Updates and Upcoming Events


June is an eventful month at Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary. We’ve been battling staying cool and sopping up Jim’s bedroom (his water heater finally gave out and flooded the place. We got it replaced same day thanks to the amazing Parker & Sons. Ask for Ben!)
We said goodbye to Solo last Tuesday. His laminitis caught up to him quickly and he was dropping weight like nobody’s business. We loved him too much to let him suffer so he was released to the Great Herd.

In May, we gained an older horse who needed a second chance. His name is Oliver and he’s incredibly sweet.

On June 2nd, we gained two new additions: a mom and baby pair of wild mustangs that had been rounded up and taken to a livestock auction. Mama’s name is Journey and her son is Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Jack for short). Jack has absolutely no fear of people and is very into getting full-body scratches from anyone who will offer. Journey is still standoffish of people, but she’s not at all agressive and watches quietly as Jack gets loved up by volunteers. Since they were on the reservation, Dr. Keyser ordered that they be on a 3 week quarantine, just to make sure they wouldn’t bring anything into the ranch and have it spread to our horses. However, all the kids have been totally fine and their quarantine is over as of Friday, June 22nd… which is just in time for our first event.

On Saturday, June 23rd, we are having an Open Ranch! Come out and visit the new additions and see firsthand how our summer operations go. It starts at 8 and goes until 11. Invite your friends and family to visit us!
On Monday, June 25th, we are having our first Kid’s Day. For $50, kids ages 5-12 are invited to learn horsemanship, safety, and have fun with our herd. For more information and the sign-up link, visit the “Kid’s Day” tab in our menu bar.
In an effort to continue our philosophy of transparency, we always need donations and sponsors for our horses, ESPECIALLY in the summer when money slows down because let’s be real, it’s hot and not the “season for giving” like the fall and winter. However, our summer is when we need the most donations. Between water bills, hay deliveries, and dumpster hauls, our expenses are higher than ever. This is also due to the summer being a more dangerous time for colic episodes and hoof issues, leading to an increase in vet bills. If you’d like to sponsor a horse or make a donation, head to our “How You Can Help” tab and click DONATE. Thank you.

Earth Day Success!


We at Tierra Madre would like to thank all of those who joined us at our Earth Day Arts and Crafts Festival on April 21st! All of us had a blast and are really looking forward to possibly doing this next year.
At the end of the day, we raised $2.1k for the ranch. Also, because of that beautiful number, we have finally paid off our outstanding bill at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center.
After 10 long years, our balance is a big, fat $0. Absolutely no debt!
We’d like to thank all of the vendors that were a part of this event, and we are very grateful that some of them donated a part of their profit that day. This sense of community really means a lot to our little sanctuary. Next, we’d like to thank everyone who came to visit us. We saw some familiar faces and made a bunch of new friends. We hope to see you all in the future! Finally, THANK YOU all of the volunteers that came in the morning and did chores, set-up, ran tables and activities, manned the gate, gave tours, and stayed around afterwards to tear everything down. We definitely couldn’t have done it without you.




Plugging our address into GPS will sometimes take you on a wild goose chase! Follow these directions instead:
Once you are on Tatum Boulevard, turn west onto Pinnacle Vista. (Turn right if you are driving south on Tatum, left if you are driving north.)
Once you are on Pinnacle Vista, take your very first left onto 47th street. This turn comes up after about 50 feet.
Stay on 47th street. It will curve to the right and turn into Bajada Road. Stay on the road until you go over two speed bumps and the road turns to dirt. We are the very first thing on the righthand side.

Earth Day


We are FIVE days away from this awesome event!
Come out to browse and shop some of the best art and craftwork Cave Creek has to offer: photography, fused glass art, chandeliers, dream catchers, paintings, Western cards and gift bags, reclaimed wood art, art and jewelry from used car parts, organic lotions and body products, wood signs, ceramics and jewelry, saguaro plaques… you name it, you’ll find it here on Saturday!
We’re also so excited to welcome our friends from the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group who will be selling their beautiful handmade products including horse-themed jewelry and merchandise. They do incredible work for the Salt River wild horses, so be sure to stop by their booth and learn about their organization!
Since it’s an arts fair, each of our horses will be creating one-of-a-kind pieces of art, where they paint on canvases in a variety of different colors and styles. For $20 you can take home a truly unique painting from one of the Tierra Madre herd. And, best of all, you can create your own painting on artist paper with a horse during the day!
Don’t forget to come hungry, as Noodles A GoGo will be serving up some truly delicious food and Iced Out Italian Ice will be selling frozen treats to keep us cool.
See you on Saturday!
Directions to our facility:
We are at 27115 N. 45th Street | Cave Creek, AZ 85331. We are on the southwest corner of Tatum and Dynamite.
However, plugging our address into GPS will sometimes take you on a wild goose chase! Follow these directions instead:
Once you are on Tatum Boulevard, turn west onto Pinnacle Vista. (Turn right if you are driving south on Tatum, left if you are driving north.)
Once you are on Pinnacle Vista, take your very first left onto 47th street. This turn comes up after about 50 feet.
Stay on 47th street. It will curve to the right and turn into Bajada. Stay on the road until you go over two speed bumps and the road turns to dirt. We are the very first thing on the righthand side.
Parking will be along the dirt road.

