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
We often hear, "All that a horse needs is groceries," and
that's not so. Horses that are starved require much more
attention, care, and expense than healthy horses.
are starved have different personalities than healthy horses; because
these horses know that they are weaker, they stay away from the herd to
protect themselves. In addition, the herd dynamic is to ostracize the
weaker horses. Because of these two things, horses that are starved
require not only nutrition but protection.
DCFHR has been asked to take in five critically starved horses.
Veterinarians rank horses on a Body Condition Score of 1-9, with a "9"
being a morbidly obese horse (which causes deadly health issues); a
"4-5" is a horse in good flesh and health; and a "1" is a horse at
death's door because of starvation. DCFHR has cared for many horses
with a BCS 1 or below. Of the five horses we took in recently, three
were a BCS 1, and all three would not have survived more than another 48
hours. All were starved because of carelessness and neglect. Here are
their stories, as much as we know:
arrived at DCFHR on 25 November. The story we were told is that his
owners divorced; the horse was left at the house all through the summer
with absolutely no care. Because we had a rainy summer, Tucker found
rainwater in the dirty trough. Another person took Tucker but did not
give him the care he needed, and he came to us critically starved.
Because he has no fatty reserves and very little strength, he most
certainly would not have survived the icy cold rainy weather that came
to our area over the next three days. Tucker's body was already
shutting down when he arrived; the telltale sign was diarrhea. We kept
Tucker inside a shelter, double-blanketed. He has been given soaked
alfalfa cubes and soaked feed several times a day, and is now eating
heartily. We will have his teeth floated soon. If you have donated to
DCFHR recently, this is one of the horses you saved.
"Nick," a wonderful 20+ year old Arab gelding. Nick's owners died, and
when the property was prepared for sale, Nick and a donkey were found in
a pasture. Nick was a BCS 1 and has improved dramatically in the two
months he has been at DCFHR. We are looking for a retirement home for
Nick, who requires special senior care. He has lost all of his chewing
teeth in the back, so Nick must have plenty of equine senior feed in
order to get his hay intake. He cannot chew hay. We are feeding Nick
soaked alfalfa cubes and beet pulp, and equine senior. Nick has plenty
of his Arab fire and makes a beautiful sight! He nickers to us when we
go into the pasture, is alert and eager, and responds/communicates with
us constantly. This horse has a wonderful personality, novices, and is
two photos of Nick, taken six weeks apart... THANK YOU for helping us
save this beautiful old gentleman!
"Every Detail" is a registered 11-year-old
quarter horse mare that arrived at DCFHR on 25 November, a BCS 2.
"Detail" has a heavy winter coat which camouflages the seriously starved
condition she is in. One of the MUSTS when examining a horse in winter
is that we put our hands on the horse; only then can its true condition
"shelf" appears above the rib cage, the horse is critically starved; the
"shelf" usually appears when the horse is at a BCS 2.5. From that point
on, time is of the essence in getting help for that animal.
Other than a
stifle problem that prevents her from being used hunter/jumper or used
in competitive riding, "Detail" seems healthy. We will have her teeth
floated so that she can better chew hay. She has responded beautifully
to care, is responsive and tells us she is genuinely grateful. She will
be a strong and beautiful mare by springtime. We are looking for a
forever home for "Detail" right now.
"Layla" and "Dude" arrived at DCFHR 30
October; Dude, only about 9 months old, was so weak that he was able to
make the trailer ride only because of adrenaline. He had absolutely no
strength to stand, much less walk. Immediately after his arrival, poor
Dude went down. We cared for him like he was a helpless baby, which he
was. Layla stayed nearby but didn't interfere or act dangerously
protective of Dude, even though she didn't know us. She nickered
encouragement to Dude.
cease to be amazed at these horses that come to DCFHR. Although they
are in a new environment, have probably not been handled in awhile, have
definitely not been cared for in months, they sense that they are in a
safe place and they cooperate. Seeing them respond to us, hearing them
nicker a welcoming "Hey, it's good to see you! Where's the food?",
watching them doze as they enjoy a good brushing, and seeing them go
from hopeless skeletons to vibrant, beautiful animals once again is our
pay. We wish you were here to experience these changes; it's a
Layla did not show much improvement, which tells us that her internal
organs were much more starved than her emaciated outside condition
showed. When an animal starves, it starves from the outside in,
diverting nutrition away from skin and hair and sending it to the vital
organs. As a horse recovers from starvation, its body reverses the
process and rebuilds itself from the inside out. Layla is a perfect
example of that. After about two weeks, suddenly we noticed a change,
and now she is filling out rapidly. We will begin riding her on trails
soon, gradually building up her muscle tone.
colt, Dude, is another story. For the first couple of days, Dude
stayed down, but rolled himself over regularly. This took ALL of his
strength. Beginning the third day, volunteers went out every morning
and helped him to his feet. He would stand, wobbly, and walk some, but
this absolutely exhausted him. We could tell he was gaining weight
simply because he got heavier and heavier to lift to his feet. On the
tenth day, Dude stood up by himself and his recovery really picked up
speed during the fourth week he was here.
gaited (racks), a spotted walking horse; Layla is not gaited.
looking for permanent homes for both Layla and Dude. Once Dude gains
enough strength, he will be part of our Green Bananas herd until he's
mature enough to be trained. We will work with him on standing tied,
standing for the farrier, halter lead and tie, and trailering.
above is Layla
Pictured below is Dude
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.
Cheyenne gave birth to little "Lincoln" just
five days after her rescue. Notice her body condition. This
photo was taken 7 days after her rescue; she had been eating well for 7
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, FORTY-SEVEN horses have come
through DCFHR. Of those, thirty-five have found new homes; we have
several who are still waiting for homes; and one (Lil’ Richard, aka
General Lee) is now a lifetime member of the Old Geezers Club at DCFHR
where he will live out his days as a retiree. In addition, three
horses and one donkey went from “old owner to new owner” without having
to come to DCFHR because we were able to match them through our database
files. Five horses had to be put down because of health
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