Quite a few of the animals at 3-Hearts Farm have been rescued and are healing themselves. Please take a moment to read and reflect on the experiences we have shared with you below.
The 3-Hearts Farm story began with Maggie, a beautiful Morgan mare in her mid-twenties. When founding member Jen Wright discovered Maggie she was living in a tiny paddock, covered in mud, neglected and facing imminent euthanasia. To rescue Maggie, Jen first had to find a place to keep her. As it turned out a resident of Newbury had a backyard barn and a young daughter who loved horses. Within a matter of days, Maggie was delivered to her new home. What was a life-saving moment for Maggie turned into a life-changing moment for Jen. Having spent her youth around horses, Jen rediscovered her true passion in life – caring for horses. She began a vigorous program of equine certifications enabling her to combine her passion for horses with her other passion – working with kids.
In no time, Maggie was surrounded by loving kids who signed up for Jen’s first equine program.
Maggie also found a new friend of her own, Bridge, a local high school student who loved to ride horses. Several days each week, Bridge would visit Maggie to groom and ride her. Over the next three years, Bridge and Maggie developed a very strong bond. Their bond was so strong that when Bridge was leaving for college, she asked Jen if she could officially adopt her. Although we were all very sad to see Maggie go, we knew she was leaving with someone who loved her. Maggie now lives with Bridge in Vermont, amidst rolling hills and acres of paddocks. During the summer, when Bridge comes home from college, Maggie lives at a barn in Rowley, MA where her old friends from 3-Hearts Farm can visit her frequently.
But, back in the beginning, Maggie also needed a horse friend…and things began to grow.
Candy, a training pony in her late twenties, was Jen’s second adoption. Unlike Maggie, Candy’s life had been a good one. She had been with one family all her life but after the kids had long since moved away from home, the parents could no longer care for her. They were very careful in finding her a new home, especially because Candy had also developed Cushing’s Disease, a malfunction of the pituitary gland common in older horses. The hallmarks of Cushing's are a long, shaggy hair coat, loss of muscle mass, laminitis and susceptibility to infection. Candy’s diet had to be strictly regulated and her general health carefully monitored. After a lengthy search, they were greatly relieved to find Jen, someone they could trust with their precious family pet.
A gentle soul with a nicker and whinny that warms your heart, everyone instantly fell in love with Candy! She was a wonderful companion for Maggie, who revealed her alpha tendencies and was always watching out for her new horse friend. Candy was also a favorite with the little kids. Though she was getting on in years, she still loved to let the little kids ride her, mostly bareback. But after about a year of gentle walk/trot riding, Jen realized it would be best for Candy to live out her remaining years in retirement. The kids still loved to groom her and take her for walks around the neighborhood.
On hot summer days, Candy would stand in her stall in front of a floor fan (placed safely away from her stall door) and let the cool air rush over her shaggy mane. She loved mints! An older girl, with more than a few missing teeth, it brought great joy and laughter to everyone who would watch her take 30 minutes to suck down a tiny mint – it just kept on going!
When we moved from our lovely but relatively small backyard barn to our own 9-acre farm, Candy surprised us all. We all thought the younger horses would run like crazy in their new acres of space. Nope! It was Candy! She ran around like a kid in a candy store – thus maybe her name (that and her love of mints)? For over a year in her new home at 3-Hearts Farm, she greeted us every morning with her delightful nicker - a joy for all of us!
Sadly, after thirty-five well lived years, our beloved old Candy girl gave out. Losing Candy was not only tough on us, it was tough on the kids who came to know her so well over the years. But it was also an important lesson about the cycle of life for them to experience. We talk frequently about Candy and how she taught us the value of compassion and unconditional love. One of our favorite kids at the farm, Haley, hand-painted a stone for her memorial. Though we remember her fondly every day, her morning nicker is sorely missed!
Max, a miniature stallion in his mid-twenties, was Jen’s next adoption. And Max came along with two friends - a mom-and-daughter pair of pygmy goats, Cinnamon and Sugar (see their story). Given that Max was a stallion, Jen consulted with a vet about the possibility of having him gelded. Given his age, Jen was advised that the procedure presented too many risks. So, Jen had to make sure that he was going to blend into the herd with two mares. Thankfully, Max integrated without incident and within a few days his adoption was formalized.
