Freedom Hill Horse Rescue was formed in 2006 as an organization committed to saving neglected, abused or unwanted horses that are typically difficult to adopt. These are often older or injured horses, some with chronic diseases. According to FHHR staff, “Because most cannot be ridden or medical treatment is beyond the reach of many people, these gentle souls often find themselves at auction or on a trailer to a slaughterhouse. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
Since its inception, FHHR has proudly helped over 300 horses. “Older, injured and well-managed horses still have a lot of love of give and deserve to live a life with dignity and compassion,” says FHHR. Many of the sanctuary horses go on to participate in their equine assisted learning programs. They are able to help individuals, youth and families with a variety of learning and human development goals. “These gentle giants help facilitate skills such as teamwork, leadership skills, goal setting, conflict resolution and self-confidence,” says FHHR staff.
FHHR knows that their mission encompasses more than just caring for horses, which is why community involvement is equally important. With that goal in mind, FHHR has been awarded the designation of Horse Discovery Center through the Maryland Horse Industry Board. The goal of the program is to create a network of certified facilities and organizations to educate the public about the horse industry in Maryland. FHHR hosts a variety of programs geared toward individuals wanting to learn more about the horse world at various levels.
While these programs work to reach a wide variety of individuals, sometimes the greatest moments of understanding and connection at FHHR arrive unexpectedly in the smallest packages. Such was the experience for Ella, a 9-year old volunteer that arrived at FHHR with her mother Renee. The pair had worked around Blue, a gentle, personable boy before, but for some reason that morning was different. “He backed away, snorting and throwing his head with fearful eyes,” say Renee. She told Ella to give him his space and continued their work with Ella chattering away. Suddenly Ella went silent and Blue snorted.
“I spun around, ready to rush to the rescue, but stopped short. Ella had stretched her polka-dotted gloved hands straight out in front of her and was standing perfectly still, talking to Blue in a quiet voice that barely reached my ears. He stood with his big head outstretched, ears back, sniffing at her gloves. That was it – he wasn’t sure about her gloves,” remembers Renee. Ella waited patiently until Blue walked up and let Ella stroke his nose. She kept whispering, ever so slowly getting closer, until her tiny forehead rested against his nose. As Renee recounts, “Finally, she looked up with a smile even bigger than mine and said, “See, mom, you don’t have to be nervous. He’s the one who was nervous! He’s so big, but he was afraid of my gloves!”
Use the information below to see how you can help the horses at FHHR, whether through donation, sponsorship or volunteering. Every dollar and minute given is appreciated.
Freedom Hill Horse Rescue
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: