The Running Horse
A Bi-monthly Newsletter from Horse Play
Jan – Feb 2011
Horse Play
EIN: 05-0506340

Message from Aidan – the Alpha Mare

Snow – beautiful snow! I love snow! The humans don’t seem to share my enthusiasm but that’s ok – I love snow – running in it, bucking in it and best of all – ROLLING in it!

Aidan is a “20-something”Thoroughbred mare, rescued almost 19 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. She will also contribute her opinions and stories on the herd’s blog at The blog will have stories and observations by all the horses and a couple of humans of Horse Play.

A Message from Deidre
***** We need everyone's help with this - it's very important - it's super easy but needs to be done daily - Horse Play wants to help the RISPCA win a $5,000 grant (and maybe more!). The RISPCA is a huge resource for all animals (and humans) in RI. They are participating in the Shelter Challenge and the most votes win! Continues until March 20, 2011
1. Click on the link -
2. Shelter Name: Rhode Island SPCA
3. State: RI
4. Click on "search"
5. Click Vote!
6. Done

2010 is now behind us (it was a very good year! lots of new friends and and fun events!) - we were also able to place 8 horses in adoptive homes and find fosters for 2 more - of course the spaces filled up as fast as they opened but that is the nature of what we do - we are eager to see what is in store for 2011.  We do have several horses available for adoption and all are looking for sponsors.

On the subject of adoption, fostering and sponsoring, I want to clear up a few grey areas, stuff I became aware of in the course of the previous year.
First, there are numerous ways to help Horse Play – some don’t even require that you get dirty.
Volunteering - that is what it is - helping out - whether it be cleaning paddocks, stuffing envelopes, manning a table or booth, grooming or riding - everyone gets their hands dirty - kids are welcome but generally best if 12 yrs or older.
Sponsoring a Horse - Sponsoring a horse is a donation of a "committed" monthly amount - any amount - you can specify which horse, although the funds go directly into the general horse care account - any horse here can be sponsored - the sponsor receives our newsletter, updates and pics of the particular horse and if local, sponsor may visit, groom and if suitable, play with and ride the horse. Sponsorship donations are tax-deductible.
Fostering - the fosteror provides a suitable facility for the horse and assumes care (except farrier and vet expenses) to inlcude feed, water, shelter and exercise/riding - we provide guidelines for feeding,exercise,etc - the fosteror gets first choice for adoption and will allow Horse Play to show the horse to prospective adopters - all fostererors sign an agreement detailing all aspects of the foster care. Feed and bedding costs are tax-deductible.
Adoption - the ultimate - what we strive for - a permanent, "forever" home - adoption entails total care of the horse (with some guidelines from Horse Play) - there is a contract involved and the horse cannot be sold, traded, given away or removed from adopter's custody. If any problem or concern arises, the horse is returned to Horse Play. Horse Play also reserves the right to visit periodically (with 24 hours notice) and if situation is deemed unsuitable for the horse, it is immediately returned to Horse Play. We do not list our available horses online (with exception of a couple listed on due to the fact that we receive an absurd amount of bizarre inquiries and we feel it is best for someone who is serious to give us a call first and we can discuss needs, wants and who we have who might be suitable - then we go from there. Also note adoption fees will vary but we try to keep it affordable.
** Adoption requires a bit of a process - first one must come visit and meet the horse, then an application with references must be completed, next a rep from Horse Play will visit the facility where the horse will be kept and if all is well, the prospective adopter will be required to visit the horse at Horse Play several more times to play,hang out with and ride. This isn't like picking out a new pair of shoes, we are about finding the right match so that all will work out for everyone concerned - especially the horse. We have helped over 200 horses since 1999 and in that time we have had 4 returned and we have had to retrieve 2. Also note, horses here are brought along to become friendly, multi-discipline, family-type horses. We take the time it takes to get them there. We DO NOT adopt out youngsters or green horses (liability issues).  While our method may seem time-consuming and possibly limiting, it works. So if you are looking for an equine friend and partner, you may find him or her here.

