A 501(c)3 nonprofit charity … because every horse matters


Can you say BRRRR???

So, not too excited about getting out there this morning MINUS 12 on the thermometer. Snowstorm tonight into tomorrow with current predictions of 14" to 18" far better than the 27" they were throwing around yesterday. Yep - not impressed! Continue reading

One Thing Leads to Another

We are getting geared up for our Have a Heart Fundraiser! Sunday, February 10, 2013 at the New Friendly Restaurant, Rte 1, Perry. A portion of the day's sales will go to the shelter. And boy do we need it. Just got the latest bill from the vet. In all, between Major and Fern we are in for more than $1,000 from the end of December through the end of January. YIKES!

Anyway, back to the big day. We will have raffles and door prizes. We are also doing a "fundraiser within a fundraiser." We are collecting returnable bottles and cans. The cash raised here will go toward our Emergency Feed Fund. We will have our stock trailer at the restaurant so that anyone who brings bottles/cans can put them right in our trailer, which we will then take to our favorite redemption center, Johnson's Shell, on Rte. 1.

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Bangor Savings Community Matters More!

Bangor Savings Community Matters More Foundation will give a total of $100,000 to 68 Maine non-profit organizations. Which organizations will get it? That's up to you! There are many worthy organizations out there. We hope you will consider writing in First Light Farm Equine Shelter under the DOWNEAST section of the ballot. Any Maine resident may vote, no age limit. You may vote up to three times in three different regions. We could sure use your help! Continue reading


Major is a wonderful, gelding rescue who has a forever home with us now. We feel that Major has been through enough in life and deserves a stable, loving environment where we know all his medical and nutritional needs will be met with loving and devotion. Major will remain with us at First Light Farm Equine Shelter. We need loving sponsors who can contribute to his cost of feed, vet, and other health care needs. We are committed to helping Major live out his days in peace and comfort, surrounded by love, but we need your help. Continue reading


Merlin is in foster care right now. He has a lot of trust issues but the foster mom has been working on this. He's very sweet, once he trusts. Needs a confident, patient handler. We are accepting adoption applications for Merlin. Continue reading


boB is a 15 year old rescued gelding in training. He is doing well and will soon be ready for a forever home. We are still evaluating a back pain issue, but we are optimistic he will be a good riding horse soon. He had cortisone injections recently and has started back in his training program. Continue reading


Cooper is a 10-year-old rescued gelding who will soon be available for adoption. He is a standardbred, 16.3 hands and very pretty. If you are not able to adopt Cooper, please consider sharing his story and information with others. Like us on Facebook to follow updates about Cooper and other rescued equines, ponies, horses available for adoption or sponsor. Continue reading

Fahm Notes

The volunteers of FLFES connect daily through private messages. We don't get to see each other often so these "daily postings" allow for us all to keep up with changes, animal behaviors or needs and day to day running of the shelter. I thought I would share 1 of my farm reports from a few months back....enjoy!

A sticky day on the fahm. No one including the horses were in the mood by 9:30 to mess around except Twilight & Poco that is. Those 2 wanted out in the worst way and made complete pests of themselves while we tried to clean paddock, fill 3 buckets and tend hay nets. They figured they were slathered in sun screen, long nosed fly masks and bug sprayed there were ready to PARtay in the pasture. Twilight does NOT take a hint nor does she like the words NO! YOU ARE NOT GOING OUT YOU'RE GROUNDED! ;)

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Fern’s Mystery Illness and boB Update

We have been dealing with a "mystery illness" with Fern ever since she came back to the shelter in December. (Her adoptive family could no longer keep her). She had been losing weight and we thought maybe she was just unhappy since her companion at her adoptive home had died. We brought her home, upped her feed and she was doing ok, but then stopped eating hay, and was drinking only minimal amounts of water. They she started having diarrhea. She also started to chew oddly. She wasn't quidding up anything, she would just turn her head, and couldn't seem to get her jaws to work right. We were very concerned, because this reminded me of my daughter's pony Winter, who we lost in December 2006 due to cancer. Continue reading


Fern is an ex-harness racer rescued from a kill pen auction at Camelot. She is recovering from ulcers, worm infestation and neglected teeth, but we feel she is going to be ok .... again not quite ready for adoption, but should be soon. She is 22 years old, bay, and beautiful. We continue to work with her so she can soon find a loving, forever home. Continue reading

