MUSTANG HOPE~ Beautiful, kind Hope. Mark and I heard of this Mustang named Hope by pure chance. We heard of her extreme neglect and abuse and how the amazing Cat Zimmerman was able to get her out of a horrid situation. The summer right before we launched, Unbridled was merely an unlikely dream. As life hit us hard once again, I found myself falling into a dark place. My husband urged me to go and train with the famous Cat Zimmerman in Florida. It was that trip that changed everything and it was that trip where I met Hope. Knowing of her extreme situation, I was cautious when meeting her. I remember an instant connection and whispering in her ear that I would love her forever. That summer Unbridled became a reality thanks to CZ Mustangs. What was fun banter around the campfire became a catalyst for our dreams. With help from Cat and Shelly, we started putting in place the plans for Unbridled and promised Hope a forever home. That September, Hope arrived to NJ from Florida. She was scared and shutoff but I believe in my heart she knew she was finally home. Hope went from one of the worst abuse cases to a success story, a comeback tale of Hope. She is now one of our liberty horses, dazzling humans with her elegance and trust. She is my heart horse, and will forever be loved at Unbridled.
PENNY~ Penny is a sweet old soul that we rescued from Moore’s killpen in PA. While we were supposed to focus our mission around rescuing Mustangs, there was something that led us to this broken soul. When we heard that the shipping trucks were coming and she was the last horse left on the auction lot, skinny and lame, we had to do something. Our hearts breaking over this broken horse, we made the decision to save her. We had a great contact on the ground at these auctions, and we secured this sweet girl’s fate through this special angel. Our Angel on the inside pulled this special horse from the kill pen and brought her to safety where Penny was quarantined and treated for all her past injuries done by hands she was supposed to trust. Her shoes had been left on for years, causing her great pain with every step. She was starved from love and basic care. When she arrived at Unbridled, there was still this pain and sadness you could literally feel from her soul. No matter what we did, she seemed stuck in this sadness. Our hearts broke at the fact that Penny seemed to have lost all hope, she was completely numb. We are big believers in our great earth, yet we were genuinely lost on how to help Penny. It was during this time when a woman named Elizabeth came into Unbridled’s life.
This woman, much like Penny was broken inside. Her eyes too, were sad, you see, Elizabeth’s husband was dying at home and while she came from a privileged life with horses in Brazil and a very prosperous career as a show jumper, at this time in her life she was a shell of who she once was. Elizabeth came to Unbridled with a breaking heart. As humans, we wanted to ease her pain, but as we have learned, sometimes there are no words to ease one;s suffering. We welcomed Elizabeth in with open arms and watched with amazement as Penny and Elizabeth instantly connected. Through her own pain, Elizabeth was able to see something joyful and full of life inside of Penny. And just the same, Penny was able to see the beauty in Elzabeth’s broken heart. What transpired was simply beautiful, these two lost souls gravitated towards one another. Through the months these two changed each other organically allowing the true essence of their souls to shine. Penny was there for Elizabeth and gave her the love and nurturing only a horse can give. As Elizabeth’s husband neared the end, Penny became stronger, she had a purpose, and that was Elizabeth. Intuitively, this horse understood this pain, and with love she was able to ease the suffering that can only come with death. Penny found her true self, and I like to believe Elizabeth did too. This sweet mare now happily resides at her forever home in Allendale. She will only know love. While she is safe with us, she still bears the bruises of a hard life once lived where her humans failed her. Because of this her care is costly. She requires a special feed and has a slew of problems stemming from her previous life, but she is the definition of resilient. She is always making us laugh and when it comes to another living being that is in some sort of pain, she is as intuitive as ever, offering herself to those in need. We are always amazed at our rescues and their ability to have empathy, she is another example of pure love.
MUSTANG KAIA~ Kaia is a truly wild soul. She is stunningly beautiful, her eyes sad and angry at the same time. But I don’t blame her…. You have to know her story to truly understand. Kaia was once wild, free living with her herd, her family on her land.
