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Natural Awakenings Fairfield County & Housatonic Valley CT

Happy Trails! Success Stories at Rising Starr Horse Rescue

Apr 24, 2020 07:36PM ● By by Debby Stein
Rising Starr Horse Rescue has helped many horses since its inception. Here are a few of the any happy and successful rescue stories at. 

Handsome Hinckley
Hinckley, a grey, doe-eyed gelding, was rescued a year ago.  Badly abused, he was terrified of human contact. When he heard human footsteps, his ears would flatten and twitch and he stood in the back of his stall. Slowly, he got used to human voice and eventually he allowed some touch. His trust was steadily earned and he began to progress in his rehabilitation. A year later Hinckley not only accepts human affection, but he craves it.  He’s often seen with his head hanging outside his stall, seeking attention from any person who might be nearby. Hinckley has been adopted by a local family and remains as at the farm as a boarder. 

The Property Bros

 The Property Bros
Johnathan and Drew are two untrained thoroughbred horses rescued from a farm in early January 2020.  There were five thoroughbred horses on the farm; when the owner passed away the caretaker was overwhelmed and could not care for all the horses. There were good intentions, but life challenges took over. These horses had never been in a barn, let alone a stall. Rising Starr came in to give Johnathan and Drew a second chance. Stackpole nicknamed the two of them “The Property Brothers”.  When these boys came to the farm, they were very scared. They spent so much time rearing straight up in the air that Stackpole nicknamed them “The Dragons”.  Johnathan and Drew were not mean or aggressive, but they weren’t used to humans and going inside a stall within a barn was terrifying for them. They looked dirty, underweight and rough when they first arrived.

To bring these horses off the transport trailer and into the barn required a lot of skill to remain calm while staying patient and gentle with these boys. Getting Johnathan and Drew into the barn the first time took almost an hour and a half. Taking one small step at a time to interact with these horses was crucial to earning their trust. Within a few weeks, their appearance began to improve and stress levels were dropping.

The volunteer horse reader began to sit with Johnathan and Drew a couple times a week for an hour or two each day. By the second visit, they were begging for touch.  Approaching these boys slowly and gently, talking to them and asking their permission each step of the way was key to maintaining trust and comfort. Soon, more of the experienced volunteers and trainer could start working with them. The “Property Boys” are still in the process of being rehabilitated and trained; new things are learned about them all the time. Progress is not necessarily linear. Both healing and training progress goes forward and backwards at times.

Tessa and Rumi

 Surprise Baby!
Tessa, a three-year-old pregnant buckskin paint pony who was rescued from a kill pen in Texas also arrived at Rising Starr this January. They think Tessa got pregnant while she was in the kill pen.  Like many rescue horses, when she first arrived Tessa was very scared and wary of humans.  Stackpole thought she would benefit from time with the horse reader and she was right.  By her second reading session, Tessa put her head on the arm of the reader and allowed touch.  Not long after, Rising Starr’s trainer started talking to and grooming Tessa and a trusting bond was formed.  Shortly thereafter, other volunteers were successfully approaching Tessa and she seemed to enjoy increasing amounts of attention.  

On March 5, an ultrasound was done on Tessa to find out how soon her baby would be born.  Tessa was perfectly calm as many volunteers surrounded her with love and calming hands, so the vet was able to perform the ultrasound with relative ease. Estimated delivery by the vet was within a week or two. The vet also explained what signs to look for, how to prepare Tessa and her stall and what would need to take place after the delivery. Then Tessa surprised everyone by delivering her baby two days later March 7.  At the 10pm check, there was no baby, but by morning check, there was Tessa and her baby in the stall

Tessa’s filly (female foal) was named Rumi or Ru for short. She was so small, they had to use Apollo the dog’s coat to keep her warm. Within a couple days, mama and baby were able to go outside and get some fresh air.

Lilith and Goliath

 Lilith and Goliath
Another mare and her four-month-old colt were rescued by a collaboration of three organizations in mid-February: Equus Foundation, RanchoRelaxo and Rising Starr. Goliath, the colt, had been taken away from his mama while still nursing so they both could be sold at auction. Lilith, the mare, was put on a kill truck so the rescue organizations acted quickly to buy Lilith and Goliath and bring them back together. Although Goliath was a large colt, he was barely four months and still needed to nurse from his mother. Lilith had been treated badly and she completely mistrusted all humans. Rising Starr built a special stall within the barn so mother and baby could be together and still have plenty of room.  

Lilith and Goliath arrived underweight. Goliath is friendly and easy to interact with, but Lilith is slowly learning how to trust humans more and more. The horse reader has been spending time with them and progress is being made while they are safe and being loved and handled each day. Lilith has put her head very briefly on the shoulder of the trainer and on the cheek of the reader. While progress and healing are ongoing, it will take time to fully gain Lilith’s trust.  

Rising Starr Horse Rescue is located at 93 Silver Spring Road, Wilton. For more information, please visit or @RisingStarrHorseRescue. Donations can be made by using the “Donate” button on the upper right corner of the home page.

Debby Stein is an energy healing 
practitioner based in Stamford and a frequent volunteer and horse reader at Rising Starr Horse Rescue. 

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