On March 1, 2009, in a rare South Georgia sleet and snowstorm, DCFHR
volunteers picked up a pitifully starved skeleton of a horse,
Click here to read his story.
Work Day at DCFHR
become a member of Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue
Apache puts up with a lot of "loving" from Fee Shang. Horses aren't the
only creatures rescued by Dancing Cloud Farm. Our hearts are open to
many animals who come here. (click on the picture for a
Hearts4Horses - Where our
goal is to help create a world where every horse is in the care of a
pony foal and his mother were brought to Dancing Cloud Farm in November
2011. For the first two weeks that the foal was at DCFHR, we feared the
little fellow wouldn’t make it. His mother was starved, wasn't
producing milk. Sixteen days
after their rescue, the little foal flew around the barn in a full out
gallop, full of life and spirit. That’s our paycheck! And
that is a better “thank you” to our supporters than our words could ever
Two of last fall's rescues, "Nick"
and "Daisy" (registered name "Every Detail") will be leaving in the next
week for their new homes in Tennessee. We have heard the saying, “Where
God closes a door, He opens a window.” DCFHR’s version: “When God
places a horse in a new home, He is making room for another.” And here
she is, DCFHR’s newest patient. Two things for sure: (1) She arrived
not a moment too soon; (2) she’s in the right place now.
Last summer she was beautiful,
we've been told. Someone bought her from a backyard breeder who had
kept the mare with a stud. The new owner soon moved to another state
for work and left this mare with his cows. She starved. In December,
someone who was checking up on the cows saw a weak foal trying to stand
by the mare's side. Because of the mare's starved condition, the foal
was born starved and died shortly after. With no other horses around
and no food, this mare continued to decline. She was probably depressed
in addition to starved. But, thanks to our supporters we were able to
say “yes” when asked if we could help. The mare is here now, and life
is going to immediately improve for her. We've named the horse "Shelby"
after the character on Steel Magnolias.
Take a good look at our (your!)
newest rescue. The work has begun.
We at Dancing Cloud Farm Horse
Rescue, Inc., want to thank everyone who has supported us over the past
five and a half years. Because of you, we have been able to save the
lives of over 200 horses, ponies, and donkeys that have come through our
pastures, many of those in desperate need of help. We wish you
could be with us from start to finish when a horse arrives – from seeing
the hopelessness and fear in the eyes of a starved, neglected horse
change to hope and health and beauty, and then when that horse steps off
the trailer at its new home, and the smiles and happiness seen on the
faces of the new owners. It’s an amazing and rewarding experience.
DCFHR, Inc., began in July 2008,
when thirteen starved horses (read
Miracle’s story HERE) were brought to DCFHR. We remember each of
the horses that arrived here, and in going back through our photographs,
came across “Sundance.” His story has been repeated so many times in
the lives of other horses brought to DCFHR, but Sundance has a special
place in our hearts because he was the first of many desperately starved
horses that we have rescued. We were shocked at his condition, scared
he wasn’t going to make it, had many people tell us we were crazy to
even attempt saving this horse’s life. Now, five years later, we are
experienced at saving a starved horse’s life. We aren’t perfect, and we
are far from being veterinary experts, but we have confidence that has
come from experience; we have a strong supportive help backing us; we
know what it takes to get the job done; we know the steps; we know what
to watch for; and we have inner strength and knowledge that we didn’t
have when Sundance came to us.
It is important that we tell
Sundance’s story again simply because he became a textbook lesson in How
to Rescue a Starved Horse:
March 1, 2009: As we have
found many times, when someone calls us about a horse “in bad shape,”
that can mean anything from a little bit skinny to barely alive. The
day that one of DCFHR’s volunteers went to look at this horse we named
“Sundance,” our area of southwest Georgia was having dangerous
thunderstorms as an arctic front moved in. The volunteer picked her way
through a junkyard where the horse “lived” and called back to say: NO
TIME TO LOSE -- WE MUST GET THIS HORSE NOW.
temperature seemed to drop by the minute as late winter rains turned to
heavy sleet. As we arrived at the place where the horse was, big
snowflakes were swirling in the icy wind. From the truck we could see
the pitifully thin hindquarters of a horse sticking out from under a
partial shed where it was trying to find shelter; one of the volunteers
asked, in shock, “Is that a horse?”
