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October 14, 2013

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1 previous review
November 8, 2012

I started volunteering mid-summer of this year and can't believe I waited so long to do it. Not only are the horses very well cared for, so are the volunteers. I volunteered at another rescue for al... more

October 14, 2013

I now have over a year in with Gentle Giants as far as volunteering goes and my thoughts have not changed. I would highly recommend this organization to anyone as far as donating, adopting, sponsoring and volunteering. I sit at a desk in front of a computer for 40+ hours a week; Gentle Giants is my own personal sanctuary from the work week grind. The staff and Board of Directors are highly approachable and engaging, with much knowledge to offer the beginner to the seasoned. My money and my time goes to this well run 501C3. The GG website is put together well, easy to navigate and always up-to-date. They maintain an interactive Facebook page where all comments are welcome and they share everything from fun times, political and educational news regarding horse slaughter, to the very sad times each and every rescue endures. Lastly the volunteers. I work with the best people ever. We have a well oiled core team who are always waiting for the newbies to come and join us with the hard work and fun times. Yeah...Gentle Giants is the place to be.

I filled out the questions below and they do assume you are no longer with the organization. That is misleading....I have no intentions of ever leaving Gentle Giants.

Chris Hickey

Ways to make it better...

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

Only have it rain on weekdays.

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

November 8, 2012
3 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering mid-summer of this year and can't believe I waited so long to do it. Not only are the horses very well cared for, so are the volunteers. I volunteered at another rescue for almost three years and while that was an excellent learning experience for me, I never got a chance to do many things I wanted to. You can only hear "you can't do that" so many times before getting disheartened. At GG, you don't hear "you can't do that", you hear, "WHY can't you do that?". There is a young girl that is volunteering to collect hours for her future education as a veterinarian. She told our director that she had never been on a horse before. 16 and never been on horse. Christine was shocked and said, "well, we shall fix that." She looked at us and said, "Go get John" and 20 minutes later that young girl was up on a very large, gentle horse and the smile on her face was priceless. After she was done, another "older" volunteer asked if she could get on him and of course, she could. That woman left as if her whole year had been made in those short 20 minutes of walking around bareback on a Shire. Volunteering is not easy, it's hot, it's cold, it's wet, there is a lot of poop, there is heartache and there is a lot of happiness and camaraderie. I am going to be 56 years old very soon and am going to be a toy soldier in a Christmas parade, possibly even riding one of the giants. How many people get to say they did that? If you ever, ever had a desire to volunteer at an extremely well run rescue, this is the place. No experience? No matter...you will be taught. Experienced? Then it's a win win for both you and GG. I will be with Gentle Giants as long as they will have me.

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?

2012

October 14, 2013

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October 14, 2013

I started volunteering with Gentle Giants almost a year ago. It started as a once a week gig but quickly turned into going as often as I could find the time, I can't imagine the past year of my life without GG in it. The horses are extremely well loved and cared for and volunteers are given the opportunity to learn from the staff and owner of GG - expanding handling experience for so many volunteers often allows for more of these rescued horses to receive the hands on time they need. Its hard to stay away from this place once you've been part of the magic, both the horses and the people steal your heart.

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 14, 2013

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October 14, 2013

I first found out about Gentle Giants through a local newspaper article. I realized they were only a few miles from my home so I started volunteering. Then I fell in love with one of the rescues and adopted her. Four years later I no longer live in Maryland (so I don't volunteer!) and I'm now the proud owner or two Gentle Giant Draft Horse rescues and love them so much. The organization has grown in space as well as the number of volunteers. It seems to be much better organized - but when they were small with fewer volunteers it didn't matter. We all had fun and really enjoyed working with the horses. Seeing other rescue operations in North Carolina where I now live, I realize how good GGDHR is!!! They care so much for the horses and do so many different things to raise funds, collect donations and just take money out of their own pockets. My two horses are awesome and I was told 100% of the truth about their vices or lack of training. I would adopt from them again in a minute!!! I just wish I had more money so I could donate $$$.

Ways to make it better...

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

Be more public. Days End Rescue which only a few miles away, get so much more publicity (for many reasons) and also gets all the glory. Both are good programs deserving of equal recognition (and funding).

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 14, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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October 14, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I volunteered here a while back and was originally impressed by the way things looked. Horses seemes happy and healthy, but then I would notice little things here and there that added up. Many of the Clydesdales on the farm have a disease on their ankles called scratches and it is never properly treated for lack of funds. Many horses have tendon, back or other supposed soft tissue injuries that were "palpated" but never ultra sounded by a vet for lack of funds. The owner also favors a specific breed of draft horse and seeks that particular breed more than any other when going to the auction to rescue some horses. There has been a problem with some of the horses over time being morbidly overweight, which is just as unhealthy as a starving horse. They are taught to prefer the horses on the fatter side, but there is a difference between muscular and obese. They also don't have enough people to work with the horses to bring majority of them past the level of competent trail horses.

