Rescue and Recovery

This Old Horse has been named a Certified Rescue Program by the Minnesota Horse Council, and we are members of the Minnesota Horse Welfare Coalition.


Our first mission was to drive to Fargo and pick up two beautiful mares we named Faith and Hope who had been deprived of adequate food and fresh water. Despite the horrific conditions they left behind, they are gracious and forgiving. We are moved and touched by their courage and their willingness to trust us with their care.  

Follow their stories on our Facebook page and sponsor their journey through your donations.


We thought Hope was pregnant when we picked her up but sadly, she was just malnourished. Her rescuers knew nothing about her, but we think she is a quarter horse because of her conformation  and demeanor. The vet guessed her age at about 13 years. She is jet black and is already developing her own fan club of volunteers who are loving her up! We named her Hope because she survived horrible circumstances and still had enough trust to walk on our trailer and take the journey home with us.  


Faith is named for the song "Have a Little Faith in Me" that was running through our minds as we traveled to Hawley, Minn. to pick up her and Hope. They were the last horses to be picked up, and when Tom left the arena to move the trailer closer, Faith nickered and followed him to the door.  We thought she had decided that she was ours and didn't want to miss her ride!  She is  a chestnut mare, probably a quarter horse and about 10 years old.   

Belle and Dalai

We had a chance to take care of two broodmares who were seized from a farm in Princeton in April 2013. They were starved and neglected and all the rescues were full.  They are making a full recovery, sweet and content. They were lucky enough to get a chance to spend the summer at Steepleview Farm in Delano, one of our Pasture Prime Partners.  


Belle is beautiful. She is named for the princess in "Beauty and the Beast" who is brave and strong and kind. She is a quarter horse, approximately 20 years old.


Dalai charmed us with her peaceful, loving spirit. Her ear tips were frozen off due to frostbite at some point in her life. She is a Paint horse, approximately 19 years old.

Zippos Sweet Desire (Fiona)

Blind in one eye and seriously underweight, Fiona was referred to us due to a hardship circumstance. We picked her up on May 22, 2013, and after surgery to remove her abscessed eye, began the process of rehabbing her physically and emotionally.  


Cowboy had a serious problem with eating and choking. He nearly choked to death three times in the first month we had him and the vet asked us if we wanted to mercifully put him down. We said, "If he tries, we'll try." And try he did. After a year of eating "hay soup," Cowboy eats a normal diet, is in GREAT shape and showed us all what "trying" looks like.

Sweetie (2011-2014)

 Despite the best efforts of our amazing team of vets (Dr. Dale Magnusson and Dr. Tracy Turner) and our talented farrier Chris Tilley, Sweetie lost her battle. We rescued Sweetie from a dark, filthy stall last November . Although she was a three year old Quarter Horse, she was the size of a weanling--just 500 lbs. and could barely walk. But what a horse! She was the most engaging, friendly, curious little thing you could imagine. At our holiday party, she let us dress her with antlers and a Santa cape and she hosted our guests like a queen. Sweetie's body recovered, her wonderful mind was eased by the loving compassion of every person that entered her realm. And we worked, worked, worked to fix her feet. But we couldn't unring the bell. Her feet continued to fail. We learned that no matter what course of treatment we could explore, there was no way to spare her from a life of pain. And a life of pain was not an option for this precious baby. We were with her and she was gloriously 'her' until the end. And as her pains ends, ours began. Our hearts were truly broken and our only glimmer of comfort is that she did not die in a state of neglect and starvation but rather beloved and properly grieved by those who knew and loved her.


Starved and neglected, Raayna (about 8 years old) and her son, Johnny (below), were two survivors out of a herd of four Arabians rescued in December, 2013. Both were selected for the 2014 MN Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation's Trainer's Challenge and hopefully then adopted to a wonderful new home.


Four year old Johnny was rescued from a terrible neglect situation as an unweaned stallion. His mother, Raayna (above) took good care of him at her own peril. He is in the 2014 Trainer's Challenge, and his trainer calls him Gentleman Johnny, amazed at his work ethic and skills. What a comeback for this kid!

