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Pasture Pals Equine Rescue

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

- Mahatma Gandhi

Volunteers Say This:


MJ being groomed

MJ with Bear and Gus

Dee - MJ: The Dancing Horse

Volunteer Story, 02/2022

MJ arrived at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue when she was 27 years old. That’s a tough hand for a horse to be dealt…most people who are looking to adopt a horse aren’t looking for a horse of this age. Two years later, MJ is still at PPER, but is loved by everybody who meets her. She is so calm and gentle and incredibly bombproof. She is a favorite for the “groom a pony” activity on our open house days, because she will literally stand for 30 minutes to be groomed without being tied. She lets us pick up her feet so easily, and is such a well-behaved horse.

MJ prefers to be with the donkeys and miniature horses, maybe because that’s who she lived with before coming to PPER. In fact, her friends Bear (miniature pony) and Gus (mini donkey) came with her when she was brought here. 

MJ already had a calm temperament when she arrived, and she really enjoys cuddles from the humans. MJ has one “quirk” that everyone notices. When we put her in a stall for feeding, she “dances” back and forth, feet planted, upper body leaning from the left to the right repeatedly. We believe that she was kept in the stall too much at her previous residence and developed this behavior as a result. Once she leaves the stall, she doesn’t dance anymore. MJ has begun to develop a relationship with a miniature pony named “Cindy/Cinderella.” They love to be around each other as they graze and soak up the sun on warm days. On cold days, MJ relies on a blanket to keep her comfortable. She has modeled several different blanket styles and colors during her two years at PPER. Since she is a gorgeous flea-bitten Arabian, she looks great in any color, but always best in her freshly groomed white hair, mane, and tail.

Cindy (Cinderella)

Cindy at Arrival

Cindy with MJ

After several months at PPER

Dee - Cinderella

Volunteer Story, 02/2022

This beautiful grey American Miniature has the prettiest grey coat and blonde mane. A true Cinderella story in the making, Cindy (as we call her) came from a horrific situation to Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Cindy has a special place in the hearts of the volunteers. She looks different, and our visitors always want to know why her face is different. But she is a survivor if there ever was one, and that makes us admire her and praise her for not giving up. Did I mention how beautiful she is? That’s probably why she was used as a brood mare. Even after her foals were grown, they were still nursing on her because the owner didn’t remove them, or her, from the pasture.

Cindy came to us malnourished and scarred…malnourished from feeding 3 ponies and scarred from a devastating dog attack sometime in the past. She has a hole in the side of her cheek. The skin and gum has healed, but there is still a huge gap between her upper and lower cheek. When she eats, some of her food falls out of that hole. We feed her separately from the other equines so that she has plenty of time to finish her food. It takes her a little longer than the others, but she doesn’t give up. Cindy is also quite skittish, but has become more accepting of cuddles and scratches from the volunteers. She is quite the athlete as well. During the times we try to catch her for feeding, she runs with all her might like a tiny little warrior. She is super-fast and gives the other horses (and the volunteers) a run for their money. This is good for her though as she needs exercise and needs to build muscle. We had not been giving her treats (cookies and carrots) for a while because we weren’t sure if she’d be able to eat them comfortably. But recently, when one of our volunteers soft-cooked some carrots with molasses for her, she enjoyed her snack like it was a delicacy.

Cindy went from being hurt and neglected to being treated like a true princess. She is becoming friendlier and enjoying love from the humans who will not hurt her or allow her to be hurt. 

The vet says that she is healthy and may or may not be able to have surgery on her cheek at some point. Like all the other animals at Pasture Pals, we just want her to know that she doesn’t have to fear humans and that she will have all her needs met. She seems to have found a buddy in an old white Arabian mare. They are often seen in the pasture standing together and sometimes playing together.

We are so happy that Cindy is thriving now and we hope she will soon find the perfect human who can love her to the fullest.


Fritz Causing Mischief!

Fritz & Young Friend

Dee - Fritz: The donkey who knows

Volunteer Story, 02/2022

He knows how to protect his friends in the pasture. He knows how to pull the chain to open a gate. He knows how to open the feed room. He knows how to sneak cups of treats at our Open House day. He knows how to frolic with the baby mammoth donkey. He knows how to make everybody laugh when he moves at turtle speed during pony rides. He knows how to look cute for the camera. He knows he should be on a diet, but politely refuses. Let me introduce you to a cute little miniature Mediterranean donkey named Fritz! Fritz is so smart that he gives the volunteers lots of challenges. Gate chains have to be left a certain way so that Fritz doesn’t release all his buddies. We’ve had to add extra hooks and chains on the feed room door so he doesn’t help himself to a buffet when we look away.

As mischievous as he is, he is equally sweet-mannered with humans. Fritz is a favorite at pony ride days. He is calm and docile, making him the perfect “pony” for the little children to ride. Fritz is a permanent resident at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue and is a mascot of sorts. He’s so special that the pony ride days are even named after him – “Come ride with Fritz and friends.” Fritz doesn’t really prefer to work. If he had his way, he would lay around in the warm sun, enjoying cuddles from all the adults and kids, and steal treats when no one is looking.

Fritz has several friends, but for a really long time, his best buddy was Little Joe (another mini donkey). They followed each other everywhere and played together. Now, Fritz has another buddy named Phileman (a baby mammoth donkey). It’s so amusing to watch tiny Fritz playing with huge Phileman. When Fritz kicks his back feet, they don’t even reach Phileman’s neck. These two are an unusual pair, but for some reason, they love each other and they play so well together.

Maybe the highlight of Fritz’s career is when he played a starring role in a local live nativity. He played the role of…the donkey, and he played it perfectly. While Fritz isn’t looking for another place to live, we care for him as much as we do the others who are aiming to be adopted. He is a very special little donkey, and he might be just a little bit spoiled – like every donkey should be.

Babe & Treasure Together

Mari - from the track to the countryside

Volunteer Story, 02/2022

Hurricane Maria has gone down as one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history! Almost 3,000 people were killed and around $90 billion in damages were left in the wake of the storm. Thousands of humans were affected as well as the animals on the island, including the horses from the racetracks. I was surprised to find out that Puerto Rico has 136 years of rich horse racetrack history.

Many horses we in need, luckily two had gained a spot at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue! The two off track thoroughbred mares who were respectively known as Babe and Treasure had made their way from the oceanside of Puerto Rico to the countryside of Johnston County. If horses could talk I’m sure they would tell us about the terrible storm that left them in chest deep debris filled waters.

Babe would say that she roughed it out for weeks with little food and water until rescued by familiar people. Treasure would explain she was terrified as she boarded the metal bird with wings and the long trip it took to get them to dry land. They would tell about the culture shock of going from a track environment with constant training and people speaking mostly Spanish to a quiet place with horses that weren’t trying to race them and the people that sounded different (The people around here call it southern accent).

They had come to love the smells and sounds of the ocean and now we’re adjusting to their new quaint country environment. Babe knows she is a beautiful horse, hence the name Babe! She is often found prancing around and striking poses for the volunteers which she feels are her newly found adoring fans. Treasure is more quiet and observant, she aims to please and can be playful at times.

Treasure's playful side will come out every now and then when she chooses to become a giraffe, extending her neck and pointing her head high into the sky. She thinks it’s funny, you can tell by the twinkle in her eye, after a while she decides she has played enough and will lower her head and allow for us to halter her.

Babe found a loving home where she is able to shine like the star that she is. Rumor has it that she is the apple of her owners eye. Treasure went to a wonderful family that has really brought out the best in her. It was kismet to hear her new owner’s mother, treasure’s human grandmother, couldn’t wait to speak sweet nothings to Treasure in Spanish. Treasure and Babe are both special mares that made their way from the track to the countryside! 

Mari - The long eared lovebug

Volunteer Story, 02/2022

Big! Really Big! That's a really big donkey! He's what? Yep. He's a baby donkey. How can that be a baby donkey? He's sooooo tall! Well, it seems that he is a small mammoth donkey. Seems like an oxymoron, but Phileman is a baby mammoth donkey. He is a highlight of open house days because of his long, lanky legs, his super long ears and incredibly cute baby face.

Like most toddlers (he was estimated to be under 2 years old when he arrived at PPER), Phileman was a bit of a handful. He kept escaping fences that his owner set up for him, and finally they realized he was a donkey Houdini. When they looked for a “higher security” setting for him, they found Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Phileman had not had any vet care or farrier care, so PPER got on that right away to make sure he was on his way to good health. He was eventually gelded as well. While with us, he hasn’t tried any crazy maneuvers. He seems perfectly content to stay here until he finds a forever home. One of our volunteers, Mari, has developed a special relationship with “Philly” since they both speak and understand Spanish. Tiny Mari and huge Phileman have a sweet bond with each other. It’s a funny site to see Mari trying to teach Phileman to walk on a lead rope. He is a donkey after all, and sometimes has his mind made up to go (or stay) where he wants.  

