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Tara Farm Rescue

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Community Stories

25 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been to visit Tara Farm Rescue several times and am impressed with the work they do. I had my first riding lesson this week (have been wanting to do this for 55 years) and loved it! The young lady (volunteer) who instructed me was wonderful. She explained things about horses, about riding them, and how to communicate with them. She showed me how to brush the horse & clean his hooves, saddle & bridle him and lead him to the ring. We worked in the ring for half an hour. I learned to go & stop & back up, to keep him on the perimeter of the ring, and I worked him through some obstacles. Then she had me undress him (I am sure there is a term for this but I'll be darned if I can remember), brush him and check his hooves again and lead him back to his stall. She was very professional, relaxed and friendly (even if she wasn't middle aged). I feel I got a lot for my money (which goes to the rescue farm, not to her) and signed up for my next class with her next week!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I am appalled at the professionalism of the so called "instructor" of the farm. Recently I had contacted them for riding lessons for my daughter and had things set up, she not only was late to the lesson, but she showed no professionalism and made no attempt to contact me or reschedule the lesson. I was under the impression that Bonnie was teaching the lessons. I also caught view of the "instructor" advertising that the facility does therapeutic riding. There is no way that they can offer that from a kid instructor. This is a huge liability and I hope no one gets hurt from her teachings. I know very little of the sport myself and while watching her direct others clearly shows she needs to have lessons herself. I hope they find someone who knows what they are doing or Bonnie goes back to teaching.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

With all the rumors and untrue things going around about my second home right now, I'd like to take a minute to set the record STRAIGHT. Tara Farm Rescue in Coventry CT is a place I've spent almost all of my past time the last 9 years of my life. Bonnie Jeanne Gorden, the owner and manager, taught me how to ride when i was 8 years old, taught me everything about horses and how to care for them. This barn is one of the only ones in Connecticut that has a "work to ride" program, where you can muck stalls in return for FREE riding. This is an opportunity that is very hard to come by, and inexpensive way for kids to get all kinds of experience without having to pay a fortune. So that's what I did, for 9 years of my life, working my way up and earning people respect there as a rider. I worked my butt off, shoveled lots of poop volunteering there in my free time. and slowly, over the years, taking lessons and being taught by Bonnie Jeanne and the other volunteers there, my riding became the most important part of my life. Now, keep in mind, this is a RESCUE farm. We take in animals that no one else wants, that no one else can handel, and they become our responsibility. Our only income is through our lesson program, grants, and donations. So no, we may not have a huge indoor arena to ride in, or the prettiest barns, or most expensive tack. But we DO have a group of people with huge hearts, that do everything to put the animals first, and that's exactly what we do. I've gone to auctions with Bonnie Jeanne and bought horses there for dirt cheap that were destined for slaughter. Weve saved animals frozen to the ground left there to die. Weve had horses come in that are so unsocialized theyve never been touched by a human before. We then rehabilitate them, feed them, get them back into shape, get them the vetrinary care they need, and adopt them out. we have saved HUNDREDS of horses, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, llamas, etc. Tara Farm brought me together with my own person horse Cherokee, who was destined for the slaughter auction if Bonnie Jeanne had not personally saved her. Ive seen the rescue turn cases around that were deemed "unsavable", into happy, healthy horses. I am the president of the 4H group held at our farm, and we are all proud to say that we are from Tara Farm Rescue. So please, I'm asking you NOT to believe the rumors going around about the farm from people who have never even stepped foot on the property, or who are set out to shut us down because of personal problems going on. Take it from me, a volunteer and rider of ten years, who knows every single detail about this place and all of the animals in it, and who knows that this rescue is an amazing operation that has saved thousands of animals lives-and you cant argue with that.

3

Client Served

Rating: 1

!!SCAM ALERT!! Tara Farm Rescue routinely "adopts" horses to unsuspecting, well intentioned people who pay for boarding, veterinary bills, transportation, etc. to Tara Farm. If the "adopter" wants to board the horse at another facility, a "problem" is found with the paperwork and the adoption is deemed to be null and void by the owner of the rescue. The scam is then perpetrated on another unsuspecting person. STAY AWAY!!

