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H.O.R.S.E. of CT, Inc.

GUARDIAN PROFILE - Last Updated: 07/07/2018



Chief Staff Officer:  Ms. Patty Wahlers

Employees:   Full-Time:  -0-  Part-Time:  -0-  Volunteers:  40

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. Potential volunteers are required to visit the farm for a tour with an experienced volunteer. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. During this time they will be asked to read and sign a release form. They will then meet the horses, learn their backgrounds, and find out about the work they will be doing. Afterwards, they will arrange a starting schedule and will be trained by Patty or a volunteer. Volunteers are encouraged to ask questions, visit our website to become familiar with the horses, the programs and policies, and to subscribe to our email newsletter for up-to-date information. They must dress appropriately for working, may not smoke on the property, and bring their own lunch as well as treats for the horses.

Governing Body:

Board meetings per year:  12

Number of Board Members:  8  Number of Voting Board Members:  6

Board Compensation:

Is Board Chair compensated?  Yes  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. The Vice President is the spouse of the Board Chair
The Treasurer is the mother of the Board Chair

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:
     The rescue and rehabilitation of starved and abused horses is our primary service. All of our programs are held in support of this effort and the education of the public in the proper care and treatment of horses. All of our horses are available to be sponsored. Individuals can spend one day a week with their chosen horse, grooming, walking, and providing attention. Our volunteers take horses on visits to senior facilities, provide tours and represent the farm at community events. Educational clinics and seminars on all aspects of horse care are held each year. The public is invited to four or more horse showings annually to see all of our horses either under saddle or hand-walked. We hold open houses in May and December and include farm tours and pony rides for children. The farm is open to visitors daily, and school children and college students are welcome to come to meet the horses and learn about the care they require. We assist horse owners facing difficulty keeping their horses and help with placement when necessary.

The volunteer program enables individuals of all ages and interests to care for our horses daily. They devote many hours of personal time assisting with grooming, walking, feeding, and general farm maintenance. We hold five volunteer days a year to attract new volunteers.

Our adoption program is meant to provide permanent homes for our rescued horses. Our requirements are strict, with the welfare of the animals being most important. We also have a leasing program for experienced riders who are unable to own a horse.

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. NA

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 goal is to rescue, rehabilitate and adopt out as many horses as we can afford to rescue. Horses that are elderly or have permanent injuries are put up for adoption as companions and if not adopted live out their lives on the farm. The majority of the horses rescued have been starved and/or abused and start out handwalking and being handled and groomed daily by our volunteers. When the horses are fully rehabilitated they are assessed for their riding abilities (type, weight limit, experience) then put on a regular working schedule (ring and trail riding). After training, horses then take part in our sponsorship, leasing and adoption programs. They also participate in our clinics, seminars, senior programs and school education programs held on the farm.

2. Describe how your horses are acquired (adoption, seizure, surrender, donation, purchase, auction sale, retirement). 
     Most of the horses are owner surrendered or state seizures. We are contacted when the state has been to the owner's property and the horses have to be removed or the owners will be prosecuted. In some cases, H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut (HOC) goes with the state animal control officers to inspect and remove animals in ongoing court cases. The animals are always signed over to HOC so the owner cannot get them back after going to trial. When we have the availability and room on the farm, we occasionally take on a donation or retirement horse with the owner paying for their care.

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. 
     Any of our horses that are retired stay on the farm until they are no longer comfortable then we work with a vet to determine what is needed (shots, supplements, injections, euthanasia). We have a specific section for companion animals on our website. Potential adopters are given all medical information about horses they are interested in with guidelines for care. We use free advertising sites like Petfinder, Adopt-A-Pet, Facebook, press releases, and flyers to attract potential adopters. We have an e-newsletter which is published weekly and hard copy newsletters which are mailed in March and July.

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.). 
     The horse is initially put into a quarantine area which consists of a large paddock with a 2 stall barn. Within 24 hours our vet will do a physical exam, begin shots and do a Coggins test. During the first week, the dentist and farrier will care for the horse. By this time the state authorities have made an assessment, taken photographs and a statement if the owner is going to be prosecuted. As soon as the test results are back and the horse is physically able , he/she is placed with a compatible equine partner.

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. 
     The H.O.R.S.E. health care plan is specific to each horse. Every horse receives annual shots at the end of March with older or at risk horses getting two shots at a time spread out over a four to six week period. Our worming schedule has been designed by our vets for the needs of the horses. January 25 - Equimax (given by weight); March 25 - Equimectrin (by weight); May 25-double dose of Strongid; July 25-Equimax; September 25 - Equimectrin; November 25 -a double dose of Strongid. Our starvation cases require immediate vet, farrier, and dental care as well as worming within the first two weeks to ensure their survival, with water and first cutting hay available 24 hours a day. After 3 to 5 days when the horse settles in, s/he is given a small amount of senior grain split into several meals (up to 5 a day). Any horses with founder/Cushings backgrounds are started on soaked beet pulp as part of their ration.