However, the volunteers are all very kind and love being there. The horses are naturally slower moving and safer to be around. It's a good place to get away from the city ho-hum. Just have caution crom the flirtatious barn manager. He won't think of anything short of flirting with your teenage daughter.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Unsure

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

Some

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 14, 2013

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October 14, 2013

I have been volunteering with Gentle Giants since March of this year. I have found this organization to be a very welcoming and hard working group of people. I have experienced other rescues and GG has been the most rewarding group to spend my weekends with. The rescue is always eager to teach and include the volunteers in every part of the horses new life; from selection at the auction, rehabilitation, training, and adoption. They encourage all of their volunteers to be aware of why each horse has come to the rescue and what they have to offer as a future pet to another household. They are very honest with potential adopters about what each horse is, or is not capable of. It's about finding the right match with the new owner, not just about getting the horses out the door. The support received from the staff at GG makes the experience that much more rewarding for the volunteers, it really makes us feel as if we are making a difference in these horses lives. The truth is those horses are making a difference in each of our lives.

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?

2013

October 14, 2013

more

October 14, 2013

Gentle Giants is the first rescue I've ever met that will take on ANY case, be it neglect, abuse, or keeping these animals off of the slaughter-bound trucks. I've known them to go so far as to purchase a horse that was clearly not going to recover, just so they could bring it to their farm for food and affection before its ailment takes them away. They do home checks, keep in touch with their adopters, and clearly state that if for any reason you are no longer able to care for the animal, they will take it back in. I wish all rescues were as top notch, caring, and "in it for the animals" and not their pockets as these folks are. In particular, Christine H. who is the President and Angel behind GGDHR couldn't be more suited for her cause. She brings these animals in, some from the brink of death. They are taught to ride, drive, or if not suitable for either - are taught love, and respect. They are shown, compete regularly and given a purpose until rehomed. For a Gentle Giant - life couldn't get any better.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 14, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
September 11, 2012

I am a volunteer and a member of the Board. Working with these horses and GGDHR is an amazing experience. Each horse has a different story and is given the proper medical attention, food, training, ... more

October 14, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I haven't written in over a year and I thought it time to update my review. We are the proud of owners of two Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue alumni -- a Clydesdale and a Belgian. Both horses are doing quite well and living the life of Riley. The charity tried something new for 2013 -- fundraisers. We usually rely on the kindness of donors across the nation. Knowing that times are hard everywhere, we thought we should attempt to raise money in other manners. We are very new at this and could use event planning/fund raising professionals. It certainly is an art that we are willing to learn. The horses continue to thrive in our care and we owe it all to our volunteers and to donors. Thank you for your support.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would ask for more volunteers so that each horse could have their own personal human to work with them, groom them and spoil them terribly.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 11, 2012

I am a volunteer and a member of the Board. Working with these horses and GGDHR is an amazing experience. Each horse has a different story and is given the proper medical attention, food, training, care and lots of love in the hope of being able to send it to a home that will show them the love they deserve. Most arrive in deplorable condition and over time turn into some of the lovely, gentle animals you can see on our website. When I leave the barn, I am exhausted, dirty and smell like horse, but you know what? I feel good inside and I know that I made a difference in the lives of whichever horses I worked with that day. I approve of how the money I donate is spent and I invite others to give to this worthy organization. A special thanks to our volunteers -- we couldn't continue without your dedication and spirit.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the permanent home placement of several horses. It is our goal.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

There was an article about them in our local paper. We donated to the organization, then started volunteering on the weekends.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Rehabilitate, retrain and rehome the draft horses that are currently in our care and continue to educate the public on this issue

What is its top priority in the long run?

To stop the slaughter of horses

October 14, 2013

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October 14, 2013

I adopted a horse from Gentle Giants back in November of 2012. Prior to the adoption, I was invited to take some riding lessons at the rescue on the mare to ensure she and I would be a good fit. The rescue volunteers and staff provided lots of information about the mare and what was known about her history so that I could make an informed decision to adopt. The mare has been with me for almost a year now and she is thriving, greatly due to the care and initial training she received at the rescue. Additionally, I have kept in touch with several of the staff and volunteers so that they can see all the great things my mare and I are doing, thanks to their hard work. I would absolutely recommend Gentle Giants to anyone looking not only to adopt, but for anyone considering adding a horse to their home.

Ways to make it better...

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

Make the website a bit more interactive.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 14, 2013

more

October 14, 2013

Passionate folks that are very educated on rehab and care of all equines. They go the extra mile for the equines in their care and speak on behalf of the others locally and nationally. I appreciate all their hard work!

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of advisors?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 14, 2013

more

October 14, 2013

Been volunteering for several years, and the level of caring and knowledge never fails to impress. Staff is dedicated and generous with their time, donations are put to good use.

Ways to make it better...

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

Get more land

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

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

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