5 Whitney B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I used to go with my mom to help her clean the horse's stall that she adopted from Tara Farm because she has fibromyalgia and sometimes cannot do so on her own (also another reason she rides horses is because it it therapeutic) . The stalls were poorly built and several times my mom's horse was cut from slipping in the mud (that always seemed to be there regardless of the weather) on the ramps and she had to treat him for thrush because of the moist conditions. She had moved him once to another boarding facility and after my mom had given Bonnie Jeanne notice she left my mom's horse out in an open area, at night, un-blanketed while it poured freezing rain, there was even snow on the ground at the time. Once we got to the new boarding facility our horses were first placed in stalls with concrete floors, which she was told was not going to be permanent and that they would be moved shortly but about a month or so went by and they continued to be left in the stalls with concrete floors and on more than one occasion we noticed that they had been skimping on their food (which we provided for them) and had given some of our hay to other horses being boarded and weren't being let out to exercise with all the other horses daily so we decided to go back to Tara Farm since it was the only other place at the time that my mom knew of that was affordable. One winter my mom was on Craigslist and found a woman looking to give away a horse in NY so we contacted the lady about the horse and drove out to look at him and she told us that the woman who had boarded him there had just abandoned him and that she did not have the extra money to continue taking care of him and her own horses. We ended up adopting him. When we went to ask Bonnie Jeanne if we could also board this horse (that was going to be my horse) along with my mom's horse she yelled at me "how dare you not adopt a horse" without even knowing the details about how we came to own this horse, I assume what she was so angry about was that I had not adopted a horse from her. I have also seen Bonnie Jeanne slap and punch her horses in their face when they misbehave. My mom is the one who had her horse stolen back when she decided to leave Tara Farm a second time. She won the court case against Bonnie Jeanne for Bonnie Jeanne breaching her own contract. My mother did not abuse her horse and if that was true why did Bonnie Jeanne allow her to keep her horse the entire time we were boarding him there? She did not say one word to my mom about mistreating her horse until she tried to leave again. You would think if she really was doing something wrong that she would not sit by and allow it for months and that the horse would have been taken from my mother before hand. Most of you who are talking about my mother on here have no first hand experience with my mom or her situation and it is all hearsay and none of your business to say anything about. My mom loved that horse and was very emotionally distraught after losing him, my younger sister was even jealous of this horse at one time because my mom treated him so good and spent so much time on/with him. There is definitely room for improvement to be made in the way this place is run and the general attitude of workers towards the public.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I currently work at Tara Farm Rescue, and I have to move, and I am sad to say goodbye. That place has become, my family. I have read some of the other reviews that people have written, and I would like to say, the animals are treated really good. Yes, they get scolded when they do somthing they are not suppose to do, but thats how the horses learn. And currently Tara Farm is trying to raise money to tear down one of the buildings and re-build it. I have a feeling that people who visit this farm, just glance at it, and think so horrible of this place. It is amazing. Yes, it is dirty there, but Farm isn't? I mean really? We clean the stalls everyday, and give equal attention to each animal. This is an amazing person to volunteer at. And obviously the people who had written bad reviews about this place, have some looking to do in the mirror at themselves. Bonnie Jean, I have known her for maybe 4 momths now, and yes, she does come off a little intimadating, but she really isn't at all. She is very nice and kind hearted. And don't say anything about her brother. That is a shame, that person, would throw that in this farms face, about what happened to him. That person doesn't know what really happened, so they should not say anything about what happened to him. Yes animals die, but Tara Farm Rescue does everything that they can do to prevent it. But sometimes you just can't help things like that from happening.