Princess Bella


Wow, you guys.
Have we told you lately how amazing you are?
Thanks to the generosity of our followers, we have raised almost $1,000 towards our goal of $2,600 in the past five days.
To those of you who have donated for Bella, keep your eye on your mailboxes in April. Special surprise headed your way.
In the meantime – THANK YOU.
We rock on because of you.
As always – thank you for being part of the family!
— Alexis
We are still fundraising for our hefty expenses in the past week plus several new ones that have cropped up including a package of Prascend, Gastrogard, and eye meds for Studley, more trims, and the usual Bermuda and grain and bran and all that jazz. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation, head over to the DONATE tab, find us on Venmo at TierraMadre-HorseSanctuary, or mail your contribution to:
27115 N. 45th Street
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Your donation is SO appreciated no matter what the amount! All our donors receive a handwritten thank you and an open invitation to come meet the horses they’ve helped so much!

Miss Annie Oakley


Late morning on Sunday, we welcomed a new little girl into our herd.
Annie Oakley. Annie for short.
Annie is black as night with a beautiful white blaze and white foot, is in her early 20s, and has some arthritis in her front legs. Her left front knee tells the story of possible osteoarthritis, and her eyes tell the story of loneliness.
For Annie’s full bio, visit her on the ‘Meet the Horses’ page or our Facebook page!

The Homes For Horses Coalition Conference


It’s that time of year again! The Homes For Horses Coalition Conference is coming up in September and we’re trying to send our Executive Director Alexis to Orlando this year! In addition to our #GiveLove Campaign, we’d like to raise enough for her to go (as we do every year). Our guesstimate right now is $800. We thank you in advance for making our networking and outreach development a possibility!



Give Love Campaign


This Valentine’s Day, we need your help.
We need to raise $10,000 for some of our most hefty expenses in 2018 this year: alfalfa deliveries, manure dumpster haul-off, and our medical bills.
There’s a lot to cover in this post, and part of me doesn’t know where to start. The last thing I want is to overwhelm you with information about the current happenings at this ranch or turn this into too much of a novel.
So I want to focus on one thing here. The only thing. The most important thing.
Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday, and as society tells us, it’s a day for which we buy our significant others some sort of frilly red-pink-or-white-themed gift or spend time with good friends raising a glass (or six) to the single life.
Trust me, I worked at Hallmark for several years. I know the shtick.
I also know that Valentine’s Day represents something deeper than obligatory retail mush.
I know its origins stem from sacrifice. From commitment. From devotion.
From love.
This – this realness – is not only what our Valentine’s Day is about, it’s what the other 364 days of our year are all about.
Sacrifice. Commitment. Devotion.
And you know what the most amazing thing is?
As much as we put into our horses, they give back everything we put into them. Our horses give love to everyone who walks onto this ranch:
Our volunteers, who come from all walks of life and – like us all – face many challenges while walking their individual paths.
Our friends from Greenway High School, who light up when they spend time with our herd and feel good about completing projects for our ranch.
Our friends from SARRC (the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), who now know more about horsemanship than most of the population and savor each moment they get getting their hands dirty.
Our newest friends from Partners in Recovery, who are making enormous strides in their personal paths to independence thanks to the help of our horses.
Our members of Tierra Madre’s horsemanship class, each of whom are learning not just how horses see the world, but how *they* see the world.
Our participants of the equine experiential coaching program, for whom our horses serve as mirrors and a way to look deeper into their every-day actions.
And everyday people who walk into the ranch, unawares, unsuspecting, and see the beauty of our previously abused, neglected, injured, and abandoned horses enjoying their lives and are moved to the depths of their souls.
These horses work magic, just by being themselves.
And we want to keep doing what we’re doing for our community. Right now, though, it’s difficult.
In 2018, we’ve spent roughly $4,225 (I rounded to whole numbers) so far on our herd. See copies of medical bills for exact numbers. (One bill hasn’t come our way yet. Heighten had an emergency colic Thursday night that required us to give him IV fluids as a precaution. Based on past episodes, we estimate this will be around $1,000. We will post that bill when we get it.)
I’ll be honest, as we always try to be: We’ve having a hard time raising that money for medical bills. The month of February is not the greatest in that regard.
This week we’re also planning to get a squeeze of alfalfa (88 bales – that’ll last us about 3 weeks) to the tune of $1,000. We’d like to plan ahead for the next few squeezes and raise $2,000 for those.
Finally, we’ve had four manure removals since the beginning of the year. At $325 each, that comes to $1,300.
This adds to roughly $8,500 ($8,525 to be exact), and we’d like a $1,500 medical emergency cushion so we don’t have to scramble to fundraise when we’re hit with an emergency again.
Our wild, crazy goal for Valentine’s Day.
We’re wild and crazy for doing this, so hell, our goal goes hand in hand with what we do. What our horses do.
What can you do?
$10,000 is a large number, but when you break it down into small chunks, it is totally doable. If 400 people gave $25, we would be golden! All donors who give during our Give Love campaign will be sent a 4×6 picture of one of our horses and a special little thank you from all of us.
2. Buy a T-Shirt
We are selling Give Love t-shirts on Bonfire for $25 each, and a large portion of the sales will go to Tierra Madre! Check them out here: https://www.bonfire.com/give-love-campaign/
3. Become a Sponsor!
You can sponsor your favorite horse at four different levels: Bronze ($25 a month); Silver ($50 a month); Gold ($100 a month); and Diamond ($200 a month). 100% of your monthly donation goes to covering the meals of the horse of your choice! To become a sponsor, go to our donation page, and enter the amount you wish to donate monthly. Then select your horse under “I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund.” Finally, before you hit submit, select “I would like this donation to automatically repeat each month.” You will be sent a 8×10 picture of your horse as well as their bio and a quarterly report card.
4. Become an Ambassador
We are looking for fun and outgoing people to help us with fundraising and doing outreach in the community. This is a really fun gig and we are really excited about it! Join us as we set up tables in North Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, and Carefree and talk about our herd to interested passerby. Have a blast hosting fundraisers – both ones that Tierra Madre plans and ones that you want to come up with! Work around YOUR schedule and work with YOUR friends for a cause about which YOU are passionate: our herd.

