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Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue Society Ltd

Rating: 4.54 stars   70 reviews 8,651

Nonprofit Issues:



17250 Old Frederick Road Mount Airy MD 21771 USA


Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue was formed to facilitate the rescue of Draft and Draft Cross horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect.


Thanks to the support of our generous donors, Gentle Giants has expanded and can now house 60 horses!

Target demographics:

save draft and draft cross horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect

Direct beneficiaries per year:

150 horses

Geographic areas served:

the United States


rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, and re-homing.

2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue Society Ltd

Rating: 5 stars  

Can not say enough great things about my experience volunteering at Gentle Giants. I started a little over a year ago and have been consistently at the farm 2-3 days a week. It is the kind of atmosphere that you find yourself drawn to, because you cant stand to be away. The program Christine is running for these horses is remarkable. I am constantly amazed at the change in these animals from the time they come to the farm to even a few months later. These horses from rough situations in terrible condition and through the love and care of gentle giants are rehabilitated into healthy, friendly, and most importantly happy horses.

The staff are friendly and helpful. As a volunteer it is a fun place, and a chance to learn a lot. The most rewarding of all is being able to make a difference in the lives of these animals through kind care and see the benefits of your work in these horses.

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Rating: 5 stars  

There are many ways we can be of service to our world, our community and all living things. Gentle Giants Draft Horse rescue is full of folks who care (literally and figuratively) diligently and deeply for some wonderful creatures. I just became familiar with the rescue earlier this year and have enjoyed learning about horses and making new friends along the way. I do what I can to support and fit this mission and its stars (the truly gentle Giants) into my busy schedule. Oh and there are more than just draft horses here. Come visit!

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Rating: 5 stars  

My girlfriend found and started volunteering at this horse rescue. I eventually agreed to come out and help with a project they were working on, the rest is history.

What I found is a giant family of genuine, good hearted, fun-loving, passionate horse lovers. I have always felt welcome and enjoy every visit the to the rescue.

The staff are always friendly and more than willing to take to the time to teach you anything you want to know.

I wish the world was filled with more people as kind hearted and honest as the staff and volunteers of gentle giants draft horse rescue.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This rescue is very dedicated to each horse it saves. Rehabilitation is paramount whether it's nutritional, injury or behavioral. A horse will not leave (through adoption) without many months of TLC. They seek to find the horse and potential adoptive person a good match. If for any reason the horse can no longer be cared for, they come back to the rescue as per adoption contract. I've been a volunteer for about three years now, and I can say that I have not found a group of people more passionate about animal rescue as I have with Gentle Giants. They are an amazing group. I could go on and on....

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have been with Gentle Giants for the past 10 months as a volunteer and a sponsor. I can not say enough about this organization. Everyone is devoted to the care of these animals as if they were their own pets. Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue is above and beyond providing basic care and needs of the horses. Christine Hajek is an amazing person, and I am happy to be part of this organization!

Would you volunteer for this group again?


For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a volunteer for Gentle Giants. They are highly organized and depend on the volunteers. I drive 3 hours round trip from another state three times a week because I totally love being at their farm. The horses get fabulous individual care. The staff and other volunteers care deeply about the horses and go the extra miles to make sure they are loved and get whatever they need. The horses always come first. I have worked with and for non-profits my whole life and I can say I have never seen one where there is so little money spent on useless overhead. We are all about the business of rescuing horses in great distress, making sure they are safe, rehabilitating them, retraining them with love and finding great homes for them. They are very strict about where the horses are re homed. The people involved are horse people and have broad knowledge of horse psychology and care. They are often among the first to intervene in rescue operations and are widely respected in the horse and animal rescue communities. They have classes and training volunteers must complete before being allowed to interact with the horses. The staff is amazing and work along side us volunteers. They often bring in experts for clinics and training and open them to interested people in the community. They participate in state and county fairs and have an award winning drill team made up entirely of rescued horses. These guys are the real deal and I am proud to be part of their tremendous mission. I also find the horses rehabilitate and restore me as much as I do them.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I started at Gentle Giants about a year and a half ago. I am in love with it. All the people who work there. All the staff. Its like heaven on earth. I have never been so happy to wake up early, work all day, then go home. Because by the end of the day i feel better knowing i helped horses in need. I see horses come in in terrible condition and by the end of their rehab they are a totally different horse. Gentle Giants does all they can for every horse to make sure they have the best care they can give. I love Gentle Giants and i am proud to volunteer there.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering once a week at Gentle Giants since I retired 5 years ago. This has been an incredible experience and it is amazing how the rescue has grown during that time. The horses receive the best care available and are now benefiting from a full-time trainer. The farm is well-maintained and every effort is made to keep the horses healthy and more adoptable. I look forward to my time at the farm and spending time with these deserving creatures.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have now volunteered at GG for over a year and for (mostly) two mornings a week. I find the knowledge and compassion of the president, Christine; barn manager Alyssa and her her team - impressive! They fight hard to save and rehab the horses who are lucky to find the GG farm and when it is in the best interest of the horse, make the humane decision to let them go. The facility is consistently well managed and there is great passion and professionalism in the over 100 volunteers who support the horses. I'm proud to volunteer there.

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Rating: 2 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Today I received a mail solicitation for Gentle Giants, a charity to which I've never donated; therefore, the organization could only have obtained my mailing address by purchasing/exchanging it from another animal welfare group. My bet it is one of the national level groups who sold it, but that isn't my main objection. Gentle Giants' envelope contained a graphic image on the front featuring the infamous back-stabbing method of horse slaughter. While I find the abuse of horses & all animals disgusting, this was an unnecessary, unabashed shock fundraising attempt that's in poor taste. Those of us who care for animals don't need those images shoved in our faces for effect. Since Gentle Giants (or its 3rd party fundraiser) knows my donor history, it already knows I would donate without this tactic. With no trigger warning for those of us who've witnessed animal abuse, the image is in full view of children and anyone else who glimpses the envelope in our mailroom or my living room. And please- no insulting lectures about how the images are necessary to "educate," as they can still be included on a mailing's interior with envelope phrasing that can encourage a consensual viewing. Needless to say, it went in the trash. I looked up Gentle Giants on Charity Navigator & other watchdog groups, but there's not enough info or history of IRS filings for any accurate rating. I'm sure there are some kind hearted folks affiliated with this organization, but their fundraising tactics are dirty pool.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change their fundraising tactics.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Rating: 5 stars  

19 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering this past summer. I learned that the staff and founder are set with focus and conviction. The work they do for the drafts is unselfish, humane, and full of patient compassion- day in and day out.
I spent more than 20 years working with horses . I taught lessons, showed hunter-jumpers, broke 2 year olds, and was an exercise rider.
I know a little about the treatment of horses. In the past I spent many weekends at the auctions looking for schooling ponies among the many horses that did not get rescued by a lucky break.
Christine and her staff have provided a second chance for so many horses on a beautiful farm with an awesome and tireless staff. They work hard to get the job done every day. They are caring and friendly with a strong conviction for how they care for their horses, staff and volunteers. They work hard and care even harder for their horses, and are not afraid of having a little fun at the end of the day. Gentle giants will always have my support, even if I can only be there a few months of the year. They deserve as much support as they can solicit. Support the Gentle Giants!

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