In Loving Memory

IN LOVING MEMORY OF TRISTAN- passed away 2016

"Today I said my last goodbye. Ever since the day HRU found me at New Holland and bought me for $35, my life has been amazing. I got washed, brushed, fed well, spoiled and above all I got love. Over the years, so many people have come to see me to bring me and my friends treats. I will take the memory of every single person with me. Love healed me. I became a vibrant, larger than life, awesome looking horse. It didn't cure me, I was still ill with cancer. But man, did I enjoy my life these past five and a half years!

I had girlfriends galore and kind volunteers who cared for me. And if anyone's love could had healed me, it would had been the love I got from Anouk. Her life will never be the same, but it is forever a better place because she met me. And Anouk is going to be sad, but she will mostly remember all the good times we had. She will remember how strong, handsome and resilient I was. She will remember how I loved life and everything in it.

Several volunteers who loved me over the years came to bring me lots of treats and say their goodbye to me. I'm very thankful that my regular volunteer is with me as I pass. Anouk couldn't let me go, so she asked my second caretaker, who I know well, to comfort me in my last minutes of my life. To stay with me and tell me how I will always be remembered and that my cremated ashes will come back to Anouk.

It's time to go. My eye started to hurt me. Anouk always promised me that I would know love and kindness and when the time came that the cancer progressed too much to be myself, she would kindly let me go. So now I am gone and I will live on in all of your memories. Remember me fondly and often. Smile and say 'he was an awesome horse. larger than life.' Because I really was. I was everything. My pain is gone now. Love to all, especially to my best girlfriend C.C. xxx Tristan - 8-13-2016." - Anouk, HRU founder/president

Read "Farewell to Tristan" by HRU supporter Allan Schott. See Tristan's before & after transformation.

"Tristan was everyone's horse and represented the soul of every rescued animal. He brought the values, heartaches and beliefs of HRU and good rescues into the spotlight. He was a good will ambassador and will be missed by many, including me." - Sharon Nolin, long-time HRU supporter

IN LOVING MEMORY OF HAILEY- passed away 2016

"Never before was there a horse who I wanted to save more than Hailey. For years, I reported her suffering of starvation and poor care. Her two owners (who had about 10 equines most times in one field) already had multiple horses who had died, possibly from starvation. I managed to get Lucky and Bernie away from them, and I assisted in the removal of four other horses.

Hailey was always one of the skinniest in the field. Complaints always fell on deaf ears. Multiple people reported the neglect several times to no avail. Several people often fed hay and documented conditions of the equines' poor state. I had even offered a high amount of money to her owner at the time just to get her to safety.

Eventually, Hailey was removed from the farm. I always feared the worst until one lucky day when we finally got her saved. With huge thanks to Lynsey Sandy, Laurel Fox, and Olga Gladwin, Hailey ended up at HRU, knowing I would ALWAYS take her, no matter how full we were. The day we finally got her, I just couldn't believe it. We finally had her safe. I cried a lot that day, happy tears, since she finally had a chance in life. She was again in a too-thin state, but all she needed was TLC and food.

Several more horses were saved at the same time by others and I know they all improved. Funny how feeding your horse more often than maybe once a week in winter snowstorms can make them thrive...

I don't know Hailey's past before that. She was probably an Amish work horse before as she had a docked tail.

Aftre rehab, Hailey was adopted out for nearly three years. Sadly her adopter had to make some hard life decisions and ended up contacting us to take her back. Hailey returned to HRU just after Easter 2016. As always, she was a sweet, shy girl.

Just a week prior to her passing, we had a visitor who wasn't used to horses who she got to brush and give apples to Hailey.

On the morning of December 10, 2016, I discovered Hailey dead in the field. Since she had some blood from behind, I had the veterinarian take a look at her. He said:

'We didn't open her up. Externally there was evidence of uterine prolapse and hemorrhage. Also evidence of trauma to left hind limb medially and a distended abdomen. Now with that said, uterus prolapse usually occurs during foaling or can be secondary to gastrointestinal intestinal issues like strangulating type colic where the distended gut pushes the uterus out. Still hard to tell externally, can't tell for sure.'

Our poor Hailey has had a tough life, with a few golden years at HRU. Sadly, she suffered as she passed away overnight. She was fine at the last check the day prior, happy as always.

I just keep looking at her intake picture, the skeleton horse, and think of all the good we gave her. It wasn't enough, but she was loved as long as we were blessed to have her.

Hailey was picked up to be cremated by the same service who handled Tristan. Obviously we don't have the finances, but they agreed to a payment plan. As I said before, some of our horses I love too much to see rendered, and Hailey is one of them. They are compassionate and caring. She will return to HRU. Tristan's ashes are in my house and Hailey will join him.

Thank you to all who loved her and have visited her over the years. Hailey was probably around 28 years old, but give or take, it's hard to tell when they get so old. R.I.P. sweet Hailey." - Anouk, HRU founder/president

See Hailey's before & after transformation.

IN LOVING MEMORY OF COOPER- passed away 2012

"Thank you everyone and thanks to HRU for giving me the opportunity to have Cooper in my life. He taught me more about horses than anything I could have learned from a book in vet school.