* You do NOT have to be an official Tierra Madre volunteer to be an ambassador. Family and friends are welcome to join! No orientation necessary. *

We can do this. 10k. Let’s go!

Arts and Crafts Festival – April 21


Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary is hosting its first ever Earth Day Arts and Crafts Festival on Saturday, April 21! Join us for a day of shopping local vendors who will have all kinds Western, Mother Earth, or horse themed arts and crafts for sale: drawings and paintings, photography, home decor, writings and music, food and wine, jewelry, body products, horse-themed items, and SO much more. All organic, sustainable, and locally owned/produced.
You yourself will get the chance to create art as well! The Tierra Madre herd – 31 previously abused, neglected, injured, or abandoned horses (plus one donkey) – loves to paint, and you’ll get the chance to take home a creation of theirs that you help them make.
Get up close and personal with the horses on a free tour of the ranch, where you’ll meet different personalities, hear miraculous stories, and fall in love with the horses who now help their community heal after being healed themselves.
Join us at Tierra Madre (‘Mother Earth’ Horse Sanctuary on April 21st. We can’t WAIT to see you there!
$10 per adult; free for kids 12 and under
27115 N. 45th Street
Cave Creek, AZ 85331

A Year In Review – 2017


Every year, we send out an end-of-the-year letter to our wonderful friends and donors which we like to post after the holidays. 2017 was an action-packed, memorable, and fulfilling year here in Cave Creek, Arizona, and one of our favorite things to do during the New Year is look back on what has happened over the course of twelve quick months. We reflect and move forward into the brand new year a little stronger, a little wiser, and more grateful for people like you who support our mission and our horses.
2017 started out with an array of activity in the form of the usual farrier and vet visits, open ranches, fundraisers, and volunteer orientations. We began to lay the foundation for a brand new board of directors and strengthen our ties to our community. In February, we welcomed a 32-year-old OTTB – Tommy – into the family. Our oldest horse, Tommy is still thriving nearly a year later and is a shining example of how every horse deserves a happy, safe retirement after years of serving humans.
Towards the beginning of this year, our sweet and opinionated Quarter horse Jazz was diagnosed with an acute case of laminitis and we embarked on a seven month journey to bring him back. He and his best friend in the world – Rain – actually fought through the same disease together, and after diet changes, corrective shoeing, the right supplements and medicines, and all the love in the world, those two gallop around our arena today with nary a limp, with laminitis far in their rearview mirrors.
March saw the beginning of our first-ever social media campaign in preparation for the ASPCA’s annual Help A Horse Day celebration and contest. During the days leading up to the event, we launched a series of videos – one for each horse – which highlighted each story and personality. And on April 22, we hosted our second Help A Horse Day in partnership with a number of local vendors. To our astonishment and delight, Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary was chosen by the ASPCA to receive one of the grand prizes: a $10,000 grant!
With light must come shadow, for even with all of our wins that we experienced we had to deal with loss, too. In May, we lost our wild, beautiful, spirited Sonora after a swift and devastating battle with acute laminitis. The ranch will never be the same without her.
In June, our queen – big Suze – was hospitalized at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center for a nasty cellulitis infection in her hind right leg. She made a full recovery, and you guys jumped in with both feet to help us fundraise for the thousands of dollars we needed in order to save her life. We continued through the rest of the summer, caring for Suze as well as several other members of the herd, including Studley who gets nasty summer sores each year! We all survived thanks to our misters in the stalls, our sprinklers in the arena, and lots of water for horse and human alike. And, you know, the occasional box of donuts in the tack room.