 The sweet, affectionate boy doesn’t quite understand personal space yet. He wants to put his head on your shoulder as you do your chores. He even likes to help with mucking by standing in the poop piles while the volunteers try to scoop around and under him. He even tries to help you hold the muck rake from time to time. He knows he’s cute and he’s taking full advantage of all the cuddles from volunteers and visitors.

At 13 hands tall, he is almost as tall as our full-grown mammoth donkey, Eli. Of course, as a baby, he’s still growing, both up and out. He is finally at a healthy weight after being quite underweight when he arrived.

If you watch Phileman for a while, you can tell he’s still a toddler in the ways that he plays. He loves to goof around with other donkeys and miniature horses, but he has one special buddy that he plays rough with. He picked one of the smallest miniature donkeys, Fritz, as his best bud. Phileman goofs around nipping at Fritz and Fritz returns the fun with donkey kicks that don’t even reach Philly’s neck. Phileman is so tall that sometimes he gets down on his knees to get closer to his friend. 

Phileman is obviously happy and healthy at PPER but would love to have a permanent home with an owner who can love him like the volunteers here. And I’m positive he would also enjoy some company from other donkeys.

Mari - The lost boy

Volunteer Story, 02/2022

It’s around eight in the morning and Alex has just announced that we only have two hours to get ready before we open to the public for our event. Event days usually occur every third Saturday of the month and this is my tenth time of volunteering at one. We finish setting up and families start arriving and the day goes on as usual. They sign in at the front desk, buy a couple treat cups to feed to the animals and maybe even buy a ticket or two for our pony rides. Our minis and donkeys are allowed to free roam in the yard, allowing the people to interact with them and feed them a treat or two! Since he is a tall lanky grey donkey with two dark lines in the form of a cross on his shoulders it’s hard to not notice him. Everyone is always surprised to know that Phileman is a two year old mammoth donkey gelding not a mule as they assumed. 

Philly, as I lovingly call him, is the sweetest of sweet boys! Of course I’m not biased in any way!!! On this particular day one moment stands out and that’s Philly tenderly receiving a treat from a three year old little girl. His lips slowly maneuver the cookie treat from her hands into his mouth. The little girl lets out a few giggles from the feeling of his whiskers on her hand. This is amazing to me as Phileman was found roaming freely in a neighborhood and was labeled a menace, he had jumped out of his owners yard. We soon found out that this wasn’t his first time running away and his owners decided enough was enough, if they couldn’t contain him he had to go! 

Lucky for Philly he made his way to Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, where they understand his donkey ways and provide him with important things like food, water, shelter and most importantly others of his kind. Donkeys need to be with at least one other donkey, It's important for their overall health! Phileman has come a long way since his arrival day at the rescue. It will be a journey to see this long eared boy grow and I’m here for the ride!



Dee - Gold, Short On Tail, Long On love

Volunteer Story, 01/2022

This beautiful guy’s name is Gold, and he truly has a heart of gold, along with some gorgeous blue eyes. Everyone that visits Pasture Pals Equine Rescue (PPER) is captivated by those gorgeous eyes.

He loves to snuggle with humans and is super sweet, but doesn’t get the same reaction from most of his pasture mates. He is near the bottom of his herd and he hangs out with his buddy Rowlan most of the time. While he is intimidated by most of the horses in his herd, he seems to find pleasure in chasing the llamas around. He is pretty content to graze with the water buffalo unless they are blocking his route to the haybale. Then he almost humorously pins those white ears back, and only has to take a step or two and they hurry in the opposite direction. He LOVES spending time at the haybale. While he is a white/Perlino horse, he never really looks his color. It seems that it is his mission in life to decorate his gorgeous white coat with big blotches of brown mud. There are multiple pictures of him with his face covered in mud and of course we all wonder how exactly he came to look like that. Or one whole side of his body is brown and the other side is white. He brings the volunteers plenty of laughs. 

Gold has a heart breaking story of injuries, but he knows he is safe now at PPER. In the summer of 2020, PPER welcomed a registered, Perlino quarter horse that was in a very fragile state. Somehow this gorgeous boy ended up at a kill lot and was about to be rescued. But while he was waiting to go to his new home, he suffered two horrendous injuries. His tail was broken and ripped off and he experienced an impact fracture in his leg. Later, upon his arrival at PPER, he received vet care and though his dim prognosis was expected, it was still sobering. Gold would never be a rideable horse again. His leg injury was too severe to allow the weight of a human to sit on him. His injury resulted in holes in the bone since it wasn’t treated early and didn’t heal correctly. He is available for adoption as a companion only horse. We don’t want to risk putting him in a position that may cause him pain. His tail was a raw, painful injury that took a lot of attention to keep wrapped and free from infection. It has since healed well, but requires sunscreen to keep the new skin from burning. There is a small amount of hair that has grown back on his tail “nub.” If you visit pasture pals, you will of course want to know his story because he is the only “tail-less” horse that you’ll see there. But you wouldn’t know about his leg injury until we tell you, because he walks very well. He doesn’t usually run around the pasture for pleasure. However, you may see him running away from a herd mate who is higher on the ladder than he is. Or if he’s feeling extra frisky, he might take the opportunity to scare the llamas. Gold has grown to be strong, healthy, and beautiful while at PPER. 

In the last several months, one of our young volunteers has fallen in love with Gold. She talks about him non-stop to anyone who will listen. She draws pictures of him and put a picture of him on the background of her phone. She sneaks him treats and saves her own money to buy him special things. She makes sure his mane is braided regularly and the dirt is brushed out of his hair so he looks very handsome for the 10 minutes before he rolls in the mud again. He responds to the love she gives him, and returns it by lowering his head for her to groom him and pet him and by listening when she talks to him. Gold makes her so happy and he will be a wonderful companion for someone who is looking for an easy-going, loveable equine partner. 


Caitlin & her daughter with Cindy

Caitlin Richardson

Volunteer Story, 12/2021

In 2020 COVID-19 isolated our family entirely. I was pregnant with my second child, my first was a pre-teen, and my elderly mother lived with me who has many health issues and is on oxygen. So, like many other high risk families, we spent a year only venturing out for necessities and to go to work. The isolation hit my pre-teen the hardest, because she was used to wandering our neighborhood with her group of friends on an almost daily basis. We did our best through video calls and group chats to make her feel connected to her friends, but I slowly watched my eldest become more and more anxious about the world around her. She welcomed a new little sister and celebrated her first birthday as a teenager in isolation, all without complaint. She is the most helpful, compassionate, self-sacrificing person I have ever known. But I knew she was lonely, and bored, and anxious all the time. That’s when I turned to Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Volunteering outside with animals away from the chaos of a new baby seemed like a perfect solution to get exercise and socialization in an open environment. And c’mon who doesn’t love horses? Since beginning to volunteer I have had the opportunity to watch my daughter begin to come back out of her shell again. She talks to other volunteers and takes initiative to go help with things when she sees they need to be done. Watching her confidently lead a thousand-pound animal over so we can groom them or affectionately tell a mammoth donkey towering over her to get out of her way so she can keep mucking, makes my heart swell with pride. Pasture Pals Equine Rescue has been a refuge for us in a chaotic time in the world. It has taught my daughter life lessons about confidence and courage and it has given her a group of friends, four legged and two, that she can look forward to seeing every week. I am so grateful to Pasture Pals ER for everything. 

Caitlin Richardson

On Princess Blaze, 12/2021

Whoever said big things come in small packages must have met this mini. Blaze is a beautiful miniature horse with stunning blue eyes. Her looks are as fierce as her personality and all the geldings love her. The first time I met her she was absolutely fearless, coming over to demand affection and I instantly fell in love. But my favorite thing about Blaze is how helpful she is. Whenever I am in her pasture, she is always checking out what I’m carrying. A bucket to help you empty the trough so you can clean it? Let me stick my head in it! A muck rake? I’ll take a hold of it and show you where to clean ma’am. Blaze may come in a small package but she’s my favorite little supervisor. 

