Meet Zoe aka By Candlelight!
Zoe arrived on July 19th. We once again teamed up with Central Virginia Horse Rescue to welcome this girl into our herd. Zoe is approximately 10 years old and is a welsh pony. She was bailed from the New Holland auction in 2018 and was suffering significant neglect. Zoe's original home didn't work out for her and so she joins us in her new FOREVER home!
For just $25 a month you can JOIN TEAM ZOE and make a difference today!
Local sponsors are welcome to schedule visits with their sponsored animals!
#teamzoe- follow her progress on Instagram and Facebook!
MEET THE HERD
christmas conspiracy aka Abby (aka boo)
Hey! My Name is Abby and I am a beautiful grey snowflake appaloosa pony mare. I was bred, raised and started as a riding pony in Pennsylvania. When I experienced a common issue for ponies, called acute laminitis, my family could not afford proper treatment and ongoing care so they consigned me to the New Holland Auction with a tag affixed to my halter stating my name, breed and date of birth. It was a confusing situation to be in and soon I found myself with a kid on my back and my photo plastered on the internet!
As this was unfolding, one of the wonderful volunteers, Taylor, had been hoping to find a pony to help bring to the farm to help round out the pony programs. Our director, Tara, was watching the auctions each week to see if something fit. When she saw my photos, she knew I belonged at The Big Purple Barn! Lucky for me, because I was in the kill buyer’s lot and would have shipped to another auction or on to slaughter in Canada.
With an entire team of helpful conspirators, I was picked up and transported to my quarantine home at Statesman Farm where I got evaluated by the vet and farrier. I indeed had laminitic damage that the farrier began working on and I was given my shots and started on the road to recovery. I was super quiet, even around the farm stallions, gentle with kids and generally a great pony! I was a big secret and just before Christmas in 2012, I was brought to the farm and revealed to Taylor who was super excited to meet me.
I am definitely a sassy pants, just like my fellow appaloosa cohort, Cyd. I can’t be told, I must be asked and I am sure on most days I am the smartest one here. My kryptonite is cookies and so I can be bribed! I am a solid citizen in the lesson program, learning and contributing more every day. I am a fancy show pony with tons of potential and because of my fearless nature, love of food and need to be adored, I have worked well in the programs for special needs visitors and outreach!
My laminitis is now chronic (I have EMS) and I will require a special diet and monitoring for the remainder of my life along with watching my weight and proper foot care. I get all it all right here and look forward to all my future adventures!
I HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL SPONSOR!
Thank you Harvey Family for being #teamabby
beudasious kiss me quick aka Bodi
Hiiiiiiii!!!!! I am Bodi, the baby of the herd! I was born to mama Maggie just before being consigned to auction. It was really dirty in the auction and my mom was tied up and worried if I wandered too far. It was very easy to get lost, but some nice people were watching over us. My mom and I made it to safety and then to our permanent home at The Big Purple Barn in June of 2015 thanks to the Nadler family. My life has been a whirlwind of fun, excitement and learning. They let me do SOOOO much here. I was gelded in the spring of 2017 and it is now time for me to join the big horses so they can help me learn more about herd behavior and how to be a well behaved miniature horse.
I and 4 years old now and love learning new things and I am training to do liberty work, therapy work and hopefully learn to pull a cart when I am old enough! If you saw me as a 60 pound foal, looking like a tiny toy, you wouldn’t recognize me now! I am pretty handsome; at least that’s what they tell me. I am enjoying my training sessions, learning about agility and liberty work and I am super smart and quick to pick up new skills.
They say I will be in the outreach program one day and hopefully I will be able to work with our special needs clients as well. I have heard I may learn to pull a cart and show off at competitions because I am such an adventurous ham. I am very outgoing and curious and my life is all ahead of me thanks to the wonderful people who helped me get here so I wouldn’t ever know suffering, abuse or neglect. Since miniature horses can live into their 40s, The Big Purple Barn has really taken on a lifetime commitment with me and they could use some help along the way.
