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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Dharmahorse

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals

Mission: Sustain a sanctuary in which unwanted horses prosper; provide an environment in which humans benefit from structured interactions with the horses; and educate the public on holistic horse care. Mission: Provide a safe and loving environment in which horses and humans can meet, interact, thrive, and learn from one another. Follow a practice of organic, natural horse care and training that develops humans in ways that allow them to live more mindful, compassionate, and joyful lives. Embrace three principles of compassionate action: learning, speaking, and doing. Learning: Design and deliver educational activities that are rooted in love, compassion, tolerance, and understanding; that strengthen awareness and understanding of compassionate, organic equine care and training; and that build a safe, socially engaged community that cares for horses in need of shelter and sanctuary. Speaking: Bring natural equine teachings into conversation — inspiring, educating, and informing action for more humane and compassionate care. Doing: Collaborate with other organizations and individuals to cultivate a more balanced and mindful stewardship of our environment and the people and animals that live within it. When we help others, we help ourselves.

Results: We have worked with Homeless children and families, the Onate High School Special Education Bridge Program (where some participants found jobs in the horse industry), several local programs for emotionally and physically challenged adults and children. We host the Stablewomen Program allowing women to interact with horses and share feelings. We have saved hundreds of horses through rescue, helping to re-home, hold in sanctuary, educational outreach in the community and internationally to educate humans so they can better care for horses. We have a 41 year old horse with no teeth who we grind and soak hay for twice daily - showing that all horses have value and deserve a quality of life. We all deserve comfort and compassion. Our founder and president is in several international films about compassionate connections with horses and rescuing each other on all levels.

Target demographics: Horses and people interact with and heal each other through compassion. We take horses into Sanctuary who are at risk (abuse, neglect, slaughter bound or injured).

Direct beneficiaries per year: 8 special needs clients; 32 horses in need; several dozen animal lovers with ideas for non-toxic care.

Geographic areas served: Southern New Mexico

Programs: Stablewomen: women gather to move horses with a feather, paint horses with tail hair brushes, release fears and judgement through communication, build common ground. Special Needs Equine Interactions: physically and/or emotionally challenged persons from several organizations groom, ride and touch the horses. Workshops for Horse Owners: Holistic Care of Horses; Handling Horses with Compassion.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 4

Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary
A tireless undertaking…
I have been blessed, privileged and humbled to know Katharine and the good works going on at Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary for the past 7 years.
DH provides a habitable and knowledge rich environment for both horses and students.
Dharmahorse will always place the care of the horses as a priority, addressing the specific needs of each horse under their care – including feed, housing and hands on care. Countless hours are spent grinding hay for those unable to chew and digest normally. Moving a horse from one location to another for their comfort. When a horse cries at 3:00am in the morning, rest assured Katharine and Mark will be on their feet in a micro-second! This is not a one-size-fits all organization.
This extremely worthy organization exists on donations and grants. Every single penny goes to the sanctuary. Thankfully Katharine’s knowledge includes medicinal herbs and remedies for the health and well being of these horses. Katharine grows many of these herbs saving much needed funds.
Students coming to the sanctuary will learn much more than is taught under “normal” riding instruction. Students will learn the care of horses. How to properly care for them and their equipment.
Katharine is a generous and giving soul. A teacher. I’ve asked so many questions over the years, always receiving prompt and informative replies that put into action ALWAYS worked! Never charging me for her time.
As Katharine would say, “Compassion versus Compulsion.”
Not an easy calling, this is a 24/7 operation again based on the needs of the horse. Every horse that comes to Dharmahorse is loved, no exceptions!
The world is a much better place with Katharine and Dharmahorse in it. I am a better person for knowing her.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dharmahorse was like a second home to me; a safe place where I could be myself during a time in my life where I felt alone and vulnerable. My family had just moved back to the United States after living in Germany for most of my childhood. The one constant in my life has always been horses. When I first arrived at Dharmahorse, my parents surprised me and didn’t tell me where we were driving. I was so happy and excited to even just see and pet horses again, let alone take riding lessons. Little did I know I would have the best time, within those 6 years, at the stableyard with Katharine and the sanctuary horses.

I learned an endless amount of information about horses that I’d never even considered before. From proper barefoot hoof care to actually listening to what the horse is “telling” you in their own language. I learned a lot of patience when it comes to horses, that I need to also consider how the horse is feeling when I’m asking them to do something. I now know not to expect the impossible from a horse just because I’ve seen it in a movie, but instead to understand every horses’ limits, and to respect those limits.