What should have been a beautiful
palomino stallion was instead a horse’s skeleton covered in wormy winter
hair, standing in four inches of icy water that was running down the
hillside and through the only piece of shelter he could find to protect
himself from the wind and sleet. He followed willingly as we led him
out and was so light we could almost lift his skeletal body into the
trailer; there, we covered him in a warm fleece stable blanket and
layered over that a heavier blanket. Although the blankets were the
smallest we had, he was so starved that they hung to his knees and gaped
at the chest, allowing cold air in. He was so weak that he was wobbling
as he stood; we weren’t sure he would make the trip to DCFHR without
collapsing on the trailer floor.
A starved horse
needs protection from the weather and from other horses who will pick on
him and ostracize him because he’s the weakest of the herd; in the
natural horse world, this is the equivalent of a herd cutting out the
sick and the lame for the wolves and mountain lions to attack. Horses
are herd animals; to them, to be alone means they are a dead horse. For
the first three days that Sundance was at DCFHR, he lived on the
four-horse trailer which was parked next to a barn that blocked the
bitterly cold north and west winds. Being kept in the trailer protected
Sundance from the icy winds; he had absolutely no body fat to protect
him. Sundance is a small horse, so when the trailer stall dividers
were completely opened up, he had plenty of space to move. He could
hear and see other horses, so he knew he wasn’t alone. For the first
two days, we weren’t sure if he was going to survive. Although he ate
and drank, he showed very little life. We fed him every two hours,
about a cup at a time, to get his digestive system started again. By
Day Three, Sundance was showing life, strength, and an interest in what
was going on. We eased in a little more feed, a little more hay. On
Day Four, he met us at the trailer door with his head up, ears forward
and a, “Get me outta here!” whinny!
Sundance stayed with us a year,
was trained, became a gelding, and was adopted. He is now a beautiful
little palomino trail horse and lives in Lee County, Georgia.
Here’s to you, Sundance, on the
fifth anniversary of your rescue! Many thanks for showing us that
it can be done. A piece of our heart will always be with you.
Click here to read more about Sundance
DCFHR extends a great big
to our faithful supporter,
JEFFERS EQUINE who continues to provide much-needed assistance
in our efforts to care for the tremendous needs of the many horses at
a great gift for a friend, yourself or DCFHR!
Visit any of the following
links to purchase:
Please be assured that all
donations are kept confidential and that
your email addresses and
personal information will
never be shared or sold to any organization or business
to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can
show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now,
and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
William Penn (1644-1718)
Founder Of Pennsylvania, United States
An agonizing moment at
During a rescue, one
of the first horses led out from an almost pitch-black stall was this
older soul. People were shocked at his skeletal condition as he
walked into the sunlight, blinking at the sudden bright light after days
in that darkened barn. He stood and looked at all the activity –
the trailers lined up, all the people, he listened to the hushed tones,
and he stood quietly as we measured and photographed him. Then he
willingly stepped onto the first trailer leaving for DCFHR for his ride
older horse was so far down that he couldn’t be saved. For twelve
days after his arrival at DCFHR, he received care, sunlight, fresh hay,
good feed, TLC, respect, a clean stall, kind words, loving touches.
On Saturday, March 3, he collapsed and could not get up. For three
hours DCFHR volunteers tried everything to get him up, but he was too
weak from starvation. The look in his eyes told us he was ready to
let go, that he was too tired. Tornado weather was approaching and
the rains poured down. It was an agonizing morning at DCFHR.
We know, and the vet
agreed, that the horse had been too starved for too long to recover.
Dr. Mary Rogers of Red Hills Equine Veterinary Services, drove through
the worst of the weather, in a tremendous thunderstorm, at 25 mph with
the flashers on to come to the farm to take care of this horse. It
was a terrible time for all of us because we were helpless and this
horse was so pitiful. He left us gently, but the day was much, much
darker and sadder. We were all angry that this horse had not been
given the senior care that he had needed to finish out his life in a
We are posting the
photos of this horse’s final moments for one reason: that he did
not die in vain, that we will all be motivated to DO SOMETHING when we
see animals suffering. No animal, horse or otherwise, should ever
be neglected the way that this horse had been. We encourage
everyone to get help for animals in need, just like the concerned
citizen did when Shasta was discovered and brought to DCFHR. We
were able to save Shasta; our hearts broke when we couldn’t do the same
for this horse.
