(March 24, 2021) AWHC recently assisted with a rescue in West Virginia. You may be thinking, "West Virginia?" Yes.
Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue, INC reached out for assistance with this special herd and while not federally protected wild horses, these feral horses needed our help and we couldn't say no.
For those that may not know, in West Virginia and Kentucky (sometimes beyond), thousands of horses have been and continue to be turned out onto former and active mine sites. These are not wild horses. They are abandoned. They are not mustangs. They are domestic horses left without care. They are someones’ discarded equines, used to being blanketed in winter, raking out a poor life on geography unable to sustain them at all.
The locations are typically remote, difficult to access. Many horses starve even in summer because reclamation on mountains isn’t intended to support countless equines. Births go wrong, inbreeding is rampant, and sadly they are even hunted for sport or population control. Luckily, Heart of Phoenix and its amazing volunteers are bringing hope.
So, this herd was a small group of originally 7 horses. With the exception of the band stallion who is of unknown origin, they were all wild-born and have lived their lives on top of a desolate released strip mine site in Mingo County, West Virginia. Two were rescued earlier leaving 5: two young mares, a beautiful older stallion, a foal under a year, and a little Hinny.
All are safe now. So many are not as lucky. This amazing herd was because of the mission of Heart of Phoenix. They now are guaranteed safety and a bright future. This herd still needs intake, vetting, care, and one mare will need extensive surgery for an umbilical hernia. They will also need extensive training before they can find their forever homes. The buckskin mare, Lacy, is bred and will need long-term fostering until she has her baby.
Be sure to check out Heart of Phoenix for more info about these horses and how you can help, and donate to our rescue fund to help us help more horses in need.