Buddy is our playful, goofy, gentle, Spotted Saddle Horse. After suffering abuse and neglect by those who were supposed to care for him, Buddy is happy to finally be able to trust people and to love and be loved on!
As a young horse, Buddy was severely neglected and starved almost to the point of death. Thankfully, the Humane Society intervened and boarded him at a stable. The cost of boarding, however, quickly became too expensive and plans were made to euthanize him. A kind lady who rescues dogs stepped in and saved his life. Even though she did not know much about horses, she had a large field and a barn on her property where Buddy could live until he found his forever home. Happy Tails Rescue sponsored his care, while the kind lady gave him a temporary home.
Our first visit out to meet Buddy was love at first sight! Although he was extremely scared and mostly untouchable, we could see in his eyes that he had a sweet and gentle soul that wanted to trust people so badly, despite being abused and not properly handled for the first several years of his life. Although Agape Acres was still a dream and still in the planning stages at the time we acquired Buddy, Happy Tails Rescue donated him to our family with the hopes of him being used to bring much joy to people through Agape Acres in the future. We are proud to say, Buddy has made a complete recovery from his difficult past and now enjoys trusting humans and getting attention from them. He is the most playful of our herd, and on most days we find him instigating “playtime” at some point, which involves initiating some fun running and jumping around in the horse lot, and the fun kind of bucks and rears, too!
Buddy is a blessing to Agape Acres and a gift to all who get to know him! We are forever grateful to all who stepped in to save this sweet horse and care for him, and especially the kind lady, and Happy Tails Rescue, and their donor support that brought him to us!!
Copper is our stoic chestnut pony. After healing from the pain of repeated laminitis and foundering, he is now enjoying life without pain and is able to move about freely. He loves playing with his best bud, "Buddy." He is a handsome boy and has a charming personality to match his good looks.
Cooper’s most early history is unknown, but he ended up in the auction circuit and was eventually purchased to be used as a lead line pony. This owner quickly learned that the grass he was on in her pasture was causing him to have repeated issues with laminitis (painful swelling and inflammation in the hooves). The high sugar content in the fresh grass was unhealthy and hurting him. She had high hopes for Copper, but her farm wasn’t set up structurally or monetarily to separate him from the herd and provide him with hay instead of grass to alleviate his symptoms of laminitis. After several years, the laminitis became so severe that he foundered (the bones in his hooves shifted and caused extreme pain and severe lameness). Copper could barely walk and laid down a lot because of the pain. His owner was making calls to have him euthanized when miraculously he began to show some improvement. He was walking again, but she now realized he needed a special kind of home that could give him the right care and diet (hay), and that would love him even if he could never recover to the point of being able to be ridden.
Our farm was designed as large dry lots (areas as large as a pasture but without the grass). With this environment we could help horses and ponies that need special care and diet, we could help equines who require hay (instead of the grass which most farms rely on). We were happy to be the special home that Copper needed. After talks with the vet and farrier, we were hopeful that Copper could be comfortable here and possibly even make a full recovery. Copper has done so well that he is currently in training and learning to have independent riders steering him from the saddle!
We are so thankful that Copper got a second chance, that he got through his difficult and painful past, and that he now has a bright future. His strength and courage is an inspiration to all of us!
Boomerang (a.k.a. Boom-Boom) Chestnut Miniature Horse
This sweet, gentle, chestnut mini is in recovery from laminitis and severe hoof separation. One look into his big innocent eyes and you are instantly drawn to him. He loves to be near people and to be petted and groomed.
Boom-Boom’s previous owner had purchased him to be trained as a lesson pony, but bouts of laminitis (pain and inflammation in his hooves) was crippling him and caused him to be lame on and off for months on end. He was on a grass pasture, and the grass had too much sugar in it for him and it was causing his pain and inflammation. Boom-Boom needed to be on an all hay (no grass) diet for any chance of recovery. Boom-Boom’s owner was told about our special farm that was designed to help horses and ponies that need special care and diet. She called and asked if we could take him right away. Our diverse large dry lots were the perfect home for a pony that was hurting and needed to be sustained on hay.
When our family rescued Boom-Boom he could hardly walk and his hooves were also badly separating. After a few months of being on hay and lots of TLC and hoof care, Boom-Boom began to feel much better and to walk normally again! We are so thankful to be able to give Boom-Boom the environment he needs to be happy and healthy. We look forward to the love and joy he will share with those who are a part of Agape Acres!
Miniature Shetland Pony / Paint
Sugarfoot is our curious, mischievous, playful Shetland Pony! He is the first to greet you at the fence and is always looking for attention. He is an adorable little guy that is hard to resist giving hugs to!
