Phyllis Elliot grew up on a farm, her family always willing to help horses that needed a home. However, it was the story of one particular horse that fueled her passion to rescue horses. As a little girl, Phyllis had a fascination with the story of Snowman, the plow horse rescued from slaughter for $80 that became a show jumping champion. These two things stayed with Phyllis as she grew and her desire to always do more grew with her.
“After thinking about it for years, not knowing how to proceed I stumbled upon gofundme. So I wrote a story,” says Phyllis. Phyllis and her daughter, Jessica Grace Elliott, used the money she raised to purchase four minis and four ponies at their first sale. “We had homes for all but two before we even got them back home,” recalls Phyllis. In the fall of 2015, following their continued success, the women obtained their non-profit status and Hidden Pond Farm Equine Rescue was official.
All of the horses at Hidden Pond Farm come from auctions or kill pens, where they face imminent slaughter. “We take the horses that no one wanted, that we know nothing about, with no past owner to speak of,” says Phyllis. This blank slate means that each horse really does get to start over. As many of them are severely malnourished, nutrition is of primary importance. “We work closely with our vet and food reps for the best possible plan to safely rehabilitate them to proper weight,” says Phyllis. Jessica is a professional trainer and works tirelessly to acclimate and educate the horses as they train at Hidden Pond Farm.
Most of the volunteers at Hidden Pond Farm are children and they bring a unique joy to the work being done here. One of these special volunteers was an eight year old girl who arrived at Hidden Pond Farm with her mother, who’d heard that both horses and children thrived here. The young girl had a severe learning disability, was very shy, withdrawn and had no friends. She started taking one riding lesson a week and eventually moved up to two. “Hidden Pond Farm seemed to fill her emotional tank. She would come before school to help feed the horses, setting her up for a positive day, as school was very difficult for her,” says Phyllis. That little girl is now 13 and according to Phyllis, “she can run this farm like a pro! She knows all the horses, their feed and their medical treatments. She has confidence, communicates with her peers and now has many friends.”
Watching both the horses and the children at Hidden Pond Farm blossom, no matter their circumstances, is the greatest success that Phyllis and Jessica could ask for. Use the information below to learn more about Hidden Pond Farm and donate to help fuel their rescue missions to auctions around New England.
Hidden Pond Farm Equine Rescue
Brentwood, New Hampshire
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: