After the death of Rocko (a horse 12/1991-05/2016) and Steffan (Heidi’s first born 10/1991-06/2016), everyone was talking about Steffan and Rocko at Steffan’s memorial service. Heidi (von Liebenstein) told God she would love to have horses for her other 3 children and her grandchildren so they could create the same kind of memories she made with Steffan and Rocko.
Heidi missed both Steffan and Rocko and since she could not get her son back, or her horse, she started to volunteer at Equi-libruim, which is a place that helps people with special needs ride horses.
Nov 15th 2017, the first horses started to come. Their ribs were showing, they were underweight, and some had other issues as well. They loved them back into a healthy state where they were loved and enjoyed by many.
As more people heard about the horses, more people wanted to come out to see them. To brush them, clean stalls and even ride them (some for the first time). Also within a few months another horse came, then was switched out for another, and then more followed, and some were even born on the farm.
Heidi started to give back to the community, and reached out to Lehigh Correctional Center – Work release, and there were times when a few of the women would come out, get to interact with the horses, so some work on the farm and then would even get to ride some of the horses.
Heidi and Steffan always would go out trail riding and camping with Rocko. So Heidi started to take people out horseback riding on trails as well. Although that was not her first concern, it was the health of the horses, both physically and mentally. She did enjoy how helping people with the horses would bring smiles to their faces.
Jan 2018, one of Heidi’s friends told her there were 9 abandoned horses, and one was her old horses who she had first right to buy back, and she wanted to know how to get that horse back to her barn. Heidi went to help her friend, and then was asked (by a lady who was representing an animal rescue) if Heidi had space for the other 8 horses at her farm. Heidi said yes, there was an extra barn which she could use … That afternoon Heidi’s responsibilities went from 12 horses, to 20 horses.
In the spring, Heidi and her family had a nice little family camping trip with some of the horses in Green Lane. (Remember – That’s what Heidi used to do with Steffan and Rocko.) They had a great family time, and of course it rained, but non of the kids wanted to go home, they all wanted to stay out in the tents until the rain ended.
Eventually we intend to do more camping with other people and horses. Even if people have their own horses, we would love to have them join us and to come along with us.
Over time the 8 horses who came in Jan were awarded by the courts to the animal rescue. Remember the first horses who came in Nov 2017? Well Heidi got her first pony in 1977, and has horses ever since. They were always back-yard deals, a few of her horses had papers, but she never cared about the paperwork, she cared about the horses. Well since no paperwork to “cya” was created, those first horses plus others were removed from one of her farms in July 2019, by a lady who was representing their owner, yet the owner never signed the paperwork.
That was VERY heart breaking for their whole family! Heidi even said she did not want horses someone would take away from her kids after they fell in love with their horses. In the beginning it was about teaching her family about horses and helping the kids have the experiences like she gave Steffan, It was about the kids learning confidence, responsibility, and so much more … lessons you learn when you love and work with an animal who is so large. (The ponies were about 500 pounds, and Guardian after his gains his weight will be over 2,000 pounds.)
After July 2019, she was left with 3 horses, not even enough to go for a ride with her kids.
She described it as the pain you get from a broken heart when an animal you love dies, and you know you need to keep going and that you will get another one some day, but not just yet. She had a hard time trying to explain why this was done to her children. They loved them so much and cried a bunch of times because it hurt them so much.
The lady who took them away, told Heidi “She was wrong, because She should have never let the kids fall in love with them.”
But for those who don’t know Heidi or her kids … that is not how they operate.
Over time, a few more horses came, and then some more.
We got our first horses Nov 15 2017.
We got our 30th horse Nov 14, 2019, (plus another later in the month).
At the end of Nov 2019, we started a website rebuild, and hope to build it so we can continue what we have been doing for the horses and for those who want to have a great experience with horses, despite any mean and vindictive people who are out there to destroy what we have been doing.