It is an unfortunate fact that there are almost no equine sanctuaries where the horses are truly safe forever. The Golden Carrot is literally the only sanctuary that I feel I can recommend without reservation. Casey knows exactly the number of horses she can manage and knows how to say no when she has to. She does the vast majority of the work herself, making sure every horse comes in to get fed individually and get whatever specific feed they need. The feet are done, the feed is plentiful and the vet is always there providing the best of senior horse care. I just wish more of these horses' former owners and riders would remember their care is not free, and donate!
In the first part of July of 2012 The Golden Carrot was contacted about a horse that had been abandoned at a boarding stable. The owner had cared for him for a year, but he had to have a new home or he was going to a livestock auction. He isn't ridable due to an accident he has before he came to the boarding stable. At an auction he would be vulnerable to kill buyers (people who buy horses to ship over the border to slaughter). There aren't a lot of people lining up to take in a 10 year old horse that can't be ridden. The Golden Carrot posted about him on Facebook asking for monthly donations to cover the cost of basic care. Myself, along with 7 other people pledged the money and he came to The Golden Carrot. Today, he has friends, room to run and time to just be a horse along with plenty to eat, a routine farrier and vet care. I don't regret a minut of it. When I see pics or videos of him, I know I played a part in making sure that he would live out his days in comfort and not endure a long trailer ride and a terrible death.
Review from #MyGivingStory
I came across The Golden Carrot on a fb post. It is a sanctuary for older, disabled horses. I watched the post everyday, sometimes sad other times happy, but always a beautiful ending for these sweet souls. They come here often abused, starved, abandoned and losing hope. Then they slowly learn to love, and trust again. With the kindness and generosity of Casey, the kind lady who cares for them all. They are also sponsored by some people with a kind heart, and receive donations to help with their care, but of course they could always use more help seeing how they need more medical, feed, and special needs. I help sponsor one of the older horses here, Biscuit one of the many beautiful horses that live here. It may be a small amount that I send, but I do what I can, and every little bit helps. It is a wonderful feeling to watch them change everyday back to the free, happy souls they use to be. They get into little friendships, fall in love, get healthy, and thrive again. Even if it is only for a few more years of their life, I love to know they lived the last few years of their life being loved, happy, and running free. It is beautiful!
Review from #MyGivingStory
"If only I lived closer," I often think as I read every post on The Golden Carrot's Facebook page. I have followed this horse rescue for years now and don't think I can really put into words how much I respect and admire the hard-working, big-hearted woman who runs it primarily by herself. Casey is her name and although we've never met, she is one of my heroes. You see, she does back-breaking and sometimes heart-breaking work at her sanctuary, working with a herd of older rescued horses who would otherwise end up going to slaughter. These horses come to her often damaged and in need of the kind of care that only a tireless and dedicated horse lover like Casey can give. These lucky horses get to roam as a herd, and make friends and develop relationships with other horses in the safety of Casey's sanctuary. Along with a few donkeys, these horses get the best care possible. Casey does this work day in and day out, and because most of the herd is older, she has to say goodbye from time to time. My heart could not take it, but Casey does whatever is best for her herd.
I currently sponsor one of her horses; it's not much but it's something. I only wish I could volunteer and give more but I live in a different state. One day I hope to be able to make the trip and muck out a few stalls, haul some water, and be of better use. In the meantime I follow Casey on Facebook,, admire the herd from afar, and respect Casey's strength and integrity from the comfort of my living room.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Yes, I love horses. Sadly, there are miserable people who don't - people who starve horses, or find joy in hurting them, who neglect them, who carelessly toss them away when they are too old to perform. The Golden Carrot Equine rescue in Anza takes in these hurting souls, the seniors so hard to place, and gives them forever homes: a loving place to live out their days with kindness and compassion, where the food keeps coming and they receive medical care to fix what hurts. It's not easy running a rescue, nor is it cheap, but founder Casey O'Connor honors her commitment to these amazing creatures until the end. She can use help. If you are looking to make a donation this holiday, or better yet, all year, please consider The Golden Carrot. The picture is Blue, a horse I partially sponsor, and you can too!
