We started volunteering at this wonderful horse rescue just a couple of months ago. The peace and tranquility of this place is good for horses and humans! Tina and Matt are super people and they, their staff and the volunteers take excellent care of the horses...no matter the cost and no matter how long. We fell in love with Victor, one of three horses they rescued from a breeder 5 years ago. This little guy is so healthy and has such a wonderful disposition. He is a testament to their dedication and caring nature. We just had to adopt him! He will be heading back to NY state with us when we leave for home in May. Already, we can't imagine a week without volunteering our time to the Rescue. If we didn't live so far, we would probably be there most every day. Thank you SWFHR, for all you do, for how working with you makes us feel...and for helping us to find Victor, too!
Baby Trooper was rescued by the Crew at SW FL HORSE RESCUE, in the nick of time. He willingly walked into the trailer not knowing... what was Next!!! Tender, Loving Care was given to Trooper...Vet attention, Ferrier care, a nutritious diet... and room to roam...and the company of other horses and LOVING HUMANS. Life happened and now Trooper is owned by Darcey and me, Patti. Trooper has a glorious future ahead of him,esp because he has his own GIRL, Jordyn, to keep his life active in the future❤
I had the pleasure of meeting Tina and Matt in early 2014. I had followed them on FB for nearly a year and wanted to go out to their new Rescue facility to discuss bringing my Girl Scout Troop out for a day in the country with some very deserving rescue equines. When I ask about bringing the girls out, both Matt and Tina were very open to the idea as they both agree, get children involved with horses and you keep children out of trouble. We continued to be in touch and developed a strong friendship over the course of just a few weeks. My dream has always been to own/operate my own horse Rescue and what better way to be a part of that dream than to volunteer at SWFHR. I learned a lot about caring for horses, interacting with rescue equines and how very important fundraising is in the livelihood of horse Rescue. In January of 2015, Tina and Matt brought a little frail and horribly malnourished stud colt to the Rescue. My daughter, Jordyn, and I feel in love almost instantly and would visit as often as we could. We followed this little boy's journey and even helped with the Name Game to choose an appropriate name for this little one. Trooper...absolutely the best and most fitting name we could possibly give him. He has, indeed, proven true to his name over the years and in July of 2016, my friend, Patty and I, opted to call this boy 'ours'. Since Patty is a snowbird and is only in Fla. during the winter months, we agreed to 'co-parent' Trooper. What a joy he has brought to us all, with his little antics and incredible will to learn and grow, he keeps us all on our toes. Recently, I was asked by Tina and Matt to take the next step in my role at SWFHR, by accepting the offer of Barn Manager. I can not begin to tell you how very honored I was to be chosen for this very important position. I still hold my part-time job at a nearby training facility but the majority of my time is spent at the Rescue. As a part of this amazing team of volunteers, I can honestly say, there is not a more deserving organization than SWFHR. If you would like to learn more about how you can help, visit our Rescue page on Facebook or call 239-567-4111, to schedule a tour of the facility. Once you become a volunteer here at South West Florida Horse Rescue, you are instantly a part of a growing family. Come be a part of it, you will be glad you did.
Committed to saving the lives of our local horses and being their voice is the best decision I EVER made!
Upon meeting Tina and Matt, for the very first time, back in the summer of 2011, I knew right away that they were dedicated to saving the lives of our local horses and I was more than willing to help. When they started their horse Rescue in 2010, I don't think they were aware of just how important their passion would be and how many horses needed them. Operating on 5 acres and with 4 personal horses, they were very limited on space. My wife, Lynnda, met the couple during one of their fundraisers and brought them to our farm to discuss the possibility of us fostering one or two of their rescue equines. Well, nearly 6 years later, we are very proud to say, we have offered sanctuary to 16 of SWFHR's equines. Levi, Chica, Cherokee, Angel, Windy, Baby Girl, Dolce, Latte, Copenhagen, Margarita, Pepe, Joker, Lady, Micco, Marley and Lily (I hope I didn't leave anyone out) Although I developed a deep bond with all who entered our gates, there are a few that stand out. Joker, an abandoned and severely neglected senior gelding, is most definitely one of my favorites. When he came to the Bird Foster Farm in August of 2012, he was in rough shape and needed to feel safe and be cared for properly. Tina and Matt covered all cost (for all of our foster equines) and Lynnda and I provided the love and care. Joker was amazing, after being mistreated horribly by his previous owner, he showed me that he could trust again. He would follow me around the yard and even into the shop when I was working on the tractor or other farm equipment. He was truly one of the most deserving equines I ever had the opportunity to met. Latte, this amazing little miracle pony, came to us in 2013. She had ran through a barbed wire fence and her wounds were unattended, causing the large wound on her leg to develop phythiosis. With Lynnda being retired, she was able to treat Latte's wound 3 times a day. Last but not least, Pepe and Margarita...they were from a local farm where the owners had fallen on hard times and needed to surrender their donkeys to SWFHR. Lynnda and I fostered these two wonderful donks until Tina and Matt had room at their farm. We have since adopted 2 donkeys of our own and the joy and lots of laughter they bring us is priceless. My hat goes off to Tina and Matt for all of the hard work and dedication they have put into growing their much needed non-profit horse Rescue. Thanks to them, our local horses have a second chance in life. Looking back on just 'how' they got started, working full time FedEx jobs while running a full time horse Rescue, it just goes to show. If you want something bad enough and you are not afraid of hard work and often times, many tears, you can achieve your goals. This organization deserves your support. Visit them on Facebook for updates on the rescue equines currently in their care, special events, fundraisers and more.
