Our Work About Us Funding Guidelines Horse Whisperers Recipients Photo Credits
Equine Welfare Network Sign Up Here Equine Charity Network Alliance Guardians Champions Equine Education Network

Awards Equine Award Horse Stars Hall of Fame Humanitarian Award Klinger Award Research Fellowship
Get Involved Make a Donation #RideForHorses Join Here Winners Circle Who's In! Best Performance Attend an Event

EQUUStars Partners News Contact Us Login Individual Organization

America's Horses
Need Our Protection!

13 Hands Equine Rescue Inc

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 08/04/2017



Chief Staff Officer:  Marylou Tortorello

Employees:   Full-Time:    Part-Time:    Volunteers:  25

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. We have a volunteer application that they must fill out and then they make an appointment to schedule an orientation with our volunteer trainer. We then assess their ability and assign them to the specific duties that suits their skills. WE also continue training if need be

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  6

Number of Board Members:  3  Number of Voting Board Members:  3

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? Yes

If yes, provide the name, title, responsibility and family/business relationship of each Board and/or Staff member. David Tortorello, Treasurer is brother to Marylou Tortorello, Exec Director

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? No

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:
     We provide therapy programs with our horses that helps veterans and children, we also provide volunteer activities which is rewarding and fulfills community service requirements, learn new things, engage in good exercise and develop life long friendships with people and equine alike

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. Fund raising committee and event planning

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. 
     Our barn manager oversees the daily care of our horses. When a horse arrives to us we implement a program tailored directly to each of their individual needs, including feed, supplements, and turnout.
One of our utmost priorities is to evaluate what job would best suit each horse that arrives to us. Whether we start with ground work/manners or go right to the saddle, every horse has different needs which we do everything possible to fulfill. We feel that basic ground work is essential for all horses.
We have been lucky to have amazing professionals offer training to our green horses - both on the property and off. We have had multiple trainers take on our green horses and they have gone on to wonderful forever homes. We are also lucky to have talented riders who keep our horses in a working program until we can find them their forever home.
When horses arrive to us they are vetted out for soundness. Those that can no longer be ridden have proved to be amazing therapy horses.
While we are at maximum capacity, there are always special exceptions and room is made for horses. We are partnered with many farms in our area who are willing to foster or help out with an extra stall until a place for them opens at our facility.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     99% of our horses have been acquired from auction houses and kill pens with the exception of 3 of our horses who have come from dire situations or were going to be sent to auction houses, where they would not have survived. Our mission is to rescue slaughter-bound horses, but there is always an exception to the rule.

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. 
     Our horses only leave our organization if they have been adopted, fostered or they are being sent out for training. We have very extensive adoption and foster standards and we require references from veterinarians, farriers as well as personal. Homechecks are done prior to the horse leaving our facility and throughout its lifetime.
Currently, we use Horse of the Month in the Post as well as Petfinder. We have found ourselves growing leaps and bounds by word of mouth by our reputation for placing the right horse with the right person.
We have partnered with Throwleigh Farm in Virginia where we currently have approximately 10 horses. While these horses will never be rideable due to medical issues it is still our hope to find them a home as a 'pasture companion' as we believe there is a job for every horse.

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.). 
     All horses are given a Coggins test and go through a quarantine period of 30 to 60 days and then come to our farm to be assessed. They are seen by our veterinarian for regular health work up and examination and given vaccines. We have their feet and teeth checked. They are also dewormed.

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. 
     Horse health care consists of monitoring each horse daily. We vaccinate for all the necessary aliments including rabies, flu/rhino, ewt and tetanus. We dewrom twice per year or if need be more often. For at-risk or geriatric horses we go case by case with the best interest of the horse in the front

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: 
     We will euthanize based on what our veterinarian has explained to us. We do not have a horse suffer needlessly if there is nothing we can do further for his wellbeing and pain and suffering. We do not euthanize for space, all horses can be understood or worked with. We take the time to work with all of our horses.

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 breed. If a horse is pregnant when they arrive we care for them and the baby as well. All stallions are castrated shortly after arrival. We keep mares and newborns together for as long as they need to be, minimum of 1 year

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?  NA

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: 
     We carefully select foster homes with an application, reference checks and visits to the home. We monitor all of our horses safety and care

14. What is the average equine adoption fee/donation received by your organization: $751 to $1,000

15. Adoption Fee Policies
  Adoption fees may vary depending on species.
  Adoption fees may vary depending on the equine level of training.
  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
13 Hands Equine Rescue

284 Guard Hills Road Mount Kisco NY 10549

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Marylou Tortorello

2. Contact's Phone: 914-325-4941

3. Contact's Email: 13handsequine@gmail.com

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

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: Tanrackin Farm LLC, 270 Guard Hill Road, Bedford Corners, NY 10549; ATTN: Robert and Beth Mancini.

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

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? 
     We do not have a lease.

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.. 
     The owner provides the property and the maintenance. We reimburse back a portion of the utilities.

