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Saving the Future


On May 11, 2014, two and a half year old Bud was turned over to the ERL by Prince William County Animal Control with his field mate. Upon arrival at Promise Kept Farm, Bud was suffering from malnutrition, parasite infestation, and neglect.


Even though Bud arrived as a condition 2 on the body condition scale and was a colt, he recovered quickly and healthfully. After a thorough vet evaluation and several hundred pounds later, Bud developed into a beautiful young horse brimming with promise. This handsome gelding showed us so much potential that we decided to invest in his future by sending him off to a professional trainer. It is with the donations of so many kind people that we were able to accomplish this.

Bud spent four months at “college”, where he was started under saddle using classical dressage training. This little horse surpassed everyone’s expectations with his tenacious spirit and natural ability.


At ERL, we have been told we often end up rescuing people as much as we rescue horses. Bud paid it forward in December 2014 when he was adopted by one of our staff members. Bud received the best Christmas present any rescue horse could want - a home!


Bud has become an adored addition to their family where he will continue his career as a life-long partner and friend.

Check out Bud's story in the Prince William Times below!

Help a Horse – he will be very grateful, of course

By Mary Stachyra Lopez

©Prince William Times / Jun. 24, 2016

Two years ago, Prince William County Animal Control officers found two emaciated horses covered in parasites at a Haymarket Farm. After an investigation, the owners surrendered the horses to Prince William County. The horses, including a Morgan cross colt, were brought to a nonprofit farm in Loudoun County, run by the Equine Rescue League.

The colt “wasn’t as energetic and lively as a 2-year-old cold should be,” said Hayley Galloway, the stable manager and chief creative officer at the farm. Still, staff noticed that the chestnut colored colt was curious about people and had potential – a very “natural, professional way of carrying himself.” They named him “Bud,” because he was like a flower before it bloomed.

Two hundred pounds, four months of classical dressage training and one lovestruck owner later, Bud has blossomed into a lively and healthy horse. The mare from the Haymarket Farm, Sophia, also put on some weight and found a new owner.

Prince William County Animal Control and its nonprofit partners want to get the word out that there are other horses, like Bud, that need help every year, including four in 2015. The Equine Rescue League, which assists animal control offices across Northern Virginia, takes in 15 to 20 horses each year, most of which are surrendered by their owners.

“There are still people who think you can put a horse out to pasture and not do anything,” said Pauline Shatswell, chief deputy animal control officer for the Prince William County Police Department. She noted that while a lot of people associate the shelter with dogs and cats, “livestock is a big part of Prince William County.”

We are very proud to announce that "Bud" and his mom Hayley accepted the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments' Animal Services award on behalf of the ERL. Bud and Hayley received this award during Prince William County Animal Control’s “Help a Horse Day” in April 2016.

To help spread the word, the animal shelter hosted “Help a Horse Day” in April. The free event was tied to a national effort by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there were activities for the family, including a scavenger hunt and mock “horse trials” with kids racing on stick ponies. Bud returned to the shelter’s pasture for the day with his “before” photos to show just how far he had come.

And he’s come pretty far. Veterinarians use a nine point conditioning scale to rank a horse’s overall health. On the scale, one is emaciated; nine is obese. When Bud was released to Prince William County on May 11, 2014, he was [a] two.

Despite the difficult start in life, Bud showed a lot of potential, said Captain Alfred Miller, animal control director.

“Bud surprised everyone with his tenacious spirit and natural ability,” Miller noted.

Galloway especially, couldn’t help but notice the way Bud thrived under professional training. In October 2014, the Promise Kept Farm hosted its annual open house, where the trainer rode him. “He had this aura about him that was full of life and fun,” said Galloway, who already had two horses of her own.

She thought “if I didn’t have two horses already, I would adopt him.”

As fate would have it, one morning Galloway found her horse had an impaction and a twist. A veterinarian had to put him down.

Bud’s trainer and other staff at the farm saw Galloway’s heartbreak and decided to play matchmaker by asking her to ride Bud. He needed the additional experience, and maybe, they thought, Galloway would fall for him. Sure enough, she did, and Bud quickly found a home at her rural home in Purcellville, where he grazes in a pasture and likes to “take selfies and chew on hats.”

“He is one of the most outgoing horses I’ve ever met,” said Galloway. “He loves people. You know how some neighborhoods have the neighborhood dog? I have the neighborhood horse. He greets runners. People bring him apples and carrots.”

“He’s my pride and joy,” she said. “He’s blossomed into this awesome little creature.”

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