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Kentucky Equine Humane Center

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 06/07/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Karen Gustin

Employees:   Full-Time:  5  Part-Time:  5  Volunteers:  30

Does your organization utilize a management company for management and administration? No

Describe your training process for employees and volunteers and the types of human resource documents used in your organization including job descriptions, evaluations, etc. All employees are oriented to the mission and purpose of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center via a 2 hour orientation, and are given a tour of the farm and its facilities. A special emphasis is placed on safety around the barn and the horses. Volunteers and employees must submit an application for work; Once hired, they are provided a description of duties and responsibilities, and each employee/volunteer keeps track of their time via a timesheet. Each employee/volunteer has a supervisor and is responsible for keeping their supervisor up to date on work related activities.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  6

Number of Board Members:  12  Number of Voting Board Members:  12

Board Compensation:

Is Board Chair compensated?  No  Is Treasurer compensated?  No

Are there any other Voting Board Members that are compensated?  No

Board Relationships:

Are any members of the Board or Staff related to each other through family or business relationships? No

Board Affiliations:

Are any Board members or Staff associated with and/or compensated by another organization with a relationship or business affiliation to your organization? Yes

If yes, provide the name, title, responsibility and family/business relationship of each Board and/or Staff member, and the name of the related organization. Kentucky Equine Humane Center partners with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in the veterinary care of our horses. There are several veterinarians on our Board of Directors affiliated with these two vet clinics. They are:
Dr. Jim Smith - Hagyard, retired
Dr. Laurie Metcalfe - Rood and Riddle
Dr. Laura Werner - Hagyard

Conflict of Interest:

Does your organization have a written conflict of interest policy and regularly and consistently monitor and enforce compliance with the policy, including requiring officers, directors or trustees, and key employees to disclose annually interests that could give rise to conflicts?  Yes


1. What percent of your total programs and services are horse-related? 100

2. Describe your specific horse-related programs services or activities:
     KyEHC is an all breed equine facility and provides all necessary care for the treatment of neglected and abused horses - this includes veterinary services, farriers, feed, medicine and a safe place. Every horse that arrives receives a complete physical from a licensed veterinarian, shots, worming, farrier and dental work, as well as attention to any presenting physical injury or disease.

Our staff trains each horse to a level of walk, trot, lope/canter with the intention of getting that horse ready to be adopted. Adopters complete applications for horses and we strive to make the best match between horse and adopter.

We also offer our Take the Reins Education Initiative program to local 4th grade students at participating schools. Take the Reins seeks to educate children on horsemanship, community responsibility, horse careers, and horse care. This program features field trips to the KyEHC, guest speakers, and curriculum involvement.

3. Enter the total number of facilities/locations where the horses used in the conduct of your horse-related programs are housed and cared for: 1

4. Describe your non-horse-related programs, services or activities you provide, including those involving other animals. n/a

5. Does your organization operate programs involved with animals other than horses?  No


1. Describe your equine management philosophies, practices, policies and operations with respect to the use of the horses in your program, including the rehabilitation and retraining (if applicable), ongoing training, schooling and exercising plan for each horse and your policy as to the number and condition of the horses accepted by your organization. 
     It is the goal of the KyEHC to provide humane treatment and care for all equines housed on the farm. Current capacity is approximately 45 horses. Horses must be able to walk off the trailer into the barn.
1. Every owner/agency that surrenders a horse must complete a surrender form and each horse must have a current negative coggins certificate in order to be accepted on the farm.
2. Each horse is physically examined by a licensed veterinarian and is given its vaccinations, wormed, and put on the schedule for regular dental and farrier care.
3. A file containing coggins and health information for each horse is established in the barn and office.
4. Veterinarian consults with staff to determine course of action for each horse relative to recovery (if applicable) and commencement of training.
5. At the appropriate time, staff trainer works with each horse utilizing natural horsemanship principles. Each horse is worked extensively on the ground in the development of ground manners and responsiveness, and then under saddle to a safe level of walk, trot, lope/canter. Each horse that is adopted requires additional work by the adopter and this is thoroughly discussed with each potential adopter.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     Horses are either surrendered by their owners or by an agency such as Animal Control or the local Sheriff's office.

3. Describe under what circumstances horses leave your organization. Please describe in detail your horse adoption/fostering practices and procedures including any recruitment initiatives you have to attract potential adopters. Please include your policies and practices with respect to horses that are no longer useful or manageable and horses that need to be retired. 
     We are not a retirement facility where horses live out the rest of their lives. Our purpose is to take in horses, attend to their health and behavioral issues, and then adopt them out. Horses leave with new adopters and horses are on the farm for however long that takes. The average stay is 8 months. We do not have a foster program.