I NEED A SPONSORSHIP TEAM!
Please join Allison W. and Paul Nadler and be a part of #teambodi
CONSOLIDATED EARNINGS AKA ERNIE
Hello, my name is Ernie and I am a chestnut Shetland/welsh cross pony. I lived the majority of my life at the Equine Rescue League. I first met program director Tara, when she came to choose Taz from my pony field. When I was old enough, the ERL put me into their pony ride program because I was so gentle and trustworthy. For years, I helped them earn money at events by doing pony rides to support the rescue. When the rescue found out they were downsizing, they needed to find homes for many of us. Ponies are generally not adoptable because children outgrow us and we end up back at the rescue. This can be difficult on us. Lucky for me, The Big Purple Barn was looking for one pony at the time and decided on TWO because they couldn’t leave me behind again! I joined the farm with Pudge in 2007.
When I arrived, I had experience carrying children for pony rides so I easily fit into the pony play date program. I never quite learned to be off lead and let children steer for themselves as I much rather prefer to be led by a larger human. I tried a horse show and didn’t like it too much so they kept looking for other ways for me to contribute. My easy going and gentle nature made me a great fit for working with special needs clients with intellectual and developmental delays.
As a senior pony, I have several special health concerns. A few years ago, I developed cushings or PPID. It is a pituitary disease that doesn’t allow me to regulate my hair coat properly. I also developed muscle wasting and I have a compromised immune system. I take a pill each day called Prascend, and it helps regulate my system. I will take this for the rest of my life.
The medication helps, but I still need a special diet, careful monitoring of any illness or injury and routine clipping of my super shaggy hair. The veterinarian also thinks I may have a intestinal condition called strangulating lipoma which is a fatty abdominal tumor that can cause intestinal obstructions. I am not a candidate for surgery so they monitor me and give me super easily digestible feeds. In the summer of 2016, I experienced a series of neurologic events, similar to a stroke. The farm family was very worried I wouldn’t recover, but I am tenacious and I did it! I have some stumbling and incoordination at times and I have to be monitored, but otherwise I feel fine. They have permanently retired me from the riding program but on good days, I can still interact with visitors and my special needs friends.
I NEED A SPONSORSHIP TEAM!
Please join #teamernie today!
mirar mi amor aka mia
Hello, my name is Mia and I am the founding inspiration for the farm. I am the beautiful and aloof bay mare with no white markings. I am the first adopted horse of our sanctuary director, Tara, and I helped shape everything you see here. Like Gus, I was part of the Stafford County Morgan seizure in Virginia in 1990. When the horses were seized, I was hiding in the small stretch of trees, trying desperately to keep my newborn filly safe. The ERL president, Pat Rogers, saw movement out of the corner of her eye and for a moment, I had her convinced I was a deer. But she was smarter than that and volunteers flushed me and my filly out and ushered us to safety. I had never been handled and I was emaciated as what little food I had went to making milk for my filly.
One day, a teenage Tara came to the Equine Rescue League to look for her horse to adopt after her father saw a story about us on the news. Most of the geldings and easily handle horses had already been adopted and it came down to a field of broodmares with babies at their sides. Nobody understands what she saw in me, but we looked at each other right in the eyes and knew it was meant to be. I was given opportunity to raise my filly and then it was time for me to start my new life. I was basically wild and unhandled when Tara got me home and she spent months (and a 4 day hospital visit) trying to gain my trust. The adventures we have had since 1991 could fill chapters upon chapters of a book, and who knows, maybe one day we will write that book! It was because of me that Tara and Barbara learned so much about horses and the need to help horses who are less than ideally adoptable and those with special needs. In our journeys together, Tara learned to work with horses that others couldn’t and she also learned to share her knowledge with others and inspire them to care for special horses. Her work with me opened the door for her to care for other horses and develop programs that would eventually become everything that is The Big Purple Barn!