1 Amy R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I learned to ride at Tara Farm. My daughter now rides at Tara farm. My husband and I are signing up today to volunteer at the farm. This place does amazing things and those of you who think Bonnie Jean is a horrible person think again. Some of my fondest memories of childhood come from that farm. Yes we worked our butts off and my daughter does now but it tought me a good work ethic, and BJ is now helping to instill that in my child. she loves those animals more than she loves most humans. She is not neglectful in anyway. Those of you who claim she took her horse back, I am willing to bet you did something to that horse that she did not agree with. If you did not like the contract than you should not have signed it. Tara Farm is amazing.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

This place is absolutely disgusting. I had taken i visit out to Tara farm rescue to possibly adopt a horse and was mortified at what i saw. This seems to be more of a case of animal hoarding then animal rescue. I don't think this organization has the means, money, or workers to take care of the amount of animals they have and it really shows. Horses are standing in layers and layers of feces and filthy bedding. Not to mention the barns leak like you wouldn't believe and the horses are getting rained on even inside, and the stalls are filled with inches of water. What a shame. I wish i could get every one of those horses out of there. Someone aught to call the people for that "animal hoarders" show. I know that a lot of "animal hoarders" will call their operations "animal rescue" in order to receive donations and things. I hope this isn't whats going on here.

Kathrynscharity

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I have to say that I came to this site trying to find truthful information on this farm. I mean after all this is a review site. They are meant to be used to try to spread an honest inside word on organizations. All I can say is that I don't know what to believe and that I have really wasted my time. Can we please stop fighting and lying! All we should care about is the horses and spreading the truth about the organization. If you are lying about the farm, weather you are saying it is great or awful, I feel sorry that you are such a lame person to be wasting your time by doing that. I have a friend who works there and she says it is great yet she is not afraid to admit that "yes, it does have it's faults just like any organization" I was thinking about volunteering for lessons but now I am not so sure. I mean if this is how you all you act ,by fighting, why would i want to be in that type of environment? Oh, also Don't you think you should spend a day at the farm volunteering instead of judging it at all. I am sorry for being so harsh but we all want to help the animals so why don't we start doing it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have known Bonnie Jeanne for 27 years. I started 4-H with her when I was 12 and grew up riding at Tara Farm. I gained my "horsey education" there learning about all aspects of horse care, training and rehabilitation of abused, injured and neglected horses. I boarded there as an adult. If there is one thing I can say about this rescue it's that the animals come FIRST. You will find few rescues that put the time and resources into a horse like this place does. Dental, chiropractic, massage, medications, supplements, corrective trimming and shoeing...you name it, if they need it, they get it. Because so much time, love and effort is put into each rescue, her contract is tight...she want's to make sure the horse never has to suffer abuse or neglect again. Bottom line is...if you adopt a horse from Tara Farm and you take proper care of the horse...it's your's for life, but make no mistake, Bonnie Jeanne will not let one of her babies go through abuse or neglect again if she can help it. Once a horse is part of the Tara Farm "family", there is a group of caring individuals that want the best for the horse for the rest of it's life. The many wonderful adopters know this too...and they are also part of the Tara Farm family.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you so much! My daughter loved the pony ride and she had such an amazing time! I really appreciate it she won't stop talking about it! When I stopped by I loved how things were run the girls and their horses look really happy.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tara Farm is an amazing place. And none of this crap would be going on if not for one unforgiving lady and her family. So for those of you looking at the reviews and seeing all the rumors and "bad things" going on let me fill you in. Please. A boarder came and adopted a horse from the rescue, well turns out she never mucked OR really cared for her horses like a normal person would. But bonniejean was understanding and HELPED her out with board and all. Well came time for the ANNUAL huntrpace and This boarder decided to enter, as many did. Minimum time was 1hr 20min. Her horse came back in 33 minutes with blood in his nose, and he was heaving, the poor horse looked like someone took a hose to him. Then worst of all she tossed the reins aside like the horse was nothing and trotted up to "collect" her prize. But was she disapointed when she heard DQ! Then when it came time for the Christmas party she snuck her horses into a trailer {while we were all away} and hid them. We had no idea WHERE she was at all. Turns out she was a some barn in hiding, well about a week later she was KICKED out of that one and bonniejean got L.L (the adopted horse) back. He was so thin. Now she is upset about having her "horse" taken from her. But she treated him like dirt. Truthfully she is unworthy of her personal Horse. So she is spreading rumors on facebook,myspace,youtube..etc. she even got her daughter involved! HOW LOW can you go?! So if you think this is a terrible farm look at all the people defending it. Look and see, do you think all these people would do this if they didn't like Tara? And the whole thing about children being worked hard is crap. WE VOLUNTEER which means we choose, we aren't forced to do anything we dont want to. And yes BJG may be strict but its for our safety. So please don't judge this place because of rumors. Come see it yourself and meet BJG. I love it here and wouldnt change anything about it.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I think the drama here is rediculous, this is a place to write reviews. Everyone should be able to voice their opinions without having to be bullied by the farm's workers and volunteers...if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all, this isn't a site to verbally abuse people. I have visited this farm a few times and did not really agree with the way the animals were dealt with. I do not believe in hitting animals, but a number of times excessive smacking and yelling at the horses was encouraged. I don't think this is a proper way of dealing with horses who have come from abusive situations...or in general, but especially in this case. Also I witnessed use of spurs-which I believe is something the contract says NOT to use:http://www.tarafarmrescue.org/ (under Adoption Contract) I am not going to go as far as to say that the horses here are being abused or neglected-the horses DID in fact appear to be healthy. I just did not agree with the handling of abused, neglected, and abandoned horses.