Dancing Cloud Farm
Horse Rescue, Inc., (DCFHR)
, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in July, 2008 when thirteen
starved and neglected horses were rescued and brought to our farm.
Before this rescue, we had taken in eight previous rescues, brought to
us by owners who could no longer afford to keep their horses or by
people who rescued the horses themselves but had no place to keep them.
With our world's economy in trouble and with the number of home
foreclosures, horses and other animals are being abandoned in great
numbers; we saw the need for a horse rescue and sanctuary in South
Georgia and committed ourselves to using our farm to help horses.
A group of horse lovers joined together to create Dancing Cloud Farm
Horse Rescue, Inc. We are funded totally by donations of feed,
hay, and finances.
Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc., began, over 200 horses have come
Requirements for adoption: Please read the information
contained in the
"The basics on adopting a rescued horse
from Dancing Cloud Farm Horse Rescue, Inc." DCFHR requires
that anyone interested in adopting a horse will need these items:
two reference letters, preferably from your large animal vet and your
farrier, stating that you are a responsible animal owner and can afford
to take care of the horse; potential adopter must fill out the
Foster/Adoption Form. DCFHR will make a site visit and
interview the person/family interested in the horse; each horse has an
adoption fee that pays DCFHR back for much of the expenses we have
invested in that horse.
After searching for weeks for a
walking horse, a friend of ours contacted an Alabama horse trader who
arrived with six horses for us to look at crammed in a stock trailer.
The first three horses he unloaded were “already sold,” he explained,
but he wanted us to look at horses #4 and #6. But when he unloaded horse
#5, we were shocked to the innermost. A frightened, emaciated skeleton
of a walking horse stepped off the trailer, its beauty, dignity, and
majestic step intact. While the other horses stood tied to the trailer,
heads down, eyes lifeless, and the horse trader spoke about the
qualities of horses #4 and #6, our eyes were locked on that poor horse
#5 and he stared at us. Something in his eyes locked into something deep
within us, pleading with us for help. We don’t even remember what the
horse trader said about the other horses; we just stared in disbelief
that anyone could abuse and neglect a horse like they had horse #5. It
wasn’t the horse trader’s fault -- he had just picked up the horse that
morning and was taking it to auction to sell for dog food. To the total
surprise and dismay of the horse trader, we bought that skeleton of a
walking horse and never regretted that decision. We named the horse “Sir
Lancelot,” giving him a knight’s name befitting his courage and spirit.
“Lance” came to us with thick, heavy walking shoes and scars on his legs
where chains had rubbed him raw; every rib showed; his chest was maybe
10 inches wide; every vertebrae showed. It took months of feeding and
care to get even a little weight on him, and it took two years to
restore him to the sleek black majestic animal he should have been all
along. Sir Lancelot served us faithfully, patiently teaching adults and
children how to ride. Our hearts broke the day seven years later he had
to be put down because of colic. Because of his courage, his
faithfulness, and the many hours of service he gave to us, Sir Lancelot
stands as the standard of what a horse rescue is all about. Rest in
peace, our good and faithful friend, and thank you for showing us the
In The Library
you will find articles, essays, poetry, etc. that we believe you will
enjoy. You will also be able to submit comments about the featured
article if you wish.
With your help, we can make a positive difference in our world.
One morning after everyone
had been fed, Jewel the pony disappeared. We looked all over for her.
And this is where we found her -- deep in the fig tree, enjoying every
ripe fig within her reach.
Visit us on
FACEBOOK and join our page:
I Saved Your Horse
Click the picture to
view our location
Just a note: We are frequently asked what the name “Ochlocknee” means
as people stumble over its pronunciation. Ochlocknee (oh-clock-knee) is
the Creek Indian word for “crooked waters.” The Ochlocknee River begins
near Albany, Georgia, and winds its way through South Georgia and North
Florida on its way to the Gulf of Mexico. It provided a major trading
route for Indians of this area. So now you know!
Horse in a Cage
Click here to read this story
One mouthful of this plant can kill your horse.
Read our article.
Click on the icon below to
see how DCFHR has gone green!
Click the picture above to see
Gus enjoying his new home.
Need a laugh?Click
here for an unbelievable horse video
(horse is not from DCFHR)
Hero is coming home!
Read his amazing story!
Click here to read
Click here to see more
pictures of this amazing little horse.
Golden Brothers Feed
For excellent equine care, click
here to visit
Hodges Veterinary Hospital & Pet Motel