Sugargfoot came to us from the same farm as Copper. His owner was getting older and realized that this pony of hers would outlive her (Sugarfoot was only 6 years old, but Shetland ponies can live to be more than 30 years old). She wanted us to have Copper, but when she learned that our family had future plans of using our farm to help special needs and vulnerable individuals, she knew Sugarfoot would be a perfect fit with our plans.
We were and are thrilled to be able to give Sugarfoot a place to call home for the rest of his years. He was overweight when we got him and at risk for laminitis (ponies and minis are very prone to laminitis). Our vet was thrilled that he would now be on a diet of hay and could live a healthier life without the added risk of grass to cause him pain and lameness.
At his previous home, Sugarfoot had been used as a party pony and had brought many smiles to kids over the years. We are thankful to have this sweet, funny pony on our farm and look forward to him putting smiles on many more faces at Agape Acres!
Miniature Horse / Paint
Pebbles is a sweet, shy little lady. She has overcome so much in her life and she is still learning to trust people. Pebbles was one of our most severe rescue cases, and she is still in recovery. She is a very gentle gal who we can tell wants to learn to trust people and be loved on.
Pebbles has been moved around a lot in her life. We don't know many details about her youngest years, but we do know that she had 4 different owners in the two years before she came to our farm. Besides being moved around a lot, Pebbles also shows signs of being mistreated / abused. She is very head shy and hard to approach at times despite having been around people for a long time.
Pebbles is also recovering from severe laminitis and lameness (due to inflammation in her hooves). Her laminitis appears to be caused from too much high sugar in fresh grass. Her hooves show signs of this being a chronic condition for her, so she will need to remain on an all hay diet to keep her from re-lapsing.
Pebbles's most previous owner, who only had her for a short while, was kind and loving. However, they did not know much about horses (Pebbles was their first and only horse), and when they noticed her lameness and deterioration, they knew she needed help. Pebbles feet were in so much pain that she would hardly stand up at all. She mainly laid in her stall with an occasional effort to get up to eat and drink.
When we learned of Pebbles situation, we were not sure if she would survive much longer, so we made a quick decision to bring her to our farm. Pebbles was in such excruciating pain when we first got her that she was still not eating or drinking much. She would lie down and not get up for hours at at time (and then only briefly). Her hooves were very hot to the touch, and the soles of her hooves were red. Because we could see the blood and inflammation so close to the surface in her hooves, we were worried that the bones in her feet might start protruding at any time. Additionally, because she was not taking in much nutrients, there was the another serious issue of her not going to the bathroom. Most horses will pass manure between 6-10 times in a 24-hour period. Pebbles did not go at all in her first two days with us. Of course, we were worried about her colicing and her digestive system shutting down, so while we were treating her pain as best we could, we were also having frequent vet visits to have her flushed/ given fluids by nasogastric tube. Finally, on the third day, she left us a few nice surprises in her stall! Over the next few weeks, and after lots of TLC, icing, padding, and good trimmings by our farrier when she was able to, Pebbles started to slowly improve. Today, when looking at her, you would never know that she was ever in that much pain and dealing with an extremely severe case of laminitis.
We are very glad that Pebbles is here and that she persevered through not only some rough earlier years of possible abuse in her life, but that she also remained strong and brave through her painful episodes of laminitis! It is so rewarding to see her enjoying life with her other horse friends. We look forward to continuing her rehabilitation and training so she can be the happiest and healthiest horse she can be!
Willow is the oldest member of our herd. She is a sweet gentle gal who enjoys being groomed and lights up when carrying a rider on her back.
Willow came to us when her previous owner, who loved her very much, developed health issues. Unfortunately, it became difficult for her owner to check on her and care for her. Since she has been at Agape Acres, Willow has put on good weight and muscle, and she enjoys being in a herd again (as she was the only horse left at the previous place she was kept). An interesting fact about Willow is that she no longer has any back teeth to chew grass or hay. Normally, horses use their back teeth to grind up grass and hay small enough to swallow it. Willow can pluck grass and hay with her front teeth, and she will try to chew it with her gums to get the flavor and some nutrients out of it, but she will eventually spit these clumps out because she knows they aren’t small enough for her to swallow and she would choke on them. Willow gets lots of soaked alfalfa and timothy hay in addition to her soft pelleted feed to get the nutrients she needs and to keep her weight up. Willow is doing great on her special diet and looks beautiful and healthy, especially for being as old as she is and not having any back teeth!