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The Big Purple Barn, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Husbandry, Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals, Equestrian, Food, Sports

Mission: Our mission is to provide quality, life-long care for equines who are unwanted/neglected and/or have special needs and to promote the horse-human bond through the development and implementation of innovative educational and outreach programs utilizing our resident equines and provide opportunities for people who might not otherwise have the chance to experience horses in a supportive, educational environment.

Results: As a new nonprofit, we are still in our developing phase. However, we have provided a permanent home to a total of 18 special needs horses and ponies, with average lifespans of 30+ years. We have helped over 200 children in the past 2 years get the opportunity to learn about horses and their care and to get involved in our programs. We have partnered with a local at risk elementary school to develop a unique literacy program for struggling students and we have partnered with several other local groups to provide services and opportunity for our community. We also partner with our equine community to provide assistance to horses and ponies in need, provide owner education and referral and assist groups getting equines out of the slaughter pipeline and into safe haven.

Target demographics: special needs horses and at risk youth

Direct beneficiaries per year: 50 horses, 2 schools, 7 at risk youth groups, 5 community groups and approximately 75 members of our community.

Geographic areas served: Maryland

Programs: permanent sanctuary to horses and ponies with special medical and behavioral needs, education and outreach programs to the community which target low income, at risk, a special needs youth and adults to connect them with horses in a way that promotes mutual healing and emotional/social growth with an emphasis on creating opportunities to develop lifelong skills and appreciation for animals.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Jeanie Marie P.

Donor

Rating: 5

Her name is Jewel. It was last September that I first learned of her. Somehow, I found The Big Purple Barn on Facebook, and curiosity drove me to look further in. And there she was, in several photographs, warming my heart that loved everything about her. Because of Tara's and The Big Purple Barn's kindness and generosity towards me, I have been able to get to know more and more of Jewel's history and daily life. They send pictures and videos of Jewel, the herd such as Taz, Nadiya, Justin, and Mia along with volunteers and activities. They have shared their wonderful world with me. I live in Nebraska, far away from where they live, and my health isn't so great anymore. But that is of no matter to them. I am so very grateful for EVERYTHING The Big Purple Barn does for the horses, children, parents, community and, yes, the world. When I close my eyes at night, I watch her as she is running under the golden sun so that she shines and glistens like the Jewel she is!

Nicole86

Client Served

Rating: 5

We're always happy to work with The Big Purple Barn and Tara! Their horses are always taken care of and they go above and beyond to take care of their volunteers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Pathways Schools: The Big Purple Barn is an exceptional organization. They have provided community service opportunities for the students. The Big Purple Barn is an exceptional environment for children and adults. The staff is caring and experience when dealing with the horses and our students. The Big Purple Barn has provided great mentoring opportunities for the students.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As places go The Purple Barn is a remarkable environment and a welcomed place of solitude among an urbanized landscape. The staff is very knowledgeable and allows one to easily fit right in. The horses are extremely warm and loving and so are the volunteers. Keep up the great work guys!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We LOVE the Big Purple Barn! Three of my children did volunteer work at the Big Purple Barn for several years. They learned how to care for the horses and how to properly deal with them and their different needs. Tara and "Bobshee" are fantastic! They treat the volunteers with respect, and take them "under their wings" and don't shy away from "teachable moments" when they arise. My hat's off the them! :)

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Big Purple Barn is a wonderful place with great animal lovers. My daughter has done summer camp there a couple of times and she is happy, excited and learns so much. The horses are so loved and well cared for. I also love volunteering there!

Tara31

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a co-founder and board member of the Big Purple Barn, I wanted to be sure we created a haven in which special animals and special people could find a place to learn, to grow, to love and to heal. My journey to The Big Purple Barn at Hidden Haven Farm was over 20 years in the making, beginning with our FIRST sanctuary resident which I adopted in 1991 from the Equine Rescue League in VA. My journey through animal rescue so inspired and changed my life, that I wanted to be able to provide that opportunity for others to share in such an experience and with the help and support of some amazing horses, wonderful people and our community, we have provided just that place.