On to some new stuff -
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, ie 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 – a brand new blog -  - check it out - there is alot of info - took forever to edit and post but for the most part it has begun! 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 

We would also like to let everyone know that we have loads of blankets (have inventoried again so we have a list of sizes etc) as well several Western saddles, a couple of English saddles, bridles, bits, tons of saddle pads, horse boots (splint, brush etc), polos and other stuff in our tack shop - all at really great prices.
The Mustang Project
On a more serious note - I heard this song by Kid Rock a few weeks ago and thought how it epitomizes the plight of the American Mustang - then because I feel so frustrated by the insanity brought about by the gov't agency responsible for these animals, I decided to try and make this video/slideshow –

Please take a look – forward to everyone – let this become viral – raise awareness - if you feel motivated, take action - call Congress, write letters - I know it may not be as important as tax cuts, unemployment and world peace - but it's important to the remaining wild horses! Soon there will be none – We have a couple of the mustangs here who’s herds no longer exist – Gone – wiped out in one round-up Feel free to forward to anyone else who may be interested - also note - DNA proof that the horse originated in North America! not an invasive species - but soon to be an "endangered" one – thanks!

"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.
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 blogs at and – we’re also on Facebook –

Horse Play offers riding instruction, horse training, farrier service and birthday/special occasion parties. Also “Horses and Heroes” - a program for veterans, Kids After School Literacy Program (need volunteers!) and some Equine Experiential Learning workshops – contact us for more info.

New Blog -

Evolutionary Horsemanship
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 .

Horse Play is happy to announce the opening of our Used and Consignment Tack Shop – right here at the farm – come browse or sell your “stuff”. Our commission rates are great – 10% for saddles and 15% for everything else. Feel free to contact us for more info. Hours: Usually Monday – Friday Noon – 6:00p.m Saturday 9:30a.m. – 3:30p.m. and Sunday Noon – 3:00p.m. Please give us a call or email if you need something in particular.


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



February 12, 2011 – Horse Play on Bellevue Ave, Newport – from 5pm – 8pm – stop by Design Newport at 121 Bellevue Ave, Newport RI for a lovely benefit for Horse Play – there will be wine, hors d’oeuvres and lots of Horse Play info and stuff and wonderful people – Contact Horse Play – ph # (401)294-3565 or email –
Contact Design Newport – ph# (401)848-9900 or email

A Used Tack & Craft Sale – date & location TBA SOON!!! Will let y’all know
Please check our website too as we are totally re-vamping our birthday/special occasion parties! I’m sure we’ll be doing another workshop or 2 as well – just hasn’t been scheduled yet – so check our website or give us a call or email


***URGENT*** Looking for Round Pen Panels – 10 or 12 footers -  any color or finish, as many as you want to sell or give away. Stall Mats – looking for approx 20 but any amount will be great! Also we really need a horse trailer! Two–or-more horse, in good condition and inspected - Contact Deidre (401)294-3565 or email *****

Horse Play is also currently seeking donations of tack – Western saddles, rope halters, saddle pads/blankets, bareback pads, 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! From cleaning paddocks, to grooming and exercising horses, mailing letters to planning fundraisers and annual campaigns, the horses depend on you. Also you don’t have to be an equine expert — if you’re interested in working directly with the horses, you can sign up for our Safe & Humane Horse Handling/Intro to Evolutionary Horsemanship Class. Just contact Horse Play and say you want to volunteer—the horses will thank-you for it!

“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


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                                                                               $1850.00

Routine Vet Care (no emergencies)                                 $210.00

Hoof Care                                                                         $450.00

Routine Dental Care                                                          $75.00

Total for 1 horse                                                            $2585.00

****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 bi-monthly by Horse Play. 
Jan - Feb 2011 is copy write ©2011 by Horse Play and Deidre Sharp, 
P.O. Box 660, Exeter RI  02822, Phone (401)294-3565
Trust, Respect, Compassion

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