This holiday season we sat down to reflect upon 2015, and what a year we’ve had! Towards the end of January, we sent one of our oldest and greatest mares, our angel Miss Akira, to a well-deserved future in the Great Herd. Not a month later we saved a pregnant mare from slaughter just in the nick of time. March and April brought two new Thoroughbreds to our ranks – a skittish four-year-old gelding who had not even made it to the starting gates and a two-year-old filly with neurological issues in her hind legs, rendering her unridable. Then, in mid-May, Tierra Madre witnessed its first beginning when our pregnant mare, who we named Rain, gave birth to a beautiful filly: Sunny.
We made it through the brutal summer thanks to lots of water, the misters in each of the horses’ stalls, and a whole lot of determination from our volunteers. We dealt with the usual abscesses, minor sicknesses here and there, and – in one gelding’s case – a nasty case of summer sores. We began bi-monthly volunteer orientations and met some wonderful people along the way. To make things more exciting during the summer, we began brainstorming for a documentary and started our Equine Experience program, where individuals can come to explore the synergy of healing that exists between horses and humans.
Then in August came our most successful fundraiser to date: Our very first benefit dinner and silent auction. We raised nearly $9,000 for our horses – an enormous accomplishment that we hope to repeat in 2016. (Be on the lookout on our Facebook page for when we announce the date!) And we didn’t stop there. We had a Fall Festival at the end of October and a canned food drive for the Foothills Food Bank through November. We marched in the Wild West Days Parade in Cave Creek and represented Tierra Madre at the Homes for Horses Coalition annual conference in Texas.
And through it all, we’ve had so many wonderful times with each and every one of our horses. There have been little miracles here and there and lots of laughter in between. Each one of our herd has spent this year galloping with joy in our arena and eating the best hay available and receiving the best medical care in the Valley when needed. They have been smothered with hugs and kisses and have eaten their weight in apples and carrots. They have known from the bottom of their hearts that they are loved and cherished.
All of this is because of people like you. Trainers. Vets. Farriers. Corporations and family-owned businesses. Big-hearted individuals from all walks of life. Grant writers. Event planners. Our weekly and monthly volunteers.
People who have seen us through thick and thin. People who show up in 100-degree weather to scrub buckets. People who send us a check whenever they can because they know we will use it to buy hay. People who drop off carrots and pause to kiss a few noses before going back to their busy days. People who donate supplies, their talents, and their time.
And I am here to tell each of you that we are only functioning because of you.
On behalf of all of us here at Tierra Madre, both the two-legged and four, I want to thank you for your incredible support throughout 2015. Thanks to you, we are able to continue our mission of saving the horses with nowhere else to go and making them happy. Thanks to you, our horses are home.
Keep an eye out later this month for our first ever annual expenditure report for this past year. We believe in 100% transparency here at Tierra Madre and we want to make sure each of you knows where your donations go. In the meantime, be sure to ‘like’ us on Facebook if you haven’t already to follow along as we post pictures and updates on our herd.
Happy New Year, and here’s to another wonderful, productive, life-changing year!