When anyone ask me, "how did you first learn about SWFHR?" I have to think back to that summer day, August of 2011, when I was driving by Tina and Matt's on my way to run errands. I saw a sign advertising a Barn Sale to raise funds for their, then small and private, horse Rescue. I am actually a very shy person but I said to myself, if they are still open when I come back through, I will stop and offer a donation. Sure enough, they still had a line of vehicles down the driveway so I pulled in. I went directly to the table and pulled out my check book. After talking to one of the volunteers, helping with the sale, I was able to meet both Tina and Matt. We talked about the rescue horses currently in their care and the many more that needed them. Since they were only on 5 acres, they ask if I could possibly 'foster' some of the rescue horses that were waiting in line to come to the safety of their Rescue. I explained that I would have to speak with my husband but I was certain, it would be no problem. Tina and Matt ask if they could come visit my farm and make sure it was a safe environment for their rescue horses. We did the property check that very day and after speaking with my husband, we were on board to be their very first Foster Farm. WOW, is all I can say....we have, over the course of nearly six years, fostered a total of 16 rescue horses for Tina and Matt. I have added a few pics of some of our amazing 'foster babies'. Since this post only allows up to 4 photos, it was a tough decision as to 'who' I would feature. Cherokee, a wonderful little Paso Fino mare. Baby Girl, a very timid and untrusting QH mare. Dolce, a seizure from Animal Control in Collier county, QH gelding and last but not least, Windy, a very special little Paso Fino mare. To learn more about each of these very deserving rescue horses, please visit South West Florida Horse Rescue, Inc. I am proud to say, I have met a lot of amazing folks through this Rescue organization and have made lifetime friends. I was recently retired when I first met Tina and Matt and I honestly did not know what to do with all my free time. Well, that summer day truly changed my life and my uncertain retirement future, lets just say, I am enjoying my retirement and we always have an open gate policy with SWFHR. We continue to foster, when needed, and have felt the love and trust of many equines over the years. If you are looking for an organization to donate your time to, I strongly encourage you to give them a call, go visit, meet the babies and you too, will be hooked.
I met Tina and Matt back in 2012 when they were just starting their rescue.After many visits to their then 5 acre farm, I became involved with volunteering whenever time allowed. I even volunteered to transport several of their rescue equines,either to special events or to their new Foster Farms. I met a wonderful lady,Lynnda, through this Rescue organization. Lynnda also volunteered her time to help in any way she could,including being South West Florida Horse Rescue'a very first Foster Farm.After getting to know Lynnda over the years we became "saddle sisters' and we enjoy a common bond..... Equines. Lynnda and her husband Tim,agreed to foster a very special little Paso Fino mare,Cherokee, back in 2011.It did not take long for all of us to fall in love with this wonderful little timid baby(rescued at age 2 by SWFHR) After talking to Lynnda and Tim, I decided to call this little girl"my own" and off to training she went with our amazing trainers,Doug and Lauren Merchant. Cherokee did a 4 month program before coming home and today,we enjoy wonderful trail rides and we look forward to many more years of companionship.This Rescue organization stands out from most because of their dedication to our local horses with a "horses first" mentality. I am very proud to be part of such an amazing group of people, Matt and Tina(founders) and also the many wonderful volunteers who give of themselves to help make a difference. When you volunteer for this organization, you almost instantly become like 'family', we celebrate birthday,weddings and we offer a shoulder to one another in some bad times in our lives. If you are thinking about volunteering or donating to this organization, I highly encourage you to do so. They are truly the 'real deal'
We moved here from NY 6 months ago, and a big priority was to see if there was a program, or rescue that involved horses.
My husband and I had volunteered at several animal rescues on Long Island, NY. At a therapeutic D ding center, at a small horse rescue, and at several dog shelters.
My husband loves all animals, but especially horses. He doesn't ride, he just loves to groom them, and give them TLC.
