Lowcountry non-profit gives neglected horses new giddyup


It’s hard to see Hope Acres Rescue and not want to slow down just a little bit.

“It’s kind of like church out here,” said Tracey Sawyer president and co-founder of the non-profit.

Hope Acres in Summerville rescues abused and neglected horses and nurses them back to help.

"There's a fulfillment spiritually you just can't garner in the city," she said.

She helps gives new life to neglected horses every day.

“A lot of people think rescue horses are broken. But with the right people, they still have a lot of potential and a lot to give.”

Honey is just one of their 19 rescued horses seeking greener pastures on the other side of the fence.

"She ran into some barbwire at some point and her leg was never treated properly," Sawyer told us while tending to Honey’s wounded leg. "There was probably 25 or 30 rubber bands embedded in her leg.”

Brandon Powell helps raise money for the horses. He says it costs about $200 a month just for the basics.

“You have some sad, angry days when you go pick up a horse at someone's house,” Powell said. “The goal is that we can sit down and we can say we brought in every horse that we could.”

Bringing them in isn't always easy,

“You always hope you can show up at a house and explain to owners that they just need to let you have the horse,” he said.

Sawyer has been at the rescue for seven years.

“We’ve done a lot of praying over seven years,” she said. Prayer, in fact, is what pulled her.

“It was just the clearest picture of horses and stables. I knew right at that moment this is what I needed to do. Whatever it took. ...Sometimes it just makes you want to cry. But you’ve got to put the horse on a trailer, bring them back, find somewhere to start,” Powell added.

That starting point is here on this side of the fence. It’s where the grass is plenty green for horse and master alike.

“To watch them evolve from near death to these magnificent, energetic, full of life creatures. It's pretty remarkable,” Sawyer said.

Hope Acres Rescue frequently gets tips about abused or neglected horses. The non-profit told ABC News 4 they typically rescue horses from situation in which the owner simply was unprepared for the responsibility or lacked the funds to sufficiently care for the horse.

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