Giving sick, abused and unwanted horses a second chance.

Horse Helpers of the High Country

Olaf: A Holiday Success Story

Olaf-arrival-4w Olaf, his son Frosty, and Poe arrived at Horse Helpers after an April morning call from the Avery County Sheriff’s Department. On the day we picked him up, Olaf was a shaggy, skinny broken-down chestnut gelding. Even though spring was over early this year, he was so starved and wormy that he still had a heavy winter coat.

As is too often the case, Olaf quickly began to show signs of new life just with regular feed and forage. Olaf - arrival photo It didn’t take him long to shed out his winter coat and heal from severe skin infections. His former owner had said he was well trained and we soon discovered that he was an easygoing and calm riding horse—a perfect horse for a beginner.

Along came Wendy, the founder of the Stone Creek Equestrian Center in Morganton. She was looking for therapy horses for her therapeutic riding program. Olaf turned out to be a great match and at the end of September, Olaf and I made the trip to Morganton and his new home.

A few weeks later Wendy sent me the photo to the left of a young autistic woman riding her first horse—riding Olaf. Don’t they look great together! He doesn’t even look like the same horse as the one in the photo above. Wendy said the young woman giggled the whole time and Olaf looks like he is having a good time too!

These are the kinds of miracles that happen only with your help. Thank you!

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Horse Helpers of the High Country, incorporated in 2004 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, is the only federally recognized equine rescue in the region, serving the Northwestern corner of North Carolina, including Avery, Ashe and Watauga Counties as well as Johnson County, Tennessee. Our mission is to help sick, hurt, abused, and unwanted horses and other equine providing them an opportunity for rehabilitation and a loving home. In other words, a second chance.Horses and other equine arrive at our farm in a variety of ways – official seizure due to neglect or abuse, horses from slaughter auctions, even owners who feel they must relinquish their animals due to financial or care difficulties. The current economic crisis has put equine and livestock at even more risk. In times of economic uncertainty, care of animals is sometimes the first place people cut corners. We can’t do this alone. As all humanitarian tasks are driven by the loving support of community, we need each of you, and the support of our horse community at large, to embrace our goals and provide heart, hands, and funds to help these noble animals. As the great Mahatma Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Join us in this common goal. Please help Horse Helpers of the High Country provide the compassionate care these animals deserve. You see the quiet “thank you” in the sparkle in the eyes of these gentle creatures.