The Running Horse

A Newsletter from Horse Play

May - June 2014

Horse Play

EIN: 05-0506340




Message from Aidan – the Alpha Mare


Spring! Grass! Warm weather? Shedding like crazy but I do enjoy the grooming time. Maybe a trail ride soon?



Aidan is a “20-something”Thoroughbred mare, rescued almost 20 years ago and a “co-founder” of Horse Play. Fresh off the track, she was loaded with baggage (she lived up to her registered name “Slightly Nasty”) and a severe hoof injury. Her strong, dominant persona made things very difficult at first – but over the years and with proper teaching, she has become an incredible partner, teacher and friend. Almost adopted several times, her “alpha” nature proved her undoing and she found a permanent home here at Horse Play. She is the alpha mare of the big herd here.

A Message from Deidre

We had our first Ride of the year on April 19 – thank-you to all who attended and also those who helped out. We have several more coming up this season. Please check out our upcoming events!

Heads Up! May 18 is our Annual Open House here at the farm from 11am-4pm – food, music, vendors, raffles, silent auctions, fun demos (Zumba, T’ai Chi, Horses painting, horses dancing etc)

And now – kind of serious - We are looking for more volunteers – horse and barn work as well as helping with fundraising, grants, crowdfunding etc. We are also seeking horse sponsors and donors. This winter was tough. We need to replace several shelters as well as some fencing and a new round pen – not to mention the ongoing rising prices of hay and feed. If you would like to help in anyway, please contact us. All donations (sponsoring etc) are tax deductible!

Find us on Facebook




Since our beginning in 1999, we have helped over 270 horses. We are supported solely by public donations and staffed entirely by volunteers. Horse Play is seeking your help to fill our hayloft and help horses in need.  This past year has seen a serious decline in funding and donations as well as a rise in feed and hay costs.

The recession/economy has created an overwhelming increase in the number of horses surrendered to our rescue. We provide an alternative for many people who can no longer afford to keep their horses and otherwise would have to send them to an auction which, again due to the recession, most would go to slaughter. Horse slaughter is a cruel, tragic, inhumane death that no living creature deserves. Horse Play serves a purpose much like a dog/cat shelter only for horses. Last year we placed 9 horses in adoptive homes but have also taken in 10. We have been operating at an over-full capacity since 2008 with at least 5 horses always on the waiting list. At present we are supporting 26 horses and the average cost is $275 per month per horse. A $25 donation will buy hay for one horse for one week.

BUT – any amount will help.

In addition to providing rescue, shelter, adoption and sanctuary, Horse Play also offers the following; riding instruction, horse training services, hoof care - all to help support the horses in residence. We also have a Sponsor-a-Horse program, monthly workshops on horse care and handling as well as Community programs described below.

Horses and Heroes - a no-cost Equine Experiential Learning program for veterans and others battling PTSD and other challenges related to stress, trauma, abuse, violence etc.

Medicine Horses Workshops – Adventures in Equine Experiential Learning which is suitable for everyone - it enhances self-awareness, self-esteem, responsibility, living in the moment and promotes leadership skills.

Donations may be mailed to Horse Play, 143 Gilbert Stuart Road, Saunderstown, RI 02874 or you may pay online through PayPal (accepts credit cards). On our website at the “Donate” button or just go to and our account name is

You can help. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to Horse Play or for more information feel free to contact me either by email - or phone - house/office # (401)294-3565 or cell (401)864-2943

*** Note*** We have a webpage that lists the horses on our “waiting list” – it’s on our Facebook page under Notes. If you need to place a horse we’re happy to place the info on this page – However – we will need photos and all vital info on horse – age, size, disposition etc! We cannot help you place your horse without information on the horse.

Please contact us for info on the horses available for adoption at Horse Play – there are several and we’d be happy to discuss your needs/wants as well as particulars on each horse - we do not list them online.



"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Gandhi

Who We Are

Horse Play is a Rhode Island based non-profit equine rescue and sanctuary. We provide rescue, rehabilitation and sanctuary for abused neglected & unwanted horses.We provide adoption services for horses deemed adoptable those that are not have a home here for the rest of their lives.

It Is Our Intent:

  • To provide rescue, rehabilitation, and sanctuary services for abused, neglected, and/or unwanted horses.
  • To provide placement & follow-up services for rehabilitated horses and permanent sanctuary for horses that cannot be placed.
  • To help put an end to neglect and abuse through education, community outreach and awareness.
  • To develop and present educational programs and printed media, clinics and seminars on the responsible care, ownership and training of horses.
  • To provide equine experiential learning and healing programs to veterans, emergency services personnel and others in need.
  • To provide an all-ages literacy program.

We are a 501© 3 tax-exempt organization supported solely by public donations and grants and stafffed entirely by volunteers.

If you’d like to stop by for a visit, please give us a call first. We love visitors but want to make sure someone will be available to show you around.


Follow our blog at

 we’re also on Facebook –


 "The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different." Hippocrates









Blog -


Evolutionary Horsemanship – the basis for all equestrian pursuits


What is it? It is a way of keeping and working with horses that considers the “whole” horse – diet/nutrition, health (physical, mental and emotional), hoof care,  age, conformation, as well as stable management practices. It incorporates many methods and variations of Natural Horsemanship – but- it is not just another Natural Horsemanship method, it’s not just “round penning” and it’s not your grandfather’s way of horse training.