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tara Farm is an amazing place! I love it so much. Bonniejean gives us so many oppurtunities we wouldn't have anywhere else! The horses are healthy and Boniejean helps all sorts of animals! I go there for 4-H and board my 2 horses there they are very happy too! And most of all, all the girls there are devoted! they are always there though rain,or snow! And when there not riding they are muckin,grooming,...etc... I love it and I dont care if its a 500,000$ facility, I wouldnt change anything about that wonderful place! Bonniejean- YOU INSPIRE ME! Your an amazing woman who has opened your heart and home to unwanted,badly treated, and abused animals. Now thats a HERO in my book. :D

13

Volunteer

Rating: 1

After reading all of these posts i've figured out a few things. First off honestone is hypocritcal and unbeliveable he/she points out how one shouldn't be commenting about this issue on a personal level but comes and does the same attacking the people on the same level. It just shows how childish you are and immature. second if more then one person has had a problem with this farm then it's not a concidence and something very wrong is going on here. It's really easy to many posts using diffrent names but all done by the same people probably. When it comes down to it a i think a full investigation should be done on the claims here and if nothing is going on then the people who run this farm shouldn't have anything to hide or worry about. On a final note doing a 7 1/2 mile course wouldn't make a horses nose bleed and the horse would have to be in extremly great condition. My Best friend has had horse there whole life and competes in compations and has explained this to me. Think twice before putting up comments.

Comments ( 1 )

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bonniejeanesminion 02/03/2010

For someone who claims to have common sense you sure aren't using it. Doing a 7 1/2 mike course in a half hour is not good for the horse. It would make the horse very tired. Your friend whoever they are probably thought the course was done in the proper amount of time so they would have been right had that been the case, but it's not. As for doing an investigation into what goes on at Tara Farm why don't you come see for yourself? We trully have nothing to hide. It's an amazing place where people learn to ride well. Not only that we make a bunch of friends, and we work with all kinds of animals. If you come I might even let you ride Reilly. :)