An exciting partnership emerged over the summer when – through the continuation of our Equine Experiential Coaching program – we met with the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and they agreed to bring their CommunityWorks program to the ranch. For the past few months, groups of high school students have followed in the footsteps of our friends at Greenway High School (who have been coming to the ranch for several years!) and worked with our team to learn about hoof care, feeding, and basic horsemanship. We are excited to continue in January!
During the summer we additionally saw one of the hardest cases Tierra Madre ever had to endure. We took in an older gelding named Marvel who had laminitis and was to be put down to spare medical bills. Tragically, just a day after we took him in, we discovered he had an impaction in his intestinal tract that was not allowing him to pass manure. After four days of flooding his system with IV fluids and doing everything in our power to save him, his condition deteriorated and at the advice of our vet at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center, we sent him to the Great Herd. It was a devastating loss, and one that reminded us acutely of the importance of continuing our work.
In August, we were contacted about four abandoned donkeys living on privatized land, and after partnering with the Arizona Equine Rescue Organization and Triple R Horse Rescue in Cave Creek, we were able to safely rescue the four donkeys. Three of the bunch were younger, healthy, and more likely to be adopted. One, an older and less healthy donkey, risked homelessness – that is, if she survived the malnourishment and dehydration she endured out in the desert. To our happy surprise, this little donkey made it through, and in September, she came home to Tierra Madre to live out her days. She is now our Abuela and the love of our lives. Her happy, excited braying is the highlight of our days!
Towards the end of this year, we hosted our third annual benefit dinner and silent auction here at our ranch – and it was our most financially successful benefit yet! We welcomed CMA artist Ashley Wineland to perform and the Wandering Donkey to feed the crowd of 125+, and best of all, we raised roughly $7k for our horses.
And even now, as we wrap up this year, we still have a great deal going on: Tater is thriving after struggling with laminitis; Rusty is newly free of ulcers in both his eyes; and Suze is getting over a second round of cellulitis, for which our friends at After the Finish Line awarded us a $1,000 medical grant! On December 21st, we sent our little Chiquita to the Great Herd after a long, hard fight with laminitis. We are still reeling from the loss, but we are taking comfort from knowing she is out of pain.
Between the highlights – and lowlights – of this year are the untold stories – the wonderful, fleeting moments that remind us why we do what we do: watching our horses run as fast as they can in the arena; coming up with new fundraisers like “Root Beer Floats for Teeth Floats”; welcoming the Boy Scouts through our gates; making new friends; working with our vet and farrier team on difficult cases; looking into the eyes of our herd and knowing they are safe and happy and loved.
We live and we laugh, we mourn and we cry, we set our standards high and aim for the best we can offer our horses in any circumstance. We seek to help those in need – the two-legged and the four – and we charge into any battle with which we are faced with determination to come through on the other side.
It has been a wild ride of a year, with so many lessons learned and so many new opportunities for us all, and on behalf of each of us here at Tierra Madre, I want to thank you for being a part of it. Whether you donated your time, your talent, your treasure, or some combination of the three, I want you to know that you are appreciated beyond anything we could ever express.
Thank you for being part of our family and part of our journey. May your New Year be as wonderful as you!
With warmest regards,
Alexis Roeckner Ferri
Executive Direcor
Jim Gath
Founder and President
The two-legged team of Tierra Madre
And… Solo & Suze & Kiss & the Min & M’Stor & Miss Hidden River & Studley & Chance & Sweet Boy & Sedona & Hiz Nibz & Rusty & Hollywood & Cadence & Guess & Princess Bella & Hudson & Heighten & Jani & Buddy & the Iron Man & Slayer & Hard Bourbon & Spencer & Jazz & Danny & Rain & Sunny & Chianti & Tommy & Abuela & Lee
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