4. For new horses, describe your initial assessment process for each horse (i.e. physical examination, test ride, health record, Coggins test, quarantine, veterinary consult, etc.). 
     Each horse must possess a current negative coggins certificate in order to come on to the property.

A licensed veterinarian performs a physical exam on each horse, and a health record is started and kept up to date by barn staff.
At intake, the veterinarian consults with staff to discuss any presenting issues, limitations, potential for future work, and follow up appointments are made as necessary.
The farm is visited by veterinarians at least biweekly, if not more often.

5. Describe your overall horse health care plan and how you assess and monitor the health of your horses on an ongoing basis. Include a description of your vaccination and worming schedule. Include a description of your health/veterinary care plan for at-risk animals, geriatric horses and horses with serious issues. 
     A health record is created for each horse and documents all vaccinations, worming, teeth floating, farrier work, and any treatment relative to disease or injury. This record is kept in the horse's file and goes with the horse upon adoption so that new owner has all relevant information.

Vaccinations are done on an annual basis; worming is done quarterly.

We have an excellent partnership with Rood and Riddle and Hagyard for medical care, and can always get a vet out here when needed. We frequently use interns who are sometimes a little more available, and we also provide the interns with an excellent learning experience and exposure to conditions that they might not normally encounter.

6. What is the euthanasia policy? Please include specifically under what circumstances your organization will euthanize a horse and whether your organization will euthanize a healthy but difficult horse for space: 
     Our policy is to humanely euthanize under the following conditions:

Life Threatening emergency - a fatal injury or condition that causes severe pain that cannot be reasonably relieved or medically treated.
Non-life Threatening Emergency - a situation in which the equine's quality of life is deteriorating due to a chronic illness, old age, lameness, or other condition.

Euthanasia is only performed by a licensed veterinarian. When and If KyEHC reaches maximum capacity, AND if all other resources have been exhausted, each equine will be assesses by a veterinarian using a grading scale based on temperament, age, current soundness, capability of re-training, quality of life, and costly veterinarian expenses that must be incurred to sustain quality of life.

7. What is the breeding policy? Please include specifically if horses become pregnant while in your care, and if there is a no-breeding clause in the documentation your organization uses to adopt, donate, sell, etc. a horse: 
     We do not adopt out stallions - all stallions are gelded, usually within a week of arrival, thus mares do not become pregnant after arrival. The only way we have a baby is if the mare is already in foal upon arrival.

There is a no-breeding clause in the adoption contract between KyEHC and the adopter.

Mares and foals are kept together generally for about 6-7 months.

8. Does your organization provide horses to any facility to use in research or medical training? 

9. If your answer to Question 8 is 'Yes', please explain where and for what purpose horses are provided to use in research or medical training? 
     We will provide horses to Alltech for use in their equine nutritional trials. Alltech is a global leader in animal and health industry and focuses on natural and scientific solutions to agriculture and food industry challenges. Their farm is about a 1/4 mile away from our farm.

10. Does your organization sell, donate or give a horse to an auction? 

11. If your answer to Question 10 is 'Yes', describe under the circumstances where you have sold, donated, or given a horse to an auction, or where you would sell, donate, or give a horse to an auction. NA

12. Does your organization place horses in foster care? 

13. If your answer to Question 12 is 'Yes', describe how foster homes are selected, screened, and monitored and address all the questions below for each foster home in the space provided: 
     Foster homes have to fill out the same application as a potential adopter and sign a foster agreement. We continuously communicate with fosters to ensure the health and well-being of the horse. Typically, we foster out horses who would really benefit from extra one-on-one attention.
We only have one horse in a foster home currently.

14. What is the average equine adoption fee/donation received by your organization: $201 to $500

15. Adoption Fee Policies
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine level of training.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine breed.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine age.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine type.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine health and soundness.

16. What is your position regarding varying adoption fees vs. one set fee:
  Our organization approves of this concept.

17. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed:


This section must be completed for each facility/location where the horses used in the conduct of your horse-related programs are housed and cared for. For example, if the applicant is involved with horse rescue and utilizes foster care facilities, the applicant must complete this section for each foster care facility. If the applicant provides equine assisted activities/services to the public at more than one location, the applicant must complete this section for each location that horse-related services are provided. If your organization uses the facility of another organization, please enlist the aid of that organization in answering the questions.

