Horse Helpers was established as a 501c3 in 2004. The organization has been rescuing horses and other equine ever since. Kathleen Kelley took over the presidency a few years later, maintaining Horse Helpers’ presence in the area. Kelley helped to bring the plight of equine during Hurricane Katrina to the forefront of our community. Taking donations from the High Country to equine in the Louisiana region. In February 2009, the presidency was transferred to Amy Hudnall and the rescue moved to Wisteria Farm where it now resides. Throughout the changes in leadership Horse Helpers retained consistency in core board members as well as the ongoing support of all the former volunteers and participants. This kind of community is one of the reason why Horse Helpers continues to maintain a helpful presence in the High Country.
Today, Horse Helpers is located on Wisteria Farm west of Boone, NC. We are the only 501c3 equine rescue serving Watauga, Ashe, and Avery Counties in North Carolina and nearby Tennessee. Our main goal is to offer aide to horses, donkeys, and mules. We also provide a forum for education on humane animal care and communication.
Wisteria Farm is located on 5 acres in a mountain farming community. We have a main barn that allows us to have up to 10 rescues at a time along with a quarantine barn for newly arriving horses. We have private paddocks for sick horses and rent an additional 25 acres of pasture. At the moment we have two main auxiliary locations, one that house up to seven horses through the generous support and work of the property owner and in the summer we have another 10 acres available. This kind of flexibility has allowed us to create compatible herds of horses (we have a senior center and our herd of ridable horses) as well as paddocks in which we can separate sick or injured horses from the main herds.
Our volunteer support and community support continues to grow as awareness of Horse Helpers increases. We are supporters of the local sustainable development community as well as links to Appalachian State University and Watauga High Schools Mountain Alliance.