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JUNE 2010 THE RIDER /45 Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue Services in High Demand

By Kelly Bowers and Brenda McArthur

Whispering Hearts has grown well beyond anyone’s expectations. Own- ers, Brenda McArthur and Dave Thompson would like to thank every- one for all of their support stating “ From the tireless efforts of our volun- teers to the generous contributions made by individuals, we thank you all. Without these people, we wouldn’t exist. We are privileged that Whisper- ing Hearts has successfully rescued over a hundred horses from an other- wise unpleasant existence or worse.” Presently, Whispering Hearts is rehabilitating 44 horses. Brenda adds “Our goal is to bring these animals to a point where they are able to be adopted out. Through medical care and the nur- turing methods of Chris Irwin based training, we are proud to say that Whispering Hearts has given over 50 horses a second chance at life now with new loving owners.” Unfortunate- ly, WHHR has received numerous requests this past winter from horse owners who say they could no longer care for their animals. This is often due to rising costs associated with feed and sta- bling which many feel they are no longer able to endure. Tragically, the rescue has had to decline many requests due to space and fund- ing limitations which saddens everyone at Whispering Hearts.

You may remember that in September 2009, Whispering Hearts was involved in a large animal cruelty seizure involving 14 horses from the Waterford area. Many of these animals were near death when they arrived at the facility. Despite all efforts, one mare named Gracie did not make it. In her memory, WHHR has just launched a video on U tube which exposes the ugly truth of what happens far too often in rural communities across Ontario. These situations happen, often end with the people responsible getting away with these terrible acts of cruelty when no legal charges are laid, as hap- pened in this particular case.


WHHR is growing. They are pleased to have completed quarantine paddocks and stalls in October 2009. The area has 2 separate paddocks and stalls away from the main barn. This was needed quickly to accommodate the new young foals and mothers that arrived at the rescue resulting from the Waterford seizure. The project was partially funded by a $1,500 donation from the 2009 Haldimand County Mayor’s golf Challenge. The rescue is grateful to have been selected again as a recipient of raised funds this year, which they plan to put towards installing fences to create an outdoor riding/training area.

The WHHR fundraiser in Decem- ber raised enough funds to vaccinate the whole heard at Whispering Hearts. Brenda sends “a special thank you for all that turned out. We reached our goal!”

Dolly and Barnie in Halter just for fun.

Brenda is also excited to announce that WHHR will be adding on to the existing arena in June through a gener- ous bequest fund. The construction of the new addition will open space for six stalls to be built in the existing build- ing. Many of the horses are in a desperate state when they arrive at Whis- pering Hearts. Having the ability to house 6 additional horses indoors makes a world of difference. There were a few horses from

the big seizure in The Rider’s previous stories that she thought you might like to hear about their progress.

DOLLY (29 year old percheron) You may remember Dolly from The Rider’s previous story when she was originally rescued. Dolly has had a great winter, she looks great. Her health has improved drastically from when she arrived in September; along with her spirits.Dolly has gained over 400 lbs since here arrival. She has been wormed numerous times, bathed and is all clear form lice, parasites with a nice shiny coat. She still has some arthritis and has off days; however that is expected seeing that she is 29 years

Dolly when rescued

old. Her hooves are trimmed to where they should be finally and will be maintained properly now. You can see it in her eyes that she is very grateful and feels so much better. Dolly is a pasture mate with her best friend, Barnie who was also rescued from the same farm. They are inseparable. We hooked them up to harness over the winter only to see if they had been trained. Dolly certainly will not be expected to work ever again and will live out her years with Whispering Hearts. She seemed to enjoy being harnessed as you can see in the photo; she stood there like a pro!!! What a special horse with such a history, if only she could speak human, I am sure she would have many stories to tell!


Giblet was also a subject of our previous report after the herd’s seizure last fall. Poor Giblet had a very rough start in life, and at times we didn’t know if he would pull through. When he arrived at the shelter he was emaci- ated, lifeless, infested with lice and internal parasites. He was most likely weeks away from death at only 2 months old.

We are now happy and proud to report that Giblet is a real fighter and has come back to health. To look at him you would never believe the neglect he received at the start of his life. He is so feisty and growing like a weed. Giblet was given many baths to clear up his skin, was wormed numer- ous times, which continues monthly to clear up internal parasites, and has had his hooves trimmed 4 times already!

The colt has now been suc- cessfully weaned from his and is stabled with a few play- mates his own age. Giblet loves to run around the pad- dock when a new car pulls into the rescue and loves to play with our dog, Tipper along the fence line. He has become a real character on the farm and is very much loved by all of the volunteers and visitors at Whispering Hearts. Giblet will begin a training program this summer focusing on basic skills such as leading in hand and standing in cross ties.

Giblet and Little Whisper, happy stable mates

Little Whispers past few months Sometimes miracles hap- pen even in awful situations like the fact that another res- cued mare of the same seizure successfully gave birth at WHHR last fall. You may remember “Little Whis- per”, from a previous Rider article. Whisper is now a beautiful, healthy and ram- bunctious 6 month old who has special place in every- one’s hearts. Brenda is happy to report that she is growing like crazy.

Recently, at 5 months of age, Little Whisper was weaned from her mother. This went very well and she is now stabled with Giblet, who is only a few months older than her, what a pair they are! Little Whisper is full of spunk and is just a ball of energy. She is always up to mischief and ready for a game. Being a pasture mate with Giblet encourages these 2 to be quite mis- chievous. It is not unusual to see them horse’n around together as they run, following cars up the fence line. They also play play tug of war with the han- dle of their toy ball. The WHHR team have all grown so attached to her and can’t wait to start Whisper on some ground work soon.

Brenda says to her support- ers, “Speaking for all our team, Little Whisper, Giblet, Dolly, Barnie and the rest of the herd, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. Without your gen- erosity, our facility could not change the lives of these horses.”

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· June 18, 2010 – Haldimand County Mayor’s Golf Challenge Fundraiser · July 10, 2010 – WHHR Annual

Little Whisper grows like a weed Fundraiser & Open House

· July 24/25 2010 - Confident Horse- manship 2 Day Clinic with Anne Gage Gold Certified Chris Irwin Trainer “We are taking donations for our annual fundraiser of used tack, garage sale items and prize table donations,” says Brenda. “Please contact us if you would like to participate or sponsor these events!”

Learn more about Whisperng Hearts at

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