I am almost 31 and unlike many of the members of the original group, I have been relatively healthy with little problems along the way. Tara says I am like an expensive performance sports car. I have low miles because she only rides me when the conditions are right! I have competed in regional level Morgan competitions, qualified for the Morgan World and National Championships, had amazing adventures on the trails, navigated a high school homecoming parade and have carried small children in lessons and the show ring. I am mainly retired now and enjoy being pampered, groomed and meandering the WB&A with Tara during nice days.
As the eldest horse in residence, I do have some age related arthritis, but not too bad. I also have developed cushings. It is a pituitary disease that doesn’t allow me to regulate my hair coat properly. I also developed muscle wasting and I have a compromised immune system. I take a pill each day called Prascend, and it helps regulate my system. I will take this for the rest of my life.
I HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL FAMILY!
Thank you Tara for being #teammiaforlife
arkenstone aka JEWEL
Hi! My name is Jewel and I am the wonderful one eared Marelet! I am keeping my past a secret, so my story begins at the New Holland Auction in 2012 where I was purchased by a kill buyer and destined to be shipped to Canada for slaughter. As a young horse of only a year, unhandled and missing an ear, my plight tugged at the heartstrings of internet warriors that paid my bail and saved me from shipping! I was moved to a quarantine facility, but the internet lost interest in me. Except that I was unaware that The Big Purple Barn was tracking my safety.
They tried contacting everyone they could to take me in, but after months of no progress, it became evident to them that I belonged there. Just before my move from Pennsylvania to my temporary home in Maryland (which would allow me to acclimate and gain much needed weight) I got my curious head stuck in a fence and looked like I went several rounds with a prize fighter. Along with abrasions, I damaged a cranial nerve which left my face partially paralyzed. My quarantine foster was worried that I wouldn’t be welcomed at the farm, but didn’t realize how awesome The Big Purple Barn is! I got a top class ride in an equine ambulance to watch me on the long trip and stepped off of the trailer and into my new life on April 20, 2013. Once I arrived, I got cleaned up and showered with food, love and care! My teeth were so bad, the dentist insisted I was much older. Turns out, he was wrong. 6 months later I started shedding all of my baby teeth! Just a few weeks of care turned me into a totally different animal and after five months, I was ready to move to the farm and become part of the herd!
My initial integration was difficult. I had little social skills and my missing ear made effective communication difficult. I was also very bratty and full of spunk which irritated my older herd mates. As the years progress, I have learned to communicate better and have made more friends. I LOVE people and I am first to the fence to greet visitors. I will happily involve myself in your selfies and enjoy being an overall busybody.
If you can, please give me scratches on my neck because I love them! I recently entered the lesson program and I am so excited to work with new people and teach them how to love horses and ride!
I HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL FAMILY!
I am looking for my own #teamjewel
maggie maywho (steel magnolia's dolly pardon me) aka maggie
Hi! My name is Maggie and I am relatively new to the sanctuary. I am a pinto Miniature Horse. In 2015 I found myself and my newborn foal at a large auction. It was very stressful for us both and the conditions were filthy. Each year, I carried a baby for my owners and didn’t understand why I was put into the dirty, chaotic environment of the auction. Luckily, The Big Purple Barn was watching and with some help, they got me and my son to safety! We stayed for two weeks at Charming Acres in Pennsylvania, so my foal could gain the strength he needed for the long trip to Maryland.
We arrived at the Big Purple Barn in June of 2015 and I have since weaned my last foal. I didn’t really know what to do with myself after Bodi was weaned and I wasn’t bred back again. It has been an adventure so far and I am leaning lots of new things! I was REALLY good at being a mom, but they tell me the time has come to be an independent woman. I am best friends with Jewel, and we are quite a pair of trouble makers. I LOVE meeting new people and me and Jewel are always the first at the fence to greet guests. I have enjoyed meeting new people and I am part of the lesson program and I work with the outreach activities as well. I am quiet and confident and love to help people discover horses! In 2018, I sustained a traumatic injury to my right eye and it had to be removed, but I am adjusting well to having just one eye. My best friend Anastasia and her family help me remember how much I can achieve and how truly brave I am!
I HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL SPONSOR!
Please join Dawn Fritter on #teammaggie
the doofenschmirtz (miles to go) aka Miles
Well hello! My name is Miles and I am the jester around here. I am just an all-around awesome appendix quarter horse gelding if you ask me. They think I was born in Canada as part of the nurse mare industry. When I was born, I was taken away from my mother so she could be sent to nurse a high dollar foal. I don’t remember much about my time as a foal, but they think I was taken in by one of the groups that helps nurse mare foals find homes. I made it from Canada to a farm in Virginia that was trying to help foals like me, but in reality, they had too many of us. While I survived, I wasn’t thriving. The Equine Rescue League stepped up to try to help and take several of us to safety. I was pretty emaciated and small and had a large lump on my nose from where the halter grew into my face. I still have a lump on my profile, but everyone tells me I am handsome! The ERL helped get me strong and on the road to recovery and then found out they were being forced off of their 60 acre farm so a landfill could take over. They purchased a smaller farm in Virginia and knew they needed to find a place for me as I started to grow like a weed! They asked The Big Purple Barn, but at the time, they were full and couldn’t take me. When a spot opened up, the ERL took up a collection and delivered me with everything I needed to start my new life!
I joined the herd in 2006 and have loved it here! I am super smart and silly and a favorite of visitors and volunteers. I participate in lessons, work with our special needs students and even compete in English AND now western! I learned trick training and can do LOTS of fun things for a treat. I love meeting new people and I am often at the fence to greet visitors. Along with Gus, I am definitely the prankster around here and watch out for my kisses because I LOVE to give them!
I am considered an adult horse and so far, I am healthy as a horse! Hahahaha. I currently have no issues to contend with and show no long term effects from my tough start. I am looking forward to a long, happy life at The Big Purple Barn!
I am looking for my own #teammiles
final destination (miranda's pride) aka nadiya
Hi! My name is Nadiya and I am a big, beautiful, thoroughbred mare who was born in New York and started my life as a racehorse. I had a successful career start, winning over $10,000 in purses until I was seized by humane officials when it was discovered that I had barn mates that were being mistreated. It was a good thing too, because I had already experienced a race injury called a bowed tendon and it could have left to a catastrophic breakdown if I had continued racing. I made my way to the Equine Rescue League with a group called Annie and the Clark County Five. Annie was in the worst shape, I was in the best.
Program Director Tara was visiting the ERL with a friend when she met me and was immediately endeared by my loveable antics. I shoved my face into her for a hug and began to lick her pants. I have to admit, I still like hugs and still enjoy licking pants, buttons and zippers! The ERL was having problems placing me because even though I was big and beautiful, my racing injury prevented me from doing things potential adopters wanted to do like jumping and galloping. I came to the farm along with Nova in 2000 because the ERL knew that my leg would be taken care of and they would never push me past what I was capable of physically.
It’s a good thing I landed here because although I am outgoing and goofy, I am a bit of a scatterbrain with horse ADHD (that’s not a thing, just a close description of my easily distracted nature!) Oh look! Squirrel! This lack of focus makes me unsafe to ride unless you are REALLY experienced and when I get nervous or don’t understand, I panic and revert to racehorse mode. The awesome people here have always been patient and kind with me and a few years ago started round pen training with me and I LOVE it! I work with our barn manager to teach others round penning and I am really good at it and it gives me a sense of purpose. I like agility training too!
Like Harry, I crib and have worn out my top teeth. Aside from being careful with my leg and my propensity for distraction, I am a pretty healthy senior horse!
I HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL!
