What’s happening at Henry’s Home

As an organization that is run solely by volunteers, and dependent on the kind hearts of others, we are so grateful for all of our supporters – past, present, near and far – who have helped make Henry’s Home what it is today. There is always a lot happening here at the sanctuary, so to keep our supporters up to date, we’d like to introduce you to our new quarterly newsletter. Check out some of the latest happenings here at Henry’s Home.

Again, thank you for everything you do to help us heal more horses, humans and other animals along the way. Feel free to send us a note to say hello or let us know what you want to hear more about! And check out the last page of this newsletter to discover new ways you can help.

At Henry’s Home, we’re always excited to see you.

Welcome to the Family

At Henry’s Home, we are committed to enhancing the quality of life for the horses we bring to our sanctuary. Many of our horses have survived trauma, starvation or neglect but have the opportunity to feel the joy of being cared for and loved by our family of volunteers, veterans, first responders and their families.

In July, we welcomed two beautiful Percheron mares, Miss Diva and Miss Fey, to the Henry’s Home herd. Thank you TMR Rescue for getting them here safely.

See some pictures of their big arrival here.

In addition to giving them a forever home where they can heal from their difficult pasts, they will be able to help veterans and first responders who need to ride horses of their size.

In addition , we welcomed five new ducklings to the sanctuary in August. Mama has been doing a great job introducing them into the world and showing them around the property. 

Watch a video from shortly after they hatched Here.

Cisco getting some love and therapy
Miss Lucy takes a bath to escape the summer heat

Horses & Heroes

Horses have a special way of connecting, and at Henry’s Home, we are all about healing through connection. Our Horses & Heroes Equine Everything Program was created for veterans, first responders and their families to experience the joy of connecting with our horses at no cost.

Krista Carroll-Venezia, our Equine Program Director, is a certified, mental health equine specialist who is passionate about Natural Horsemanship.

Depending on participants’ comfort level, Krista shares her love for horses through the basics of horse care, communication, training and riding. While riding may be a goal for some, other
participants prefer to observe, or help with daily chores instead. We encourage veterans, first responders and their families to come experience the joy of being around these animals in whatever capacity best fits their needs.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in participating in our Horses & Heroes Equine Everything Program, contact us to learn more.

In The Media

On August 22nd, ABC13 posted a story about Henry’s Home. ABC13 calls Henry’s Home a “unique program that builds friendships between veterans and first responders with horses” and highlights that “the program is the only one of its kind, recognized by the Disabled Veterans National Foundation.”

Take a minute to read the article and hear from some of the veterans who have been impacted by our Horses & Heroes Equine Everything Program here.

“Post-traumatic stress is difficult to explain… you need a place to go. There’s no place I could go, until I found this place.”


Herdmate Spotlight

We have so many wonderful volunteers who are part of our Herdmate Program. These volunteers donate their time and hard work to keep Henry’s Home running and ensure our herd is happy and healthy. Henry’s Home would not be what it is today if not for our Herdmate Program.

Many of our volunteers have their own inspiring stories of healing. Meet Herdmate, Kristi Fernander.

How long have you been a Henry’s Home Herdmate, and what inspired you to get involved?

I’ve been volunteering for two years. My son Michael had heard about Henry’s Home from a coworker. He surprised me one day by bringing me here for an orientation. He was going to be moving away and wanted to make sure I had something in my life other than my work. I have battled with depression for years, as well as loneliness, and he has always been aware of my love of horses. He was hoping that this would be the perfect family of horses and humans to give me purpose and joy on a daily basis.

Kristi and Wall-E

Which horse have you bonded with the most, and how have they impacted you?
The first year I was in a learning mode of everything horse. Learning about care, their pecking order, and just beginning to learn about how to ride again, from 45 years earlier. I realized that they all had very different personalities, had their own relationships with each other, as well as with us, and I really enjoyed getting to know the many facets of their personalities. In the beginning I rode a few different horses.

I began to show the most progress in my riding abilities with Lexi. She is a great ride. Trying hard and for giving my miscommunications. Due to her Anhidrosis [inability to sweat normally], we stopped riding her in the summer heat.

