Monday, November 16, 2020

It's our 20th anniversary!

In April 2001, we held our first organizational meeting - a group of neighbors and friends - and we compiled a list of names and numbers to present to law enforcement, so they could call us when they needed help with horse cases. Now, nearly 20 years later, we are still a resource for law enforcement, but mostly we are a horse sanctuary. Our calendar for the upcoming year celebrates our 20 years of helping horses. The photos are a collection from years gone by. But all of the horses in this calendar do live here now at our sanctuary. Here is a link to our 2021 calendar, available to order now! All money earned from our Zazzle store goes to our rescued horses.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Chore Helper Wanted. Part time or Full time.

 Would you like to work here?  And help take care of Bella and Shadow, along with 12 other rescued horses who call this their "forever home"?  If you might be interested, please send us an email to   We'll email you more info. and ask you some questions that you can answer about yourself.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Our friend Carola Russell has started a Scentsy fundraiser for New Hope Horse Shelter! For every purchase from Carola's Scentsy page (which has things such as wax warmers and essential oil diffusers), she is donating 100% of her commission to the horses here. You can see the event by following this link:
Or see the event details quoted below and use the link at the bottom if you'd like to take a look at what Scentsy has to offer. They even have a few beautiful horse-themed warmers!

"Welcome to the Scentsy Fundraiser for New Hope Horse Shelter. Who doesn't like to have a wonderful smelling house/office or car? Scentsy can help and the products are safe to use around pets! 
If you are new to Scentsy you are in for a treat! We have a variety of warmers and waxes and Essential Oil diffusers all that make your home smell great. We also have laundry and skin care products that are amazing. 
At the end of the fundraiser I (Carola) will be donating 100% of my commission to the group so I hope you find something you love and you will be helping all the wonderful Horse at the Shelter at the same time! 
Feel free to share this event!! I will be posting pictures daily of all the products. Please use this link to shop: "

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Staff Feature: Meet our Intern Sarah Newell

Sarah Newell with her horses Diesel, Uno, and Doc

As you may or may not have heard by now, we have an intern! Hailing from Sioux Falls, 17-year-old Sarah graduated early from Roosevelt High School and started the Livestock Management & Production program at Lake Area Tech in Watertown in the Fall of 2019. This February, she reached out to us about interning at New Hope Horse Shelter.

Prior to joining us, Sarah started volunteering at HorsePower (formerly Handi-Riders) at 9-years-old. In fact, her own three geldings – Diesel, Doc, and Uno – are also resident volunteers in HorsePower’s therapeutic riding program and her mother Shelly has been their head instructor for the last two years. Sarah’s family also includes an 11-year-old brother Caleb who lives with their dad Scott, a 27-year-old sister Alyshia who is in the nursing program at STI, a young nephew Cole (Alyshia’s son), several cats and an Australian Shepherd named Sky. Since becoming horse crazy, she has tried what seems like a little bit of everything – barrel racing, roping, team penning, dressage, and (most recently) jumping.

By now, Sarah’s been with us for about seven weeks, so we decided to sit down with her and chat about her program and what she has learned so far.


Why did you choose Lake Area Tech?

I didn’t want to go to a four-year university, and I pretty much knew since my third semester of the last year of high school that I wanted to go into Lake Area Tech’s Large Animal Tech program, which has been combined with a bunch of other ag and livestock programs to become the Livestock Management & Production program. Right now, it’s pretty much background information. I’m learning about medicines, wound care, hay, bugs… a little bit of everything.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I want to have my own business being a farrier. After this program, I’ll take a 6-12 week farrier course, but with all this background info, I could go into just about anything with horses, cows, sheep, pigs, etc. A friend in Minnesota finished the farrier program this winter and we’ve talked about possibly going into business together down the line.

Tell us more about your internship and its requirements.

There are no strict requirements. It can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid – it just has to be with animals and I have to show up. I’m the only person this year who is doing a horse-specific internship.

Why New Hope Horse Shelter?

