Literary Contest Winners


Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary is thrilled to announce the winners of the literary contest! The following entries were a joy to read and truly captured many answers to the question, “How have horses helped me on my life journey?”

This summer, the following entries will be published by Sealofters Press, Inc. in a book that we hope to sell as a fundraiser for our horses. I know our readers will enjoy reading these stories as much as we did.

Congratulations to the following winners:

“Run For Your Life” by Suzanne Moore

“Mountains Will Move” by Bobby Fedora

“A Little White Horse” by Jane Cramton

“My Fate at the Rancho Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary” by Noel Sitton

“The Most Peaceful Moment” by Narina Simmons

“You Pick Up A Few Things” by Leah Eauslin

“Shaped From Stone” by Anonymous

“A Complicated Journey” by Keri Krause

Well done, all, and thank you for your hard work!

Alexis Roeckner
Ranch Director

Meet Danny!


So sorry for the late post about Danny!! But for those of you who don’t already know, we got a new little boy last weekend! His name is Barracho Dan (aka Drunk Dan), but we just call him Danny. He was supposed to be a racehorse, but he doesn’t have a great knee, therefore he couldn’t be a successful racer..

For a racehorse to not be able to race, it doesn’t usually end well for them, and Danny had the chance of being sent to the killerman if someone didn’t take him in. So we gladly took in the little 3 y/o into the family, and he is adjusting slowly but surely!

Come down and say hello to Danny and the rest of the kids(:

photo 1 (3)

photo 2 (2)

Bre, Ranch Manager

Gardening Day!


Come join us on April 11 from 8am to 11am for a day of gardening and painting!

We have an old broken down pick up truck sitting in the gates, and let’s be honest, it sticks out like a sore thumb! What we want to do is plant flowers in the bed of the truck and paint it so it matches the desert scenery around it! We will also be having horse rides for the kids who decide to show up. Horse rides will be on our dusty, trusty horses, Buddy and Jazz! They love kids and they love rides!

bud2 jazz

You can choose between a few types of flowers that you want in the truck! When it comes to painting, all we ask is that everyone sticks to a general theme of horses and the Arizona desert! You are welcome to paint quotes that remind you of the ranch, your favorite horse (or any horse!), mountains, coyotes, lizards, birds, you name it. Lets make this old hunk-o-junk a work of art!

We will also have some mini-lessons about sustainability, gardening worksheets for the kids, and a fun game that will teach children about growing their own food!

There will be a $5 donation per adult (kids 12 and under get in for free) and horse rides are $10 per ride. 100% of the proceeds go to the horses’ food and medical care!

We hope to see as many of you as possible that day!!

Our New Welcome Sign


Several weeks ago, Jim saw a picture of a cool welcome sign and wanted to replicate it. Our ranch manager and artist extraordinaire, Bre, delivered!




The finished product:
photo copy 58

This new welcome sign stands for everything we believe: ALL are welcome through our gates!

– Alexis
Ranch Director

Updates and Lessons From Rain


Today marks the fifth day that our precious girl Rain has been in our lives. Everyone is absolutely enamored with her: Employees, volunteers, our friends outside our gates, even all the other horses are just simply in love.


She walked onto our property with no history, no name, and no records. Because we had no idea how far along she was nor were we totally confident in our knowledge of caring for pregnant mares, on Monday afternoon the vet came out to examine her. Her first words scared all of us.

“I hope she’s not pregnant, because she’s awfully skinny!”

But the vet felt around – as those of us that had hung around for the vet visit all held our breath – and confirmed that there was a foal inside of her. We cheered. One of the volunteers and I actually jumped up and down. A baby truly is cause for the greatest joy in the universe, and Rain is bringing such a gift to all of us.

The vet, Jim, the vet's assistant, Rain, Alexis, and Christine

The vet, Jim, the vet’s assistant, Rain, Alexis, and Christine

The vet talked with Jim and I about feeding and her “nursery”. Rain is on a special grain called Mare and Foal that will help give her the supplements she needs. She is to gain at least 150 pounds before baby gets here! She also got all her vaccinations: Herpes, rhinovirus, rabies, strangles, West Nile, you name it. She and her foal will be safe from anything that might find its way to our ranch.

Rain's special grain

Rain’s special grain

In addition to her mashes that she’ll get morning and night and her hay three times a day (half alfalfa and half Timothy), we’ll give her a little “brunch” as well as a mid afternoon snack so she always has something on her tummy. She has two to feed, after all!

The vet and Jim and I also talked about her “nursery” – the closest stall to our breezeway that’s right across from the tack room. It has high ceilings and an “out” section that’s fairly large. We’re going to board the “out” section up with plywood so the foal can’t get his/her head or hooves stuck in the bars and put a good 10 bales of straw in for them both.

All of this preparation will help Rain’s body. But we have some work to do when it comes to helping her spirit.

Rain has been through one hell of a hard life. And she told me all of this today as clearly as though she had been speaking English into my ear.

One thing that Jim, Bre and I all noticed when she first arrived is how afraid of halters Rain is. Getting a halter on her must be done slowly, gently, and with great patience. Usually, I have to go in the round pen (where she’s living now as we prepare her nursery) and hang out with her for a bit without the halter in my hands before I can even think about picking it up and side-stepping toward her slowly. Otherwise she’ll run away. She gets that nervous, especially when there are other people around watching.

Today it took longer than usual to get her to stand still. Finally, after I spent ten or fifteen minutes trying to side step over to her (since walking directly at a nervous horse will accomplish nothing), I finally dropped the halter and lead rope, closed my eyes, and felt my way towards her. She didn’t move, but not because she wasn’t afraid. Her whole body was tensed, as though she was waiting for something to happen. But because closing my eyes had calmed her a little bit, a minute or two later, the halter was on.

