I have been to visit Tara Farm Rescue several times and am impressed with the work they do. I had my first riding lesson this week (have been wanting to do this for 55 years) and loved it! The young lady (volunteer) who instructed me was wonderful. She explained things about horses, about riding them, and how to communicate with them. She showed me how to brush the horse & clean his hooves, saddle & bridle him and lead him to the ring. We worked in the ring for half an hour. I learned to go & stop & back up, to keep him on the perimeter of the ring, and I worked him through some obstacles. Then she had me undress him (I am sure there is a term for this but I'll be darned if I can remember), brush him and check his hooves again and lead him back to his stall. She was very professional, relaxed and friendly (even if she wasn't middle aged). I feel I got a lot for my money (which goes to the rescue farm, not to her) and signed up for my next class with her next week!
I am appalled at the professionalism of the so called "instructor" of the farm. Recently I had contacted them for riding lessons for my daughter and had things set up, she not only was late to the lesson, but she showed no professionalism and made no attempt to contact me or reschedule the lesson. I was under the impression that Bonnie was teaching the lessons. I also caught view of the "instructor" advertising that the facility does therapeutic riding. There is no way that they can offer that from a kid instructor. This is a huge liability and I hope no one gets hurt from her teachings. I know very little of the sport myself and while watching her direct others clearly shows she needs to have lessons herself. I hope they find someone who knows what they are doing or Bonnie goes back to teaching.
With all the rumors and untrue things going around about my second home right now, I'd like to take a minute to set the record STRAIGHT. Tara Farm Rescue in Coventry CT is a place I've spent almost all of my past time the last 9 years of my life. Bonnie Jeanne Gorden, the owner and manager, taught me how to ride when i was 8 years old, taught me everything about horses and how to care for them. This barn is one of the only ones in Connecticut that has a "work to ride" program, where you can muck stalls in return for FREE riding. This is an opportunity that is very hard to come by, and inexpensive way for kids to get all kinds of experience without having to pay a fortune. So that's what I did, for 9 years of my life, working my way up and earning people respect there as a rider. I worked my butt off, shoveled lots of poop volunteering there in my free time. and slowly, over the years, taking lessons and being taught by Bonnie Jeanne and the other volunteers there, my riding became the most important part of my life. Now, keep in mind, this is a RESCUE farm. We take in animals that no one else wants, that no one else can handel, and they become our responsibility. Our only income is through our lesson program, grants, and donations. So no, we may not have a huge indoor arena to ride in, or the prettiest barns, or most expensive tack. But we DO have a group of people with huge hearts, that do everything to put the animals first, and that's exactly what we do. I've gone to auctions with Bonnie Jeanne and bought horses there for dirt cheap that were destined for slaughter. Weve saved animals frozen to the ground left there to die. Weve had horses come in that are so unsocialized theyve never been touched by a human before. We then rehabilitate them, feed them, get them back into shape, get them the vetrinary care they need, and adopt them out. we have saved HUNDREDS of horses, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, llamas, etc. Tara Farm brought me together with my own person horse Cherokee, who was destined for the slaughter auction if Bonnie Jeanne had not personally saved her. Ive seen the rescue turn cases around that were deemed "unsavable", into happy, healthy horses. I am the president of the 4H group held at our farm, and we are all proud to say that we are from Tara Farm Rescue. So please, I'm asking you NOT to believe the rumors going around about the farm from people who have never even stepped foot on the property, or who are set out to shut us down because of personal problems going on. Take it from me, a volunteer and rider of ten years, who knows every single detail about this place and all of the animals in it, and who knows that this rescue is an amazing operation that has saved thousands of animals lives-and you cant argue with that.
!!SCAM ALERT!! Tara Farm Rescue routinely "adopts" horses to unsuspecting, well intentioned people who pay for boarding, veterinary bills, transportation, etc. to Tara Farm. If the "adopter" wants to board the horse at another facility, a "problem" is found with the paperwork and the adoption is deemed to be null and void by the owner of the rescue. The scam is then perpetrated on another unsuspecting person. STAY AWAY!!
I used to go with my mom to help her clean the horse's stall that she adopted from Tara Farm because she has fibromyalgia and sometimes cannot do so on her own (also another reason she rides horses is because it it therapeutic) . The stalls were poorly built and several times my mom's horse was cut from slipping in the mud (that always seemed to be there regardless of the weather) on the ramps and she had to treat him for thrush because of the moist conditions. She had moved him once to another boarding facility and after my mom had given Bonnie Jeanne notice she left my mom's horse out in an open area, at night, un-blanketed while it poured freezing rain, there was even snow on the ground at the time. Once we got to the new boarding facility our horses were first placed in stalls with concrete floors, which she was told was not going to be permanent and that they would be moved shortly but about a month or so went by and they continued to be left in the stalls with concrete floors and on more than one occasion we noticed that they had been skimping on their food (which we provided for them) and had given some of our hay to other horses being boarded and weren't being let out to exercise with all the other horses daily so we decided to go back to Tara Farm since it was the only other place at the time that my mom knew of that was affordable. One winter my mom was on Craigslist and found a woman looking to give away a horse in NY so we contacted the lady about the horse and drove out to look at him and she told us that the woman who had boarded him there had just abandoned him and that she did not have the extra money to continue taking care of him and her own horses. We ended up adopting him. When we went to ask Bonnie Jeanne if we could also board this horse (that was going to be my horse) along with my mom's horse she yelled at me "how dare you not adopt a horse" without even knowing the details about how we came to own this horse, I assume what she was so angry about was that I had not adopted a horse from her. I have also seen Bonnie Jeanne slap and punch her horses in their face when they misbehave. My mom is the one who had her horse stolen back when she decided to leave Tara Farm a second time. She won the court case against Bonnie Jeanne for Bonnie Jeanne breaching her own contract. My mother did not abuse her horse and if that was true why did Bonnie Jeanne allow her to keep her horse the entire time we were boarding him there? She did not say one word to my mom about mistreating her horse until she tried to leave again. You would think if she really was doing something wrong that she would not sit by and allow it for months and that the horse would have been taken from my mother before hand. Most of you who are talking about my mother on here have no first hand experience with my mom or her situation and it is all hearsay and none of your business to say anything about. My mom loved that horse and was very emotionally distraught after losing him, my younger sister was even jealous of this horse at one time because my mom treated him so good and spent so much time on/with him. There is definitely room for improvement to be made in the way this place is run and the general attitude of workers towards the public.