Even though I don’t live in New Mexico anymore, I will always have a place in my heart for the Dharmahorses and Katharine and Mark. I donate what I can, and am always up-to-date with the goings on at the sanctuary through their Facebook page. Katharine was and always will be my mentor when it comes to horse and animal care. I cherish the information she shares with me and teaches me and others as well. I believe there is always room to improve and learn to reach your goals in whatever it is you’re doing. Whenever I have a question about training a horse or naturally healing my pets, I always will go to Katharine and ask for her opinion.

Board Member

Rating: 5

What I have seen at Dharmahorse is the transformation of horses who arrive abused, neglected, unwanted and then become healthy, confident and cherished. Their sweet souls respond to the care and passion that they deserve, even when the remainder of their lives may be short. They all know they are loved.

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe in Dharmahorse. I have witnessed miracles on these sacred grounds. The horses and humans and all animals that live here are exceptional beings.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dharmahorse is a place of serenity and healing. When I first visited the sanctuary I immediately felt a connection with the horses. They have a peaceful strength that I felt in my heart. I volunteer at Dharmahorse and help as needed with the care of the horses. It has been such a uplifting experience to see how the horses can be cared for with such love and compassion. That same love is felt by all who come to Dharmahorse. I also assist with the special needs group. The smiles on the faces of these individuals really tells the story. The clients connect with the horses by grooming or riding and they are empowered and comforted at the same time. It is truly a place of healing for horses and humans.

Donor

Rating: 5

Dharmahorse is the highest manifestation of love and good for sanctuary horses. I have followed their work for years and have received numerous offerings of advice for my own horse when requested. The love, dedication and respect for the dignity for the horses there, are without comparison. Extreme attention is given to the detail of "wholistic best practices" for the horses. I look forward to helping them in the future. My donations are well deserved - only wish their business model was in place for all equine sanctuaries.

Donor

Rating: 5

The people at Dharmahorse are dedicated to their charges beyond imagination! Their care of the various abandoned, abused, and neglected horses they receive is transformational. If someone comes who is entering as a hospice horse, they do not stint but love and comfort each one with gentle care thought his/her transition. Keeping this place going is no small task - especially since Covid has precluded any volunteer help at the sanctuary. I have been donating as I can for years and am absolutely confident that any amount given for the horses GOES to the horses (or mule or pony, as the case may be!) It is not a job for the faint of heart but it is obviously a calling for Katharine, Mark, and Billy. Here's hoping that soon Katharine will also be able to resume teaching and giving the workshops she does so well.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a proud supporter of this worthy charity. I have loved horses forever and I am so happy that a place exists where these noble animals are cared for and loved when their original people can’t (or, more sadly, won’t) keep them. The people running it are so dedicated: the needs of the charges in their care come first, last, and everywhere in between, even to the point of their own exhaustion. I admire their total dedication. They use natural remedies to heal injured or abused horses with great success. They also use the horses and the sanctuary as conduits of learning, both for developmentally challenged individuals and others seeking a deeper connection with their own horses, as well as for therapy. The atmosphere there is almost serene. I wish a place like this wasn’t necessary, really, but I am inordinately happy that this one exists and that it is near me so that I can see their good work in action.

Dianne G.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary for 5 years now. They take super care for the equines that reside there. They are a special people taking care of their well loved equine residents

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dharmahorse is a place of healing for both equine and human. DH gives confidence, education and a feeling of being loved to all who engage. The equines are very special and they give so much more than anyone could realize, they are a source of healing and purpose.
As a once volunteer I can honestly say I saw so much love for all who are lucky enough to have spent time at Dharmahorse. They certainly all (equine & human) give more than they receive. I know as I am one of the many lucky ones.

Cathy B.6

Donor

Rating: 5

Dharma Horse has been one of the best kept non-profit horse care facilities for so many years. It is a sanctuary for the older, needy, and abused animals that lets the equine know that they are loved for however many years/days/weeks they have to live... Worthy of donating to .... your money is not frittered away but directly used as you would want.

M Grace Emmell L.