Each horse is looked at and touched daily and checked four times a day. Our horses are also seen by a chiropractic vet twice a year, more often if needed.

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 only euthanize an animal that is no longer able to be kept alive comfortably without the use of drugs, or has a major injury. Any difficult horse is either trained on the premises or sent to a special trainer. They are only euthanized if they are a danger to themselves and/or people or other horses around them. This has only been done twice in 36 years.

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: 
     There is no breeding and all stallions are castrated. Any mare that comes in with a baby is allowed to keep the baby until it is six months of age. There is a no breeding policy in our rules and regulations for adoption due to the overpopulation and slaughtering of so many horses each 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: 
     When people lose a horse suddenly they can contact HOC and we will let them foster a horse or pony (if they have approved vet and personal references and their facility passes our requirements) for up to six months with a reassessment after three months. This gives them time to find another animal to replace the one they lost because it is a very stressful time. We have several quiet horses/ponies that have been used to foster.

14. What is the average equine adoption fee/donation received by your organization: $1,001 to $1,500

15. Adoption Fee Policies
  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 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: H.O.R.S.E. of Connecticut is the facility where horses in need go instead of being euthanized or sold at auctions. Our horses range from ex-race, ex-show, ex-police, starvation, PMU mares and babies, ex-therapy, and ex-carriage horses. If we do not have the room or funds, we provide assistance to horse owners for a minimum of two months with our Neighbors in Need program which provides hay, grain, vet, and farrier services at no cost to them. After two months, if the owners cannot take care of their animals, we help to place them.


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
H.O.R.S.E. of CT, Inc

43 Wilbur Road Washington CT 06777

1. Facility General Questions

1. Name of Contact: Patty Wahlers

2. Contact's Phone: 860-868-1960

3. Contact's Email: horsectinfo@gmail.com

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

5-8. Not Applicable.

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: 1.

2. Facility Horse-Related Questions

1. Enter the total acreage dedicated specifically to the horses: 47

2. Describe the number and type of pastures and paddocks, fencing, enclosures, stabling including barns and run-in sheds. There are 25 pastures and paddocks all completely fenced. We have one main barn with five stalls at the bottom. We have a total of 17 run-in sheds on the farm and 2 two-stall barns.

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.
     All horses have a sand/grass paddock attached to their field. Fields are closed at night or in bad weather. All pastures and paddocks are mowed and weed-wacked at least once every two weeks during the eight month growing season. All pastures are limed and fertilized yearly in the spring. Two foundered ponies have a quarter acre pasture while the rest of the horses have a minimum of an acre and a half per two horses, with young/active horses in a five acre grass field.

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.
     For ring riding we have an outdoor ring that is 80 by 135 feet with dead sand footing at the bottom. In the upper area, we have a 55 foot round training area for horses starting back to work with dirt footing. Due to the lack of funds, we do not have an indoor facility for training in extremely wet weather when the footing can be dangerous.

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 have had site visits from EQUUS and ASPCA Equine Officials as well as several other grant committee members. We have also been recognized by the American Horse Protection Association.

9. Describe the availability/accessibility of emergency horse transportation at this facility.
     We have a large two-horse trailer and a three-horse ambulance. They are maintained yearly and ready to go for any emergency.

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.
     All horses have their fitted bridles and some horses share a saddle due to their different sizes.

12. Describe the system used by your organization to help staff and volunteers readily identify each horse on the property.
     All of our volunteers are required to take a tour to meet each of the horses and learn about their backgrounds and any special needs. New volunteers work with others who are experienced until they are comfortable to work on their own. They are encouraged to use our website and email updates to become familiar with the horses.

13. Describe your housing plan and the turnout process/plan for horses normally stall bound.
     Each of the horses at the farm has 24-hour per day access to a large run-in shed or stall/barn setup. Injured horses that are stall-bound have a three-panel turnout attached to their stall if vet approved.

14. Describe your feed, feed management plan and your guidelines for the use of supplements.
     HOC has mainly used Blue Seal feeds for the past 36 years. We have added Triple Crown feeds for specific needs, such as Triple Crown Lite for insulin resistant/Cushings horses, and Triple Crown Senior for picky Thoroughbreds. Simple pelleted feed is used for our younger horses, and the elderly and those with bad teeth are given senior feed. Sweet feed is also used for picky eaters or to tempt horses who have been ill and are coming back to eating. Supplements are only used for horses with specific needs. Vitamin supplements are given to starvation cases, magnesium is used for insulin resistance, probiotics for starting on grain for the first time, and Succeed for horses with a history of ulcers or racing.

15. How do you use the Henneke Body Conditioning Score to guide you in your hennekeing/exercising/use practices for each horse?
     The Henneke Body Conditioning Score is used at this farm as a guideline to determine the proper weight of each horse. In our starvation cases, a body condition score of 1 or 2 is used for court cases.