Review from #MyGivingStory
When you retire, you get a gold watch. But what happens to a horse that has served his owner his entire life, selflessly giving himself until he is old and crippled? What happens to the racehorse that is run until it can no longer run and is "useless" to it's owner? What happens to the horse who is deemed expendable by it's owner when money runs thin? Where do you find a retirement home for horses to live out their days in the peace and quiet they have earned? The Golden Carrot, aptly named, in Anza California is just that place. As room allows, they take in the cast-offs that no one else wants. These gentle souls are allowed to live out their natural life as a part of a herd during the day and in their own safe stall at night. Their every need is individually attended to, including food, vitamins, medications, farrier, vet and even chiropractic care! I began volunteering there years ago to clean stalls, brush horses and do any other chore required. Casey, the kind and caring soul who cares for these horses each and every day, needs more than just the respite I can provide on my visits. The entire operation, from feed to vet, runs on donations. So naturally, in addition to my time, I give from my wallet as well. I adopted a horse, His name is unimportant. As is the way with a rescue dedicated to an aging population, my original horse is gone and my money helps another horse, and another when that one is gone. I take great solace that every single penny I donate goes directly to the horses. I have never heard of any non-profit that can say that! But as is the case with most rescue facilities, there is never enough money. Horses are not called hay-burners for nothing. There is constant need for money for food, medicine, vet bills, etc. So I continue to give, every month. I help these horses have the life they earned, the life they deserve. And whenever I visit, I show up with several large bags of golden carrots to spread around the herd.
Review from #MyGivingStory
It was in July 2012 that I lost my Love! That Love was Zeppelin, a wonderful gentle Trakhener I had ridden for almost 3 years'. His owner had asked me to find him a retirement home and I contacted the Golden Carrot in Anza, the sanctuary was full at the time, but still Casey agreed to help me as soon as she could. Little did I know that the owner of my lovely horse friend had lied to me and when I came to tell them I had found a place where he could retired'. I was told NO, he will be euthanized. I was in such shock, that I just left in tears'. and didn't even think of horses for a few months. But then I got in contact with Casey and decided to visit her an the horses at The Golden Carrot, the home that could have been for my big boy!
When I got to Anza, Casey had done a lot of the stall cleaning already, the day was gorgeous and we went over the plan for the day. Exercising a few different horses, giving them baths and then do whatever else is needed. I worked with four horses in the round pen, Montego, Pepe, Keller ( and Dominic (possibly Azteca). Working with them was quite the experience.
First to go was Montego! I'm not new to horses, but fairly new to working with them in the round pen and Montego picked up on this immediately. He tried to test me a few times.
Next were the inseparable duo of Pepe and Keller.... It was clear from the start that the smaller Pepe was the boss of the two. Both knew what to do in the pen, but there was no mistaking on who was in front and who was to be behind. If Keller ever got in front of Pepe, he got put in line with a nip to the rear, or got pushed to the fence. After working up a little sweat, both of the gentlemen got a nice cool shower a couple carrots for each Nevermind that each of them rolled right after being cleaned.
Last but not least was Dominic. He was easy to lead into the pen, with his harem of girls following him all the way down, curious as to what was going to happen to him. This gorgeous ladies man has a big following. We actually did not know if Dominic knows what to do in the round pen and I found out very quickly that he doesn't know much. He just stood there and looked at me. However as soon as I took up the lunge whip, he started to fall apart. I only moved it toward his hind quarters and he started cantering away from me, trying to break out of the pen.
I put the whip on the ground, he would stand there, look at me, come over and just try to nuzzle like a big baby, panting with anxiety, but a nice hug and soft words, he'd breathe normal in 30 seconds. So it's clear he is frightened and we suspect that someone must have beaten him. I tried this out a few times with the same result. Pick up the whip PANIC! I want out! Put the whip on the ground, he looks, walks up and nuzzles me like a puppy. He's a love bug that wants nothing more than a person that loves him. Breaks my heart that he has been mishandled by people he trusted. But Dominic is now forever at home at The Golden Carrot!
The sadness I still feel when I think of Zeppelin is there, my silver lining is this, I found a place that takes care of horses just like him, to live in peace with their friends.