Caitlin Richardson

On Cindy the Mini, 12/2021

Cindy is such a kind soul. She was disfigured by a dog years ago and still bears the marks from that encounter. She was completely unhandled by people her whole life. And yet she allowed me, a stranger, to pet, halter, groom, and love on her. How is it that a creature who has lived such a hard life can find it in her heart to be so forgiving? I find her strength of character admirable. Even her best friend at the rescue, MJ, started their relationship by trying to steal her food. What most horses and people would see as competition, Cindy saw as an opportunity to make a new friend. And every day when we feed them it makes me laugh as they start at their own bowls and then dance a merry go round circling to each other’s bowls and back again. She has fundamentally affected me as a person and I strive to be as forgiving as Cindy. 

Caitlin's daughter with Bill & Abe

Costumes & Pony Rides, 10/21

Caitlin Richardson

On Bill & Abe, 12/2021

I am a child of the late 80s and as such I grew up with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. So when I began volunteering at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue I had so much trouble calling these two boys with their long hair and sleepy eyes their actual names, Bill and Abe. But I instantly fell in love. They are silly, and gentle, and forgiving. I am a relative novice at working with horses, with only a little childhood experience horseback riding, and my teen daughter is a complete beginner. We need forgiving, calm, and gentle horses to ease us in to the rescue world. Bill and Abe are so perfect for that because they are the sweetest boys imaginable. I love how Bill will scratch my back when I am loving on him, he definitely believes in reciprocating affection. Abe loves to nibble at my fingers, never biting but just playing and licking. They are as inseparable as myself and my daughter so they are the perfect pair for us to work with together. They have been kind enough to allow my daughter to learn how to put a halter on, and to lead a horse. They are never pushy as long as they can see each other. And even though they may decide to go grazing in a pond, getting all dirty again, the day after you groom them; I tell everyone I meet that if I could afford my own horses right now, those are the two I would wish to join my family without a doubt. 

Why I Volunteer - Rhiann Wynn-Nolet

I owe horses a huge debt of gratitude.

When I was a thirteen year old beginning rider, like most, I made lots of mistakes. Those patient school horses didn’t hold my errors against me. Instead, they put up with my panicky mane-grabs, my bouncing, and my confusing signals. Though I rewarded them with apples and carrots after every ride, they were just as tolerant of the kids who never gave them a second thought once the lesson was done.

A couple of years later, a very special horse came into my life. His name was Kerry. Sweet, funny, mischievous, and a first-rate Houdini, he taught me patience and perseverance. He helped me overcome some fears, gain a much better seat (he was a bucker) and was my best friend when my brother was murdered and our family life fell apart. I think he was my mother’s rock too, because he gave shape to days that were often spent waiting and wondering (it was nine months before my brother’s body was found, and following that there were two trials). Every weekday we went to the stable after school, and every weekend too. Nobody there knew what we were going through and in some ways that was a relief—we escaped into a normal life for a few hours.

During my teen years I spent Saturday mornings at a race horse training stable, mucking, feeding, watering, cleaning tack and so on. It was a second, or maybe even third rate, operation. Those horses taught me that even in the face of cruelty (pin-firing, for instance), it is possible to be kind and forgiving. I also learned that where animals are concerned, human greed almost always wins over animal well-being.

Fast forward a couple of decades to life as a parent of a special needs child. Equine therapy was one of the best things we did for our daughter. She learned self-control and listening skills, gained strength, coordination and self-confidence. Those gentle, non-judgmental horses shared their inner tranquility with her. Even on really, really hard days, when she was incredibly frustrated and reactive, she had remarkable emotional transformations within the space of the hour spent grooming and riding a horse. Eventually she was able to graduate to a regular riding stable where she improved her skills and had great fun competing.

I no longer have any desire to ride, but I do love horses. It’s time for me to repay my debt to them and so I volunteer at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Although I initially thought I’d be “giving back”, they are still “giving” to me. I feel fortunate to know each of the equines at PPER, and although feeding, watering, mucking and animal care can be hot and dirty work, I always leave filled with a sense of well-being and positivity. Churchill was partially right when he said “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” For me, it’s the inside, the soul, of a horse that’s good for the inside of a human.

Betsy d

My name is Betsy Dale and my essay is about how Pasture Pals Equine Rescue ( PPER ) changed my life.

Growing up I've always had horses of my own. I used horses as a method to deal with depression and anxiety. I've been with Pasture Pals for a while now, ever since Alex had Jessi. I've seen plenty of horses come and go to new homes at Pasture Pals. For a while I stopped volunteering because I got side tracked. I was going down a real down hill slope. I had a friend move in with Alex and I go reunited with her and the rescue. If it wasn't for Alex and all her horses at PPER, I'd be in jail or in the ground. I've straightened up my whole life because of her and her horses. They've taken me in as family. I spend as much time as possible volunteering and helping out with all the horses. Recently, I lost my grandpa and Alex and her horses were there to help me with my coping process. 

So I guess you can say that Pasture Pals is my saving grace. God has blessed me with such amazing people and amazing horses. I have a pasture pals resident at my house now, her name is Daisy. She is the sweetest pig and the smartest pig I've ever laid eyes on. Alex has trusted me to take on the responsibility of one of her rescue animals and I'm so glad to have the opportunity to show Alex how responsible I can be. 

Ever since I was little, all I've wanted to do was rescue animals and give them a second chance at life.. I have 2 rescue dogs of my own, and I wouldn't trade any of my animals for anything in the world. My biggest goal in all of this is the make Alex, her husband Keith and the rescue proud. I'm working my way up so one day I can be blessed with the opportunity to own one of her amazing horses. Until then, I'll keep proving myself and having all my birthday parties at PPER. I know this essay is suppose to be how one of the horses touched my life.. But I can't just say that one horses has when all of them have and Alex and her husband have too. I love Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. God bless Alex and her rescue for doing what they do to help people like me. I owe them my life.


Sherry E

I’d like to take a minute to tell you how Pasture Pals Equine Rescue made my day today. . . . and I didn’t even stop by there!! My daughter and I began volunteering at PPER in Clayton, NC last summer. We usually volunteer about three days a month but our hearts are tied up in that place 24/7!! The animals that were at Pasture Pals ER when we started, along with those that have come since August, and those that have left to move to greener pastures have made such an impression on our lives. Even when we aren’t there, PPER is usually not far from our thoughts.

So, back to how they made my day!! I woke up this morning, and as I usually do, I rolled over and grabbed my phone. I quickly checked my phone messages and logged into my Facebook account. That’s when I saw it: The video. A video Alex had posted of Prince and Baby, together in their new home. Even though the video quality wasn’t great, the message was clear: Prince and Baby are really enjoying themselves in their new home. They had room to run and a lovely shelter in the background and they were playing a lively little game of chase. It REALLY made my day!!

You see, when we started at PPER last summer, Baby was a few months old and, at the time, she was the baby at Pasture Pals . . . well, the baby mini anyway. She quickly found her way into my heart. She was just so perfect. She’s the most beautiful chocolate brown and, as you can imagine with a baby mini, she’s just adorable! Despite her small size, she had one enormous amount of spunk. Baby didn’t know she was the baby and she did her part to become the alpha mare in with her pen mates. Anyway, it was hard not to love her. She was a hard one to overlook!!

Then there was Prince. Prince was, in my opinion, a rather docile little guy. He was always well behaved and easily overlooked. He didn’t do much, when I was there, to draw attention to himself. He just stayed out of Baby’s way! He was always easy to catch and easy to saddle when we had pony ride fundraisers. He didn’t complain much. He actually just kind of blended in. Admittedly, the only time I really took notice of Prince was when we were giving pony rides and he would tire of the job and put his focus completely and totally on searching out any grass while outside of his paddock. I could hardly fault the little guy for that.

So, this morning, when I tuned in and saw that video, it was good to my heart. I was none too surprised to see Baby frolicking about and romping like a little youngster. That’s what she is. But I was a little taken aback to see Prince engaging in a game of chase. Prince?! It appears he’s quite happy in his new home and he has found something to get excited about!! I LOVE IT!!

And that’s just one more reason I love Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Not only do they provide shelter, food, and water for the many animals that come through their gates but they take the time to place their animals in good homes. Alex meets with the prospective adoptees and takes their applications and she makes sure they have what the animals need. And then she give ‘em one last little bit of love and send them off to their forever homes. What more could you ask for? I’ve been blessed to meet a lot of special animals over the past 6 months but the real blessing comes when I see them go to that perfect home. I am so grateful for PPER and the work they do. I’m pretty sure that Baby and Prince would have to agree!