I currently work at Tara Farm Rescue, and I have to move, and I am sad to say goodbye. That place has become, my family. I have read some of the other reviews that people have written, and I would like to say, the animals are treated really good. Yes, they get scolded when they do somthing they are not suppose to do, but thats how the horses learn. And currently Tara Farm is trying to raise money to tear down one of the buildings and re-build it. I have a feeling that people who visit this farm, just glance at it, and think so horrible of this place. It is amazing. Yes, it is dirty there, but Farm isn't? I mean really? We clean the stalls everyday, and give equal attention to each animal. This is an amazing person to volunteer at. And obviously the people who had written bad reviews about this place, have some looking to do in the mirror at themselves. Bonnie Jean, I have known her for maybe 4 momths now, and yes, she does come off a little intimadating, but she really isn't at all. She is very nice and kind hearted. And don't say anything about her brother. That is a shame, that person, would throw that in this farms face, about what happened to him. That person doesn't know what really happened, so they should not say anything about what happened to him. Yes animals die, but Tara Farm Rescue does everything that they can do to prevent it. But sometimes you just can't help things like that from happening.
I learned to ride at Tara Farm. My daughter now rides at Tara farm. My husband and I are signing up today to volunteer at the farm. This place does amazing things and those of you who think Bonnie Jean is a horrible person think again. Some of my fondest memories of childhood come from that farm. Yes we worked our butts off and my daughter does now but it tought me a good work ethic, and BJ is now helping to instill that in my child. she loves those animals more than she loves most humans. She is not neglectful in anyway. Those of you who claim she took her horse back, I am willing to bet you did something to that horse that she did not agree with. If you did not like the contract than you should not have signed it. Tara Farm is amazing.
This place is absolutely disgusting. I had taken i visit out to Tara farm rescue to possibly adopt a horse and was mortified at what i saw. This seems to be more of a case of animal hoarding then animal rescue. I don't think this organization has the means, money, or workers to take care of the amount of animals they have and it really shows. Horses are standing in layers and layers of feces and filthy bedding. Not to mention the barns leak like you wouldn't believe and the horses are getting rained on even inside, and the stalls are filled with inches of water. What a shame. I wish i could get every one of those horses out of there. Someone aught to call the people for that "animal hoarders" show. I know that a lot of "animal hoarders" will call their operations "animal rescue" in order to receive donations and things. I hope this isn't whats going on here.
I have to say that I came to this site trying to find truthful information on this farm. I mean after all this is a review site. They are meant to be used to try to spread an honest inside word on organizations. All I can say is that I don't know what to believe and that I have really wasted my time. Can we please stop fighting and lying! All we should care about is the horses and spreading the truth about the organization. If you are lying about the farm, weather you are saying it is great or awful, I feel sorry that you are such a lame person to be wasting your time by doing that. I have a friend who works there and she says it is great yet she is not afraid to admit that "yes, it does have it's faults just like any organization" I was thinking about volunteering for lessons but now I am not so sure. I mean if this is how you all you act ,by fighting, why would i want to be in that type of environment? Oh, also Don't you think you should spend a day at the farm volunteering instead of judging it at all. I am sorry for being so harsh but we all want to help the animals so why don't we start doing it.
I have known Bonnie Jeanne for 27 years. I started 4-H with her when I was 12 and grew up riding at Tara Farm. I gained my "horsey education" there learning about all aspects of horse care, training and rehabilitation of abused, injured and neglected horses. I boarded there as an adult. If there is one thing I can say about this rescue it's that the animals come FIRST. You will find few rescues that put the time and resources into a horse like this place does. Dental, chiropractic, massage, medications, supplements, corrective trimming and shoeing...you name it, if they need it, they get it. Because so much time, love and effort is put into each rescue, her contract is tight...she want's to make sure the horse never has to suffer abuse or neglect again. Bottom line is...if you adopt a horse from Tara Farm and you take proper care of the horse...it's your's for life, but make no mistake, Bonnie Jeanne will not let one of her babies go through abuse or neglect again if she can help it. Once a horse is part of the Tara Farm "family", there is a group of caring individuals that want the best for the horse for the rest of it's life. The many wonderful adopters know this too...and they are also part of the Tara Farm family.
Review from Guidestar