Elaine25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Big Purple Barn provides a loving home for many special-needs horses and ponies. In return, those animals, give love and teach a variety of life lessons to all who spend any time with them. In addition the staff are welcoming and willing to share their knowledge. My teenage daughter has spent many happy hours at the barn over the past few years. I highly recommend it!

Kashimus P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Big Purple Barn has a Big Purple Heart! This barn run by an amazing family of animal lovers and advocates not only rescues horses but teaches a new generation compassion, care and love for these beautiful creatures. My daughters LOVE the barn. Their first introduction to the resident horses was so seamless and easy thanks to Ms Tara who is patient and allows the kids to feel confident and secure in their dealings with these large beasts. They ask all the time to return and I need to get them back. Thanks to Big Purple Barn, my daughters not only love horses, but have a new found compassion and respect for all animals. Great experience!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Big Purple Barn is a wonderful organization. The horses are so loved and well cared for. My daughter volunteered here a few years ago and only left due to her school schedule and other schedule conflicts. But we remember this as a wonderful place to be. I still drive by to see the horses in the yard from time to time. I'm nervous around horses and these horses would come up and nudge me, ever so gently, I lost my fear and was able to embrace the time I spent with them.

Andrea82

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. Family run. We stopped in to visit at an open barn 6 years ago and our family has been involved ever since. The Big Purple Barn is a haven to horses with stories of neglect and sad situations. Our donations helped feed and care for a few of the residents there. Our oldest daughter has a home away from home there and a second family. She is helping the horses but also helping herself. It is a sanctuary for her too, a place to be independant and responsible and to feel pure love and joy with the people there and the horses. It is a place well worth donations of time and money!!

Emily78

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Big Purple Barn is a great barn for people and animals. They not only provide horseback riding but also provide an opportunity to learn and grow in responsibility. I began there as a 13 year old and learned lots about health of horses, managing a farm and working with others. Now I am in vet school and am able to use the things I learned at the Big Purple Barn to further my career and education.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Some of the residents of The Big Purple Barn include a one-eyed Morgan named Justin, a high spirited thoroughbred rescued from the track, Nadyia, a very opinionated pony named Taz who runs the entire show and at least a dozen more rescue horses who have special needs.

The Big Purple Barn is a family run equine rescue center who gives previously neglected or abused horses a forever home. Each horse requires a special diet, medicine, and care along with basic needs of hay, farrier and vet visits. What theses horses give in return for their care is priceless. Each horse has a special gift and talent. Some like the appaloosa pony Sydney win ribbons with neighborhood kids as they participate in local horse shows. Others like Harry, take care of their special needs rider or Nova who gives a young person wonderful memories and friendships after a week of summer camp (Nova loves to be fussed over, bedazzled, etc). Still others will bond with someone one on one, touching their heart, making them laugh, and giving them confidence and attention they can't get elsewhere.

The Big Purple Barn is an education center. Tara Guevara and her mother Barbara Wahle along with other family members take care of the horses every need morning, noon and night. They regularly open the barn to the public to teach about the special needs of their horses, train volunteers on how to take care of the horses and attend public events to further their mission. Taz, often the ambassador is quite good at winning over hearts and minds. If you visit the Big Purple Barn, I can guarantee one or more of the horses there will capture your heart as well.

I encourage the public to support the Big Purple Barn so these beautiful horses who give so much, can live a good life and continue to touch the hearts and minds of others.

Heather Taylor, Epona Approved Instructor

Board Member

Rating: 5

This place is a small operation with big ideas, lots of love for horses, volunteers and the community. The horses are treated as family members and volunteers and riding students become very close with each of them. It's a beautiful property with an iconic look that makes it stand out in the area. Anyone can stop by and hang out with the residents and staff. Residents are given the best care and their comfort and lifestyle is of the highest importance to the staff. I am proud to be a father of a volunteer and student and proud to have been a part of the Big Purple Barn.