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55 Reviews
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July 25, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
July 25, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

I have been contributing to Gentle Giants for several years now. Periodically, I have received a letter soliciting funds and I was so impressed, I did contribute. Last week, my husband visited the facility and confirmed that our money is being well-spent! The facilties are beautiful, the staff answered all of our questions, and the horses are getting the best of care.

Ways to make it better...

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

Give them more support!

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

January 31, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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January 31, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

Today I received two donation-seeking letters, both from horse rescue groups. The return envelope for both had almost an identical address, a post office box in Hagerstown, Md. Clearly this organization is using a professional, for-profit, fund raising company to send out begging letters. My name was sold to this company by another group to which I donated. When I find out which organization sold me out, they won't get another penny and will get a scathing review. It will be easy enough to identify them, as there is an error in the spelling of my name.

Ways to make it better...

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

Stop paying someone to fund raise. How much do you pay them to do this for you and how much of the donated money do you actually see? Not to mention they are targeting people who have no interest in your group. I support animal rescue groups in my own community.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

January 30, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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January 30, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

Over two years ago I was looking for a place to volunteer where I could be outside, be around horses, and continue to learn and grow as a person. GG was the answer to my extra time and energy, and desire to be involved with people who are dedicated and conscientious. Volunteering 2 days a week has made such a difference in my life, and I am grateful for the continuing opportunities that the rescue organization provides. The volunteers are valued and the horses treated with respect and dignity. It is a kind and interesting place to volunteer, well organized, with tasks accomplished in a skillful manner.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a way to secure more land and facilities so more horses could be cared for. See what winter intervention could be available for the weather temps to be double digit, less wind, sunny always, and snow/sleet only after dark.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

January 30, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
October 14, 2013

I volunteer regularly, and it's the highlight of my week. The farm is beautiful, the horses are so well cared for-Christine, Art and Alyssa go the extra mile to make sure that they are well cared for ... more

January 30, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I volunteer at Gentle Giants on a weekly basis and am awed by the loving care that the horses receive. The staff and volunteers do their very best to rehabilitate these horses, many of whom came from miserable experiences. For example, there is one volunteer who used her annual leave from the government to work daily for a month, with one of the horses who is very fearful and who has "issues". She was able to help the horse to accept blanketing, touching around the face, longing on a long line, etc. Her dedication is matched by the staff and other volunteers. It's a great place to "work".

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a partner to donate land and care of retired and non-adoptable horses so that our resources can be used to rescue, rehab and adopt more horses who are in danger.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

October 14, 2013

I volunteer regularly, and it's the highlight of my week. The farm is beautiful, the horses are so well cared for-Christine, Art and Alyssa go the extra mile to make sure that they are well cared for and everything that can be done to rehabilitate the horses is done. This rescue is a gem

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 30, 2014

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January 30, 2014

I have been volunteering with Gentle Giants since 2012. I was able to use many of my already known horse skills. Gentle Giants also taught me new skills that pertained to draft horses. I have been able to take lessons and show these incredible horses. I have gown with the organization to auctions to purchase horses that would have possibly gone to slaughter. I also have helped horses be adopted. When horses have become sick or injured I have learned how to help with their rehabilitation. I have learned so many aspects of the rescue from working with the animals to administrative duties. Gentle Giants Draft Horse Society has taught me so much about the care of draft horses and the welfare of animals.

Ways to make it better...

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

None The organization is always growing and changing to meet its own needs.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

January 29, 2014

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January 29, 2014

I started volunteering at gentle giants in 2012, i needed something to do in my spare time and absolutely loved horses! When I found GG I had to give it a try and I absolutely loved it, GG has changed my life. Iv had wonderful experiences, iv gotten to tend to auctions to help bring theses horses to a safe and secure place in hopes to find them loving homes, instead of having their life end in horrible matters. Iv gotten to work one on one with these animals and build wonderful bonds, and to even make one of them my very own! GG makes sure that these horses are place appropriately to the right homes and make sure both person and horse match! Iv been well educated with the way the process works with going to auction and what is the meat buyers price, and a safe home price. Some people think that spending loads of money is saving them from the meat buyer, but they are far from right. The meat buyers won't spend tons of money, and people think that buying horses offline that says "buy now their in the kill pen" are just paying boat loads of money to brokers, when in reality these horses where never in the kill pen. I could go on about so much I have learned but in all reality I would recommend gentle giants to anyone! You will learn so much and it's a life changing experience and I thank gentle giants for bringing my horse and I together it has forever changed my life for the better.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

January 20, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
January 20, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

I have trouble understanding the finances as reported on their tax returns. From what appears to be a mom and pop starting with $40,965 in contributions in 2006 and contributions totaling $942,138 over 5 years and I note in the first three years they spell out in detail program expenses for horses, supplies and vet expenses from 60 to 90 % of their revenues on the tax returns.. I can no longer find that detailed information on any of the tax returns.

I do see where in 2012 using an out side fundraiser, they show $1,574,679 of contributions, and show fund raising consultant fees of $277,540, direct mailing expense of $978,420 and fund raising expense $251,808..... my math says that totals $1,507,768 and leaves them with $66,910 and separately they receive about another $165,718. Does that mean only approximately 15% of all money raised goes directly for expenses to to obtain and take care of the horses.?? Even then I would have to look to the financial statements since their fundraising letters, solicitations and website do not provide that detail but does go to your heart to save horses that go to slaughter, but it appears they have not saved very many more than over 300 over all the years in existence, which I might be wrong.