As with all our Mustangs, my heart breaks to think of the roundup, them crying out for their herd. To be thrown in a whole world they were not meant to understand. Some adjust, some never do, how do we expect a beautiful wild being to feel once captured and restricted, torn away from all they loved. Kaia’s mistrust began at the beginning, her anger righteous and validated in every way. By the time we found her, she was in a PA killpen, beaten and bloody. Her face torn up, her Mustang Spirit showing in anger. All had given up on her, she was dangerous and now was in a terrifying position. When we called, the auction was actually happening, and at that moment in time, it was Kaia who was being forced to parade in front of all the kill buyers. It was then that we learned that one of the most notoriously cruel kill buyers was bidding on her. In that moment we knew we had to save her life from this horrifying ending. We outbid the killbuyer and got her to a safe place while she quarantined before coming to Unbridled. Kaia was to be the first rescued Mustang at our second location in Saddle River, NJ. We anxiously awaited her arrival, ready to love her unconditionally. We knew she was safe, we knew she would never know any hurt again. Naively we assumed she would know the second she arrived. We remember the day she stepped off the trailer, I honestly have never seen a more beautiful Mustang. We turned her out in a beautiful pasture and watched. She looked around curiously but so hesitant. She refused to acknowledge us humans that day. When she finally gave us her attention, we could see the mistrust in her eyes, we could see the anger. She was different than the others, if we tried to get close, she would warn us to stay away. She was aggressive and angry. When she would give me her eyes, they were wild and full of hurt. I could see the aftermath of abuse on her face, it was full of scars. But it was deeper than surface pain, it was internal, a pain that ran deep. Kaia is broken and beautiful and I truly believe the only way to make that right is to set her free back to her land with her herd…. Sadly that is not an option, so everyday we will emphasize with her, we will allow her to be herself and unconditionally love her. We will not try and change her, we will not break her, instead we will learn the unspoken language that happens between two energies… One that makes sense to her and to us. There is no set plan, no perfect way, but there is a way that she can keep her dignity and be her and that is our plan. It is recently that we have seen a twinkle back in her eyes, and felt the unseen capability Kaia has to heal the most broken in all of us.
MUSTANG RAIN~ Baby Rescue Mustang Rain is a unique case. She was another victim of the cruel roundups out West. What makes this more sad is she was just a baby. She was born in the wild, then in the worst way, separated from her mother. Like the others, she was auctioned off and taken in by a loving family in New Jersey to compete in the Mustang makeover. Due to unforeseen situations, Rain found herself needing a new home. It is rare to see Mustangs come through New Jersey, so we felt compelled to find out more.
After hearing the situation and knowing how hard it is to place a Mustang, we decided to add her to our ever growing family and know that the cycle that so many horses find themselves in would be ended right there for this one. We would offer her a forever home. Mustang Rain is a big baby, silly and innocent by nature. She is lovable and trusting and absolutely stunning. While she has issues that most would have after being stripped from their land, mother and herd, she has overcome them with tremendous strides. She is confident and sassy, yet super intuitive and gentle with humans. She has some behavior issues which are completely normal given her situation. She is learning from our herd and her human family just as much as we are learning from her. It is the unspoken language that goes on between us that enables both relationships to thrive. As with all our rescues, we know and believe that we are together for a reason and for the betterment of humanity, we have something to give, but only if we listen.
Rain reminds us to listen, she reminds us of the beauty found in complete innocence and despite her young age, she is wise beyond her years. A wisdom you can only find with a wild horse….
MUSTANG CHIRPA~ Chirpa is a mustang that was wild and free until she was captured in Nevada in 2018. She was the first Mustang that came to Unbridled, making her mark immediately by the sheer power in which she simply held herself in. Chirpa quickly became known as the medicine Mustang, captivating people with the profound impact she had simply by being her organic self. Chirpa is the leader of our herd and has a gentle yet powerful energy about her which commands respect at first glance. She is strong in appearance, muscular, and sharp features. What people notice most after her gentle calming effect is her tiny ears. In the wild the tips were frost bitten off because of the extreme cold in the Nevada Mountains. Chirpa is easily distinguishable among the herd due to this mark of beauty, survival and unmatched energy that she possesses. Those who have had the honor to meet this incredible Mustang have been changed forever simply by being in her presence. She works daily with Monika and through their unspeakable bond, Chirpa has done extraordinary things.