Max became the favorite of Ari, one of our youngest regular kids at the barn. About the same height, Ari spent hours grooming Max and walking him around the paddocks or the neighborhood. When we moved to our new home, Ari loved to walk Max through our wooded “Find a Heart Trail.” Cinnamon and Sugar love to follow Max on his walks, bleating all the way.
Max has a spectacular prance when he runs. And he particularly loves to run through the snow. In summer months, Max loves to take naps in the sun! On hot days, Ari comes by to give him a bath. All squeaky clean, Max instantly finds a nice patch of dirt to roll around in – so much for the bath! Max also loves to roll in shavings, which he is often covered in.
As our herd continued to expand, Max being a stallion among so many mares began to be a problem. A miniature horse, he truly had no sense of his size. His favorite mare, a large Draft horse named Daisy (see her story), towered over him. But Trisquit (see his story) had already claimed Daisy as his mare and wasn’t happy when Max went anywhere near Daisy. So, for his own safety, Max had to be separated from the herd. He had his goats to keep him company, and he could wander the pastures and play with Trisquit - provided the mares were kept apart.
Eventually, the stallion in him just couldn’t rest. He spent hours pacing the fence-line and began losing weight. Jen reached out to Mary Martin who runs New England Equine Rescue (NEER North). Mary specializes in rescuing and then finding new permanent homes for horses, donkeys, goats and other neglected farm animals. Based on Mary’s carefully researched recommendation, Jen found a wonderful new home for him just south of Boston. Max has a new gelded friend and he has put back on the weight he had lost.
CINNAMON AND SUGAR
Cinnamon and Sugar are a mom-and-daughter pair of pygmy goats who came to our barn with Max (see his story) as a package deal. While we don’t have precise information about their life before Max or their exact ages, our Vet thinks they are probably in their early-teens.
Originating from the Cameroon Valley of West Africa, the Pygmy goat is a popular breed of miniature domestic goat that was brought to the United States from European zoos in the 1950s. A combination of their friendly nature, their hardiness and ability to adapt to virtually any climate made them popular as pets.
Goats are known for their love of climbing and jumping and Cinnamon and Sugar are no exception. They love our new home and spend hours each day climbing the rock walls and exploring the paddocks. They also have a mischievous streak and in the late afternoon they like to find some trouble to get into. This usually involves them knocking over some farm
Trisquit came to us as a “foster” horse from New England Equine Rescue (NEER North) run by Mary Martin of West Newbury. Mary had just rescued several horses (Trisquit, a gelded Halflinger, among them) and was short on space. So, we agreed to foster him at our Newbury barn while Mary searched for a new permanent home for him. Well, for Alison it was love at first sight. Within two weeks, she had officially adopted Trisquit and he became part of our herd and family.
Trisquit was originally from Pennsylvania where he had been an Amish carriage horse. Sadly, work horses are often worked so hard that they wear out. And when they wear out they are often sold at auction where they sometimes end up on trucks headed to Canada for slaughter. This was the fate that Mary saved Trisquit from.
Although he was only ten years old at the time of his rescue, he was in rough shape. His feet had not been properly trimmed and he had “foundered,” a common and very painful condition affecting the feet of horses (his hooves were long and deeply cracked). He also had a permanent scar across his nose from a halter that had been too tight and had presumably never been taken off him.
Even though his life before meeting us had obviously been hard, Trisquit was nothing but a love. A gentle soul with a big heart, he immediately bonded with his new horse and goat friends. And despite his previous abuse and neglect, he was capable and willing to forge trust with his new human handlers. Trisquit is living proof of the reciprocal healing power of love.
Daisy, a stunningly beautiful Belgian Draft horse, was living in a backyard barn near Jen’s home in West Newbury. For nearly a year, Jen would drive by and marvel at her magnificence. When she learned that Daisy’s owner was looking for a new home for her, Jen leapt at the chance.
Unlike the rest of our crew, Daisy was a ten-year old mare in perfect health. Jen had been looking for a riding horse for quite some time. On the first meeting with Daisy, Jen knew she had found her horse. About a week later, Daisy arrived at our barn in Newbury. For Trisquit, it was love at first sight! Since that day, Trisquit and Daisy are never too far apart. They often stand with their heads together – and guess what shape it forms? A perfect heart!