Donor

Rating: 5

This has been a difficult year for many nonprofits. Dharmahorse had 2 people caring for the 14 equine in their care because of COVID-19. In the past, volunteers shared with the workload. In addition, revenue was limited because clients were unable to participate in lessons or horse related activities. Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary provided a safe and loving environment for all the animals although stressful physically, emotionally and financially for Katharine and Mark. I don't know of any other nonprofit that is more rooted in love, compassion and understanding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the honor of volunteering at Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary when I lived in Las Cruces, NM. The care and love they show their herd is undeniable. The sanctuary itself has an amazing energy and you can really feel their love for the previously (but no longer) unwanted or uncared for horses.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter began participation at Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary because of her love of horses. The lessons she has gained there will last her a lifetime and serve her well. Those lessons include compassion, empathy, hard work and cooperation. Thank you Katharine!!

Alan M.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I began taking riding lessons at Dharmahorse a few years ago and was so impressed with how they cared for the horses, I found myself spending more and more time there, doing little things that I could do to assist. They truly love the horses and do everything with love. They do all possible to heal and protect. The horses truly come first. My only regret is that I cannot do more to support Dharmahorse.

Pip_Lyons

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Dharmahorse for many years as a client, volunteer and donor. Katharine and Mark continue to work incredibly hard to support the many horses they've rescued and to foster the community of volunteers that has grown around the organization. Everyone is valued and made to feel welcome to share in the great benefits that come from close involvement with the horses and other likeminded people. Katharine's knowledge and compassion for the animals in her care is bottomless. She is an inspiration to the whole community and a tireless advocate for the wellbeing of horses and humans alike. I have personally benefited immeasurably from my experience with Katharine and the whole Dharmahorse family, both as a rider and a person. It is a therapeutic place, not just for the horses, but for everyone.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met Katharine ( of Dharmahorse) decades ago when I first moved to New Mexico. She was a friend's dressage instructor. Later, I learned that she is a woman of many skills, talents, and gifts. She is likely the most thoughtful, kind, and intelligent woman I've known. She's worked so hard to rescue and heal horses, ponies, and a mule. The peace and tranquility of Dharmahorse is beyond description. Everything is done for the good of the horses. It is also a place of healing for humans who are of all ages and abilities. Dharmahorse is a blessing to all who come in contact with this delightful place.

Jolie T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a volunteer at Dharmahorse, I enjoy the positive and tranquility environment. Classes were provided from hoof, feeding and proper care. There were herbal classes on what types of herbs to uses for caring for a horse. My brother is a client there and enjoys his days there from riding to grooming. People from all ages to disability can benefit from Dharmahorse. The day to day care and love that is provided to the horses that come from different situations. I am glad we have place in Las Cruces, NM that provides a home to these horses that are no longer wanted.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a long term volunteer with Dharmahorse, I feel privileged to support this Sanctuary where love and respect for all life is celebrated and nurtured. Katharine is a gifted herbalist/healer who teaches others to see and appreciate each horse's unique-ness so we can best meet their needs. Through many, many hours of shoveling poop and other fun stuff, I have been privileged to contribute to their final experience in this world as one of being safe, nurtured, honored and loved. Katharine and Mark do the same for all who are lucky enough to know them.

Jennifer P.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first met Katherine when looking for a place to ride in Las Cruces. I'd been a rider, off and on, most of my life. I immediately connected with the energy at Dharmahorse. Katharine is a warm, extremely knowledgeable horsewoman and naturopath. We had loads to talk about, from horses to human health and beyond. I am inspired by her total devotion to the equines at Dharmahorse, and all living creatures, really, because there is a community of animals and humans all caring for and participating in the circle of life and healing that exists at Dharmahorse. While I was able to ride, I learned a lot from my time there, both in my relationship with the horses and in the general philosophy of horse and rider. There are few places you can go where you get what you came for, like a riding lesson, and leave with a whole new appreciation for the world and your place in it. Dharmahorse is such a place.

Although I recently moved away from Las Cruces, I am able to stay connected to the world of Dharmahorse through all of the social media posts Katharine makes a point of producing. She is tireless in her care for all of the creatures in her world. It's a truly aspirational place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Dharmahorse for almost 2 years. These horses are so well cared for and loved. Mark and Katharine work so very hard to make sure these horses are treasured and loved. They receive nutrients every day and as volunteers we are able to love and groom and exercise these horses. The new property allows the horses to run as a herd and as a result their personalities have come out.

Kat. V

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This sanctuary is one that is a family a tribe of people who come together to create a beautiful environment. They are so kind, gentle and always do their best to help the horses that come across them. They are one of the best places ever as they don’t give up on those they care for. Spending time with them in their healing environment and learning from them is very invigorating and fun. Always leave feeling rejuvenated, happy, and blissfully tired.