I wanted to do something related to horses. A lot of the horse-related stuff is in Minnesota, though, which would have been really expensive since the internship is technically only from March through May. Margaret (Margaret Doom of HorsePower) actually told me to contact Darci (Darci Hortness of New Hope Horse Shelter), and it just worked out. Now I can live with my mom in Sioux Falls and it’s nice to be able to see my dad on the weekends, because he works on the road during the week.

What have you learned since starting your internship?

All this stuff is new, which is nice. It’s a lot of riding and Reining and Parelli stuff. Different ways to do stuff to help with certain things. The other day, Darci taught me some reining maneuvers to help with the Sideways Game [a Parelli game]. It’s cool all the things you can do with Parelli. I was trying to bring in one of the mares the other day and she kept walking away, so I “disengaged” her [a Parelli maneuver] and had her come to me. It’s also cool to be able to work on Parelli with my horses because they’ve never really had much ground work done with them beyond the basics. It makes it challenging. Like, what can I do for them to understand it better? I’m all about the horses. Like, if I fall off, whatever. I’m like, “are you okay” [to the horse]? Which my mom hates.

Do you have a favorite horse you like to work with here?

Probably Spirit. I like Spirit.

Tell us more about your own horses.

I got my Quarter Horse Diesel four years ago from my old lesson instructor at CK. I was riding Diesel in my lessons and my instructor wanted to sell him to buy a new horse, but I said, “You’re not selling him, because I’m going to buy him!” We got Doc [Quarter Horse x Thoroughbred] about a year later as a sort of confidence builder for my mom after she had an accident. Then we got Uno, who is a one-eyed Quarter Horse, about a year ago around Christmas because he was a good horse for HorsePower and I wanted to get another horse, just because.

What is one of your favorite things about horses?

How much you can learn from them. They can teach you a lot.


Thanks so much for reading! We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about our intern Sarah, and we’re excited that she is going to be with us until classes start again in the fall!

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

"Friends of Freddie" Fundraiser

If you follow our Facebook page, you may have already seen that New Hope Horse Shelter is raising money for our feline friend Freddie.

With the uncertainty of everything going on around us at the moment, we’ve held off on this fundraiser for a bit. As a 501c3 non-profit organization, we get little to no income as it is, and have to rely on the generosity of sponsors, donations, and participation in our Horsemanship program. Since our Horsemanship program has been put on hold indefinitely in the interest of keeping everyone safe and healthy, the financial strain is beginning to show and vet bills wait for no one. That’s why we’ve decided to go ahead with Freddie’s fundraiser.

Freddie is one of the many feral cats we have live-trapped over the years. He was de-bugged, vaccinated, and neutered, and now he lives here with the twelve other cats that come and go from our heated garage. They love to go out into the trees (their jungle) to pretend they’re still wild, then come back to the garage for food, warmth, and safety.

Freddie is only about 3 years old. He has a fracture of the head of his femur that the vet says was probably caused from jumping down from a place that was too high up. He can walk but he doesn’t put his full weight on the leg due to pain. The good news is that the vet can perform an FHO, or femoral head ostectomy, which is a surgical procedure to restore pain-free mobility to Freddie’s damaged hip.

So far, his vet bill is already over $600, and the FHO will add close to another $800, so we are hoping to raise $1,400 for Freddie. Please help us relieve Freddie’s pain so he can live out the rest of his natural life as a pampered house kitty. Any small amount is appreciated!

If you'd like to contribute to the "Friends with Freddie" fund, you can click the donate button on the right side of this page, or you can go to our post on Facebook and use the donate link there. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Handing Over the Reins, slowly & gently

What a strange time we are living in right now.

But it is during this strange time that I am finally finding a way to be just a little less necessary around here, to do some stuff that I really used to enjoy doing a lot, to hand over the reins.  Very slowly. Very gently.  Just the way the horses like us to handle the reins.  