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 is cleaned out of the sheds, pens, paddocks, and fields on a daily/weekly basis and brought to central manure piles which are then removed for organic farming. The old manure is placed in a separate area to be used as compost. When a horse is euthanized, he or she is brought to a burial plot in the back field of our 47-acre farm. From March to November the horses are sprayed each morning and evening with customized fly and tick spray. Our vets have assisted in planning an isolation area to prevent the spread of disease. Separate grooming tools are used and, when necessary, we have quarantine clothing available for use by the volunteers when caring for horses at risk.

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.
     Each horse's halter and lead line is on his/her fence in case of flood or fire. Horses are not confined in closed barns, and all pens have two gates for easy exit. The volunteers know how to disconnect the electric fences in the event of fire or thunderstorms. There are fire extinguishers in the main barn, tack room, and upper barns. There is a tractor with a bucket and a snow blower for major storms. The trailers are always maintained and ready to be hooked up to the truck in case of an emergency.

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?
     Most of our 47-acre facility is fenced with wood and metal gates with a security monitoring system at the front gates. Patty Wahlers and her husband live at the farm along with three large dogs who are aware of any unusual noise or activity.

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.
     Richard Gregan, State Animal Control Officer, State of Connecticut Department of Agriculture Animal Control Division, 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106, (860) 713-2506, richard.gregan@ct.gov

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.
     Cindy Brisset, 96 Blackville Rd., Washington Depot, CT 06794 - Animal Control Officer for Washington, Morris, Warren. (860) 868-2870. Barbara Godejohn, Dept. of Agriculture Animal Control Division, 165 Capitol Ave., Hartford, CT 06106, (860) 713-2506, barbara.godejohn@ct.gov. National: David O'Dwyer, crossayle@gmail.com Shereen Jackson, hearts4hoovesOK@gmail.com

Veterinarian Information

View The Vet Checklist conducted on 03/01/2018

Veterinarian: Joseph Shrack, DVM

Clinic Name: Chester Animal Clinic    Street: 264 Middlesex Tpke    City: Chester  State: CT    Zip: 06412

Phone: 860-526-5313    Email: jshrack1@hotmail.com

Instructors assigned to this Facility
(see Instructor Section)

     1. Instructor: Elizabeth Morsey

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: 22.

1-b. Enter the total number of horses housed at this facility: 22

1-c. Enter the maximum capacity of horses at this facility: 40

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

21 2-a. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on January 1, 2017.

           + 7 2-b. Total number of intakes other than returns including donated, purchased, surrendered or rescued.

           +  2-c. Total number of horses returned.

28 = Total of 2a-2c

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

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

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

4 = Total of 2d-2f

24 2-g. Total number of horses housed at this facility involved with your programs on December 31, 2017.

            20 2-h. Total number of horses not retired including horses undergoing rehabilitation and/or retraining.

            4 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.

$145155     2017 Total Horse Care Costs

$4200     2017 Total Donated Horse Care Costs

7453     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: $19
Question 3 ($145,155 ) divided by Question 4 (7453).

Average length of stay for an equine: 266 days
Question 4 (7453) divided by total of Questions 2a-c (28).

4. Self Assessment

I. Facility & Grounds


6. Public-Related Questions
(required if programs serve individuals with special needs)

1. How many clients participate in the programs at this facility? 999

2. How many hours per week do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 30

3. How many weeks per year do you operate the horse-related programs at this facility? 52

4. What is the average wait list time? 0 Weeks(Weeks/Months/Years)

5. How many hours per day does each horse work? (Estimate or Average)

    Mounted: 0.00  Un-Mounted: 0.00  Total: 0 *Missing/Error

6. How many days per week does each horse work? (Estimate or Average) *Missing

7. What percent of your programs and services at this facility are mounted (vs. ground-based)? 5%

8. Provide any additional explanation to your answers if needed. All of our programs are designed to educate the public about horse care and to help horses and people be comfortable with each other. We do not offer riding or therapeutic programs. We have a senior program where horses visit senior centers. We hold seminars, clinics, and educational programs for children to learn about proper horse care. We hold four H.O.R.S.E. Showings per year to showcase adoptable horses, two Open Houses, and five Volunteer Days for people to interact with our horses. Also, we have sponsorship and leasing programs as well as daily tours year round. Re: Questions 4,5,6 do not apply to our programs. Re: Question 7 - Our only mounted programs are horse showings, Ride Your Dream Horse, exercising, and training for horses and their adopters.

V. Instructors/Trainers

     1. *Instructor: Elizabeth Morsey

         *Facility Participation:

         H.O.R.S.E. of CT, Inc

Is the instructor certified by an organization that provides training in the programs, activities and/or services conducted by the organization? Yes

Certification 1:

Provide the name of the certifying organization.Equestrian Federation of Quebec

Enter the year that the certification was awarded. (yyyy)1996

Is the instructor's certification considered 'active' by the certifying organization? Yes

Briefly describe the nature/level of the certification.Certified in advance horsemanship including training and teaching barrel racing, western pleasure and hunters. Beginner through intermediate levels.