Howey Horse Haven Rescue started with two little heads poking through a fence trying desperately to find food. Teresa Meixner just couldn’t resist those big sad eyes when driving past that fence any longer. “You can’t look at suffering like that and do nothing,” she says. Those two abandoned miniature horses became the catalyst for opening HHHR on May 13, 2013. Having rescued 57 horses to date, Teresa never has to look far to find her first pair. Bocephus and Walktosha remain a part of the herd at HHHR and spend their days welcoming their new friends to their home.
This story is not out of the ordinary, most of the equines at HHHR arrive extremely undernourished and emaciated. Therefore the refeeding process must be done with extreme patience. They must be fed very slowly and be allowed time to acclimate, or their body can go into shock.
Many of HHHR’s rescues were taken care of at some point and this prior learning helps make training them at HHHR much easier. This also helps with finding forever homes, as rideable horses to tend to be adopted much more quickly.
The most challenging work for the staff at HHHR often lies with the miniature horses. “Some have come to us untouched, without vet or farrier visits, for years,” says Katie Pierce, VP of Public Relations and Marketing at HHHR. Due to this type of neglect, earning their trust is at the forefront of their rehabilitation, everything else can only build on that solid foundation.
Howey Horse Haven Rescue is not only a haven for the animals, it is also a haven for its volunteers, as Katie’s personal experience illustrates. Although Katie and her father lost their house just months before her high school graduation, she was determined to stay and see her education through. She began volunteering at HHHR to accrue hours toward qualification for the Floridas’s Bright Future Scholarship. “Teresa became my momma very quickly and I leaned heavily on her. She gave me a home and a family, I don’t know where I would have ended up without them,” Katie remembers. Teresa and Scout, Katie’s favorite horse at the rescue, helped Katie feel that she could face any of the ups and downs that life threw at her. “At HHHR I have a home that I can trust, they are my family.”
Katie knows that she is not the only one that feels this way. Seeing the relief in the eyes of those at HHHR, both horses and humans, is something they consider one of their greatest successes. “The people and horses provide each other with much needed therapy in a way that allows us to be open and comfortable,” says Katie.
Please use the information below to find out how you can contribute or become a part of the family at HHHR. Also follow them on social media to find out when a horse from their family is ready to become a member of yours.
Howey Horse Haven Rescue
Howey in the Hills, Florida
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: