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At Allegiance Ranch, we strive to provide a safe and welcoming place for veterans, active duty military, first responders, and their families, to find release from every day challenges. We rely on donor support to ensure ongoing care and training for our rescued horses and offer our programs at no charge to these heroes.

OUR MISSION is to help horses and heroes by offering a safe place for healing, developing a sense of purpose, and establishing meaningful connections between horses and humans.

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT We love our volunteer community!

This is the place we introduce the wonderful members of our Allegiance community who help make our mission to help horses and heroes possible. This month we're introducing Carol Poynter (and her veteran boyfriend David Gilchrist). Carol found us in April of 2018 and has spent time helping with chores like feeding and mucking, and also can be relied upon to help at special events like horsemanship clinics and our annual Heroes and Horses Hoedown. She is passionate about horses, devotes her time and energy to our mission (as does David), and has also provided financial support to the ranch. Thank you, Carol!

What initially drew you to Allegiance Ranch? I had a couple of negative experiences volunteering at another horse rescue, and I was also hoping to find a place closer to Louisville to volunteer with horses. I heard of Allegiance Ranch through word of mouth and began volunteering in April 2018. I reconnected with my boyfriend David a few months later and he was in the Army for 24 years. It’s been great for him to have a place to volunteer and feel welcome since he relocated to Colorado. He loves coming out and being with the horses, and also the focus on veterans is something he appreciates. He hopes to bring some of his soldiers to the Ranch at some point.

What do you find most meaningful or enjoyable about volunteering your time at the ranch? I love being with the horses – it’s very meditative for me – even though I have one of my own. I enjoy doing whatever I can, whether it’s feeding, haying, cleaning, grooming or preparing for a special event at the Ranch. I grew up on 20 acres in Florida with 13 horses, 6 dogs, a goat, some sheep, cows and a cat. I didn’t have neighbors so my best friends were the animals. I spent hours after school riding, cleaning stalls, and teaching the dogs to jump over broomsticks. Being at the ranch reminds me of being a kid again.

Do you have a favorite rescue horse? Honestly, I love Georgie and Gizmo so much (the miniature donkeys), and then Summer, because I’m partial to mustangs. I fell in love with Thunder, my mustang, while volunteering at the Wild Horse Rescue in Mims, FL. That was 8 years ago. I’ve been in Colorado for a little over three years now and am thankful to have found a really great place to volunteer.

What would you tell someone who’s thinking about volunteering at the ranch? I would urge them to get out and volunteer, even if they only have an hour to spare. Gloria and Dan are so welcoming, and there are no time constraints or inflexible scheduling issues as there are at other places. If you can come for an hour during volunteer hours, that’s just fine. Or if you are a veteran, come out and enjoy yourself at one of the special events. Everyone is so friendly, and they always have refreshments!

If you'd like to become a member of our volunteer community, we offer volunteer orientation once a month. Click here for more information.

 

Private: Why Allegiance Ranch?

It all started with our two horses, Mariposa and Montez. We had begun searching for horses to buy for our daughters and the cost of horses was staggering, depending on the breed, age, level of training, and so on. Through my research, I happened upon a horse rescue organization. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me there would be organizations seeking homes for horses just as there are for dogs and cats.

Unfortunately, like dogs and cats, breeders and horse owners are not always responsible with breeding or caring for their animals. Sometimes they aren’t able to care for their horses properly or they find they can’t afford to care for them. As you might imagine, caring for a horse is a much larger endeavor than caring for most dogs or cats. Their sheer size, the space necessary to keep them, and the costs of feeding, grooming, training and veterinary bills can be an extraordinary burden.

We are so grateful that our horses were saved by rescue organizations and as a result we were able to bring them into our lives. Mariposa was found abandoned in a field, in the middle of nowhere, tied to a tree with multiple ropes. Whoever tied her there intended for her to die. Thankfully someone discovered her and got her to Colorado Horse Rescue where we happily found her. Despite having trust issues, unsurprising given the way she was left, she is a sassy, strong and loving horse. A lot like her best friend, Marissa.

Another rescue organization purchased Montez at auction, but he was lucky not to be purchased by a kill buyer. Considered an old man at 16, Montez is believed to have been a ranch horse and was showing signs of wear with joints popping and bones creaking. Gorgeous boy that he is, he could easily have found himself on a truck bound for slaughter. Instead, we happened to walk into the rescue looking for a horse just a couple of days after the rescue had purchased him. For Gaby, it was love at first sight despite his size (16 hands). Was he a lot of horse for an 11 year old? Yes. Yet he is a gentle giant who loves to go fast but will take it slow for his girl.

Our experiences finding Montez and Mariposa opened our eyes to the world of horse rescue and the many horses in need of safe and loving homes. It also led us to the knowledge that hundreds and thousands of horses are being sent to slaughter every year. Many people don’t realize this; we certainly had no idea. According to the ASPCA, each year more than 100,000 American horses are trucked over the borders to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption in other countries. The slaughter pipeline is a nightmare for horses and as far from a humane process as you can get.

Like you, we wondered how this could happen. Who would allow their horse to be sent to slaughter? Most people would never willingly send their horse to slaughter, right? But sometimes people can no longer care for a horse. Circumstances change and perhaps they can’t afford the vet bills or even the cost of hay. Maybe they tried to sell Montez themselves or find him a new home, but to no avail. Desperate, they take him to auction thinking a nice family or private buyer will buy him. All too often, however, the kill buyers who frequent these auctions are the ones who buy the horses. Once on a kill buyer’s lot, a horses’ fate is typically sealed. There are loving people and organizations out there trying to save horses from the kill lots too.

We decided that if we could help save horses in any way, we wanted to do it. Ultimately, we want to be able to reach out to those owners who can no longer care for their horses or who just need some short-term help and fill that gap. If we can provide monetary assistance for feed or assistance with vet bills so that they can keep their horses, great. If they can no longer keep or care for their horses, we want to take those horses in and provide training, rehabilitation and help find new homes. If we can’t reach those owners in need early enough, we’ll try to intercept horses at auction before they end up in the slaughter pipeline.

This is Valor. He and his momma were bought at auction by a kill buyer. Donations covered their bail and Allegiance Ranch offered them a rescue home.

Our goals are big but our hearts are bigger. We will find a way to help as many horses as we can. What’s special about our endeavor is that we also have a heart for veterans. We believe that our efforts to help and heal horses can also support veterans in need. Our plans for the next phase of Allegiance Ranch and Equine Rescue will include programs to support veterans.

If you want to learn more about the terrible horse slaughter pipeline and ways you can help, please visit the ASPCA website at https://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/horse-slaughter. Please also consider supporting our efforts and follow Allegiance Ranch and Equine Rescue on Facebook. Please share our website and Facebook page with your friends and consider making a donation. We have much work to do and any help is appreciated!

About

Our Mission

Our mission at Allegiance Ranch and Equine Rescue is to help horses and heroes by offering a safe place for healing, developing a sense of purpose, and establishing meaningful connections between horses and humans. We strive to provide a safe and welcoming place for all who come to the ranch.

For horses, our goal is to intercept horses at risk of ending up in the slaughter pipeline. This can include horses surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them or horses at auction and in other at-risk situations. The horses in our care are provided love, training, rehabilitation (both physical and emotional), and later offered for adoption to a forever home or the opportunity to serve as support animals for visitors to the ranch.

For veterans, first responders, and their families, we seek to provide a safe and non-judgmental place to find release from every day challenges. Unstructured time with horses as well as formal equine therapy have proven effective for veterans and first responders, particularly those struggling with symptoms of post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries. We offer a variety of options to support veterans, first responders, and their families, and the programs we provide are offered at no charge.

Meet the Allegiance Ranch Board Members

Dan Timmons Allegiance Ranch was co-founded by the Timmons family in March 2017.  Dan is a Navy veteran whose career has been in information technology with an emphasis on supporting scientific research communities. He currently serves as the IT Director for BioFrontiers Institute at CU Boulder. Dan is a fierce advocate for veterans, on a mission to find a way to better help this community. While Dan had little exposure to horses growing up, it didn’t take long for him to develop a deep love for these beautiful creatures. When he’s not on campus supporting the scientific needs of BioFrontiers researchers, you’ll find Dan working on the ranch caring for the horses, making improvements to the property, and brainstorming ways to have a positive impact on veterans and first responders.