Review from #MyGivingStory
Several years ago I came upon "The Golden Carrot" on line , but I really can't remember how that exactly happened. So, I scrolled through the horses, and decided I wanted to sponsor one in particular, Medina. You really have to go on the web site and read her story, in "The Memorials" as she was an ex Polo Pony. I did go end up going to The Carrot, to clean stalls once a week for a few years. I was there one day, after many weeks when Medina, finally showed up for a treat as many other do each week. You could always hear her coming because of her fused knee, it seemed easier for her to run than walk. Yes, a fused knee that was about 3 times the normal size. She stood back , but stood her ground, in order to get her treat. She didn't come by all the time but many times. She wasn't pushy , as they can get, when treats are around but took hers, and went off. Such a pretty girl too even with that large locked knee. It makes me cry just writing this knowing how much she suffered prior coming to the The Golden Carrot. There are usually around 40 horses there and Casey alone, takes care of them in addition to cleaning the stalls daily. She knows all the habits of the mini herds that have formed from the large herd. Medina had her mini herd too. The only way to really know these horses is to go to www.thegoldencarrot.org and read all the stories . You will be amazed at all the stories and to think one person knows all of them so well , will bring many of you to tears also.
When Medina had to leave this earth, Casey gave me a bracelet made from her tail. I will cherish it always.
Review from #MyGivingStory
I have been a supporter of The Golden Carrot for several years. I love that she posts insights into the horses lives and pictures almost everyday. She has a beautiful way of writing that takes you along the journey with her.
I've been following the horses of The Golden Carrot since 2009 and became a donor several years ago. The horses are allowed to live in a herd setting as horses are intended to. They make friends and frienemies. Each are allowed to have their own personalities. Casey strives so hard to give each of them exactly what they need. Blanket or no, shoes or no, matches each to a food regime that best suites them. Those that crave it, she is there to provide that human interaction, but if they would rather stick to their horsey friends, that's ok too. It's been so rewarding to see many that come in with issues, underweight, terrible teeth and feet, etc. respond and thrive. To live out their final years, however long that might be, in peace and comfort.
One last note, it always amazes me how far Casey can make money stretch. She does so much with so little, but she could do so much more, if only everyone would pitch in, even just a little.
I have been a donor for several years. The Golden Carrot is an amazing horse rescue/forever home for horses. Casey is passionate about what she does & stretches every dollar to go further. I am confident that every dollar donated goes directly to the care of the horses. To get an idea of what she can do, one need only go to her site & see the before and after photos. She works magic on the abused, starving, hurting and despondent horses that arrive to The Golden Carrot. Even better, Casey is completely transparent & trustworthy; she invites you to learn more, know more and get involved in any area of the operation. Please get involved & donate to this charity. Every horse deserves the final home & care that Casey is able to provide.
I have been donating what I can to the Golden Carrot for years. I am confident that all of the money donated goes directly to help the horses. Casey O'Connor has dedicated her life to helping horses in need and works tirelessly to make sure the horses in her care are comfortable and well kept. Please support the Golden Carrot. It is an excellent charity that works to stretch every dollar.
Please support THE GOLDEN CARROT !!! I started going to The Golden Carrot through my business for skeletal adjustment. It didn't take long to realize the work being done at this rescue was beyond what other rescues were doing. So started and friendship and eventual position on the board... Casey goes above and beyond, from how she treats each horse to how she sacrifices many of her own comforts for all of the horses well being. Casey is truly doing something that not very many people would do, and I don't meant "running a rescue". I have been aware of Casey going out of her way to make sure that other rescues get what they need even in times when she, herself, was suffering with low donations. There are not a lot of people out there doing that sort of thing when they need the support as much as the next guy. Matter of fact, some rescues are quite the opposite. A person only needs to spend a couple minutes on the website to see the compassion and dedication that Casey has for each and every one of these precious old horses that have been forgotten by so many. Rock on Casey :)
I first visited the Golden Carrot with my daughter on a Girl Scout trip. The experience was overwhelmingly positive. Casey takes in senior, disabled horses and lets them live the rest of their lives in comfort and peace. She does not stint on her time, efforts or abilities to ease the final days for these horses. They are her life and she loves every single one. She oftentimes goes without when money is short, but her horses are always well tended. A visit to Casey becomes an experience in horse tending, simply put. Her horses are her life. I invite you to read a tribute to one of her horses where her love for them is apparent at: http://www.thegoldencarrot.org/Pages/GoodbyetoSunny.aspx.