Why evolutionary? Because we’ve hopefully evolved to more humane, communication-oriented methods of horse teaching and moved away from the more dominant, aggressive methods of whips, chains, tie-downs and punishment. Evolutionary Horsemanship encompasses much more than basic groundwork and riding skills. It’s about building a relationship, developing a partnership and strengthening a bond. It encompasses all that is “horse” with an emphasis on natural. Join us for free workshops, demos, and clinics.

The last 4 years have brought many changes in the way we are now interacting with the horses at Horse Play. We are getting rid of the terms "work", "school", and "train" and replacing them with play, bond, teach and connect. Much is done at liberty and the horses are given choices - we establish ourselves as leaders (not about dominance) - no reprimands, no punishment - no "my way or else" - this has led to amazing results - great manners, interest in participating, better focus, eagerness and all around really good behavior. They do what we suggest because they want to, not because they have to, and thus in situations where we really need them to comply, i.e. the vet, trailering, farrier, dentist etc, they are much more willing! The methods we use, I call Evolutionary Horsemanship and I will happily share it with any who would like to learn - humans or horses. With any luck, I am hoping to get some videos of our methods up on our website, blog (see link below) and YouTube soon! It's not about "what can the horse do for me" but “what can I do for the horse". 

And here 'tis –the blog -  - check it out - there is a lot of info - Best bet is to scroll to the right and read the posts in chrono order - or whatever you like - but take your time - this blog is to enlighten and educate and hopefully some of you will be interested in learning more and I will gladly share with you! ALSO - please note that any and all fees for services are a direct donation to Horse Play - I do not get paid for any of this - and feel free to contact me, comment or whatever with any thoughts, ideas questions etc - thank-you for taking the time to read this!

For more info on any of this, please contact Horse Play at or (401)294-3565 





“Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them...he cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?"...God said, "I did do something. I made you."

-      Sufi Teaching



(Please contact Horse Play for additional info/details on these events – ph # (401)294-3565 or email – Stay in touch - more stuff being planned as we write!


May 18 (Sun) - Open House at Horse Play - 143 Gilbert Stuart Rd, Saunderstown, RI

Food, Music, Vendors, Demos, Raffles, Silent auctions, Meet-n-Greet the Horses at Horse Play call (401)294-3565 or (401)864-2943 email


June 14 (Sat) - Medicine Horses / Evolutionary Horsemanship Workshop at Horse Play                143 Gilbert Stuart Rd, Saunderstown, RI – 9:00am-1:00pm – $30 inc light lunch                             call (401)294-3565 or (401)864-2943 email

June 22 (Sun) - Arcadia Management Area, Escoheag Hill Rd,  Exeter RI                                Benefit Pleasure Ride  8:00am check-in, 9:00 ride out   Marked trail NEHT 10 or 20 miles - $20 includes lunch All forms available at Horse Play - call (401)294-3565 or (401)864-2943              email and soon to be downloadable on our website




4 English saddles – Stubben, Passier, Crump and Courbette – loads of blankets, saddles pads and more!




Round Pen Panels – 10 or 12 footers - any color or finish, as many as you want to sell or give away. Contact Deidre (401)294-3565 or email *****


Horse Play is always seeking donations of tack – English saddles, Western saddles, rope halters, saddle pads/blankets, bareback pads, and bitless bridles – sidepulls, hackamores or the Bitless Bridle, helmets, anti-sweat sheets/coolers, and as always – cash donations. Remember, we are a non-profit organization and any donation is tax deductible.

Horse Play always needs volunteers! Just contact Horse Play and say you want to volunteer—the horses will thank-you for it!




How Your Contributions Help Horses at Horse Play


Your donations, memberships, sponsorships, service and merchandise fees go directly to the care and support of the horses at Horse Play and they are tax-deductible.


Annual expenses for one horse (approximate)


Feed                                                                               $1950.00


Routine Vet Care (no emergencies)                                 $310.00


Hoof Care                                                                         $450.00


Routine Dental Care                                                          $125.00


Total for 1 horse                                                            $2835.00



****Please note we currently have 26 horses ****

This is just for basic horse care. No training, equipment (saddles, bridles etc), emergencies, utilities, rent, maintenance or administrative expenses. Also, Horse Play is staffed entirely by volunteers – no paid employees.





To Sponsor a Horse or To Make a Donation

Horse Play is staffed entirely by volunteers.  Every donation goes directly to supporting the horses.  All of our funding depends on your generosity. A $15 dollar donation buys a bag of grain. A $35 dollar donation buys dewormer for 10 horses. 50 people donating $1 each buys 6 bales of hay. You can make a difference.

Horse Play has several ways for you to make that difference. Sponsor a horse of your choice. We have several options for sponsorship. This also makes a great gift!

We can help you find out which way is best for you. Please Contact:

Deidre Sharp

Horse Play

PO Box 660

Exeter, RI 02822

Phone (401)294-3565 or (401)864-2943





The Running Horse is published by Horse Play. 

May - June 2014 copy write ©2013 by Horse Play and Deidre Sharp, 

P.O. Box 660, Exeter RI  02822, Phone (401)294-3565


Trust, Respect, Compassion





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