Gloria Timmons Gloria is a career human resources professional who worked at CU Boulder for over 20 years before retiring in 2014. While she’ll tell you her most important job is being a mom, she currently serves as the Executive Director for Allegiance Ranch while also working as an Executive Recruiter for CPS HR Consulting. Gloria’s love of horses began at a young age but lack of opportunity prevented her from fulfilling her dream of having horses. She started her daughters in horse camps early on and later helped them through the tough middle school years with access to horses. The discovery that thousands of horses each year are sent to slaughter drove she and her family to take action. In addition to her passion for horses, Gloria is obsessed with her cats, loves her rescued miniature donkeys, and tends to her flock of chickens.

Lindsay Neitenbach Lindsay was born and raised in Boulder County and has been riding horses since the age of 5. Lindsay spent most of her youth showing in the Palomino and Buckskin horse show circuits on a state and world level. Riding young horses as a teen led her to pursue a degree in Equine Science and Business Administration from Colorado State University. During her time at CSU she completed the Legends of Ranching “Colt Breaking” program and discovered Polo. After college, Lindsay went on to start colts, ride sale horses and give riding lessons for a local trainer and then for the Colorado Horse Rescue. After starting a family and working as a real estate agent, Lindsay felt a calling to return to the horse industry and landed at Allegiance Ranch. Lindsay now lives in Erie with her husband Jeff and two kids, Eva and Colton, and most of her free time is spent at Allegiance Ranch, playing polo or in the CrossFit Gym.

Tammy Wilson, DVM “When a horse greets you with a nicker and its large soft eyes, the rest of the world falls away and you find yourself in a safe space” Dr. Tammy Wilson was raised on a ranch in central Wyoming. Her relationship with animals began at a young age with a variety of household pets, and participation in 4-H showing horses, sheep, pigs, goats, and rabbits.
She attended undergraduate school at Casper College and the University of Wyoming earning bachelors degrees in Animal Science and Medical Technology/Pathology. She attended vet school at Colorado State University in Fort Collins before starting her first job at a mixed practice. Dr. Wilson has worked at a mixed animal clinic since early 2005. Her interests include nutrition, internal medicine, arthritis management, dentistry, and preventative care. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, riding horses, snowshoeing, yoga, cooking, travel and spending time with her husband and 14 year-old-son. Dr. Wilson met the Timmons in 2017 and was immediately impressed by their dedication and drive to help veterans and horses. She has been the Ranch volunteer veterinarian since shortly after the arrival of the first rescues.

Todd Heirls

Todd was born in Erie, Pennsylvania, living there until graduation from Kent State University in 1989. Having lived on the edge of the raging metropolis of Erie, PA, on the shores of Lake Erie and with a Grandmother who owned an Arabian and a Quarter Horse, Todd developed a love of horses. This part of life was put on hold while developing a career in Architecture and moving west with wife Tina and starting a family. Currently the Heirls family consists of wife Tina, daughter Ainsley, and Connor. Todd is a Partner Owner of Arcwest Architects south of Sloan’s lake. Having a daughter with a fierce love of horses has re-kindled his love of horses as well as the outdoors. Discovering Allegiance Ranch has provided a unique opportunity to provide assistance with the ranch infrastructure, volunteer with the variety of animals, give back to the Veteran Community and spend quality time with his daughter Ainsley who also volunteers. If Todd had his way, every horse would find its forever home.

Blog

Allegiance Ranch and Equine Rescue – April 2019 Newsletter

CATCH UP WITH ALLEGIANCE RANCH!  It’s been a long, hard winter, and horses and humans alike are enjoying green grass and milder temperatures. We were fortunate to make it through the frigid winter temps and the Bomb Cyclone without too much damage and healthy horses. There’s a lot to catch up on since our last …

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALLEGIANCE RANCH! 2018 has literally flown by and we’re celebrating our first full calendar year at the ranch. We’re grateful for many things, but particularly for healthy horses and wonderful volunteers! We wish each and every one of you a blessed holiday season and a prosperous New Year. SUCCESSFUL WOMEN’S HORSEMANSHIP CLINIC We …