“THE MISSION OF HEART OF PHOENIX IS TO SAVE THE HORSES OF APPALACHIA THROUGH COLLABORATION, EDUCATION AND THE PROVISION OF EQUINE RESOURCES.”
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
“Saving the Horses of Appalachia until we create a future
where all horses can thrive.”
We do not just rescue, we strive to see the future requires less need for rescue. We hope you continue to listen to the stories of our horses and allow us to continue to promote great horsemanship for years to come.
You can help change everything for horses in
Appalachia when you partner with us!
We believe this is possible with you on board!
Learn about the costs to operate Heart of Phoenix Here, and then we
invite you to help us grow and impact more lives.
HEART OF PHOENIX IS A 501(C)3 Charity / EIN: 45-4421742 / Thoroughbred Aftercare Accredited /
Guidestar Bronze Participant / Top Rated Great Non-Profits Charity / The Right Horse ASPCA Partner / Homes for Horses Coalition Member
HEART OF PHOENIX: MORE THAN HORSE RESCUE IN WEST VIRGINIA.
Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue began in Wayne County, West Virginia back in 2009; I’m the founder, Tinia, and back then, I tried very hard to not head down this path. It seemed overwhelming and outside of my plan.. I was barely 2 years past the loss of my 14 and 19-year-old brothers and 17 years old sister during an apartment fire in Huntington, West Virginia. I was just months past the death of my father, but in all of that tragedy, somehow I could still see there was a deep need for an advocate for horses in Appalachia.
The rescue is named Heart of Phoenix, and as you have guessed, we are not in Arizona. Phoenix was a horse rescued from Lincoln County, West Virginia during a flash flood during the summer of 2010; I was too late to save her in the way I had hoped. She could not survive the abuse and neglect of her past. The day we buried her is the day I penned a blog and gave this effort a name. I didn’t realize how truly apt the name was back then. I do today. I thought Phoenix was just a name for the mare I had said goodbye to, but it was far more than that.
Founding an equine non-profit in an area of the USA that has significant human challenges and economic concerns has been daunting. Appalachia is the poorest part of America; we often see the highest rates of opioid abuse, children in foster care, below poverty level incomes, combat veterans with PTSD or physical injury and have significant educational challenges. Because of these things, creating a successful equine advocacy organization, especially during the recession going on back in 2009 seemed impossible. But I pushed and pushed until our message was heard, and it wasn’t very long before others came to help. That message, “Saving the Horses of Appalachia” has resonated with people across the world ever since. I am so glad it has and continues, as the horses in this region need so much aid.
And while over the years, have been featured in magazines like Horse Illustrated, received the ASPCA’s esteemed Equine Welfare Award in NYC, been invited to speak at the American Horse Council’s national meetings, been the subject of a multi-episode documentary on Horse.TV and received T.A.A accreditation for our quality of care and fiscal responsibility and worked on equine welfare legislation at the state and federal level, the most important things we’ve ever done is save over 1,100 equine lives and be a positive impact on thousands and thousands of horse owners.
Since 2021, it has become more difficult with the new challenges the world faces with rising costs.
Nevertheless, we persist. We are always planning and trying to grow in the right ways: As long as there are horses that need help, we move forward, always finding a way to help horse people along the way.
We hold as many as 160 horses in our foster homes across the east coast. We have horses adopted all over the country.
So, what’s next? While we are always looking for ways to help horses, hold more in the organization and grow training partnerships, what I am most hopeful for what is a newer, small grassroots program for foster children in a local group home. These boys visit through the month, interacting with the horses at our main facility outside of Huntington, WV. I believe, as the horses recover, the boys do, as well. Both groups of beings have been through so much.
We hope to continue to expand what is now a glimmer of the program. I know substantial lifelong positive impact will be made on troubled, displaced children through partnership with our horses. Both have pasts that said success was impossible, but at Heart of Phoenix, we know better.
That is Heart of Phoenix, an Equine Rescue that is saving the horses of Appalachia.
Meet The Team
Founder & President
Andrew Smith, J.D.
Stephanie Davis, CPA
Secretary, Board Member