So, then I began to ride Wall-E. He was definitely a challenge, especially since he is a “left brain introvert”. After a devastating tragedy in my life a year ago, I was afraid that my energy was so filled with grief and anger, I stopped riding. So I basically, just started spending more one-on-one time with Wall-E, grooming and grazing. After some time, I felt he was less aggressive with the other horses. I began to sow the benefits and felt this was a connection we both needed. Maybe some extra attention filled a gap that Wall-E needed as well?

I have loved many horses, but Wall-E was my first real, true bond, on so many levels. I felt like Wall-E was often misunderstood. Being second in the pecking order, he was more aggressive with the horses under him. When others would see him kicking or biting the other horses, I was worried that they might be judging him as a mean bully, not understanding the horse language.

Do you have a favorite Henry’s Home memory or story?
When I came back into town from having buried my son, Matthew, who was shot and killed on September 27th, 2018, at his home in Austin, Henry’s Home was the first place I came. It was weird that no one was here because that is so unusual. The horses were in the far back area grazing. After visiting with each of them, I sat down with my back against a tree on the far edge of where they were grazing. Lexi, who never leaves Chandler’s side, left him, walking a far distance to me, started to graze right between my legs, and stayed there. That was extremely unusual behavior for her in so many ways. When I remembered that she had also lost her foal, it was obvious that she was making this connection with me, and it brought me to tears. I had the most painful and healing cry.

I will never understand God’s purpose in the loss of Matthew at such a young age, but I know in my heart that beyond a doubt, there is growth in this for me and others, and Matthew is just fine. Every time I see someone riding on Matthew [the blue ATV at Henry’s Home], I know my son is feeling needed and having fun. He always Lived the most, Laughed the most, and Loved the most. Also, from a very young age he had a love and special connection with all animals. This would have been a dream to be able to hang out with all the animals and people here at Henry’s Home. I knew after that cry with Lexi that I could also get through this time of unimaginable loss and grief like she had, with Henry’s Home and all the wonderful support of the volunteers here who are my family.

I feel like I’m helping every time I come to Henry’s Home, and that does bring me joy, but there is no doubt in my mind that I am getting more than I’m giving. When I have a hard time getting out of bed, still grieving my son and dealing with my depression, it’s Henry’s Home always helping others in whatever their needs are, Wall-E and all the volunteers here that give me the strength to keep going. This continues to be my happy and healing place.

“When I have a hard time getting out of bed, still grieving my son and dealing with my depression, it’s Henry’s Home, Wall-E and all the volunteers here that give me the strength to keep going.”


Did You Know?

Did you know there are multiple ways to help us help others? Here are some of the ways.

Amazon Smile

Do you purchase from Amazon? Did you know you can use the AmazonSmile website to make the same purchases at the same prices? The difference is the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to your charity of choice.

Login to your Amazon account here, and follow the directions to donate to Henry’s Home Horse and Human Sanctuary.

Kroger Community Rewards

Do you shop at Kroger? Did you know Kroger will donate to Henry’s Home when you shop with your Kroger Plus Card if you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards? Enrolling is easy.

  1.    Click here to login or create your account and search for an organization.
  2.    Find Henry’s Home by entering RM846 and clicking Search.
  3.    Click Enroll.

Our Wish List

Do you want to help purchase items for the sanctuary but aren’t sure what to buy? Did you know Henry’s Home has a wish list of items that makes it easy to find and purchase what’s needed most? View our list here and select the Henry’s Home address for shipment.

Boon Supply

Boon (noun) something useful or helpful.

Did you know you can purchase bags, kitchenware and other useful items from Boon Supply, and 40% of your purchase will be donated to Henry’s Home? Browse their selection here.

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more pictures and videos.
Questions, comments, want to say hello? Visit our website or contact us.

Help Us Out

Did you know it costs around $6000 a year to care for one of our horses?

Look out for more information on how you can help by sponsoring your favorite horse.

Interested in helping out but would prefer to make a direct donation?

Henry’s Home Horse and Human
Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) organization.