Sherry E. & Red

There’s a little guy at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue that has my heart. His name is Red and he is the perfect little horse for ANY little horse lover. Red came to live at Pasture Pals ER in August of 2016. He was malnourished and scarred from a life of abuse and neglect. He may have come to us unloved and unwanted . . . but he didn’t stay that way long!! Red has been such a wonderful addition to the rescue. He is such an affectionate little fellow. He gives pony rides to help bring in donations from visitors and he never complains. Red isn’t very high on the totem pole, when it comes time to eat, but he patiently waits for others to finish so he can finally take his place at the hay feeder. He is quick to come to the fence for a head scratch or an extra treat. He loves being loved, and he is. 

He is no longer unwanted because I know one person that REALLY wants him and that person is me. And I know two people that REALLY love him and those two people are me and Alex Daniels!! It breaks my heart to know what a wonderful addition Red would make to any farm and how lucky ANY child would be to have Red as their horse. It breaks my heart knowing he is at the rescue and he’s waiting patiently for his forever home. It breaks my heart because I don’t want him to wait. I want that perfect person to come and take this precious boy home TODAY. But, with so many unwanted horses and ponies, I know it will take some time. Not everyone wants a rescue and not everyone thinks a rescue could be the perfect horse. But I think Red could be. 

I want Red, but I’m in no position to take him in. I don’t have the funds or the room for a little guy like Red. So, for now, I’m happy to see him every couple of weeks, when I go to volunteer, and I’m THRILLED to know that Alex Daniels and Pasture Pals ER will provide for him while he waits. I’ve seen the changes that take place at Pasture Pals ER and I know this rescue is just right for him, for now. I’m grateful that Alex had room for him and I’m extremely grateful to all that care for him and provide for him while he waits. He’s an awesome little guy and I pray his perfect person finds him soon. Pasture Pals Equine Rescue is such a blessing to our community and such a blessing in my life, and to Reds.

By Sherry Edwards 12/29/16

Sherry E & Rowlan

I got to see Rowlan today!! My daughter and I first did our “Meet & Greet” tour at Pasture Pals ER on August 25th of this year. Rowlan had just arrived there on August the 10th, along with his pasture mate, Red. I am a sucker for a red roan so I immediately took notice of this boy. He was so underweight and unsure. It was really sad to see such a beautiful guy in such sad shape. As the tour guide, and founder Alex Daniels, proceeded to tell us his story, it just really hurt my heart. I will never understand how anyone could cause harm to another living being in the name of revenge.

Apparently, Rowlan’s owner was involved in some type of boarding dispute and poor Rowlan and Red were the recipients of the wrath of an angry former friend. Fortunately, Pasture Pals ER was called to come and save them. I thank God that Pasture Pals ER was there for them. On that day in August, Rowlan and Red certainly found safety, feed, and very, very much love. But they were not the mighty men they were born to be. They were just two uncertain misfits in a backyard sanctuary obviously in desperate need of the morning meal we were there to provide.

In the weeks to follow, Red being younger, seemed to bounce back a little faster and was ready to be moved to the other farm to continue to heal and to join the larger herd. But Rowlan remained behind, with the animals that require a little extra care and a more watchful eye. Rowlan was obviously such a sweet boy but, even as limited as my interaction was (I only help out once every couple of weeks), I could tell that he approached each meal with urgency. The poor guy had been so hungry for so long, you could tell food was very, VERY high on his priority list. There was even one morning that I was there to feed and I couldn’t find the scooper anywhere. The horses were getting a little antsy and I was looking EVERYWHERE for that scooper so I could begin to feed. All of sudden, as if it had fallen right straight out of heaven, the scooper feel down at my feet. It almost hit me! Where in the world did it come from? I looked up just in time to see Rowlan’s head going back over the fence! I have NO IDEA where that scooper was, or where it came from. All I know is that Rowlan found it and he made sure I had it!!

Today is November 27th. Rowlan has now been at Pasture Pals for almost 3 ½ months. A few weeks ago, he made the journey over to the other farm. Today, I saw him out in the front pasture with the big boys. He looks SO GOOD!! He has put on an impressive amount of weight and, while he still has quite a way to go, he is well on his way. He currently isn’t very high on the herd hierarchy but he has the stamina to stand up for himself. I know the other horses aren’t going to make it easy for him but I am so proud of him for how far he has come. He is learning his place among them and I just know that Rowlan is going to be okay, and I know Alex Daniels is there to make sure of it!! Praying for a forever home for beautiful Rowlan . . . .just as soon as he’s ready!

Sherry Edwards 11/27/16

Sherry E & Peggy & Dane

The Percherons: The Pride of Pasture Pals

In all seriousness, Pasture Pals ER is equally proud of all of their animals; from the ornery, attention seeking goat Butter right on up to Henry, the blue ribbon winner, but the Percherons ARE pretty special. Dane and Peggy came to live with PPER just over a year ago. After much soul searching and online research, their owner, with her health deteriorating, donated them to Pasture Pals ER with the understanding that this rescue would be their forever home. What an amazing act of love. There was no way they could turn them down. However, as a rescue that depends on donations to feed the horses that come through the gates in need of rehoming and rehabilitation, it is a daunting task to keep these big babies fed.

When I use the term ‘big babies’, it is totally intentional. Peggy gave birth to Dane some seven years ago and he is a Mama’s Boy! Peggy is fantastic. She is sweet and cooperative and ready to pull her weight. She understands when there is work to be done. Dane, on the other hand, only wants her working within his reach. He wants his MOMMY! If Peggy is moved beyond his eyesight, he will call for her until she comes back to him. Just like his mother, Dane is trained to work. He can ride and pull, and he will He just likes doing it with his mom by his side.

As a rescue that struggles daily with the demands of caring for 40+ animals, having this combined 3600 pounds of horses to feed does little to help the daily food bill. But I believe that they can. I firmly believe that having Dane and Peggy added to the Pasture Pals family is a huge asset to the rescue. Currently, Pasture Pals puts on monthly fundraisers known as “Pony Rides and Percherons”. Many people love to come out to the fundraisers and pay for a ride on the back of one of these gentle giants, but it does take a lot of $10 Percheron rides to cover the cost of just the feed alone.

It is my hope that someone out there would find it in their hearts to sponsor these two amazing animals so that they can be used to their full potential. Dane and Peggy do enjoy working and they have wonderful, usable skills. I dream of them pulling a beautiful carriage for a bride at her wedding or pulling hay wagons at our Halloween carnival next year. I dream of Peggy going out as a unicorn to brighten up some little girl’s birthday party or Dane sporting a bandana and a Stetson hat as he shows up to help some little cowboy celebrate his special day. But it takes money to get them out to make money for all their pasture mates. The Pasture Pals trailer is in need of repair to be able to haul such an impressive load. Fancy carriages and hay wagons aren’t easy to come by and taking these two beautiful beast out requires both man power and money. Secure fencing is also a must when they aren’t working side by side because, like I stated earlier, the boy NEEDS to be near his mama!

If someone would be interested in sponsoring these two, it would greatly free up some of the resources necessary to care for the emergency cases that PPER currently deals with on a day to day basis. Pasture Pals ER would be delighted to share the spotlight with a sponsor that could appreciate the value that this sweet ‘little’ duo adds to the herd. How proud this mama and her boy would be if they could be self sufficient while providing care for all their Pasture Pals!!

Sherry Edwards 11/2/16

Sherry E

My name is Sherry Edwards and I am a homeschool mother. My daughter, a high school freshman, is working at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue as a volunteer. She is using this time to help meet her service hour requirements as she works toward earning her Congressional Award. Because she is a minor, I have been working alongside her.

We have a dog, a cat, and a miniature pony at home and we have been hanging around riding barns for years, so I was well aware of the type of work that would be needed. What I was NOT prepared for was the enormity of the need and dedication required to operate a rescue the size of Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Alex and Keith Daniels are some of the most dedicated people that I have EVER met. In the 2 ½ months we have been around, we have been privy to the ups and downs involved in caring for 40+ animals on a day to day basis and I am astounded at the dedication and self discipline required to take on a rescue of this magnitude.

Unfortunately, the animals at Pasture Pals ER are not just unwanted animals. Many were abused and starved. Many of them are untrusting from years of neglect. Many of them are unsocialized and untrained. A lot of these animals are animals some people would have put down without a second thought. Not at Pasture Pals ER. I believe that Alex take these ‘hopeless horses’ to love and nurture and feed and care for so that, even when their time comes, they will leave this world knowing SOMEONE actually DID care and their lives meant something.