And then, as I was gathering the lead rope in a ribbon in my hands (you must never EVER wrap it around your hand unless you want to lose a limb one day), the end of the rope flicked upwards very quickly towards her face.

It was three feet away from touching her, but Rain positively cowered.

She flinched and strained to get away from me almost in the same split second as the end of the lead rope flicked toward her before I gathered it in my hands. When she saw I wasn’t going to swing it around, she stopped moving, but the fear was still there.

I was horrified.

Somewhere, sometime in her life, someone must have beaten her horribly with a rope. Or rounded her up on the reservation in an aggressive manner. Or broken her using ropes and whips and force.

And later on, as the two of us were hanging out in front of the breezeway while she quietly ate her mid-morning snack, I reached up at one point to move some of my hair out of my face.

She saw my hand rise out of the corner of her eye and flinched again, side stepping away from me until she saw I had frozen and heard me talking to her calmly and gently.

I could go on about how upsetting this was to me, how absolutely wretched I felt and how unbelievably devastated I am now when I think about what Rain must have suffered in the past.

But the past is in the past. Horses live in the here and the now, and right now, I think Rain is finally starting to realize that she will never be hurt again.

Because when we had had our walk and I took her back to her temporary accommodations, I took the halter off and she walked quickly away from me out of habit. But as I turned to leave, she stopped, turned, and looked at me.

It was such a simple thing she did, looking at me, but her eyes absolutely broke my heart.

There was a combination of emotions there: Confusion, a twinge of doubt, a glimmer of hope, and the thing I wanted to see the most, absolute and utter gratitude.

Rain is so loved. And slowly, surely, she is beginning to understand how precious she is.

We tell her every day that she has friends that she can’t see and who are cheering for her and who are waiting for her baby with as much anticipation and excitement as the rest of us. All across the country she has people who love her.

And just like the gratitude I saw her eyes today, just like the little foal growing inside of her – that within itself is a miracle.


- Alexis
Ranch Director

New Arrival!!


For those of you who haven’t heard, we have a new arrival!

I want you all to meet Rain. She was in the hands of a kill-buyer, who was going to have her baby aborted, and have her sent to slaughter.

Thats right, she is pregnant.

We don’t know how far along she is just yet, but we will be having a vet out soon enough to tell us just how far she is! This is very exciting news. She herself is only 7 years old. Young.

We named her Rain. She is an angel beyond words. When she got off the trailer, you could see in her eyes all the hard times she’s been through. I doubt she had much hope for this place. When we walked her into her new pen, and she heard the whinnies of the rest of the ranch greeting her, along with scratches, kisses, and hugs from all of us, I think she knew that she was safe.


And she, and her baby, will be happy and safe forever. Updates on her baby to come soon enough!

rain unnamed

Send her your love, she needs as much as possible!

Sincerely, Bre
Ranch Manager



Hello all, just a reminder that our Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser is tomorrow from 4-7pm at Harold’s Corral!
Please check out flyer for the exact address if you don’t know how to get there.

$15 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under!

See you there!

Sincerely, Bre
Ranch Manager

We got a tractor!!


For those of you who don’t know, our good friend and neighbor, Kevin, is moving out of town. To help pay for his trip, he has decided to sell a bunch of things that he has laying around in his yard, one of which, was a small front loader. We measured the width of the scoop, and the tractor itself, and then the width of the gates to our stalls, and VOILA. It can fit! This tractor(once we get the hang of using it that is) will help us move dirt, poop, and hay – it will save all the workers and volunteers so much time – & backaches!. It is pretty exciting if you ask me. We got a donation from a very good friend to help us pay for it, however, we are still trying to raise some more money to help pay it off completely!

So don’t forget to come to our Spaghetti Dinner this Sunday, February 8th and support us!
Remember, it is $15 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under.

Thank you so much!


Sincerely, Bre
Ranch Manager

Some rain, and some friends!



The rain at Tierra Madre this weekend, and our team (and Iron Man) all having some brownies!

This weekend at Tierra Madre :


The Rain:

On Friday, we had a nonstop rain, which ended up flooding most of the ranch, unfortunately.
We managed to make several channels in the arena leading to the wash to drain out as much water as possible, and have been working to get all the mud out of all the stalls.
Rain in winter time is the worst, because there is no warm air and not much sun (in certain parts of the property) to help dry it out!
But we are doing our best, and the horses don’t seem to mind all that much!
arena arena2

Bake Sale:
We also had a bake sale at our local Ace Hardware yesterday morning, thanks to Mason and her younger brother for setting that up, to help raise some funds so we can hopefully buy a small tractor from our neighbor!
We will be having another next weekend, so if any of you are in the area, please stop buy and say hello!

New Arrivals:
This morning, while Cristina was cleaning some hay around the tack room, she yelled to everyone that she had found something buried in the hay.. rats? squirrels? BUNNIES! little babies! There are four baby bunnies that were in a small nest in some of our Timmothy hay, but they were kind of scattered. We put gloves on and put them back in their little nest. One of them was screaming for the mother. We covered them back up, and left a note (and sent texts) so all the workers who were not out this morning will know that they are there. I recieved a text from one of the volunteers after I had left for the morning and she said that the momma bunny had returned for the babies! yay! We were scared that she wouldn’t come back. All is well(:

And last but not least, don’t forget about our Spaghetti Dinner next weekend at Harold’s Corral!!
Any questions, suggestions, concerns, etc. can be sent to !
Thank you for all you guys do to support us!

Sincerely, Bre (Ranch Manager)

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