For the last few years I have been trying to make myself "unnecessary" around here.  And I have failed miserably.  Part of the problem is that it is hard for me to let go of something that I have been doing for sooooooooo long.  It is hard for me to trust others with the care of these rescued horses.  Greg and I personally, physically rescued most of these horses from starvation.  I mean, we (at the request of law enforcement) went and got them out of their bad place and put them into our trailer to take to a good place.  In most cases, we brought them back to health and in some cases we brought them back to life, pretty much.  For so long they have been my first responsibility when I get up and my last responsibility before I go to bed. I love taking care of them. I love them.  So that has been a part of the problem, as far as why it's been so hard to make myself unnecessary here.

Another huge part of the problem is that it has been really really hard to find reliable helpers to get all of the chore shifts covered.  If I'm going to be gone, we have to have some people around here that can clean a hoof, know what to do if colic happens, be able to do meds, special feeding plans, know which horses can be turned out with which other horses, know all of the horses and everything about them.  It's much more than cleaning stalls and filling water buckets.  From time to time we have had some really good volunteers.  And we certainly welcome really good volunteers.  But a really good volunteer for us, for the horses, is someone with horse experience, who doesn't have to be supervised once they are taught, who can hold a regular schedule hopefully at least 2 shifts a week, who considers this volunteer opportunity one of the most precious privileges in the world, and doesn't just show up when there is nothing else to do, and who wants to do this forever (or at least for many years).  And that's pretty dang hard to find, volunteers like that.  We used to be able to hire neighbor kids to come over on the weekends and after school and pay them 6 bucks an hour and they were happy to have the job.  Now, of course,  we have to pay a lot more than that!!!  And the horses are getting older and have more and more special needs, special feeding programs, meds, etc.  So now our paid employees get paid a lot more than they used to.  and even at that, I could tell you some unbelieveable stories about some of the employees who didn't quite work out here.

But now, for the first time in a long, long time, probably close to 15 years, I feel like I can start to hand over the reins a little bit at a time.  We have really good helpers here now.  We have Heidi and Kyrstin.  Kyrstin is going to help with some of our communications like facebook, this webblog, etc.  So you will be noticing some changes on here soon.  Kyrstin used to hang out here when she was in high school.  But then she graduated, went to college, got married, went to film school, lived in Hollywood, and I don't even know where all she has been.  But now, more than 10 years later, she's back!!!!  Heidi has been here for more than 10 years but mostly on the weekends as she is a full-time Vet Tech in town.  

So, little by little, I am finally making myself a little bit unnecessary around here.  I have even gone away overnight a few times this year.  Most of you will think this very odd, but I hadn't spent a night away from home for many many many years before this year.  Because I couldn't.  Because of all of  the animals that we take care of here.  And also because I don't really like being away from home.  I love being here with the animals.

It's just that , you know when people get a certain age and we start saying, "you know, I ain't getting any younger,"  well, that's where I'm at.  And there are some things that I used to do that I want to do again.  One of them is Reining!  So, once we got our chore shifts covered here and once I could let go of some of the horse care responsibilities here, I went in search of a Reining horse.  I wanted one already trained, because I was hoping to be able to show right away this year.  So, I went with a trainer  on my first trip away from home in I don't really know how many years,  a 5-day trip to Texas & Oklahoma.  And I bought Melody.   I ordered a new saddle, renewed my NRHA & AQHA memberships, got a new show bridle, show blanket, show shirts, chaps, a new hat, etc. etc.  Had the first show picked out.

and then you know what happened.  The virus.

Now there are no shows scheduled.  I don't want to stay overnight anywhere.  I don't really want to go anywhere.  How quickly life can change.  How quickly our plans and goals can seem like failures.  But of course they really aren't.  Things will get better.  We're just not sure when.  But when they do, I'll be ready!

What a strange time we are living in right now.

But it is during this strange time that I am finally finding a way to be just a little less necessary around here, to do some stuff that I really used to enjoy doing a lot, to hand over the reins.  Very slowly. Very gently.  Just the way the horses like us to handle the reins.