Currently the farm is home to more than 30 horses and an assortment of other animals and poultry. We often find ourselves helping all manner of creature, large and small. The property itself is 92 acres with a mixture of pasture, woods, streams, ponds and wetlands. We are blessed with an incredible diversity of wildlife including herons, red tailed hawks, fox, mink, deer and wild turkeys. We are flanked by both private farmland and preserved parks. The land around us is still mainly rural, with many working dairy farms.
At the sanctuary we manage our horses both in herd environments and in barns. Those residents that are ill, elderly or in training spend their time turned out daily and in stalls overnight. Others live outside on pasture with run-in sheds. Most do well in a full time turnout situation. To help with the icy, cold NY winters we blanket our herds from November to April and provide hay 24/7.
The horses in training are provided with daily handling and are brought along in a steady manner. All of the auction saves have an evaluation, both under tack and on the ground. If they need specific work, we start them on a schedule of daily work to get them ready for adoption. Those with behavior issues, or soundness problems that cannot be resolved are assimilated into the sanctuary herd.
Our backgrounds are quite varied and our staff brings years of experience to the work we do, from breaking and starting babies to schooling FEI dressage horses. Polo ponies are a special niche and we understand their unique needs. Prior to the farm becoming a sanctuary it was a Sporthorse Rehabilitation center. We cared for horses coming off of surgery or injury and used a specific skill set to return them to the show ring.
We have spent years formally educated under both FEI and Olympic riders in dressage. Early years were spent with Hunter/Jumpers on the East Coast A Circuit. Co-Founder Beth Hyman also brings a polo background and still plays arena polo during the winter when her schedule allows. We have each done some natural horsemanship work, but we do not follow any specific method. Our training is about trust and respect. Each rescue is given the opportunity to grow and bloom under our care. We use praise and reward while working toward a solid relationship with each animal, whether it be a 2000lb steer or a 300lb mini horse. Our horses know we provide them with a safe space and they come around in a remarkably short period of time. Rarely do we find a rescue that cannot be rehabilitated.