The Wild Hearts Story
“At various points in our lives, or on a quest, and for reasons that often remain obscure, we are driven to make decisions which prove with hindsight to be loaded with meaning. (225)”
― Sri S. Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali
Wild Hearts came into existence in such a way that we could have not planned for or predicted. It began once upon a time with a wonderful little mare called "Mia Belize", better known as "Me Me". But we must start a bit further back than that.
Growing up, my grandparents used to take me to the races. My grandfather would let me choose which horse was going to win and I'd always choose the "purple horse", or the horse in purple silks. I vividly remember watching in awe as these magnificent creatures entered the starting gates, nostrils flaring. Then, the gates would open and the pounding of their hooves as they raced by felt like the entire earth was quaking beneath my little feet. I looked up at the jockeys unable to comprehend how they were so brave, sitting atop those firey thoroughbreds. It was not long after this I was signed up with pony club and so began PART 1 of my journey with horses.
Fast forward to years later and my parents sold our little farm and along with it my pony. Life changed and carried on in a new town as it tends to do.
Fast forward again (now, some twenty odd years later) and my own little girl got bit by the horse bug. After many family discussions we decided to take the plunge. Soon after, I began PART 2 of my own horse journey with her, taking lessons, and on the search for my own horse who would be a buddy for my daughters horse. I knew right away that I'd be after a thoroughbred. During my first go around in pony club, a retired racehorse had come to the barn where I took lessons. He was for sale and I had desperately wanted him to be mine. At the time my parents thought an ex-racehorse was too much energy, too scary, and not the right horse. This time around, I was getting that thoroughbred! So began my search...
I came across New Stride Thoroughbred Adoption Society, and the facilitator and I became fast friends. When I told her my back story and which horse on their website I was interested in, she quickly knew that wasn't the right horse for me. She told me of a horse she had that wasn't available/on the website yet, and she'd be perfect for our casual family farm living. Her name was Mia Belize, or, "Me-Me". I promptly arranged to meet her and so began our journey together. I had no idea what was to unfold in the months and years to come...
My husband saw the experiences we were having and wanted to jump in too! He found himself a retired thoroughbred "Seven Chances", and we always joke that she quickly became the other woman in his life. Our daughter outgrew her little pony and quickly followed in our footsteps. Next, our son. We have a wide range of experience levels and yet, we found we had created this flow that brought these once spooky, at times overwhelming horses, to become these trusty companions.
I stayed in close touch with New Stride both to keep them updated on Me-Me, but also because we had become friends. Over time, the idea of opening our own version of New Stride to maybe take on any horses on their waitlist or when they were at capacity, emerged. They were, and have been, an incredible support system, mentor and advocate of what we offer and without them we would not exist today.
This brings us to today. Wild Hearts today is still our little family of four, a group of wonderful volunteers, and a very specific, and unique vision. We work with caring owners and trainers to create a peaceful transition to second (forever) homes. We pick horses up from the track or nearby facility, bring them to the ranch, where they undergo a let down period in turnout with other OTTBs, before they begin retraining on the ground and under saddle. Horses are examined/vetted and any rehabilitation (where required) begins. There is no time limit for length of stay in the program, as each horse will only be adopted out to a well matched, approved home that will not ask anything of them that is not in their best interest.
If you would like to get a birds eye view of the happenings on the ranch, the best place to find us is over on Instagram! See you there!