From the beginning HUGS was a project of love. It started in 1999 when a 13 year old named Alexandra decided it was her calling to get out of showing horses and begin to rescue them. She was determined to make it a place where the unwanted, neglected and abused horses could come and find sanctuary. A place where the needs of the horse could be put first and some quality of life could be given back to them.

Each horse brought into the center had a unique story to tell. Some stories showed up on the poor things without words, but others were left with us all trying to figure out what went wrong or why they had to suffer or was not wanted. Through our trials and errors we managed to fall in love with many of them and they rest we tolerated for the most part. No one said every horse has a sweet personality. If they did they really didn’t know much about horses.

The first few we struggled with being overwhelmed by taking in too many at a time. Still our doors stayed open and we managed to get to know some very good volunteers along the way. We bent over in several angles trying to bring on enough staff to handle the horses the way they needed to be handled on a daily basis. From High School Equestrian Teams to Local Law Enforcement Community Service Youth Programs we reached out.  Extra family members joined our quest and for a while it seemed like things were going pretty good.

We raised care cost through local fund raisers and Expos that we managed to put on throughout the year. A percentage of our salaries went straight to the cost of maintaining the grounds and feeding the livestock.  But, as in all things it drained more and more of our family money to hang in there and find homes for the horses that could be adopted out.  From 1999 until 2010 we placed over 1400 horses in homes around Michigan. Since then we had to taper off on our intake, because the economy just would not or could not handle the volume we were asked to take on.  The grounds were being let go just to feed what we had. After a couple of years….we were in dire need of shelters, repairs to existing buildings, new fencing and of course good homes for the healthy rescues. We were still left with the older ones that could no longer be moved.

We had to make a conscious decision to make changes in our governing of the not for profit corporation we had formed. Alexandra was now in college full time and had moved away from the center, but still returns daily to see to the rehabilitation of all the horses.  At 24 years old she felt it was too much to sacrifice having  the whole family to go without because of her dreams so she cut back the intake to a Meir dozen equine friends at any one time.  With this number we were better equipped to handle the horses and to supply a quality life for them. We began by adding on the existing barn a new 30 X 70 structure to store hay and equipment.  We managed to get a new roof put on the main barn for the horses and repair all split wood and structural damage that was done by the horses.  Just this past summer we managed to put in all wood pastures. For the first time ever we can say we are a wire FREE rescue. There is no retainer wire on the grounds. All brand new split 3 rail fending around the entire property.  A brand new resized outdoor arena was installed 150 x 300. Now we are saving to add stalls for the new horses. All of our existing stalls are taken up. We need to get at least 10 new stall shelters put in the new pastures hopefully by next summer. This is going to take a lot of money and help from our friends.

With 2015 we will be celebrating 16 years of rescuingalong with Alexandra’s 29th Birthday. Hopefully if all goes well we will be planning a huge open house to celebrate. So if you are in the neighborhood or are an old friend of HUGS make sure you mark your calendars we will keep you posted. Stop by and say hi....get to know us. We might just have the horse of your dreams lurking around here somewhere.

Until then saddle up and enjoy the ride.

Copyright 199-2015, all rights reserved. Hugs2Horses Rescue Center