Friday, February 1, 2013

"Feature Friday- Dream Equine Therapy Center-Terri Stemper"

Howdy Folks,

Terri Stemper first learned of the horrors of "nurse mare" barns and the "throw away" foals in 2000 while working as a vet tech at a large equine hospital in Lexington KY. Nurse mares are bred to foal and then used as "wet nurses" mostly for Thoroughbred racing foals. The mares a bred for their milk. The poor babies are considered "throw away byproducts." These helpless new little foals are often shipped to auctions as young as one day old, left to starve and fend for themselves. Many are sold into the "pony hide" business. She rescued her first nurse mare foal that year, Taz. Today Taz, a Paint App-Walker mix is her star therapy horse.

Terri threw herself into the herculean effort of saving as many of these unnoticed darlings as she possibly could. She began rescuing nurse mare foals in small numbers in 2000, then in 2007 began organizing Dream Equine Therapy Center (DETC) and became a nonprofit in 2008 and received 501c3 status in 2009. The rescue's focus is orphan nurse mare foals. Since 2009 they have rescued 30-50 each year.

"That may not sound like a lot but it is a huge undertaking since some of them are only 1 day old. They need to be fed milk replacer every 4 hours and some more frequently if they end up on feeding tubes or IV fluids. Orphan foals can cost thousands of dollars to raise, because of the increasing expense of milk replacer and the special nutrition and care they need. We adopt them out to qualified homes as soon as we can to make room for more." Terri explained. Horses are available for adoption in all ages.

Terri is an RN and while working on the cancer floor she was inspired to do more. "I had patients ask me all the time if they could bring their kids out to see the horses or patients themselves wanted to come out and ride. That's how the therapy part started." Terri said. "So I wanted to gear my therapy towards, not necessarily disabled but elderly and those with terminal and chronic illness. We have miniature horses that visit facilities and nursing homes and also welcome people to visit the horses at the farm."

DETC's Mission Statement is "To provide emotional support and wellness to the terminally and chronically ill through recued and rehabilitated horses." They provide therapy to people in hospitals at nursing homes and the farm. All the therapy equines have been rescued and given a second chance.
Terri giving some love

Terri, the volunteers and supporters of DETC work each day to bring awareness to the horrible plight of the tiny helpless "throw away" foals, rescue, rehabilitate and find them loving homes, and through the therapy program, brighten the days of as many people as possible.

DETC is located in South Carolina and this month is moving to a larger facility so they can help even more horses and people. Please visit DETC's website to learn much more and how you might be able to "Help Them Help."

Thank You Terri and everyone at DETC for all you do!!

 Gitty Up,
Dutch Henry 


  1. Thank you so much for featuring DREAM EQUINE THERAPY CENTER and Terri Stemper on your BLOG! She is an AMAZING person, who has dedicated her life to saving horses. As a foster mom and volunteer with DETC, I personally see how much time she dedicates to all the horses in her care, whether they are on her property or not!

    Thank you again for helping to get the word out about Dream Equine Therapy Center, and the horses helped through Terri's rescue.

    1. Thank you, Julee for all the hard work you and everyone at DETC do!! It is my honor to share the good that you and folks like you do. PLEASE feel free to share the link on your facebook page, or in anyway you can. It's how we can, Help Them Help.

  2. I have never heard of this horrible situation. What makes one baby more valuable than the other.........I know what the industry thinks.....that was rhetorical. Kudos to Terry and her team. I will try and find where she is in SC be se I would love to visit. Thanks again for bringing to our attention the great works out there for those who can't help themselves :)


    1. So true, Kathy ... I hope you can visit!

  3. WoW!!! Another blog that has educated me! I knew about "premarin babies" I didn't know about
    throwaway foals"! How awful!! Thank you, Dutch, for sharing this story. Terri is an angel to both humans and horses! If only people like her outnumbered the people that "discarded" these foals, we would live in an awesome world.

    1. Laureen, Terri is one of those angels who is devoted to helping those without a voice and we thank God for all those special angels.

  4. I am so horrified about this situation I am speechless.
    I have never heard of such a thing as throwaway foals. My god.
    And to think DETC is thriving by helping these babies does my heart good. What an amazing contribution to the horsey world.
    Thanks for telling us, Dutch.

    1. Patti, I don't know that Terri is "thriving," she like all the special angels who are devoted helping those who have no voice need lots of support and spend a lot of time fundraising and making personal sacrifices ... The babies they save do indeed have a chance to thrive ... If you want to read about more please go to the top of Blog page and go to, "Dutch's Stories in Trail Blazer" and go to page 10 - to read my story, "Noticing The Unnoticed" about "Equine Voices Rescue" a rescue who saves Premerin Mares and Foals (Pregnant Mare Urine Farms)... Have your tissues ready.