I wanted to adopt a horse to better understand my patients since, while I treated them occasionally, I never had a chance to play with them or learn their body language.

I wanted to learn about day-to-day care...not just medical care that I knew about. Cooper taught me that and also taught me more about equine colic then anything I learned in school.

I always wondered why horse people were so 'crazy' about their horses...I mean, I understood dog, cat, and even bird bonding...but horse bonding is totally different, and you don't understand unless you have bonded with one. You can't possibly! It's nothing like even the human bond. It's something special and totally unique and there is so much silent communication that happens! Here is an animal that could kill you instantly that submits to knowing you...allowing you to ride on it...and shows affection while doing! The intelligence I witnessed with Cooper and other horses is beyond what I dreamed when I learned about treating them in vet school. Like I've always said...animals DO talk...but we have to learn their language and every species has an intelligent sophisticated language. They are ALL intelligent.

There will always be a place in my heart now for all Standardbreds, which we don't see ever down here in New Orleans. I'm proud to say that at 31, I got my very first horse and became a 'horsewoman,' and that Cooper was responsible for that. It's never to late to be a beginner rider! He certainly DID NOT live up to his name Foolish Venture...he was the smarted venture I ever embarked upon and one of the best things to happen in my life. He is an example to us all to never give up. I wish I could have had more time with him, but I'm glad he has gotten out of this life of discomfort.

Clients have asked me if I think pets go to heaven. I always tell them absolutely. If heaven didn't have our animals and only our relatives, it would not be heaven! Thanks again everyone for your prayers while I was up all night waiting for poop and colic watching. My boy was the best horse I could have asked for." - Charlotte, Cooper's adopter

"Cooper was hard working and a great horse. He was all about pleasing people." - Anouk, HRU founder/president

"Cooper was a sweet, stoic horse with enough charm to coax an extra carrot out of visitors and enough sense to stand quietly when being loved on by kids. Despite his hard-working past, Cooper was a willing partner both under saddle and in harness. His work ethic was unbeatable; he only needed to be asked once.

The thing that struck me most about him was his genuine enthusiasm to be out doing something useful. He was a highly intelligent and perceptive horse who enjoyed observing and experiencing his surroundings, making something as simple as a walk through an open field fun and interesting. I feel privileged to have known him. While it is sad when any horse dies- especially as young as Coop- the fact that he passed away knowing what it was to be loved and cared for offers some comfort. He was a special horse who will be missed by many." - Kelli, HRU volunteer

IN LOVING MEMORY OF BRONSON & PHOENIX - passed away 2012 & 2013

"I don't know why, but I fell very hard for Bronson. He was just one of those horses that spoke to me." - Anouk, HRU founder/president

"It was the 'two old men' that brought me to HRU. I love all horses, but Standardbreds are a part of me. When Anouk saved two Standardbreds from auction and I was informed they were older and had pulled Amish buggies, I reached out to her. As an equine massage therapist, I knew the two would love massages. So I met up with Anouk, and what sweethearts they were Anouk and I had fun taking photos of us with Bronson and his pal Phoenix (later renamed Charlie). They received their massages, relaxing and yawning, and were all cuddly with me. As Anouk pulled off their heavy Amish horseshoes, I said, 'Give me those, I can turn them into suncatchers.' Their shoes were auctioned as part of HRU's first real fundraiser. Saving Bronson and Phoenix was the start of Anouk opening her heart wider, making Horse Rescue United the successful non-profit it is today. Everyone was thrilled to see the old men adopted together, getting a chance to live out their retirement years peacefully. Bronson, as you are trotting around in heaven with all the other horses that have passed over, thank you being a part of my life." - Suzanne, HRU volunteer

IN LOVING MEMORY OF FABULOUS VALENTINE- passed away 2013

"We had the pleasure of having Fabulous Valentine for 3 1/2 years. He was a pleasure to be around. Valentine always had his ears pricked forward when he greeted you; he never pinned them. He got along great with our other horses, but he always chose a mare to be his running mate. Valentine was part of our trail riding program, and he did fine with beginners usually, but if he broke into a canter, the fire inside him just came to life. Sadly, Valentine was kicked in the pasture by another horse and broke his leg. It was heart wrenching to see him with his expression still perky and ears alert. If you couldn't see the mangled leg, you never would've known that he was suffering. We had to humanely put him down. We loved Valentine very much, and he is missed terribly." - Carla, Fabulous Valentine's adopter

IN LOVING MEMORY OF IC GAITOR- passed away 2013

"IC Gaitor lived with us for about 3 years. He was the sweetest horse and not as hot as many Thoroughbreds are. He actually calmed down to the point where he could have children as young as 6 years old ride him at our summer camp. He had a knack for getting himself into mischief. Gaitor once got his hoof caught up in the roots of a tree. He also suffered from cancer of his sheath. While it was removed twice, I suspect it was throughout his body as he began to get bone calcifications on the shins of his back legs. Gaitor's spirits were always good, and he maintained a good weight. He never appeared to be in obvious pain, so we can only hope that he went peacefully. I feel sure he's running and bucking in horse heaven now." - Carla, IC Gaitor's adopter

IN LOVING MEMORY OF MIDGET- passed away 2015