I found SWFHR online and once the enormous job of moving / unpacking was finished, we came to see the place.
It was amazing! So clean! Large grassy areas for the horses, who looked content and well nourished.
But, there was an even nicer thing. MINI horses! A few months before, an entire herd had been rescued. All males, except for one made, Blackie, who brought her OWN surprise...she was carrying a foal.
Since they have no idea when she got pregnant, we are still waiting for her foal.
Tina, one of the Co founders, suggested Rich start with grooming her. Since she had just been left out in a field, unattended by her former owner, she was a little resistant to being handled.
But, by our third visit, a love story began. When RICH Crimes by, she Whicker's at him, trots over, and looks to see if he has carrots. But first, he grooms her. She stands still, letting him brush her all over. After that, comes the best part. Yes carrots are involved, but she will walk into his arms, holds her face to be kissed, and rubs her face on his.
People just stop to watch.
There is a sweetness, and calm in this place. Even people busy working, will stop, and wave, and say Hi.By your second visit, you already feel accepted, wanted, and appreciated.
This not ceness takes some getting used to
Thanks to the Southwest Florida Horse Rescue, Tina and Matt, I was able to find my new best friend. When I first heard of the rescue, Tina, Matt, and all the volunteers there were extremely generous and helpful. I immediately fell in love with one of the baby minis they recently rescued. Braveheart was 1 of the 11 minis that were in need of help, in which, Tina and Matt took them under their wings. Braveheart was about 11 months old colt and still nursing on his mom. SWFHR rescued Braveheart and his mom first, then went back for the others. When Tina showed my mom and I around and introduced us to all the horses we instantly fell in love with Baby Braveheart. Before adoption we had to geld Braveheart, since he hasn't dropped, the SWFHR raised enough money to get Braveheart the best possible help he could get. Matt and Tina was by his side during his whole recovery.
When it was time for Braveheart to come home Matt walked the property to make sure it was definitely a safe place for the pony. He didn't leave until both Braveheart and I were comfortable. Whenever I have any questions they are there immediately to help.
But thats not all, after working with the horse rescue for a few months now they have showed me the true meaning of "who rescued who". Without them I would still have a missing piece in my heart. I am truly thankful for the above and beyond love and care that the SWFHR gives to be able to find my perfect match, Mr. Braveheart.
Tina and Matt had full time jobs when they began rescueing horses. Can you imagine getting up hours before time to go to work to feed, water, and "doctor" a few abused and neglected horses then go work 8 hours and come home to care for the horses again before fixing supper, etc and finally dropping into bed. Tina did. Every day! There are no days off when you have horses. Tina and Matt worked tirelessly getting funding to feed these horses. The way I met Tina was thru one of her online auctions for rescue funding. Incredible idea for donations! Since then I have watched the amazing growth from their home on five acres to the extraordinary forty acres of woods, trash and undergrowth they turned into the beautifully created South West Florida Horse Rescue. They have a great group of volunteers, donors, and knowledgeable horse people. SWFHR welcomes pitifully abused and starved horses, some frightened of everything and thru care and patience and expert training turn these horses into safe, trusting and rideable adoptees! SWFHR is very clean, safe and dedicated rescue facility. You have to go see it to appreciate what Tina and Matt and all the volunteers have created for the horses!
I was given Tina Garrett's name by a very close friend who knew I was in a desperate situation. My rescue Thoroughbred, Stetson, has been in danger on the island we live on. From the moment I spoke to Tina I knew we were in good hands and she inspired me so much I got on a plane the next day to go visit her, Matt and their team!!! Is it crazy to say it was "love at first site"?
They were quite eager to find out what I was all about as I jumped out of my rent a car in sparkly heels!!! We soon became quick friends and I truly can say I can trust them with my rescues life! I spent two days going to the Rescue and they spent as much time as I needed showing me around and letting me ask question after question!
Getting Stetson off an island and doing an International Transfer has not been easy to say the least and the most stressful adventure I have ever done. Tina has stood by my side and said "pull up those boot straps girl...we have a horse to save!!!!!!"
The kindness and genuine support, love of their rescues is far above and beyond what one could hope for when leaving my heart behind in someone else's hands. We are still on our journey and about half way there!
The Team will be picking Stetson and I up in Miami! Driving us to his new home, to just be a horse and allowing me to spend all the time I wish with our miracle boy! He was 600 pounds when I rescued him at 16.5 hands and now he is 1400 pounds. He is 800 pounds to the healthier and the smartest boy out there.
With their help, Stetson has been awarded a new start to Life. A life every Horse should be allowed to have:) He has made me a better person and now with Tina's help he is going to help so very many more!
Support this great team!!! Support their rescues!! THEY ARE WORTH IT!!! They truly are THE REAL DEAL!!!
Dr. Nicolle Schultze