I found the Golden Carrot while doing a Internet Search. I than found they had aFacebook page and I became a Facebook friend. I started to receive the Golden Carrot news letter and saw the hard work Casey did. When it comes to donations when ever I have a few extra dollars I send it her way. She works so hard for the horses. I know if they could speak they would say Thank You! And I thank you for what you do for all of them! : )
Selfless. Honest. Persistent. Courageous. Extraordinary. These are a few of the words that describe Casey, the heart and soul of The Golden Carrot. I have known Casey since 1996 and can attest that her dedication to provide a loving home for unwanted and abused horses is unwavering. With her Irish tenacity, she started a small rescue operation and turned it into a 501c3 with room to care for and shelter more than 40 horses at any given time. The kind of commitment and sacrifice required to make such a transformation is humbling.
While Casey has some intermittent help, her organization is unique because she essentially does all of physical labor of feeding, cleaning stalls, etc., on her own 365 days a year. She has a special relationship based upon mutual respect with each and every horse in her care. She knows each horse’s likes and dislikes and moods and is in tune with the intricacies of the relationships among the herd. That kind of attention to detail is just another thing that makes The Golden Carrot so special.
It is a shame that when Casey is not working a very rigorous schedule, she is in a constant struggle to find the financing to keep The Golden Carrot’s doors open to the horses that are fortunate to call it home.
There is not a more worthy and genuine charitable organization. Every penny donated goes directly to the horses. Casey will go without food before they will. She lives simply without many of the comforts of home we take for granted. She works tirelessly to honor these noble creatures by allowing them to live out their days with dignity and the proper diet, exercise, medication and the peace that comes from knowing that they are finally safe in their forever home.
I have been working with Casey for about five years now and am so impressed with the incredibly hard work put into her organization with very limited funds and resources. Casey has taken on the job of helping old and disabled horses that really no one wants. People dump them on her for so many reasons (and some of the reasons make no sense) but Casey puts aside the sometimes head scratchng human factor and does what she can for the horse. I am proud to be associated with her. It is difficult for Casey as she bonds with all of her charges but knows that often her time is limited with them. All of Casey's horses at least know some love and have dignity at the end of their lives...whether just a few weeks, months or years that are spent at The Golden Carrot.
Let me start off by saying this about Casey, she has a very huge heart when it comes to animals! That in my book has to be the number thing when being in this line of work. She puts her heart and soul into The Golden Carrot and it really shows! All the animals are very well taken care of and they are very happy. I have been to other rescues before and the animals are not always happy or tended to very well. What Casey is doing in such a wonderful service to these animals! A 5 star rating is not good enough, if you ask me!
My daughter and I began visiting and volunteering at The Golden Carrot through a girl scout visit several years ago and try to get back there as often as we can. Casey is truly remarkable as she manages to care for 50+ horses daily with very little help. I've seen horses come to her painfully thin, frightened, sick or injured, rescued from abusive situations, rescued from the kill buyers at auction, rescued from being put down just for being old or no longer wanted. I've seen the horses gain weight, become confident in the herd, heal from injuries and find a place to be loved and cared for until their time on this earth is done. Casey is a horse whisperer for sure!! Her devotion to the horses is unwavering and when she isn't physically taking care of their needs, she is trying to raise funds to continue her mission. She is as frugal as she can possibly be and every donated penny goes directly to the care and maintenance of her beloved horses. I can say with absolute confidence that The Golden Carrot is one of the most deserving organizations I've chosen to support and volunteer at. Hard work, no frills, 100% satisying.
I met Casey ten years ago, after reading an article in a local newspaper about Golden Carrot and a wonderful person who has unselfishly dedicated her life to helping horses and other animals. I put my kids (son 11 and daughter 3 at the time) and a 20lb bag of carrots in a truck and went to meet Casey. We became volunteers at GC. My daughter became absolutely in love with those beautiful giants, especially Bucky and Hava. Since then, we moved away, but she still has fond memories of the GC and is now involved in helping at a local animal rescue organization and is a devout horseback rider. What we saw at Golden carrot was unconditional love and dedication of one woman who was single-handedly taking care of about twenty horses (at that time). Golden Carrot is a great place where people of all ages are able to experience the joy of giving/receiving love thanks to the wonderful, deserving animals and a lady with a golden heart.