Total facilities at which our organization operates horse-related programs: 1


Location 1 of 1
Kentucky Equine Humane Center

1713 Catnip Hill Rd Nicholasville KY 40356

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Karen Gustin

2. Contact's Phone: 859-881-5849

3. Contact's Email: info@kyehc.org

4. Does your organization own, lease or use a part of this facility? Lease

5. If not owned, provide the name, address, phone, email and contact person of the organization(s) and/or individual(s) who owns the facility: Kelly Ramsey
1771 Catnip Hill Rd
Nicholasville, KY 40356


6. If your organization does not own this facility, does your organization have a written agreement with the owner? Enter Yes or No.   Yes

7. If your organization does not own this facility, please provide the following information below: Start date and end date of current written agreement (term) and what is the organization's plan for the end of the written agreement? 
     Start date 11/23/12 End date (ongoing)

8. If your organization leases or uses a part of this facility, please provide the details as to what services are provided by the owner and if and how the owner is compensated.. 
     Owner provides maintenance/repair to major systems such as the water, heat, air conditioning, and roof, as well as major renovations such as painting and flooring replacement. The owner is compensated at our lease rate which is $3000.00 per month.

9. Does your organization operate programs involving horses AT THIS FACILITY that serve individuals with special needs, including but not limited to equine assisted activities and therapies? No

10. Enter the total number of instructors/trainers (full-time and part-time) involved with your organization's horse-related programs at this facility: 2.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 70

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. There are three 19-20 ac pastures - each has a large run-shed that accomodates about 8 horses at a time Seven smaller pastures ranging in size from 1.9 to 2.4 acres - each has plentiful trees for shade and protection from inclement weather All fenced with four board plank fencing 18 stall barn Small dry lot 80'x120' arena for training

3. Describe how you manage the use of your pastures/paddocks given the size and number of your pastures/paddocks and the number of horses you have at this facility.
     Pastures are occupied by same sex horses. Currently, two of the large pastures contain geldings, and the other large pasture contains mares. Smaller pastures are used by horses that require some kind of daily attention (like being fed grain or have an injury that requires daily attention) or horses that cannot be on lush pastures and whose daily food intake needs to be limited because of tendency towards gaining weight.

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 24

5. Describe the area where your training, riding and equine related activities are conducted, including what type of footing/surface is utilized and what factors were considered to determine the suitability and condition of the area for the activities conducted.
     Training is conducted in our arena which has Class I sand footing, very common in this area. It drains well and only puddles up when we have a torrential rain storm. It is enclosed with four board plank fencing. Because we are located on 70 acres, we also have ample room to trail ride horses, so they get exposure to riding in and out of the arena on grass and up and down small hills.

6. Is the facility in compliance with the Care Guidelines for Rescue and Retirement Facilities prepared by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (whether or not your organization is directly involved with rescue and retirement)? Yes

7. If no, please explain and specifically describe the areas in which the facility is not compliant. Not Applicable

8. If this facility is recognized as compliant with the published standards of another applicable organization, and/or accredited by another applicable organization, including any state licensure or registration process, please provide the details.
     We are currently certified as an Equine Rescue by the Department of Agriculture, State of Kentucky. We are also accredited with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance We are verified through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     We have good contacts and excellent relationships with three major horse transporters in this area: Sallee's, Tapps, and Brook Ledge - any one of them would be available and responsive to us in an emergency.

10. Do the horses have specific tack assignments? No

11. Describe the plan, process and/or procedures to insure appropriate assessment of tack and the use for saddle fittings, tack, blankets, etc.
     All tack is examined by the Barn Manager and trainer to ensure that it is safe and that it fits the horse appropriately. Tack is kept clean and in good condition by volunteers. The farm has a washer and dryer so saddle pads, wraps, etc are kept clean on a regular basis.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     Pictures of each horse are available and in the barn there is a large whiteboard with all fields noted and horses listed in each field.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     Most horses are on turnout 24/7 in pastures. In the event that a horse is on stall rest, they will either be handgrazed daily, or turned out daily in a small paddock for a certain time period, depending on their injury or stage of recovery.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     The Barn Manager discusses each horses' supplement regimen with the attending veterinarian and/or the rep from the company that is providing the supplements. Supplements are used only in the horses that need them for a variety of reasons including but not limited to: weight gain, hoof and skin problems, and gastro-intestinal reasons.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     Upon intake, each horse receives a physical exam by a licensed veterinarian and part of that exam includes a notation of the current BCS for each horse. This, along with the rest of the physical is used to assess the horse's current condition, and its plan for treatment and rehabilitation, along with a recommendation by the veterinarian about the horse's future use. This initial assessment and exam is used to then set the schedule for the general care and training schedule for the horse.