When we started volunteering, I never imagined how much I would love it. . . . the work, the sweat, the tears. For me, it’s a couple hours a week. And it is enjoyable. It is fun and exciting and rewarding to spend time with the animals and do even a little something for them. But for Alex, and the horses, this is their life. It is HARD and it is painful and pitiful and demanding. For these animals to have enough food, safe surroundings, shelter, and the health care they need, Alex must come through for them. That’s a burden and a responsibility that I cannot imagine taking on. But for Alex, it’s a commitment she was willing to make. And I’m sure she would tell you that for every success, it’s worth the sacrifice.

Sherry Edwards 9-1-16

Sherry E. & Little Jinxy

My name is Sherry Edwards. I am a proud miniature horse owner and an occasional volunteer at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Working at Pasture Pals ER has been a privilege and a learning experience, as they care for 40 + horses, donkey, and miniatures in need of placement.

As the mother to a spoiled little miniature horse, I had a special affinity for little Jinxy when I met him. At first, my feelings were of sympathy. Poor, pitiful little Jinxy. It doesn’t take more than a glance to see that he isn’t like the other mini horses you’ve seen. He has a hump in his back and his little legs aren’t the same length and his overall body length is shorter, due to the hump. But, once I did more than glance, my feelings turned more to admiration for Jinx and anger at irresponsible breeders.

During my first 6 months of horse ownership, I suffered the misfortune of losing one to colic. At the expense of my beautiful little horse, I took on the responsibility without being fully knowledgeable of her needs. Today, I over compensate; hence, the spoiled little girl at home. But, I took that tragic event as an opportunity to educate myself on miniature horses and their needs. What I learned is that miniature horses are not horses, they ARE miniature horses. They already face different obstacles and different dietary needs because of their small size. Unfortunately, some breeders take satisfaction in trying to turn them out even smaller by deliberately introducing the dwarfism gene. The dwarfism gene is what led to little Jinxy’s deformities. It also leads to a much higher mortality rate among miniature horses.

So, now Jinx lives at Pasture Pals ER. He’s a little guy with a big personality and an even bigger responsibility. Jinxy is a resident at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, and is used to educate the public on the dangers of irresponsible breeding. As with all of the animals at Pasture Pals ER, Jinxy really needs a sponsor and donations coming in to make sure his needs are being met. With so many animals to care for, Pasture Pals ER really has their hands full going above and beyond for guys like Jinxy that just need that little extra. Thank you, Pasture Pals ER, for giving Jinxy a home and a purpose.

Sherry Edwards 11/1/16

Martha Brian

Hello, I am Martha Brian.

I have always loved horses. But, didn't get a horse, until, I was thirteen. Before, that once in awhile, I got a chance to take a trail ride. My first time riding a big horse, I cried happy tears, for getting a half hour ride.

I can't keep a horse at my house now. We live in a subdivision. But, I stumbled across Pasture Pals Equine Rescue adoptees on I was so surprised to see some of the horses for adoption. I went to Pasture Pals ER website to find out all the stories of their rescued animals. And adopted ones. I also, found I could donate my time. So I emailed them and scheduled a Meet and Greet volunteer orientation.

I decided to try to help the Pasture Pals ER out as a volunteer. During the Meet and Greet, I was surprised at the unbelievably horrific abuse of horses & other animals that PPER had rescued. When I met Alex Daniels, I was very impressed with her love for the all animals. It takes so much to feed & care for them. PPER relies on donations. They buy 30 bags of feed and 12 round bales of hay a week! They need donations and volunteers all during the week. I hope to help Pasture Pals Equine Rescue with many tasks around the farm. I love just being around the horses. They are beautiful creatures. I look forward to getting to meet other rescued animals as well.

Thank you for letting me volunteer Alex.

Martha Brian 10/31/16

Cindy K

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue needs your help to care for horses like Fancy. Fancy is a 17 year old thoroughbred mare who was a race horse and when no longer racing a trail ride horse. We do not know how she came to live in Clayton NC with her pasture mate in painful conditions. They lived confined in a fence with no grass, only sand, no food to replace the need to graze. For the past 3 years her human neighbors have been appalled at these conditions and fought hard to help both suffering horses. They provided a strong voice for these two horses and refused to give up. Yet it was after her pasture mate collapsed and died from malnutrition and sand colic that the owner agreed to turn her over to Johnston County Animal Control. Pasture Pals had been prepared to take both horses for quite some time but laws did not support their removal. It was with great sadness that one horse had succumbed to their conditions before a rescue happened.

Fancy arrived at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue in August 2016 to join 46 rescue horses, 5 donkeys, a mule and 3 goats. All with similar stories living with love and care at PPER until they find their forever homes. Similar to many horses PPER has rescued, Fancy was 200 lbs. underweight, infested with parasites, suffering from rain rot, matted tail and mane, and in desperate need of dental and hoof care. Fancy was suffering from the same conditions that her pasture mate had collapsed from. Fancy is starting to feel better as she has had dental care, healthy food, vet care and affection. Fancy is a beautiful, sweet mare, who loves attention and is quickly becoming a favorite with the volunteers. She loves attention and is very open to kindness from people. We are all looking forward to watching her recover and find a loving home.

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue is a 501c3 volunteer run rescue dedicated to the care of horses like Fancy. All expenses are paid by fundraisers, grants, donations and sponsors who dedicate money to one or more animals. PPER is in need of financial support to purchase plenty of hay and feed and vet care for horses like Fancy. Equine care is expensive thus for every one we can save countless must be turned away. This year PPER has had to turn away 94 horses who need help due to owner’s financial crisis, neglect, abuse and other unimaginable situations. We are reaching out in every way we can to ask for help so that we can continue this much needed mission.

Cindy Koempel 9/11/16

Cindy K

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue needs your help to care for horses like Fancy. Fancy is a 17 year old thoroughbred mare who was a race horse and when no longer racing a trail ride horse. We do not know how she came to live in Clayton NC with her pasture mate in painful conditions. They lived confined in a fence with no grass, only sand, no food to replace the need to graze. For the past 3 years her human neighbors have been appalled at these conditions and fought hard to help both suffering horses. They provided a strong voice for these two horses and refused to give up. Yet it was after her pasture mate collapsed and died from malnutrition and sand colic that the owner agreed to turn her over to Johnston County Animal Control. Pasture Pals had been prepared to take both horses for quite some time but laws did not support their removal. It was with great sadness that one horse had succumbed to their conditions before a rescue happened.

Fancy arrived at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue in August 2016 to join 46 rescue horses, 5 donkeys, a mule and 3 goats. All with similar stories living with love and care at PPER until they find their forever homes. Similar to many horses PPER has rescued, Fancy was 200 lbs. underweight, infested with parasites, suffering from rain rot, matted tail and mane, and in desperate need of dental and hoof care. Fancy was suffering from the same conditions that her pasture mate had collapsed from. Fancy is starting to feel better as she has had dental care, healthy food, vet care and affection. Fancy is a beautiful, sweet mare, who loves attention and is quickly becoming a favorite with the volunteers. She loves attention and is very open to kindness from people. We are all looking forward to watching her recover and find a loving home.

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue is a 501c3 volunteer run rescue dedicated to the care of horses like Fancy. All expenses are paid by fundraisers, grants, donations and sponsors who dedicate money to one or more animals. PPER is in need of financial support to purchase plenty of hay and feed and vet care for horses like Fancy. Equine care is expensive thus for every one we can save countless must be turned away. This year PPER has had to turn away 94 horses who need help due to owner’s financial crisis, neglect, abuse and other unimaginable situations. We are reaching out in every way we can to ask for help so that we can continue this much needed mission.

Cindy Koempel

Caitlin Dimoff

I'm a long time volunteer with Pasture pals Equine Rescue. When I started we had about 20 animals in our care and now we are up to 40. Most come from homes where they have been tested horribly - abuse, neglect, starving, no clue what human contact us. We tend to take the ones with conditions that our founder/president and board members know how to care for best but there's so many we can not take. 

Everyday the calls, emails, Facebook messages come in from people pleading for us to take their animals because of various, heartbreaking situations. We have taken in quite a few who didn't even understand love and the human touch. Ones who were on their way to auction but came to us simply because we are closer than the auction house. Once we went out to feed and came back to find someone had dumped alpacas in our stalls. We have helped so many and by the grace of God lost very few in our care, but winter is coming and it's the hardest time of year for us as the horses require extra feed and most importantly hay, Without the help of outside donors we would not be able to do half of what we need to to save these guys (and gals) lives!!