I do not know what I am missing as I truly believe their saving animals is important, the question is at what cost and I am sure there must be explanations or more detail that will explain everything that can be found in their financial statements.

I have requested their audited statements and await a response from one of the three family connected people who I believe are the officers of the Corporation since inception.

In addition on their web site I do not understand the comment 100% of all funds donated go directly to the purchasing of draft horse straight from the kill pen.



Ways to make it better...

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

Not sure yet what changes I would suggest, but they certainly have a good fundraiser and their financial statement will be my starting point.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 24, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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October 24, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I found GG two years ago. Within 15 minutes of showing up on my first day of volunteering, I was given Manny to lead out to the field. He ended up leading me and then leaving me behind. I heard quite a few chuckles. From there, the day only got better. I was thrown right into things. I had experience with horses, but not draft horses, and I hadn't touched a horse in ~10 years. From mucking to feeding, I loved how I was thrown right into things. We went to a Parade of Breeds near DC that afternoon. Manny was mine to groom. I left the show that day with green(ish) stains all over my clothes, blisters on my heals (and hands, in part thanks to Macho Man Manny), and such a warm, fuzzy feeling. Fast forward to today… I’m now looking for a camper to place on GG land. I haven’t told Christine yet, though.

GG is a great rescue with amazing horses and people. Without a doubt, the horses are loved and well cared for. And happy! I love watching them frolic and roll, knowing they’re safe and well fed. Volunteers work hard and are very much appreciated. They are given every opportunity to work with the horses to gain more experience and confidence. After hard work, volunteers are even rewarded with the opportunity to ride. From meals of food, to movie nights, to fun shows—GG is a place where you can spend time and have fun with others who have a passion for helping horses. At GG, everything is very much hands-on. Questions are encouraged and safety is a must. You will experience all shades of the good, bad and sad of the horse rescue world. Honestly, I don’t think you could find another place like it, but until you experience it, you won’t know. Want to have a look into what it’s like at GG? Check out GG on Facebook. While you’re at it, check out Horsin’ Around.

Oh, and I love my pony! ;)

Ways to make it better...

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

Onsite volunteer housing, please.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 23, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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October 23, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering at the rescue about three years ago. My entire experience has helped me expand my horizon and knowledge in the horse world as far as rescue, rehabilitating, retraining, and rehoming these amazing creatures. Since the beginning I have found my dream horse and continue to work with her every chance I get. The rescue is very good at training the volunteers as far as their experiences in the barn and with the horses. Safety is a strong element that the rescue enforces strictly. Riding and Training is done in an organized manner and the rescue is conscientious about the rider and horse team they pair. I am highly impressed by the skill, dedication, and heart the volunteers, trainers, and staff put into carrying the day to day chores. I recommend Gentle Giants very much.

Ways to make it better...

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

Having volunteer meetings one a month.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 22, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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October 22, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I have volunteered at Gentle Giants on a weekly basis for more than two years now and look forward to continuing my relationship as a volunteer and donor for the foreseeable future. I have been a horse owner for the last eight years and know how much work and money it takes to care for just a few, let alone 60 horses well. I volunteered at another horse rescue in the past and found them to be way less appreciative of their volunteers than Gentle Giants. Here volunteers are greatly appreciated and supported. They encourage volunteers to challenge themselves as much as they wish and are eager to teach and answer questions. Many volunteers start out with little knowledge of horses and are still welcomed if they are willing to listen and learn. The animals are clearly loved by the staff and volunteers. Those horses who are elderly and can no longer be ridden are given as much attention as those who are favorite rides. I read on another review some comments about the presence of other animals as a negative of the rescue. I, however, find it to be a positive. The presence a resident pig, calf, assorted chickens and goats seems to help some of the rescue horses overcome their fears of new and strange things. I would love it if my personal horses were not fearful when in proximity to other farm animals when out at shows or on the trail. These animals are all well cared for by their owner and yes, sometimes by volunteers who wish to interact with them but it is not a requirement. It IS REALLY all about the horses. The Vet is in frequent attendance and her services are used whenever needed. The farrier is knowledgable, patient and caring and takes the time that it takes to deal with their often lengthy list of hoof issues from past neglect. The staff is incredibly knowledgable and their abilities and strengths compliment each other well. During the time that I have been there the rescue has moved to a larger facility with better accommodations for the horses. The fields are large and spacious and the staff works to keep the horses in small herd environments with animals with similar needs and temperaments that work together. There are fields for horses that need grass for weight gain and fields for horses who need to be kept with less due to weight and dietary needs. There is a roomy hospital barn for the horses with very special needs that has very large roomy stalls. Every effort is made to select proper feeding regimes for each individual horse. They are modified as the seasons and needs of the horses change. When I am ready to look for another horse I will most certainly hope to get one from Gentle Giants.

Ways to make it better...

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

Have more staff and/or experienced volunteers with the time to spend working with individual horse in training. Many times the amount of day to day work that needs to be done to take care of these horses precludes having enough time for consistent training, especially when the weather is bad. It would also be nice to have the funding to improve fencing on the property. It is in constant need of mending.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

help feed and care for all 64 horses in residence! Volunteer