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2020 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

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Dianne G.2

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.