Caitlin Dimoff

Caitlin D

I started volunteering with Pasture Pals in May of 2015. I came here looking to get back into horses. I had leased a horse for while, even tried my hand at barrel racing for a while but then life happened (aka 3 kids) and it had been quite a while since I'd been around horses when I contacted Alex for a meet and greet. During my next couple of trips to the barn I noticed a horse who appeared to be use to not being noticed. He didn't seem to have high expectations of people he did not know. I'm got a reputation among the horses for always having cookies, but this one horse didn't have any teeth so cookies weren't something he could enjoy. So I went to the store and bought apple sauce cups to keep in my car just for him. I wish I had recorded the first time I gave Mr. G one because he was so excited, so happy, so surprised that somebody (other than that amazing woman who saved his life) thought of him. It also appeared all the horses in his field felt the same way because no one bothered us while he ate his treat. This was the moment he became my "G-G". Over the next couple of months I found I adored all the horses and donkeys but I always looked forward to the end of feeding rounds when we'd get to the "west olive" barn and I got to see my man. I called him my baby even tho he was older than me and he didn't care because he was spoiled rotten. I brought him and his buddy Doc a baby pool to play in since they shared a love for water. I drove Alex insane some days with my constant worrying over G-G. G was always happy to see me when I'd get there. Sometimes I'd go down there at night after it reached a certain temperature in the winter to put his blankie on and he was as always grateful for the extra attention. After I had my second back surgery I had to stay away for a while to recover and the time apart was hard on both of us. When I finally returned, G-G was just as happy to see me as I was to see him. He literally was going to push past everyone else out there to get to me. He pressed his head into my chest and there we stood, me sobbing and him just breathing a sigh of relief that we were together again. 

We spent the next months just enjoying each other's company. When the weather finally got warm enough this year I spent an early afternoon giving G-G and his buddy Doc a bath since they loved the water so much. Being that he was an older horse and never seemed in a hurry for much, it was rare to see G move at anything other than a quick walk unless it was snowing (he loved the snow). After their bathes, I let them out in the big pasture and never have I enjoyed watching a horse run and jump and roll in the dirt as much as I did that day. It was like G's final gift to me because less than a month later my baby got sick. He got so sick so quickly. I don't think any of us were truly prepared to lose him. I know I wasn't. But I could tell from watching him and looking in his eyes that he knew it was time. Never have I spent so much time and put so much of my heart into a horse that I never had any intention of riding. Even if he had gained all his weight and was finally to that point, I never wanted to ride him. I only wanted to love him, to make up for all the years he wasn't treated like the king I knew he was. Even the heavens were sad the day he crossed the rainbow bridge as it rained all day that day. I miss him everyday. Every time I drive by the barn I still look for him. But I know there's so many more out there who need their faith in humans restored, who need someone to spend a little extra time with them. 

I thank G for everything he taught me and all the love we shared for each other. He showed me that even tho an animal is older and maybe a little needy, doesn't make their life any less meaningful, any less important than anyone else's. He would've died if he hadn't come to Pasture Pals, if Alex hadn't taken a chance on him, if she hadn't done everything possible to bring him back from the brink of starving to death when he got here, I never would've had the opportunity to spend an amazing year and a half with him. 

It's taken me while to get over losing G-G but there's still so many horses at the rescue who need love and attention and to be shown that people aren't scary that I couldn't just walk away after he died and I'm very glad I didn't. I hadn't realized so many other trusted me until another of my favorites, Cinnamon gave birth to her first baby who we named Spice. I went to see her a few hours after she gave birth and it was as if she breathed a sigh of relief that someone she'd known for the last year of her life, the first human she had let touch her was there. She showed me her brand new baby and then proceeded to lay down and take a nap. She too trusted me the way G-G did and it wasn't until this moment that I realized it. I was honored and touched that she basically wanted me to watch him so she could sleep. (I've had 3 kids.. I know what a tired momma she must've been!) There will never be another G-G for me... But without being at the rescue, being around these magnificent creatures, I'm lost. I need them as much as they need me.

At the end of the day the only ones I have to thank for showing me another side of an animal I had loved my entire life are G-G, Alex, and Keith. I can not wait to see what adventures the future has in store for me at Pasture Pals!

Now that I'm done crying, it's your turn.

Caitlin Dimoff

Cassandra B

My name is Cassandra Behrens and I began volunteering at Pasture Pals, May 16, 2016. During my Meet and Greet, Alex told me the stories of all the animals she had saved. At the time she had 13 animals in her backyard pastures, 9 on Rock Pillar, and 15 at West Olive. Now she has 16 in her backyard, 9 on Rock Pillar, and 18 at West Olive. After the newest addition of four mini stallions and one pregnant mini mare, Pasture Pals funds are stretched to the limit. Any help, be it donations or volunteering, is greatly needed and appreciated. I am loving being able to come out after a tiring day at work to help feed and muck, a chore I find incredibly relaxing. Two days a week I also come out to train with Lady, trading her favorite treat, carrots, for working on relearning neck reining, a talent that she seems to have lost after being out of practice for a while. Lady, a 17 year old Tobiano Quarter horse, was once a working reining horse, she now direct reins and is loving all the attention and pampering she is getting while we train. She is currently waiting on a forever home but until then, I will continue to work with her and when we get the trails open and ready for use I hope she will be ready to use as a guide horse.

Cindy K

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue (PPER) in Clayton NC rescues abused and neglected horses, ponies, minis, mules and donkeys. There are so many great animals at PPER it was hard to choose a picture! The donkey pictured is Rose. Rose had been abandoned in a pasture. Many people tried to help her but she was too afraid. Alex and Keith Daniels of PPER were called and with their experience and expertise were on their way home with Rose in just 20 minutes. Rose has started to trust people due to her care at PPER. She loves to have her ears rubbed and is very friendly once she gets to know you a bit. She is waiting for her forever home at PPER.

Cindy Koempel

Cassandra B

I am currently volunteering at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, Inc (PPER) based in Clayton, NC. Since I began volunteering in mid-May PPER has grown from 35 equines to 48 equines, in addition to the 3 goats and 1 potbelly pig. PPER is run completely on donations, sponsors, and fundraisers and any help anyone can give is appreciated. The photo above is Trigger, he is an 18 yr old Belgian Draft that was living in the NC mountains and needed to be rehomed. After no response, Alex Daniels, founder of PPER, came to help she drove her truck and trailer up winding roads until she had to get out and walk because the roads were too narrow. She then brought Trigger down the mountain and back here to gain weight and find a new home. He has gained some of that weight and has become the most sweet, though pushy, boy. I always look forward to seeing him when I go feed. Trigger and all the other animals at PPER are examples of what happens when people cannot or do not properly care for their animals. It is our responsibility as horse owners to learn how to care for them and it has become Pasture Pals ER’s job to help them when their owners can’t and we need all the help we can get.

Cassandra Behrens

Disney C

As a volunteer with Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, I've had the pleasure of witnessing first hand all the loving hearts of humans coming together to care for the abused, neglected, and mistreated animals. Each human involved has something to offer each of the animals, whether that be time training, feeding or getting down right dirty and mucking. Pasture Pals Equine Rescue is never short in loving hands to care for the animals who have been rescued but supplies, sponsors, and furever homes seem to be in short supply. Photo of Makayla (volunteer), Trigger (adoptable and kissable) and Henry (adoptable and patiently waiting his turn)

Disney Cuddington

Kaia D

When my mom started volunteering with Pasture Pals, I was super excited to be able to go with her and be around all the horses. I'd never been around a donkey, a pig, or a goat and this place, they had them all! I loved all the horses from the beginning but then I met this one donkey. A donkey who came to the rescue as a wild, untrained, mostly untouchable donkey whom a man wanted to trade for a set of truck tires. A living breathing animal and this guy gave him away for some tires.

Luckily for this donkey, he was traded to the perfect people. People who taught him that humans weren't bad but were in fact the bearers of wonderful things like food and back scratches. Wonderful people who put in the time and the effort and the energy to turn this once "wild" donkey into my best friend and the biggest love bug, jokester (he will steal your drink the moment you set it down) and attention hog of a donkey, whom I love and adore more than anything! He's my favorite non-human friend and without the efforts and commitment of this rescue, he wouldn't be half the donkey and friend he is today!

Kaia Dimoff

Melissa H

My daughter loves horses and wants to own a horse. I told her we had to learn more about horses and what it takes to care for them. We started volunteering at Pasture Pals ER and it has been wonderful for her. We go together and she helps muck, feed and is learning how to groom. She is learning it is hard work but very rewarding. The horses are so sweet. She is also learning about why the horses are there and how we can help them find forever homes. I am so thankful for the staff at Pasture Pals ER and all they do for the horses and to teach their volunteers.