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been at Tara farm for 14 years. I was a co-4-H leader and now I am a boarder. I have learned so much from BonnieJeanne and continue to learn. She has a big heart and takes very good care of her animals. I want to Thank her for everything she has done for me, and my daughter. We are very fortunate and blessed to be able to have a place like Tara Farms to go too, for our children and for the adults who love the animals and care for them. The farm is a place I can escape to, they are my family. BonnieJeanne has dedicated her life and love in taking care of these animals in need. I give her lot's of credit for what she is doing. It's a lot of work to do what she is doing. I Commend her on her work in Rescuing these animals. Thank You BonnieJeanne, Love from a friend.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a current boarder at Tara Farm. I have been there for 14 years and have never once witnessed bonniejeanne treating any of her animals badly. She rehabilitates animals that other people just give up on and adopts them out to loving homes. Not all homes are so loving tho, the women who hunterjumper is talking about only saw the horse as an object. She didn't take care of him properly. For example, she hired one of the VOLUNTEERS at the rescue to muck her stall. That volunteer got 17 wheelbarrows out of her horses stall. And she's trying to say Bonniejeanne treats her animals badly? The farm has come a long way since I've been there. She's doing something most people don't have the strength and will power to do. So for people to trash talk the farm when they have never been there or listening to this childish bitter woman, think twice. Put your feet in her shoes. She IS doing a WONDERFUL thing. Ignorant people just need to realize that.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Tara Farm Rescue for the past 4 years. I have seen so many animals walk through our gates for the first time with a look of sadness and defeat in their eyes. But soon they transform into a complete different animal who understands that they have a second chance at life. That is what I love the most about the farm. It is a chance for animals to learn to be animals again and to realize that not all people are bad. Some people can be so heartless towards animals but not BonnieJeanne. BonnieJeanne has a way with all animals and they can feel it. She gives them the very best vet treatment and thinks only about the care of her animals. Yes i agree the barn may not be the most beautiful because it is a rescue and all the money goes right into the vet, farrier, dentistry bills, etc. and the animals are in the best health. It breaks my heart to hear people talk such crap about the farm when all BonnieJeanne does is devote her life to rescuing animals and rehabilitating them. I would also like to add, that as a college student, I may be one of these "children" mentioned in previous comments. I VOLUNTEER my time to these animals as do the other girls. I CHOOSE to muck stalls and exercise horses because I enjoy it and I chose to be a part of this organization, rather than any other riding stable, because I believe that Tara Farm Rescue is an amazing place that truly puts only the animals first.

15

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

This honestly sickens me. This is one person and her family mouthing off about an experience that they have shared with the rescue. Let me fill everyone in. I have been with Tara Farm Resuce for the last 4 wonderful years. I myself have adopted a magnificant horse from the rescue and continue to board at the rescue. I was there the day that this woman took the horse off the property. She read and understood the contract and signed a contract stating that Tara Farm Rescue is to visit the place the horse is to be moved to. Instead she shows up, FINALLY cleans her horses' stalls (rough board situation) after a week of not cleaning them and tries to take the horse. Our contract is for the safety of the animal. IF for any reason the person is unable to provide the care or fails to pay board at the boarding facility, the horse is to be brought back to the rescue. BonnieJeanne takes a lot of time (and so have I and any of the volunteers) in working with the animals and healing their wounds of neglect. The man who removed the horse off the farm was someone known for neglect, especially since the rescue had received horses from him in the past. The woman that had the horse swore up and down that she loved the horse but everyone saw the true side of her when she galloped the horse down a wet trail over pavement and the poor animal fell on his side and had horrible wounds and rode him back. She proceded to contact me and ask me for wound care products to use and then left him overnight with no protection on the wounds from the flies. And let me not forget about the time that Tara Farm Rescue held its annual hunter pace. A 7 1/2 mile trail course that had a time of 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete it in. She finished it in 33 minutes with blood coming out of the horse's nose! So it was only a matter of time that the horse would have been taken back. Like I said before, Bonnie Jeanne and her professionals along with the volunteers pour a lot of time into the healing process of these animals. I wish I could look at this woman today and tell her to grow up. It was your stupidity that got your horse taken away from you. And for anyone else who would like to see what our contract is about, please visit the farm's website and you can see for yourself.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Tara Farm Rescue is a wonderful place. The previous negative comments are based solely on the experiences of one individual and should be weighted on that fact alone. It is not an objective opinion. This rescue struggles constantly with the need of the many against the the little resources available. Bonniejeanne works with many well recognized professionals and does more for these animals than most would. If the facility had fancy painted barns and manucured gardens then you would know where your donations are going. Instead, show up on a Monday when three professionals are working (dentist, vet, farrier) on the rescue horses. If you look around the horses all have shelter, hay in front of them (or pasture) and are all in good weight. Definitely worth checking out.