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: 0.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 25

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. 12 paddocks, grass, wood three rail fencing, 6 run in sheds

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.
     We do paddock maintenance twice per week

4. How many hours of daily turnout do the horses get? (Estimate or Average) 7

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.
     Outdoor ring, sand and rubber footing

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.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     We have a two horse trailer

10. Do the horses have specific tack assignments? Yes

11. Describe the plan, process and/or procedures to insure appropriate assessment of tack and the use for saddle fittings, tack, blankets, etc.
     We have a knowledgeable trainer who measures.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     We have a description of the layout on the board in the barn and each stall and paddock has the horses names on it.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     We have larger stalls for them and we hand walk tham two or three times per day.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     We do not use too much grain but had Purina and Triple Crown reps out to help us.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     We use this method to determine if a horse needs increased grain and more exercise

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.
     Our vet is very much involved with all our procedures

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.
     We have fire extinguishers in all barns and a safety procedure for emergency exit.

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?
     18. On premise caretaker and strict by apt only signs and no trespassing signs

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.
     SPCA in Briarcliff, New York

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.

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 07/19/2017

Veterinarian: Emily Dean

Clinic Name: All Seasons Veterinary    Street: 207 Boulevard Road    City: Pelham  State: NY    Zip: 10803

Phone: 603-973-9900    Email: na

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

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: 20.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 20

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 21

2016 Horse Inventory

1-d. Did your organization operate programs involving horses HOUSED AT THIS FACILITY during January 1-December 31, 2016? Please select Yes or No. No

NA> 2-a. Total number of horses on January 1, 2016.

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

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

0 = Total of 2a-2c

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

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

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

0 = Total of 2d-2f

 2-g. Total number of horses on December 31, 2016.

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

             2-i. Total number of horses permanently retired.

2016 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.

NA>     2016 Total Horse Care Costs

NA>     Grand total of the total number of days each equine was in the care of this facility during 2016.

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds

     1. Signage: Are rules, restrictions and warnings posted in or near appropriate areas? All of the time

     2. Lighting: Are rules, restrictions and warnings posted in or near appropriate areas? All of the time

     3. Emergency Contacts: Are emergency contacts posted in easily accessible locations for staff members if only cell phones are available or by each phone if landlines are available? All of the time

      4. First Aid Kits: Are human and equine first aid kits up-to-date and easily accessible? All of the time

B. Structural

      1. Condition of surface: Are horses provided a clean, dry area on which to stand & lay? All of the time

      2. Flooring - drainage & traction: Are floors constructed and maintained for both good drainage and traction? All of the time

      3. Ventilation for enclosed shelters: Is there adequate ventilation and circulation to control temperature and prevent buildup of toxic gases? All of the time

      4. Electrical wiring condition: Is wiring inaccessible to horses and maintained for safety? All of the time

      5. Fire Prevention & protective measures: Are fire prevention and protection measures including fire alarms, extinguishers and sprinkler systems, maintained and in good working order? All of the time

      6. Quarantine/Isolation: Is there a designated and separate area for isolation and quarantine? Yes

      7. Ill/injured containment: If horses live outside, is there a designated and separate area (stall or enclosure) to house ill/injured horses? Yes

      8. Are the horses housed in stalls/enclosures? Yes-All of the time

      8-a. If yes, Stall/enclosure size: Do structures allow horses to lie down, stand up and turn around? All

      8-b. If yes, Stall/enclosure cleanliness: How often are stalls/enclosures cleaned? 6-7 days a week

      8-c. If yes, Adequate ceiling & beam height: Is there a minimum of 12 inches above the tip of the horse's ear when standing? All of the time

C. Paddocks/Yard/Pastures/Turnout

      1. Turnout/Exercise Space & opportunity: Is there space and opportunity for horses to exercise or be turned out? All of the time

      2. Fencing - type, height, safety: Are these spaces appropriately fenced? All

      3. Use of electric wire or tape fence: Are electric wires or tape fence visibly marked? Please select 'All or NA' if electric wire or tape fence is not used. All or NA

      4. Condition of fences & gates: Are fences and gates functioning properly by being maintained and repaired when needed? All

      5. Condition of paddock/yard: Are these spaces free from equipment and debris? All

      6. Availability of shelter: Are natural or man-made shelters available to horses for protections from elements? All of the time

      7. Cleanliness: How often are these spaces cleaned? Daily or 6 Days a Week

II. Horse Care

      1. Hoof Care: How often is hoof care provided for each horse? Every 1-2 months

      2. Dental Care: How often is dental care provided for each horse? Annually

      3. Physical Examinations: How often is each horse given a physical exam by a veterinarian? Annually

      4. Horse checks: How often are horses visually and physically checked by personnel at the facility? 6-7 days a week

      5. Food & Water Storage: Are all hay, feed, grain and water sources clean, free of debris and chemicals, and protected from weather and other animals? All of the time

      6. Drinking water: How often do horses have access to clean drinking water? All of the time

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

V. Instructors/Trainers

This section is required only for organizations that provide equine assisted assisted activities and/or therapies (EAAT) to people with special needs. It is optional but suggested for other organizations and an opportunity to share information about your instructors/trainers with the general public.