Melissa Hoffman

Hunter C

My name is Hunter I am 9 yrs. old. I was born with spina Bifida. The doctor at the hospital told my mom & dad that I would never walk, but when I was 2 years old and strong enough they started me on forearm crutches. I will need them for the rest of my life, but after lots of therapy & work, I can now run with the help of my forearm crutches! I do have to use a wheelchair for long distant. I found a wonderful lady named Alex that has a non-profit called Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. She helps animals, some are even like me and have a disability. 

I volunteer at PPER cleaning food dishes, filling water and whatever Alex and Mom find that I can do. What I love the most about PPER is you can help for so much time & then I can sit on a ponies, which I do need for my therapy. I believe me & the animals at PPER have a lot in-common, we help each other get through the days and be happy. What I can say to people is: If a young boy with a disability like me can volunteer at PPER, you can volunteer your time too! You could donate some food! Donate supply's that the animal's need! There are lots of needs, so please do your part & help the animals at PPER.

Cindy K

I recently started to volunteer for Pasture Pals Equine Rescue located in Clayton, NC. Pasture Pals is surrounded by largely rural areas within commuting distance from several larger cities that employ residents from our area. As more people have moved to the area to live in the country and commute to work the need for Equine rescue has continued to grow at an alarming rate. Increasingly people with little to no knowledge of the specific needs of equines and the high cost of adequate care have purchased and bred horses, ponies, mini horses, donkeys, mules, hinnies, etc., to the point there is an overwhelming need for responsible homes.

In my first week as a volunteer I have seen Pasture Pals rescue 5 miniature horses living without adequate care and the threat of violence from an abusive spouse who used the owners love for her horses to torment her. She also did not have the knowledge and resources to care for and fund a small herd leaving her with 4 studs and 1 mare. Included in this group is a beautiful but deformed colt brought into this world due to ignorance about breeding. This coupled with an inability to pay for basic care left these horses in danger of death as the owner found herself in an emergency need to rehome them for their protection.

The 4 studs must be gelded before they can be adopted out to good homes. Pasture Pals will not adopt out any male that is not gelded and has a strict no breeding policy. Additional help to feed the 32 horses, 5 donkeys, 1 hinny and 1 mule currently living at Pasture Pals allows the rescue to use monetary donations for the much needed vet expense and the gelding priority. I am reaching out to you on behalf of Pasture Pals. Pasture Pals is an excellent rescue with exceptional management by Alex and Keith Daniels. I have been so impressed with their efficient use of all resources. Any help will be used for the benefit of the equines and is greatly appreciated.


Cindy Koempel

Jaime H

I'm a new volunteer at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue and I have loved every minute of it. It makes me realize how much help these horses need and I absolutely love helping around the locations and with the horses. The people out there are so sweet and helpful and everyone is in it for the right reason. To help the horses. I love the rescue and I will continue being a volunteer.

Laura F

My Volunteer Experience at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue in Clayton , NC I have been volunteering at Pasture Pals for over a month and I have had a great experience. It was everything I was looking for and more. I felt I needed more in my life and looked into volunteering at several places. When I saw the website and the organization and their purpose, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. Alex and Keith met me and were so friendly and knowledgeable. They introduced me to all the horses and they tell the stories of how the various horses got to be there. Their love and commitment to the rescue is evident in everything they do. After several trainings and visits, Alex has made me comfortable around the horses and I can feed and care for several of them with confidence. The horses and volunteers are happy and taken care of. There is strong organization and expectations for the rescue. I appreciate that because it helps me know what to do and how to do it correctly. I am so fulfilled finding somewhere like this where I can donate my time. I look forward to spending more time learning and helping the horses. I hope that you can help the horses too. Thanks for you. 


Laura Fountain

Roz A

When searching for local non-profit organizations to volunteer due to a traffic ticket - I came across Pasture Pals website. My husband was required to do 16 hrs of community service and he needed a place offering weekend/after working hours. I knew his love for animals, so maybe this would ease the whole community service thing and I offered to volunteer with him. Well, after a thorough orientation and (3) farm/ranch visits – we couldn’t wait to go back. Pasture filled with beautiful animals each with their own stories and personalities. Meeting Alex and Keith and seeing their knowledge, love, experience and “DEDICATION” has been overpowering to say the least. It’s an amazing experience and we learn something new each time we go. The way Alex, Keith and all the volunteers care for these animals is unbelievable. What would we do without people like this – who would bring these beautiful animals back to health? I’m humbled by their actions each time we go; Alex tending to a wound on a horse - and Keith building stables. 

We love all the animals, but to name a few that we so look forward to see each week are: Penelope the pig, you call her name and she pops her head out of the hay and runs with her wagging tail towards you. You pet her and she rolls over for a tummy rub. Trouble the doggie who greets you at your car, and Harley the horse with one eye –so sweet he is. When you talk and pet him – he makes it a point to turn his head and give you eye contact with his one eye. The Percherons – gentle giants they are! Fritz – his dramatic donkey yells – as we drive in…love him! Doc, Snowman – we love them all…I can go on and on but I’ll bore you. Thank you for giving us this opportunity to brag about Pasture Pals, a 24 hour operation, keeping these animals healthy, fed, sheltered and most of all - loved and cared for.


Sincerely, Russell & Roz

Kelli-Ann M

My name is Kelli-Ann McClentic and I live in Clayton NC.. I became acquainted with Pasture Pals ER and Alex and Keith Daniels when my husband started volunteering there last year. Doug would come home and tell me all about the horses, people, and work that needed to be done. I am very much a horse lover but I was very much intimidated by the physical work that Doug did. I am not young anymore. 

Well, curiosity got the better of me and I went with Doug on a very cold morning in the winter. I met a lady named Alex Daniels that day and to spite the cold, and to spite the fact she was very sick that day, all of the animals were taken care of with love and tenderness. She spoke to me about what the needs were for Pasture Pals ER and what she does on a daily basis. I had no right to complain about some small pains. Whatever the weather, or shape she is in, Alex Daniels goes out in the morning to feed, muck, groom, medicate, do desensitization work, water and the list goes on. In the evening before Alex and Keith get to have their dinner all of this happens again. If no volunteer can help that day they drive alone to 3 sites and each animal has their needs met. 

No day off no shift off. Then the paperwork happens as she is warming up more return calls, emails, potential adopter applications, volunteer training. Oh my I will never complain about a sniffle again now! I started donating my time selling items that had been donated to the charity to make money off. Every penny goes to the care of the animals. Every Penny! Did I mention the endless quest for grant writers that inevitably falls on Alex's head. Every night a story about one or more of the horses gets published on their web site. I have seen horses when they first get there and I do not know how they are still alive. A few seem chubby now! The farrier comes regularly to tend to the goats, horses, donkeys, mule..... The veterinarian gives vaccines, medicates, assess, on a regular schedule. The lucky residents get wormed, de-loused, etc on a regular basis. I had no idea how much money goes into owning a horse to take proper care of him/her. I have been educated for free by the Daniels on the correct care of a horse. 

Every volunteer is properly educated on what goes into keeping feeding caring training riding, and the list goes on. I may do some work at Pasture Pals ER; but I have come away with knowledge, a higher respect for what gentle (sometimes), delicate, giants the horses are. I have been educated on how to safely as a 5 foot older lady care for the alpha in the group, protect the outcast in the group, separate that group! LOL I can ride but now I know how much I did not have a clue about. I would love to see Pasture Pals ER not just get by but thrive. They do an invaluable service for the community by not only taking in the horses no one wants but educating the public about what goes into the proper care before they get a horse. I have not met to many harder workers or dedicated protectors, with incredible knowledge of the meek and abused than Alex and Keith Daniels. It is a privilege that they have taken me on at Pasture Pals. 

Sincerely, Kelli-Ann McClentic Clayton NC

Doug M

I started working with Pasture Pals Equine Rescue because a friend of mine was helping them build shelters for the horses. This is when I started to get to know Alex and Keith Daniels. In the past year that I have been volunteering, I have gotten to know both of them and found them to be very kind, down to earth, extremely hard working people who have dedicated their lives to saving horses, donkeys and mules. I quickly became aware how much effort Alex and Keith put in on a daily basis not only to care for the animals they have taken in but also in finding donations of materials, feed and volunteers time to keep Pasture Pals ER up and running. They work long hours in all kinds of weather making sure the animals are fed, watered and receive all the care they need to be able to go to new forever homes. They screen all the people who come to them interested in adopting and have a very successful track record for placing the animals in their care in the right situation. I personally have seen them adopt out at least ten horses and donkeys in the time I have been volunteering for them. The reason I continue to volunteer is not only that I enjoy helping the animals but because Alex and Keith are both very friendly, knowledgeable and dedicated to their work. I have a great respect for both of them. Some people think keeping as horse is as easy as it is keeping a cat or dog. They have shown me that this is in no way true. The life time of experience that both Alex and Keith have in caring for Equines is astounding and they are more than willing to share that with anyone who asks. I for one am grateful for all the knowledge they have shared with me. I look forward to my working them far into the future. Douglas McClentic - Pasture Pals Equine Rescue - Volunteer. 

