Through grants and fundraising, Beech Brook Farm’s goal is to provide funds in support of equine care and rescue efforts. They educate and advise on the safe and loving treatment of horses, donkeys and minis mules. Big Y has supported this nonprofit organization through its Community Bag Program.
Tell us about Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue.
Beech Brook Farm was founded in 2007. We aim to save equines from neglect and abusive situations and transition them to loving homes forever. Since our inception, we have taken in about 185 horses, donkeys and minis mules and have placed around 170 of them in forever homes.
How we go about doing this has changed since the beginning. For the past 15 years, we had what I’ll call a boots-on-the-ground facility where we rescued and brought in horses and then found their adoptive homes.
About a year and a half ago, we changed our approach to helping horses. Part of this change in how we operate was due to my diagnosis of esophageal cancer. Surgery and treatments presented a real challenge in our operation. I had been on call and available at the barn 24/7, and that just wasn’t possible anymore; we had to change things. Now we are providing grants to other rescues and individuals who may have lost their job or are struggling to be able to care for their equine. We provide assistance to help them find new homes for their equines if they can no longer keep them. We also continue to support six rescue horses. These horses are a bit older and unrideable due to injuries, so we couldn’t find them homes.
Beech Brook Farm has evolved to continue supporting those six animals and to provide grants for vet bills and farrier expenses. We are still here to provide safe and loving care for the equines.
What services do you provide to the community?
As I alluded to, we provide grants to other rescues and individuals to help them ensure that their horses won’t end up in the wrong places: refer to the grants tab on our website, beechbrookfarm.com. We also educate people about the risks of giving away a horse for free. They could end up in a bad situation with little to no care. And then we continue to support the rescue horses we’ve saved and provide care for the rest of their lives, as long as they have a quality life.
We also educate people about the risks of giving away a horse for free. They could end up in a bad situation with little to no care.
We’ve got one mare that’s still kicking at 28, which is terrific considering the life expectancy of a regular horse is about 22 to 23 years old. While actively taking in animals, we rescued about 185 horses, donkeys and mini mules. And this range of equines has a life expectancy of 20 to 40 years, depending on their size.
What sets you apart from other nonprofits in your community?
As a nonprofit that provides grants, we’re very responsive. I respond to every single email and phone call that comes in within about 48 hours. It is essential to have a sense of urgency in responding to people that reach out to us because it’s emotional for an owner trying to find a new home for their horse they can no longer keep. As a small organization, we can respond quickly to needs. That attention and willingness to work with people really set us apart.
It is essential to have a sense of urgency in responding to people that reach out to us because it’s emotional for an owner trying to find a new home for their horse they can no longer keep.
Tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization.
One story that comes to mind is when we rescued a little mini mare and her four-month-old colt from an auction. When we rescued her, we didn’t realize we were rescuing three; unbeknownst to us, she was pregnant at the time, so ultimately, after she had the baby, we saved three lives.
They have all now been adopted and have beautiful homes. One is being used in therapy with children, which is a really lovely service for our rescues to end up in. Several of our mini horses have become therapy animals and are used in healing therapy. It’s heartwarming to see that the horses can go on to help children and adults in positive social and emotional ways.
What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?
Our rescue has evolved over time; in the beginning, we had classes for teens in need. Our program enabled them to come and interact with the horses, though they didn’t ride. We did this for several years, and some of those teens have now gone on to vet school.
I think that this program was something that really had an impact on many of the youths in our local community. It helped them grow and develop.
There were many benefits for teens living in difficult situations with a lot of anger and other issues. You can’t work around horses if you’re angry; they will sense that energy. So the program helped them learn different ways to cope and interact. We also served some young people that were on the autism spectrum. We are proud of this facet of what we’ve done. And we know it helped many teens grow into well-rounded adults.
There were many benefits for teens living in difficult situations with a lot of anger and other issues. You can’t work around horses if you’re angry; they will sense that energy.
What do you want people to know about Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue?
The most important thing is that even though we don’t have a boots-on-the-ground facility, we still need donations because we continue supporting horses through our work.
In the last year, we’ve given out several thousands of dollars worth of grants and have helped many horses through our offerings. We need donations to keep doing our work and support the horses we still have in our care.
How are you using the funds you’ve received from the Big Y Community Bag Program?
These funds go primarily to vet bills and upkeep for horses in our care.
Occasionally one of our adopters will reach out to us with a huge vet bill that’s a bit challenging for them to cover. And because that was one of our rescues, we want to help support the horse if we can through our grant program, particularly for unusual veterinary expenses. It’s unbelievable how expensive things can be for a horse.
Is there anything you would like to add?
One other thing that Beech Brook Farm does is have a blanket bank. We provide horse blankets for free to anyone who needs to ensure their horse stays warm in the winter but might not be able to afford one. We’ve got quite an inventory of horse blankets. People will send us applications for a blanket, and they can either pick it up if they are local, or we’ll mail it to them at the cost of shipping. They are new or gently used, and all are in excellent condition. If you look on our webpage, there’s a link to fill out an application for the horse blanket bank.
Deborah Finco is the President of Beech Brook Farm.
Published June 26, 2023.