16. Please describe your activities to limit or control the advent and spread of disease within your facility (Biosecurity plan). This should include but is not limited to your manure management and disposal procedures, your carcass disposal plan and your parasite control plan. Please indicate the role of your veterinarian in the development and implementation of your overall plan.
     Manure management: Stalls are cleaned daily in the barn, and the manure is put in a spreader and spread out in our larger fields. If we have to dispose of a carcass, we call a local company to come and remove the animal. For parasite control, we are using the Spalding fly predator program - this program is customized to the number of horses on the farm. If there is a disease outbreak, a part of the barn is designated as the controlled area. Each horse has its own halter, lead rope, and water bucket so that cross contamination does not occur. Staff wears boots and gloves that are cleaned on a daily basis. Charting of each horse is maintained in the barn in the horses' file. Decisions on implementation of all of the above are made in consultation with our veterinarian.

17. Please describe your emergency preparedness plans that address weather related issues, fire safety procedures and/or any additional hazardous scenarios your facility could potentially experience.
     The barn has fire extinguishers at both ends. For weather related events such as tornadoes, and heavy rain and wind, the horse remain outside - the pastures are large and they are probably the safest for the horses. Fortunately, our barn is a cement block barn and that would provide the best shelter for the horses that are on stall rest.

18. Please describe the security in place at the facility or facilities to restrict public access and to keep horses safe. Do you have a security system and/or on-premises caretaker?
     We do not have a security system, however, our landlord and a tenant live on the property. The barn is about 2/10 of a mile off of the road, so it is not easily accessible by strangers. Access to the barn is by a gate that gets locked each night.

19. Provide the contact information for the individual or organization responsible for investigating abuse in the county where the facility is located, including mailing address, email address, and phone information.
     Jessamine County Animal Care and Control 120 Fairground Way Nicholasville, KY 40356 Director Mike Cassidy email - mcassidy@jessamineco.com Ph - 859-885-4836

20. Other than the animal control authority noted above, provide the contact information for all local, state and/or national authorities with whom your organization engages to address issues impacting horse welfare, including mailing address, email address, and phone information.
     Office of State Veterinarian 109 Corporate Drive Frankfort, KY 40601 Phone: 502-573-0282, option 3 Fax: 502-573-1020

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 04/25/2018

Veterinarian: Dr. Laurie Metcalfe

Clinic Name: Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital    Street: PO Box 12070    City: Lexington  State: KY    Zip: 40580

Phone: 859-233-0371    Email: lmetcalfe@roodandriddle.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Olivia Dixon

     2. Instructor: Paige Metcalfe

3. Facility Horse-Related Inventory Questions

1-a. Enter the total number of horses involved with your organization's programs that are currently housed at this facility: 51.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 51

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 50

2017 Horse Inventory

1-d. Did your organization operate programs involving horses HOUSED AT THIS FACILITY during January 1-December 31, 2017? Please select Yes or No. Yes

Additional explanation:All horses are surrendered, whether from an owner or by Animal Control. We do not seize horses ourselves. If Animal Control in any Kentucky county seizes any equines, they have to surrender them to us for us to take them. Therefore, all horses coming to the Center are surrendered.

49 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.

           + 49 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

98 = Total of 2a-2c

           - 48 2-d. Total number of horses adopted during the year.

           - 2 2-e. Total number of horses transferred to another facility during the year.

           - 2 2-f. Total number of horses deceased during the year.

52 = Total of 2d-2f

46 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.

            46 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

            0 2-i. Total number of horses permanently retired.

2017 Horse Care Costs

$     Feed (Grain/Hay).

$     Bedding.

$     Veterinarian.

$     Farrier.

$     Dentist.

$     Manure Removal.

$     Medications & Supplements.

$     Horse/Barn Supplies.

$     Horse Care Staff.

$     Horse Training.

$     Other direct horse-related costs not including overhead or other program costs.

$194317     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$1000     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

18250     Grand total of the total number of days each equine was in the care of this facility during 2017.

Average cost per day per horse: $11
Question 3 ($194,317 ) divided by Question 4 (18250).

Average length of stay for an equine: 186 days
Question 4 (18250) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (98).

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds


Program Use of Horses for Special Needs at this Facility Not Applicable.

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Olivia Dixon

         *Facility Participation:

         Kentucky Equine Humane Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. She has a Western emphasis, but is adept at both English and Western. Uses natural horsemanship techniques and starts from the ground up with every horse we take in, and is proficient with traumatized, abused and/or feral or unhandled horses who need to learn how to trust and get confidence.

     2. *Instructor: Paige Metcalfe

         *Facility Participation:

         Kentucky Equine Humane Center

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? No

Please use the space below to share any additional information about this instructor. Paige can train in both English and Western, with an English emphasis. She utilizes natural horsemanship techniques.