Equine Rescue

Habitat for Horses – Tabitha’s Story

by Jerry Finch, President/Founder Habitat for Horses


She stood by the fence looking scared and lonely. Her bone thin body held no warmth to protect her against the chilly breeze that whipped across the muddy, weed-filled pasture, making her shiver even harder. She was slowly dying of starvation.

As we pulled the Habitat for Horses truck up next to the road, she made a weak effort to whinny to us, hoping, no doubt, that we had feed or hay. She had gone so long without, but she still hoped that some human would care enough to help her.

We had received the call that morning, a hesitant child’s voice telling us about her horse. “My daddy left a few months ago and mom lost her job. We don’t have enough money to feed her anymore. Mom has to pay the rent or we’re going to be evicted.”

“Is your mom willing to sign the horse over to us?”

“She wanted to sell Tabitha,” the young girl said. I could hear the trembling in her voice as she continued. “No one wants an old horse, and she’s my friend, my only friend. I asked mom to wait, but things are only getting worse and I’m killing her by holding on.” The tears flowed, and I let them. She knew her horse needed help and that she could no longer afford her.

We visited with her mother, made the arrangements, and now we were here to pick Tabitha up and bring her to the ranch.
Tabitha 2

This year we’ll help rescue 600 horses from starvation. Habitat for Horses is one of the largest equine sanctuaries and rescues in the US, with over 80 equine at our ranch in Texas and hundred or more in our foster homes. We do our best to rehabilitate them and find them new homes. The calls come from law enforcement, from neighbors, and often from the owners who know their horses are in serious trouble. In Tabitha’s case, it was her owner.

“I’m scared,” the mother told us. “I’m really scared. Tabitha doesn’t understand, and my daughter loves her so much, but we have no money and the poor horse is starving. Do you think you can help us?”

We sat there for twenty minutes as the mother’s story tumbled out in a torrent of confusion and tears. Taking Tabitha into our sanctuary was only part of our job. Listening and helping her owners is another part, one that is very necessary.  Our hope is that the family will financially recover and that the daughter will find the love she is losing in another horse.

I know Tabitha’s story sounds incredible, almost too incredible to be true. But it’s a story far too often repeated. As you read this letter, hundreds of families are struggling to make the same decision, while a once great horse stands at the fence, alone, hungry, tired, and scared.

Will you help us rescue another horse

Please. Will you help us rescue another innocent horse?

You see, by donating what you can to Habitat for Horses today, you can give horses like Tabitha a new life. Thanks to you our volunteers will be able to respond to the phone calls and reach out to those families in trouble.

Please pray for them and all of these suffering horses. If you could send even a small gift to help the horses, I’d really appreciate it. It’s been tough lately making ends meet. A gift from you right now would be a wonderful answer to our prayers.

Thank you, in advance, for your generous assistance.


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4 replies »

  1. When I can’t send money i feel bad. I can’t get to roundups cause we finally are renting a place to live and we get to move out of the little trailer after an entire year. But, we are renting a place where we have 2 small pastures, a little 2 story barn; hay up top and open shelter beneath and a shed; wood stove in a little house on a high meadow beneath the Sangre de Christos. Adopting a couple horses will be possible and that should make my life a magical thing again. There are so many horses that need us, wild and domestic. Doing what we can, when we can makes a difference. I think we all make a difference and together we can make changes that will last and that there will always be someone for the sweet Tabitha’s of the world. mar

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mar,

      I hope you will have horses in your life again soon. Your home sounds very snug and lovely, for people and an extended equine family.


      • Can’t wait, Morgan. The cats, Ernest and Hemingway, will be surprised. We all need space. Hope I will not be off line long. May have to drive to town for a bit to find a hot spot. The choices in horses available to adopt is so diverse depending upon how far I go to find one along the Rockies. Must take time to consider…. mar


  2. Thank you for your equine rescue operation. Your work is rewarding, I know from experience. Thanks for making donations easy to do. Just click a button or make a quick call.

    This a beautiful article based on a troubling crisis being repeated all over America. Thanks for sharing this families’ story. I am deeply sorry for both parties involved – the family & the horse. I hope and pray rescue comes for the Mom and daughter too, ASAP. That young girl showed courage & strength beyond her years.

    This story just reinforces the fact that most owners will do everything in their power to care for their animals, including the sacrifice of surrendering their pets to a better home when all options have run out. This story nullifies the myth about equine slaughter being a ‘neccesary evil’ in America.

    Liked by 1 person

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