Thank your Jerry Leach for being #teamnadiya
all shook up aka presley (as in elvis)
Hey there pretty lady, or gent! Allow me to introduce myself as Presley. I am the smallest resident here and if you look closely, I am almost TWO minis in one! Facing left, you will see my brown eyed business side. Facing right, you will see my blue eyed party side and my unique ink blot marking. Some see a horse, others a dragon, and some see the state of Louisiana! What do you see? I spent my early life in a field as a breeding stallion for miniature horses. I was consigned to auction when my services weren’t needed anymore and I was rescued by Charming Acres in Pennsylvania. They took me in, fixed me up and gelded me in hopes of finding me a new home. I showed them how adaptable and trustworthy I was, but due to my small size, nobody seemed interested in me. That is when they contacted The Big Purple Barn to see if they would want to add me to their programs when they came to pick up Bodi and Maggie.
At first I heard they were unsure, but when they saw me, they shuffled me right on to the trailer and took me home! I immediately made it evident how easy going I was and became an almost instantaneous member of the outreach team! I love going to outreach events and I am pretty well on my way to being a therapy mini. I travel easily and love meeting new people. Things like wheelchairs and walkers don't bother me a bit.
I have some of the characteristics of achondroplaysia dwarfism. I was scoped and evaluated by our veterinary team and it was discovered that I have a partially collapsed trachea. The surgical repairs necessary would be astronomical and so I have been completely retired from anything but therapy work, which only requires me to be still and be loved. I get an albuterol inhaler 2 times a day to help keep my airway clear and comfortable.
I am looking for my own #teampresley
sterling cascades aka Pudge
Hi there, they call me Pudge and I am the mini Aspen. I may not look it now, but when I first arrived, I was rather portly and a short stay at a fellow horsewoman’s barn left me even heavier because she didn’t watch how much I ate! I started out at The Equine Rescue League when my owners had to surrender me. I was a pretty educated pony and knew how to be ridden and driven. I am a grey half miniature horse, half Shetland pony. Alongside Ernie, I spent many years doing outreach for the ERL and doing pony rides, lessons and even a few horse shows! My outgoing personality, cute unicorn looks and good temperament made me a great ambassador for the farm.
In 2007, The Big Purple Barn was looking for a pony to help Taz with all of the small children that requested programs at the farm. Since the ERL was downsizing to a new property, they were looking to place ponies like myself and sent me, along with Ernie, to live here. Once I officially entered the herd, they took time to trim me down with diet and exercise and get me back in shape. I quickly became part of the riding program as well as attending outreach events. While not as good under saddle as Taz, I am great at outreach and was able to help take some of the burden off of his schedule. I am flashy and bright when clean and have done very well at local competitions with our students. I look forward to many more years actively participating in our programs.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed with a common disease in ponies, chronic laminitis, also called Equine Metabolic Syndrome. This disease makes me particularly sensitive to metabolizing sugars and if I get a sugar or starch overload, it cascades into an emergency in my feet. (Please see additional posted information) My condition is chronic and can be life threatening. I require vigilant oversight of my diet, special feed and I must be kept at a lean weight to ease the burden on my feet and metabolic system. I also have some age related arthritis as I am in my mid 20s now, but nothing too bad. My largest problem is the foot soreness that can come from my condition.
I am an outgoing pony who enjoys smiling and spending time with people and helping them discover horses and ponies!
I HAVE A GUARDIAN ANGEL SPONSOR FAMILY!
Thank you to the Alvarado/Lang Family
Hi! I am Tuxedo, the elusive barn cat. I used to live near Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore, but I was caught in a TNR (trap, neuter, release) program and relocated here to The Big Purple Barn. I came with a friend, named Pearl, but after our acclimation time was up and the cage was opened, she took off and we never saw her again! I was not sure I would stick around, but I am glad I did!