A Beautiful View

This is not a picture of the farm, but it is a picture of the scenery nearby! It's been colder than a well-digger's BEE-hind around here. Continue reading

Some Days Are Better Than Others

Just another day in Paradise! As the saying goes, "Some days are better than others." What do you do when your dearest friend, beloved confidant and loyal fellow volunteer falls in the snow while headed to "Manure Mt.?" Why, you grab your camera of course! It had been a very long, cold day on "the fahm", and poor "Neigh" added the comic relief (as she does so very often) that we needed to lighten up the day. Continue reading

The Farm after Hurricane Sandy

Here are Major and Twilight basking in the Fall sunshine while so much of the rest of the East Coast started to recover from Hurricane Sandy. We were lucky here in Maine to escape the devastation, though we prepared for the worst. All the horses were tucked in, water was collected in case the electricity went out, new shavings were put in the stalls and run ins, food was ready. We did get some rain, and a lot of wind, but nothing we haven't seen hundreds of times before. Major and Twilight have been with us for quite some time and have recovered their health (and beauty), I couldn't help but photograph them. Continue reading

boB Says Hi and Places 15th!

boB says hi! No he didn't win those ribbons, but he did score 15th in a field of 35 horses a the recent trail obstacle competition. Pretty good for a green-broke, throwaway horse. Continue reading

boB Does Halloween Trail Competiton

I took Oh My boB to the DEBRSC Halloween Trail Competition today. I didn't really know what to expect, but he surprised me. He was such a good boy. He tried very hard to understand what I was asking of him. I think the most difficult obstacle for him was his rider! ;) — with Nancy Meehan. Continue reading

Camelot Mare Arrives Safely

The mare from Camelot has arrived safely in her new foster home. It appears she could foal as soon as today. She is happy and relaxed, but of course tired. We will keep you updated – Vet will be visiting her today ♥ Continue reading

Lippizaners in Pembroke

As a fundraiser for the shelter, this famous group performed three shows at the fairgrounds in Pembroke. It was an amazing experience for us all and a phenomenal effort by the volunteers. Organizing the event took a huge amount of work, but it went off without a hitch. Hosting a world-famous show takes a lot of guts, but nothing is too big for FLFES, I guess. Every detail was handled by the volunteers, even directing traffic. I don't know how much money we made for the the shelter yet, but all three shows were well-attended thanks to the publicity.....another volunteer effort....so I'm sure it was considerable. I have not been very active at the shelter lately, so personally I didn't do much to help, but I am very proud of everyone. And the show was wonderful. As I child I saw the movie about these unique horses being rescued from Austria during WW11 by the Americans as Hitler descended on Vienna. They were taken to Spain to safety. I always wanted to see them. Who would have thought that it would happen in Pembroke Maine? Continue reading

How Poco got his new nickname.

Occasionally something not so nice happens on the farm. A few weeks ago, a gate got left open between two turnouts. This allowed our boy Poco to get into Zip's turnout. Now, you need to know these two boys. Poco is a chubby appaloosa horse who is the best riding horse ever. He's gentle and easy going, does all the pony rides, participates in camps in clinics. He has carried riders on their maiden voyages, from the smallest of children to senior citizens. He's an absolute love, BUT he is aggressive when it comes to geldings. Continue reading

Hudson, A Real Black Beauty

Hudson is one beautiful boy. I visited him and Merlin again today after meeting them yesterday, and was impressed all over again at what nice horses they are. They have not been placed with FLFES because they were abused, but were surrendered by owners who could not keep them. They will be loved and cared for, given some training, and move on to a lucky new family. Treasure's adoption is a wake-up call to all of us volunteers who come to love the horses so much we hate to lose them. But it is our job. The happiest ending for everyone is to see them find what they so desperately need, and that means we have to let them go. I am already totally in love with Merlin, as I was with first Fern, then Delia, then little Stuart. Now the cycle starts again. Continue reading

Farewell Treasure!

Our beautiful Treasure went off to her new home on Saturday. We are certainly going to miss this grand dam. She was adopted by a wonderful lady in the Portland area who reports that Treasure is settling in "just like she's lived here all her life!" We couldn't be happier about this match, but without a doubt, this beautiful mare took a piece of each of our hearts when she left. Best of luck to Chris and Treasure! Continue reading


Our beautiful Abby has been at Raven Ridge Farm in Columbia since the beginning of April. Leslie Howe donated her time and talent to help us get Abby better prepared for adoption. We are truly grateful for her help with Abby. Abby will be going to foster care until she is adopted. Watch her video! Continue reading

When one door closes, another one opens…

When one door closes, another one opens ... and in walks Merlin and Hudson! These two boys are the latest arrivals at FLFES. These black beauties were surrendered by their owners due to issues at their boarding facility and other personal challenges. You couldn't ask for a nicer pair of fellows. Hudson is a TWH who believes he's a lap dog. He is a solid 16 hands and is as friendly and playful as can be. Merlin is an incredibly brave hackney pony. It appears that somewhere in Merlin's past he crossed paths with some not so nice humans. Ultimately he was dumped at auction, where he was saved by an angel. Patty patiently worked with Merlin for the last 3 or 4 years and taught him that not all humans suck. Continue reading

Visit to the Farm

Today I returned to the farm after a fairly long absence. I've not been able to work, but am recovering and almost ready to go back. At first the place looked like a ghost town......the only horses I found were Zippy and Treasure, who were in the barn. I wandered around with my old friend Blue, checking all the pastures, to no avail. When we returned to the paddock area I spied Charlie in his pen, then Domino, then Major, then Poco, and finally Twilight. They all wandered out of their respective run ins to check out what was happening. They all in turn pushed their noses through the fence to give me a good sniff. They followed me around for awhile, making it difficult to take pictures. They were in no way alarmed by my presence, only mildly curious. I don't know if they remembered me or not.....they didn't say. Continue reading

Blue Checks It Out

Blue can't believe how the mud has disappeared since our paddocks were refurbished. Neither can we volunteers. It has been especially rainy this summer and fall. All of us, especially the horses, are ecstatic over the renovations which will keep feet and hooves alike clean and dry. Pushing a full wheelbarrow through ankle-deep mud is an arduous task, but the shelter runs on donations and it took some time to accumulate the necessary funds for such a large project. Just keeping up with the horses' care requires constant fund-raising and we are always scraping the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes we get a big donation though that allows us to make major improvements like this one. Happy day! Continue reading

Poor Twilight …

Twilight, a sweet rescue, kissed a porcupine. She did not like it -- nor would she let us help her. The vet was called in and after much ado the quills were safely removed and Twilight rested comfortably. Continue reading

Stuart’s Surgery

Stuart is only half the man he used to be since Dr. Bill visited him earlier this week. The experience didn't keep him down for long, though, and he is none the worse for wear. He will probably be happier, too, now that all those big girls at the farm won't have the same appeal for him that they once did. Platonic relationships over the fences will be more calm, amiable, and better for everyone. Continue reading


We had a fabulous time on the weekend of Sept 17 & 18. Women's 40+ hands on horses workshop. Ok, so one of the "women" was only 12, but we overlooked that flaw... lol. This workshop was developed to offer women who have always wanted to get up close and personal with horses but never had the chance, the opportunity to do so. It was also for women who haven't been around horses for a while - offering a chance to get that much needed "horse fix!" We went over ground work basics, proper leading, round penning and control techniques; grooming and also got everyone back in the saddle. This was so much fun, and I think the ladies enjoyed themselves. We would love to offer this workshop again sometime! Continue reading

Twilight Gets a Bath

Twilight and Andrea are going to a clinic in New Hampshire this week-end. It has been so rainy and muddy at the farm that all the horses need a good grooming, but Twilight is first in line because of the trip. This day was finally warm and sunny. The hosing doesn't seem to bother her and she takes advantage of the situation by grabbing a few extra mouthfuls of grass. Twilight is a beautiful girl that has been tossed around so much that she has a permanent home now as a shelter horse. Continue reading

His Name Is Stuart

He has a name, it is Stuart. He was a good sport at the open house and there are several pictures on Facebook of him and various fans. His feet were in terrible shape when he arrived at the farm so today he had a pedicure by the farrier. It was tough on him all the way around, but he ought to feel a lot better once he recovers and finds out how comfortable he is with his well cared for feet. Continue reading

New Addition

Poco, Twilight, and Blue take a look at our latest acquisition, and he looks right back. He's a miniature donkey, as yet un-named because we are holding a name-the-donkey contest. The winner will be announced at the open house on August 7. I've never met a donkey before myself, and he is as cute as can be. BUT ... the sound that comes out of that little thing is deafening. Luckily he doesn't seem to have a lot to say unless some horse activity arouses his interest. Blue, the dog, finds him quite obnoxious and ads to the ruckus by barking. Never a dull moment at the farm ... Continue reading

Getting Ready for Open House

The FLFES open house is coming up and we are all busy preparing for it. This mural on the door of the barn is going to be the backdrop for pictures of kids on the new donkey we are getting. It's not quite finished, but will be in another day. There will be hay rides and pony rides, yard sale, chinese auction, bake sale and more going on Sunday, the 7th of August. This is a big project and was so successful last year that we decided to make it an annual event. Continue reading

Cowboy Finds a New Home

Kayla and her mother Leslie have been volunteering at the farm for quite some time. Yesterday Kayla took Cowboy home. She has been riding him and falling in love with him for months. Andrea, on the right, drove Cowboy to his new home and posed for this good-bye picture. This is the greatest reward we have, seeing one of our rescues find a home where they will be loved and cared for, and helping make a young girl's dream come true. Continue reading

Royal Lipizzaner Stallions – Fun and Fundraising Event!

Royal Lipizzaner Stallions - Fun and Fundraising Event! What are you doing in July? If you're going to be in Downeast Maine, be sure to mark your calendar for July 20, 21, & 22. You DON'T want to miss the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions! They will be performing at the Pembroke Fairgrounds, Old County Road, Pembroke, Maine. One show nightly at 6PM Continue reading

Abby, Still In Quarantine

The new girl is looking good. She's still in quarantine, but due to join the herd soon. She seems to be getting healthier every day, eating and drinking well. She has had penicillin for ten days, which has taken down her temperature and stopped her runny nose. This is the first day she went out without her blanket. It's been unseasonably cold and rainy. Andrea has researched her past and discovered that she had been trained for harness racing but raced only once. After that her owners kept her as a pet, well-loved and cared for for many years. When her owners had to give her up because of health and other considerations, they found what they thought was a wonderful place for her. Without their knowledge the new place had problems that ended in foreclosure and neglect of the horses there. We don't know the whole story, but Abby was eventually surrendered to the Maine Animal Welfare program and ultimately placed with us. Continue reading

Birthday Present for Anna

Anna, 7 years old as of yesterday, gets her first riding lesson from Grace as a birthday present. She is the daughter of Amy, one of the morning crew, and her husband Tim. Poco was an exemplary host and Anna enjoyed every minute.There were quite a few visitors at the farm today, including Belle's new family. The two boys Giles and Ian are a sight to behold with Belle in tow. She is so gentle and seems to care for them so much that they have no fear, and justifiably so. There is something very poetic about watching them together, two little boys and this gigantic Percheron mare. Continue reading

Judith (Jewels), Fern, and Major

The three horses in the pictures are thse that have been adopted since I've been volunteering. Judith was the first to go, then Fern, then Major. No matter how wonderful it is to see them go to new homes where they will be loved and cared for, seeing them go is very difficult. The new owners have been thoroughly screened, and when each one goes there is room for another rescue, but we all cry just the same. We have cared for them, nurtured them, given them back their lives. It's hard to let go. Continue reading

Catching up with Fern and Judith (Jewels)

Judith, the younger of the two is learning to trust people and the world around her. She's very much in your pocket as long as you are in front of her. Putting blankets, saddles on makes her very nervous, but she's making progress. She had her feet done the other day and would not stand for the farrier unless I stayed with her - she just needs time to get to know new people. She's also a bit spooky. Not out of control, but definitely not a fan of things "blowing in the wind." So, to work on desensitization, we have affixed a plastic bag to the fence as well as leaving blankets on the rails. When the wind picks up these thing go into action. Every day she is less and less affected by these thing. Continue reading

No Kill Pen for these girls!

Say hello to 308 & 305, or "8" and "5" for short. Pulled from the Camelot Auction kill pen on Saturday, February 27, they arrive at First Light Farm Equine Shelter on Sunday, February 28 - cold, tired, hungry and bewildered. I just wanted to get started on this blog. I will add more information later! Continue reading
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First Light Farm Equine Shelter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your generous donations are tax deductible.

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