who is sure to love you forever.
So for those of you who used to ask, "Why adopt a horse?", we simply say, "Why not?".
Travis Underwood of RanchoLoco Mustangs and Mules shares updates on his 2017 Comeback Challenge draft pick--Warlock...
Travis arrived back home recently and welcomed Warlock to Gunnison, CO where he began formal training with this awesome steed mid-November.
Travis shared with his FB fans, "It is an honor to of been accepted to the A Home For Every Horse Equine Comeback Challenge. In November I will bring home a rescue horse that will be with us for 120 days, then will show the bond we have created at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo in March. My passion is helping four leggeds have the opportunity to find their calling and connect with us humans..."
Per Travis' most recent update, Warlock has begun learning how to bond with a human, via natural horsemanship methods as he builds trust with his new trainer.
It's that time of year again! There is so much to do as the holidays are fast approaching. Families are busy preparing for Thanksgiving feast, and holiday shopping. Many charitable organizations make way for their good-will causes. And many horses are still making their way to Drifters Hearts of Hope.
With the onset of winter, horses intake greater amounts of feed, especially those who have suffered from neglect and are underweight. With the help of wonderful supporters at the Elizabeth Big R Farm and Ranch Supply and Parker Feed Store, Drifter's Hearts of Hope is collecting senior grain and hay cubes during the colder months. This is a super easy way for local supporters like you to contribute some food for horses that need your help.
Day 1: Nov 3rd, 2016 - Comeback Challenge Draft Pick
Today was the day that the trainers evaluate each horse entry from the various rescues, and draw a number to determine their spot in line for a horse. The draft was held this afternoon, and DHOH is proud to say that our very own Warlock was FIRST pick by trainer Justin Dunn. Warlock is a tall, bay 9 year old gelding with loads of potential. All of the horses entered into this exciting competition are un-started. They will be trained by their designated trainers for the next 90 days. Then they'll head to the 2017 Comeback Challenge in March hosted by the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo and A Home for Every Horse.
This competition results in talented rescue horses receiving the love and training that they so deserve, and ultimately, each horse goes to the sale following the competition where the general public can purchase one of these awesome steeds!
Follow Lena, Warlock, and Blackhawk on their journey as we continue to post updates on these three and their awesome trainers!
These horses will be trained for 90 days by professional volunteer trainers, and will then be showcased at the 2017 Rocky Mountain Horse Expo - Equine Comeback Challenge....
"Thinking of Patrick who loved Jesus and didn't waiver from his faith despite a very tough, and too short life. If you had the joy of meeting Patrick, you had the blessing of seeing the face of God", says Greg Daniels as he shared this scripture in remembrance of sweet Patrick:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Funeral Service Information:
Patrick's funeral services will be held at Parker Evangelical Presbyterian Church,
Sunday, October 2nd at 4 p.m.
9030 Miller Road
Parker, CO 80138
Patrick asked for attendees to wear bright colors to his funeral, western wear, or camo. His family has asked that donations be made to DHOH in lieu of flowers. Thank you.
Drifter's Hearts of Hope