Daisy is enamored by another of our barn regulars and favorites, Harrison, who started coming to the barn when he was eleven. When Harrison first met Daisy, he said, “Daisy, you’re the best and most beautiful horse a boy could ever hope to find.” A sentiment Harrison and Jen both share.
Jen is working with Daisy to become a therapy horse for the various programs she now runs at 3-Hearts Farm. Until we can build our own indoor arena (for which we are fundraising), during the winter months Daisy goes with Jen to Windrush Farm to continue training. Though we all miss her during these months, especially Trisquit, there is nothing like seeing her return. The snorting and neighing of happiness as the herd is reunited can bring tears of joy to your eyes!
Cora came to 3 Hearts Farm in October 2015 from a small backyard space. Cora’s story is one of survival and resilience as seen on the branding on her left shoulder.
Seriously overworked in her early years in rodeo and gymkhana events, Cora came with many scars and bruises both inside and out. Rescued from a kill pen and later, only 1 day away from an unnecessary euthanasia, Cora came to 3 Hearts Farm underweight and the light gone from her eyes. Two years later, Cora enjoys 9 beautiful acres with her farm friends including 5 other rescue horses and ponies, 2 goats and pigs. Healthy and at a stable weight, Cora can often be seen with a twinkle in her eye and loving nudge for her new human family.
The chickens were a 13th birthday gift to Harrison, a barn favorite. Jen and Alison went with Harrison to pick out the chicks when they were just a couple of days old. Harrison helped care for them as they grew from tiny little chicks in a rookery until they moved into their own beautiful coop that Harrison’s parents donated to the barn.
Today, all 12 chickens are thriving and getting much love from Harrison and others. They also produce delicious eggs!
Gypsy, a beautiful paint horse was rescued from a barn that was closing due to a divorce. At twenty-one, Gypsy is still going strong. Currently, we are giving her some time to recover from an old injury. She may one day be able to handle some light riding. But for now, she is a favorite with the kids (and grown-ups) for grooming and bonding. She has an incredibly sweet spirit. She is very calm and gentle.
As it turned out, Gypsy was previously owned by the grandfather of one of our favorite barn kids, Noah. Not only does Gypsy have a new family, she has her old family back, too!
ZSA ZSA and EVA
Zsa Zsa and Eva, “the Gabor sisters,” are Vietnamese Miniature Pot-Belly pigs. These sisters were rescued from a nearby farm that was closing. 6 months old when we adopted them, we were told they would probably get to be 35-pounds maximum. Well, at about 60 pounds now, they still have about another year of growth.
Zsa Zsa and Eva love to swim! Their favorite foods are watermelon and celery. They also enjoy obstacle courses, jumping over fence posts, which we call the “Piglympics!” They are friendly and super smart!
GINGER & GI-GI
Ginger and Gi-Gi are our new miniature horses. They are favorites for kids and grown-ups alike. Very gentle, they love to be led around the “Have a Heart Trail” at 3-Hearts Farm. Even though Ari misses Max, these two gals have found a place in her heart.
Ginger and Gi-Gi have been barn mates for many years. They are inseparable! We adopted them under the condition that they would be kept together for life. And they love their new life together at 3-Hearts Farm!
Buddy, a nineteen-year-old miniature donkey, is the latest addition to 3-Hearts Farm. There is no denying that a miniature donkey is one of the cutest and sweetest animals on earth! They are loyal, intelligent and very social. They are also very funny! For all these reasons, miniature donkeys are often bought or adopted as family pets. But unlike dogs and cats, miniature donkeys can live for 30-50 years, a fact that most families don’t take into consideration when acquiring their new pet. Because of their long lifespan, these donkeys easily end up in a revolving door of adoption – or worse.
Once again, Mary Martin of NEER North came to the rescue. When Mary found Buddy, he was emaciated and his hooves had been neglected for so long they were curling upwards. His spirit broken, Buddy was considered a lost cause and was headed to New Holland, PA for auction. Thanks to the TLC administered by Mary and her many volunteers at NEER North, Buddy was soon nursed back to health. With a healthy diet, he gradually got back to normal weight. And, with proper and regular trimming, his hooves are as good as new. His joyful spirit also returned! Buddy is notorious for his hugs!
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