According to the County in which this "Rescue" is located, they have shut down this rescue and seized all but five horses. The owner is allowed to have only 5 of their own horses on the property. Please do not donate - there is no "charity".
I volunteered the fall and winter of 2014 while attending classes nearby. Rescue barns are not boarding barns. The horses often arrive in terrible shape and it is an uphill battle to improve their health. Having thus said, the horses all appeared generally healthy and well cared for. Obviously, some of them had weight or hoof issues that were slowly being corrected, but I never experienced the "neglect" or "hoarding" cited by others. Horses that were unable to be on pasture were on dry lots. Those with special needs had stalls, others had run-in shelters. All were fed(I fed them on several occasions) twice daily, stalls were mucked daily as well. It is obvious that the owners are doing their best, which is a great deal more than I can say for the people who are quick to criticize without being part of the solution.
I adopted 2 horses several years ago. Thought a rescue farm would be a great place to help out. I paid for training AND the horses. I was told that in 2-3 months horses would be ready to go. They said that before horses would be delivered, we could go up and ride them up there and even take them on a trail ride. Six months passed and neither horse was trained. The one horse lost a lot of weight from too little food and an infected tooth. The other horse colicked at the same time and was down in a stall. That was the call I got. Vet did go out and both horses recovered. I started the adoption process in late November and it didn't end until May 30 when I demanded that they be delivered. Neither horse was trained to ride. The one could not even be haltered. Both horses were under weight at delivery. The one horse had recurrence several time of tooth infection until teeth were extracted. Same horse almost pulled the barn down when farrier came out for first time. The months that followed and even two years were very difficult. These horses were TERRIFIED of almost everything. Calls and emails made to Eagle Hill were not returned. I did call one farm hand who did call back but said they would take the horse back but no refund. I kept them....BUT, after 5 years and a lot of patient work and handling, both are trusting, playful, and respectful. I should have sued the farm for the training money I paid... about $700 her horse. Plus an adoption fee of that much per horse. I even called some trainers in the area who had nothing good to say about Eagle Hill. I love my horses dearly and would never part with them now. I don't even know if Eagle Hill is still in business at this point in time, but if they are....know what you are getting into b/c they tried to keep the horses and my money too. No training. Lie after lie. It was a very frustrating and scary 6 months.
We adopted a horse from here only because we are afraid but if nobody else did he would get it like the other horse we were looking to adopt. She was given moldy hay and was colicky. I was told that if I wanted the vet out for the mare I'd have to call the vet myself and I didn't even own the horse. A mini also died ealier that weak because a farm hand was not trained how to feed them and gave the mini a full scoop of grain. There would be weeks where the horses had no grain and the pastures were over crowded to the point where there was no grass. The gelding we adopted had so much trauma from being in the over crowded fields with aggressive, starved horses that he was terrified of being around all horses. This was not a rescue, it was a nightmare. I was told not to adopt from here because it encourages Ann to get more horses when one leaves. I remember her buying a mustang and a filly from auction and keeping them in a dry lot because there was no where else. Just because they have food, water and shelter, does not mean it is a healthy or safe environment for the horses. The first barn we took our rescue to kicked us out because other people there were terrified of an "Eagle Hill" horse being there. The best thing for those horses would be removal from Ann D--- and the shut down of her false rescue.
What a house of horrors this rescue needs to be shut down! 122 Horses on less than 40 acres horses have been dieing from starvation, worm infestation and colic from eatting rocks because there is no grass or hay for at least the last ten years. Not to mention the countless number of horses that have ended up permantly crippled from lack of farrier care or disfigured from lack of vet care. The owner of the rescue claims she saves not only horses but people as well. I wonder if she thinks she "saved" the 16 yr old boy who lost his arm while doing community service because she had him running an auger by himself with no training and no prior experience or the volunteers that were either left permantly disabled, broken bones, required surgery, medivaced out as a result of horses that were advertised beginner child safe that were known to buck and bolt or the countless people who have been mowed down in the pastures because of over crowding. The worse case of animal hoarding I have even seen operating under the guise of a rescue
I have been volunteering here off and on for the last 4 years. Like most rescues, there are issues, but they are all quickly addressed. They seem to have a new game plan things are really looking up. They could use more staff and money, but I'm sure that this is the case with most places like this. When I can get my life back in order, I plan to return here and volunteer on a more regular basis. Thanks for all you do
This rescue started out with great ideas. And everybody knows that Annie (the owner) is a very kind hearted person. But over the years her mind is.. quite frankly.. not all there anymore. Which is what lead to over population problem we had for so many years. She is not what you would consider a hoarder but a poor business person with terrible management skills. How the rescue has survived for the first few years I have no idea.
HOWEVER, things have GREATLY changed the past few years and it is no longer the sh** hole it used to be. It is slowly but surely changing into a great org with GREAT ideas. Now there is only 65? horses at EHER. That is including the horses in foster homes and the horses that live in the other pastures across the street. Which means that there is not nearly the over population problem there once was.
EHER had many rough patches over the first few years, epically during the recession. Many people consider Annie to be a hoarder because of the amount of horses she had on site, but really those horses were only taken in because they had no were else to go and because Annie did not want them to end up at an auction or get sold to slaughter. NOT that I condone that but I understand the reasons she had so many horses. Like I said before, it was because of MANGMENT problems, not hoarding problems.
That all aside EHER is really turning into a terrific place with many great ideas that are finally getting used. They now have great workers, a great training program and great trainers, offer lessons, do tours, work with many of mentally disabled groups that come out, are starting to work with the wounded warriors, gaining a better reputation in the horse world, and all the volunteers agree that coming to EHER is educational experience (in a good way).
I feel very blessed being able to witness -from a distance- this terrific place transform from a dump into something that is starting to come to its full potential.
I adopted a horse from here. He was in awful condition. Even though they have had a Professional Equine Dentist offer his services for free, this horse had been suffering from an impacted tooth for well over 4 years. The surgeon at BlueRidge Vet hospital said it was the worst case he had ever seen. The horse could barely eat. The horses are all starved and malnourished. This place is a slow death sentence to many of the horses there. Many times I visited to donate hay or medical supplies to find water troughs empty and only dirt and rocks to eat. This place may look good to folks who know nothing about animals but to someone who grew up on a farm it is a death camp for horses.....
Review from Guidestar
This is a horrible place! When I first started visiting, I noted right away the horrible conditions of the fields and the horses. The horses would go the entire day with out any hay and were so crowded that they had about 120 horses on less the 50 acres. I eventually adopted a horse because the pervious one I was looking at died due to such poor quality hay. When the new vet came to asses the horse which had lived at eagle hill his whole life, he found that his teeth had never been done, he had a horrible case of lice, and was underweight. The horse had lived at eagle hill for 7 years. I also soon sated running into other people how had had the same experiences. This recuse has a really great idea however it has tuned into animal hording instead. I was very disappointment and believe something needs to be changed.
Review from Guidestar