Ruby~ Ruby was rescued this year with her unborn baby. The auctions and kill pens are brutal and many of the most vulnerable horses find themselves in this unfair, evil situation to no fault of their own. Unbridled had eyes on the ground during one of the auctions, there were three pregnant Momma’s going through that night. We said we would save the one that seemed the worst off. That sweet brave soul became known as Ruby. She spent 30 days in quarantine and then came to her forever home at Unbridled. She seemed lost and helpless when she came. She was super pregnant but had obvious signs of neglect. For the next few weeks we surrounded her with love 24/7. Our volunteers would groom her, sing to her, she was with us all the time. Because she was super pregnant, we did not want to turn her out with the others, but knew she must be lonely so made sure she had tons of human interaction. After a few weeks we would turn her out alongside the rest of the herd so they could get used to her and she could get used to them. Om May 7th she gave birth in the pasture with all the herd watching. It was a miracle. Since then she has been a wonderful momma to her baby foal Rocket. They both have adjusted and become part of the Unbridled herd where they will live out forever, never to be separated, but to be loved and cherished for the rest of their days.Rocket is our pride and joy. He is the first ever baby to be born at Unbridled on May 7th at 11:11 am. He is a little spitfire by nature but is the paradigm of love. While his momma Ruby was abused and neglected and saw the worst of life, he was born into pure love and is the example of a soul that only knows love. Rocket is hilarious and curious, trusting and loving by nature. He has quickly bonded with every single mustang and rescue that we have. He is as unique looking as his personality and always has us smiling. He is a mini baby with a huge heart. He will undoubtedly help so many lives as all our rescues do.
Shiloh is a beautiful Mustang that was captured in Pancake, Nevada. The horror one must feel when being separated from all they ever knew is unimaginable. After being rounded up, Shiloh was auctioned off to compete in the Mustang makeover, a 90 day competition where trainers take untouched Wild Horses and have 90 days to train them. While many Mustangs will adjust, Shiloh refused and by day 45 she would still not allow a human to halter her. From the moment she hashad to withdraw from the competition, she bounced from home to home. We got a call about her when we first opened and quickly realized the dangerous situation she was in. Without much knowledge yet trusting our instincts, we offered Shiloh a home.
She is very cautious and hesitant to bond with humans and that is ok. Her magic is in all her broken pieces and the freedom and time that she will take and need to heal. When she allows a human to connect it is one of the most beautiful rarest gifts that she could give. Simply her trust. She is especially sensitive to individuals that have seen extreme trauma and she will open herself up to them. While it is rare,it is a true gift that she gives to those most vulnerable. She is a beautiful soul and is very connected to her herd and her natural wild soul. We will never take away anymore than what has already been taken from her, she is valued for everything she is
Mustang Mamore~ This beautiful Mustang is part of the Villa herd. Named in memory of my mother, Ma is sweet and kind by nature and has taken to life at Unbridled. Ma was captured and adopted out to perform in the Kentucky Mustang Makeover. Her show name was chosen in memory of my mother and was Jody’s Berlin Sunrise. After Covid hit, the mustang makeover became virtual. Ma’s trainer had done an incredible job in gentling this sweet Mustang. We had watched her progress and beamed with pride as this beautiful Mustang named in honor of my mother shined. One day, while sitting with my best friend Kim, reminiscing on our late mother’s who died within days of each-other, she looked at me and asked me about Ma the Mustang and what was going to happen to her. At the time I did not know, and while in my heart I wanted to give this Mustang a home, I knew I would not be able to outbid the buyers on her. As we cried that day remembering our mother’s, there was a pause and Kim said she wanted to Ma for Unbridled. With that it was done. We hugged and celebrated knowing that this Wild Mustang, just 100 days out of the wild, named in honor of my mother would now join the very special herd at The Villa Marie Hospice Home. Mamore has adjusted beautifully and you would never know that this girl was wild for years. As with all of our Mustangs, we treasure who they are, not who or what society wanted, but their authentic selves. Ma is so content and will help so many people with her gentle demeanor. I know my Momma is looking down, super proud, and her legacy lives on in this beautiful soul.
BUDDY & AMIRAH~ After deciding we would only take Mustangs, our hearts were torn once again when we learned of an older mini gelding at a NJ kill pen. After seeing footage of this old soul, once again we felt compelled to do something. Knowing the financial strain it would put on us, we literally left everything up to our faith and knew if it were to be, it would. At this time we were told of another mini horse who was his only friend at the kill pen. They were both out of time. With the help of a generous donor, we were able to pull them at the last minute of the last day before the were to ship to slaughter. Despite getting them out of the horrific situation they were in, the damage had been done. As a result of their neglect and time spent in the killpen, both were extremely sick. For 55 days they stayed in quarantine struggling to survive. Having every reason to give up, these two did not and decided to fight for their lives. 55 days later on Christmas Eve, they arrived to Unbridled, hesitant, broken and scared. Both were extremely beaten up physically and emotionally. We quickly learned the extent of Amirah’s abuse and her fear of humans, warranted and heartbreaking. Through time, love and patience both mini horses are thriving at Unbridled. They are free to be their authentic selves and loved dearly for simply being them. They have overcome so many obstacles and are the true meaning of survivors.