Douglas McClentic AIA | Principal | McClentic Design | P.O. Box 763, Clayton, NC 27528 | 339-987-0437| [email protected] |

Jordynn R

My Hero isn't a human she has four legs and she eats hay and grass and feed. My hero is Dottie , she is a Leopard Applause mare. She’s not like any regular horse she is blind. Her original owner had a stroke and move back to the north with his family. He left his daughter in charge of Dottie. The only problem was she knew nothing about horses at all and didn't even know how to take care of them. When Dottie eye got an infection she left it untreated and Dottie gradually went blind in both eyes. She never got any dental or hoof care either, so her wave mouth and overgrown teeth made it impossible for her to eat and she was starving. 

That’s when her owner called Pasture Pals Equine Rescue Inc on April 3rd of 2014. Dottie is a healthy, strong, and beautiful horse. She’s been ridden by me and Kimberly, one of our other volunteers, and many more are coming to ride her. She’s an amazing horse and not letting being blind get in the way of riding and work. She loves getting groomed and attention and she’s a big love bug. She’s not only sweet, she’s a survivor too. She means the world to me and so do the other horse at Pasture Pals ER. 

When I first met Dottie, my heart sank. When I heard about what happen to her in the past, I was thinking “how could someone treat a beautiful horse like this”. I knew right away that I wanted to work with her. She is the first horse I have ever ridden. I cannot wait to train with her and with the other horses. Dottie might be blind, but she can do anything that a regular healthy horse can. All she needs is someone that she can trust and she will do anything. That why Dottie is my HERO. By Jordynn

Becky H

One day I was searching for somewhere to ride horses online. I don't own any horses but I did have a pony as a kid growing up on a dairy farm and have ridden horses some over the years. I've always been drawn to horses but never had the opportunity to really learn how to properly work with them. I found Pasture Pals Equine Rescue. Now this wasn't what I was looking for but I began to read each animal's story. I'm thinking, this will never work for us. We're a little over an hour away, my husband works 5 1/2 days a week plus I'm too sick and weak with fibromyalgia. 

With injuries and illness, I had spent almost all of the fall and winter completely down. I had pretty much given up hope of getting back on my feet. But this one horse's story just kept pounding at me, continuously. And I truly mean continuously. Storm (Flea bitten white mustang, gelding) who at 4 months was captured by the BLM and sent to auction. He survived the capture and trip to Auction, only to be kept in a 10 x 10 stall for 14 yrs, never turned out or trained, by his new owner. Storm's manure was piled so high in his little stall that his head would hit the rafters of the barn. 

Now don't get me wrong, his owners did do something with Storm. They studded him out in that horrible little stall, where he had spent almost his entire life. When he was surrendered to Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, he was terrified even of walking on dirt. Storm absolutely haunted me. Even with the distance, gas and everything else, my husband said "Ok, let's go" when I told him about PPER and how much I wanted to check this place out. So we went, with what we thought was full knowledge of what this place was and did. 

Pasture Pals Equine Rescue was so much more than either of us expected. The love, care, patience and pure hard work that have gone into building such a beautiful rescue in such a short time is fully evident. I fell in love that very first day. Even though as much as I've always loved horses and their spirits, I was always intimidated by them. Give me a herd of dairy cows, heifers and even bulls and I'm fine. I would never have been able to heal, grow and learn so much without this place, the people and the animals. I am a rescue as well. Why this place you ask? There are other rescues you might say, but all the love, care, patience and hard work that Alex and Keith Daniels have put into building this rescue is also extended to all of the volunteers. 

We (the volunteers) cannot begin to help these amazing creatures without the proper know-how. Rescue, Rehabilitate, Re-home and Educate is Pasture Pals Equine Rescue's motto and they live it every day. We all need your help to do this. The feed bills alone are a constant worry. Especially considering the fact that a lot of these animals come to PPER starving. Not only does it take extra feed to get them to their healthy weight, but in some cases it saves them from death. PPER has had to turn down many rescues because they did not have enough resources for any more. 

I can only hope to help as much or more than I've been helped myself personally. Not just myself but my husband too. He works on maintenance and whatever else that needs doing, while I work with the animals, their care and feeding. Even though he works so much during the week, he said that volunteering here is relaxing and enjoyable. I've seen plenty of different animal operations over the years and I know when I've found a truly good one. Pasture Pals Equine Rescue is such a place. Please help. 

Becky and Chad Hiles Proud Volunteers at: Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, Inc

Becky H

Why I Volunteer at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue Inc I have always been one of those folks who enjoyed volunteering and giving back to my community. I have volunteered with schools (inside with kids and outside with landscaping), Meals on Wheels, Cattleman's Association auctions and anywhere else that I was needed. But my all time favorite volunteering is with Pasture Pals Equine Rescue Inc. Where else would I get to help and learn so much at the same time??? 

There truly is no better feeling than having one of our equines come to greet me. The nuzzling, kisses, hugs and neighs are just that special to me. It is especially gratifying when it is an equine who has come from such a horrible background and has learned to trust humans again. Call me crazy but I enjoy everything that I do there; feeding, watering, mucking, grooming, building, fundraising and fixing fences (although I do prefer that the fences stay put). 

I've learned so much about taking care of equines ( and yes I still have TONS to learn) and am working to learn more on groundwork and proper riding. Everything that I do there, in some way, brings back good memories of my family and the farm where I grew up. Not to mention that I've met some really good humans as well. 

Sincerely, Becky Hiles

Jordynn R

Story By Jordynn: The Doc Story 

Doc is a 18 years old, off the track Thoroughbred,Sorrel. He was born on February 15th,1997, is 16.3 hand, 1225 lbs. His registered name, when he raced, was Senior Vergilio. Doc was abandoned by his former owner. Dumped on Brenda's Pasture, Doc needed a lot of love and attention. Brenda did what she could and then she called Pasture Pals ER to see if we could help. How can you look at those pleading eyes and not help him!! Doc came to live at Pasture Pals ER on 4/1/15.Here Doc found love, compassion, the care he needs to gain weight, and become happy and healthy again. When I first work with Doc he was scared, a little mean, skittish, and not really friendly. 

The first time we groom him he tried to nip at people and when we clean his feet he try to kick at us. We believed that he was abused and beating and that is why he was so skittish. We kept working with him and he got better and better. He found out that human aren't that bad and that he actually can like people and loves the attention. He is now a sweet, loving, caring, and wonderful horse. He’s just like a big puppy dog now, when I go out just to see him. He comes up to me happy as can be, always wanting a treat. I am a dedicated volunteer for Doc, and spend all of my horse time with him. 

That gives me the privilege to work with him and learn new training methods. I have been his dedicated volunteer for 9 months now. I have learned desensitizing, lead rope, groomed, and some ground work with him. Doc is looking for a forever home. Please help us save more horses like Doc. Why should you volunteer at Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, Inc (PPER)? I think you should, because you get to learn about the animals past and how they have changed over time ,plus you get to work and interact with them. You don't need to know a lot about horses to volunteer, you just need to be passionate about them. 

When I first started, I was terrified and scared. I jumped at everything and was nervous a lot! Over the summer, I got better and felt more comfortable. Now I know a lot more and the experience will help me in the future. You will learn a lot, other volunteers, and Alex will teach, help, and guided you to be successful. Every animal has there own story and background. Every animal is unique in their own way. There is a person for every horse. If you volunteer you can create a bond with a animal. Getting the proper knowledge, tools, and materials. Then why not adopted the horse, give it a forever home, and a healthy life? Why should you donated to Pasture Pals Equine Rescue, Inc.? Your donation helps feed the animals and pay for the animals needs like farrier, vet bills, medicine, and medical supplies, food, and the equipment PPER needs to take care of the animals. If you donate 10 dollars that buys a bag of feed! If you give money and for a specific thing like hoof trims, feed, or hay Alex will only spend it on that and nothing else. Please help save these amazing creatures. Helping the ones that don't have a voice!