I usually hang out in the hay shed and if you see me, you will notice my waddle belly and tipped ear that indicates I am a neutered cat. They provide me with food and shelter here and I allow them to pet me when I feel like it. Some days I am a very affectionate cat! While elusive around guests, I am happy to talk to our regular volunteers and visitors I recognize. I enjoy getting pet and attention from humans I know!
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teamtux today!
Hi there! I am Cookie and I am a new member of the barn herd! I was born in February of 2017 on an Amish farm in Southern Maryland and hand raised with my siblings and friend, Stella. We were hand chosen to be part of The Big Purple Barn so we could help people learn about other types of farm animals!
I am the outgoing goat of our squad. I am the first to greet people and climb in your lap for photos and scratches. I talk a lot as well. I am adventurous and enjoy leading expeditions around the farm to find tasty plants to eat and things to climb, like the log pile! My horns are itchy and I enjoy a good scratch. Please be careful with my horns, they hurt if you catch them on yourself! Lucky for me, they don’t believe in debudding here so I get to keep my horns. I have lifetime of education and outreach ahead of me and I can’t wait to get started on new adventures!
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teamcookie today!
Hi! I am Stella and I am a new member of the barn herd! I was born in February of 2017 on an Amish farm in Southern Maryland and hand raised with my siblings and friend, Cookie. We were hand chosen to be part of The Big Purple Barn so we could help people learn about other types of farm animals!
I am gentle and a bit shy at first, but I am very sweet and like cuddles. I will happily get in your photos as well! I am not as outgoing as Cookie, but I do enjoy meeting new people. My horns are itchy and I enjoy a good scratch. Please be careful with my horns, they hurt if you catch them on yourself! Lucky for me, they don’t believe in debudding here so I get to keep my horns. I have lifetime of education and outreach ahead of me and I can’t wait to get started on new adventures!
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teamstella today!
Hey there, I am Cesquealia. I am also called Squealy or Squeals, because when I was little I was VERY loud and squealy! I joined the farm in 2016 to keep Pepper company because she was lonely. A pig rescue suggested since she had never been socialized, it was best to get her a baby pig to be her friend. She didn’t really like me at first, but she sure didn’t want anyone else to touch me! After a few weeks, we became inseparable sisters!
I have lived my entire life as a farm pig and I help Pepper get in touch with her pig side. She, in turn, helps me be a bit more civil. I am quite a nosy pig and I don’t always have the greatest of manners. I am not sure how much longer I can play the ‘baby” care since I just turned a year old!
Watch your fingers, phones and just about everything around me because I am a curious pig. I make quite a fuss at dinner time and you can still hear why they gave me my name. I also enjoy snoozing in my pigloo, eating and being filthy.
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teamcesquealia today!
Hi! I am Pepper and I am an adult potbellied pig! I am fully grown and came to the farm when my family learned how difficult it is to keep a curious and intelligent pig occupied! They also didn’t have time to properly care for me so they thought it best to find me a new home. I have a condition called mule foot where my toes are fused. Both feet on my left side have this condition.
I had a huge learning curve to living outside and joined the farm in 2016 after living my entire life in a house! Here, I may not get a couch and TV, but I get to wallow and dig and do things pigs like to do.
I am shy at first with humans, but quickly warm up if you are patient. I am very gentle and take treats with care. I have quickly endeared myself to everyone here, except for Aspen and Nadiya who still think I am a pig assassin. I enjoy snoozing in my pigloo, sunshine and digging in the mud.
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teampepperpig today!
Sheep Princess Alfseger of the Iron Hills aka Ally
MORE INFO COMING SOON!
In the meantime, please come visit and get to know the princess for yourself
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teamalfseger today!
MORE INFO COMING SOON!
In the meantime, please come visit and get to know our little lamb Bradley for yourself
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teambradley today!
MORE INFO COMING SOON!
In the meantime, please come visit and get to know our little lamb Cooper for yourself
I NEED A SPONSOR!
Join #teamcooper today!