Talia and Nadia

Abandoned near Stillwater, these two matched Arab mares are in our recovery program and have joined Belle and Dalai who are hosted by our partners at Steepleview Farm. Severely malnourished, they found their way to a farm where they were given shelter. They remained unclaimed and ended up in the loving arms of This Old Horse to begin their recovery. Our partners at Steepleview Farm saw their story and immediately offered to take them in during their recovery. Follow their journey to recovery!


Talia is a small bay Arabian, probably about 20 years old. Her name means "lamb" in Hebrew. Found wandering with Nadia, it reminded us of the song, "We are two little lambs who have lost our way."


Nadia is a small bay Arabian, probably about 17 years old. Her name means new beginning. She shows great leadership and we suspect did the "heavy lifting" as they found their way to a safe harbor after their abandonment.


We rescued beautiful Teagan after she was discovered stranded in 17 inches of snow without access to food, water or shelter. Strong and gentle, this little 12-year-old Morgan mare has found safe harbor with our foster partner Amy who had room in her heart and room in her barn to show Teagan a world filled with loving care--and treats....

Pixie and Tink

These adorable Shetlands found their way to our care when their owner surrendered them due to hardship.  Pixie is about 12 years old and Tink is 7.  They are a matched pair if chocolate kisses!!


Rhomi joined our community and at first glance, we see her exposed ribs, her protruding spine, her broken down hooves. And in the next moment, we see her kind eyes, her beautiful markings, her regal bearing and we assure her that her hardship has ended...right here, right now. This talented, sweet little Arabian mare with a distinctive white 'snowball' on her rear got US  this year--all of us with all we've got.

Jet and Will

These two beautiful souls joined our loving community when we heard they needed a safe harbor. Jet is a 21 year old Appendix mare with an amazing pedigree and resume. Will is a teenaged Welsh / Hackney pony cross. And because the loving arms of our human herd have such a long reach, we had placement for these two before we even picked them up! 


The bigger they are, the harder we fall (in love with them). Quincy is an enormous 8 year old Shire / Standardbred cross gelding who has experienced some lean times recently. We can't wait to follow and share his story of recovery. We love the first day of a rescue mission. This promise fulfilled--today everything changes for Quincy. He has reached safe harbor.


Gulliver's travels took him down a dark path of starvation and neglect.  This sweet, kind gelding that we think is about an 18 year old Standardbred has found peace and safety at last.  Rescued in March, 2015, Gulliver went from starved to star in seven months!

Miss Daisy

Daisy is a Shetland Pony.  She was originally purchased in a 'lot' and the people decided they liked the other ponies in the group but not her.  She was rescued from that situation and put into one that didn't work for her, either.  So she found her way to us and this sweet girl is living a life of big hugs and big love while she recovers.


Gulliver's travels took him down a dark path of starvation and neglect.  This sweet, kind gelding that we think is about an 18 year old Standardbred has found peace and safety at last.  Rescued in March, 2015, Gulliver went from starved to star in seven months!


Cute as a button, this tiny pinto Miniature Horse was rescued when she was found chained to a backyard deck on a dog chain.  A kind friend helped her out of that circumstance that led to our door.  A favorite of the Hands High Grooming Club, we are working at getting her feet in shape so she can walk tall!  She is one lucky horse.


A serious stifle injury sidelined this big guy from a life as a lesson horse, jumper and fox hunter.  This is one serious athlete and he is working hard to heal up--and making great progress!!


Tutu is a 13 year old American Paint Horse who experienced a serious tendon injury that suspended his show career.   He is hanging out and healing up at This Old Horse.  He has a great prognosis and may someday join our lesson program.

Big and Gigi

Our Throughbred royalty couple met and fell in love at first sight.  Big (Classic Brat) is a grandson of Secretariat.  He was injured during his racing career causing serious  arthritis (ringbone) in his front legs.  Gigi is a granddaughter of Seattle Slew and retired from a career doing everything from jumping 4' fences to overnight trail riding.  

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© 2019 This Old Horse, Inc.   .  651 . 437 . 1889  .  .  19025 Coates Blvd., Hastings, MN 55033

This Old Horse logo designed by Sue Shadow.  Principle photography on this site is by Toni Thomas.   Additional photography by Ronnie Hartman Images.