April/May 2024

Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary

and Herbal Stable Yard

Hello Katharine,

Our biggest change this May was moving Pepper to DH1. After an unfortunate dismantling of one side of the giant round yard at DH2, allowing Pepper to get in with Sage and Juniper, we had to make a real change. Pepper has managed to shred things, break things and try to eat things that are not edible.

Pepper chased Sage unmercifully, making his elderly hips sore. The reason we had gradually needed to sequester Pepper from others was his youth, exuberance and the fact that he is an orphan (it's a thing, when their dam did not raise them).

With high hopes that, if Teaberry (young and stands up for himself) and Pepper got to know each other, they might be able to live together - we walked Pepper over to DH1 after Mark built a dividing fence across the arena that was Teaberry's big turn out.

It worked. Pepper and Teaberry became friends "over" the electric fence tape that is the only fencing for them at DH1. No pipe panels for Pepper to stick his head or legs through, no scratching posts or pads for him to tear and eat, we finally had him safe (from himself!).

And after a couple of weeks getting to know each other, we put Teaberry in with Pepper. We left the dividing fence in case we had to separate them - then we took it down and they are together!

Here's their story:

MEET "Dharma"

We have a new member of the family. A Volunteer rescued her (with her kittens), cared for her and her babies until they could be weaned, then we took her in. We adore her!

She lived closed in the barn until we got her spayed, vaccinated and chipped. Now she has the whole stable yard during the day and is closed in the barn at night for her safety. Welcome home, Dharma, you truly are family now.


The heat is on. We roached Andy's mane and body clipped him (no apologies for the clip-job, it's about how he feels, not how he looks)... he has been staying at both yards, back and forth according to what feels best for him (he's up in his 30's). He likes the variety!

And shedding is important for all the equines. Here, Juniper lets go of hair at the Infirmary to give her extra shade (she was passing some more sand). Soon we will have to get the misters going. The new quarantine roof is so big, we can set misters there. The trees around it provide even more shade, so if we have any potential heat stroke, like last year, there will be lots of options.

Every horse (and mule) here has access to good shade. We do see them stay in the sun when we think they shouldn't! But plenty of good water and heaps of salt make sure they stay safe.

Annie is improving

When she completely stopped eating, we had nightmares about her future. The few bales of orchard hay Billy and I brought back from up north got her eating again! So, we located a larger source, then he and I borrowed a flatbed trailer from friends and drove back north to bring back 3 tons. Just for Annie.

The Fleet of Angels gave us a grant to get the hay for Annie. With gratitude and dedication, we started bringing her back.

But it wasn't just about floating her teeth, deworming and trying every imaginable feed to tempt her (as you may recall, it was Teff hay that she finally tried eating, go figure!) - she needed the compassion Rachel offered her through grooming, handling and connecting. And I began detoxing her after she quit eating. Our Vet suggested cutting her (several) medications into half doses, which I did. Then I just weaned her off of them! As the drugs left her system, she ate more.

We keep encouraging her, tempting her with carrots and mashes and providing all the orchard hay she will eat, day and night. She's doing so much better now.

And thinking about hay:

Mark feeds out the loose hay we gather into the big cages. With a smooth concrete floor in the hay barn, we can scoop up the loose hay and not waste it. It must be fed with the tractor, and this system works well. Wasted hay is upsetting. Some of the horses are messy and the wind is a factor some days, but we do the best we can.

And Mark pressure sprays water tubs and feed pans and anything else that gets grungy here...

Tom mucking and Mark refilling automatic fly sprayers (in all the buildings), this is the foundation of our fly control. The sprayers really help! And the solar mosquito zappers beside each big water tub really work!

Repairing panels that Pepper re-shaped!

We found a wonderful welder whose work is first rate. He spent a morning repairing pipe panels to make them safe and strong again. With Peppy's move to DH1, Mark has been fixing the giant round yard.

There have been many "panel benders" through the years! But we like the pipe panels because we can rearrange them, we can set up new pens quickly, we can get them repaired and no one has been injured by them (that "repair them" part is important).

Dharmahorse Blog:

You know that feeling of deep compassion when you see torn flesh on an animal or a person? A need to help and to empathize rises inside of us, making our interaction with the wounded a gentle and focused thing. A physical wound is so obvious. A physical wound has consistent, obvious needs and they are immediate... READ MORE

Katharine was away - for nine days visiting her cousin in Kona, Hawaii. Mark, Billy and the DH Team took care of everything at both stable yards.

She was able to ride and spend time with horses while there. From the high desert to a tropical island and back to the desert, it is always good for the soul to see horses thriving in many different environments.

Rescuing Sage, trapped in a feed tub! This was scary! Before I left for Hawaii, I asked the Universe to let every weird thing happen before I was away. It obliged.

Our Store

We have these three designs (art by Linda, Billy and Katharine) available on mugs, shirts, toddler clothes and more:


All proceeds go to the horses! Great gift ideas!

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We see each horse here as an individual with physical, mental and emotional needs that are dynamic and fluctuate with the weather, the seasons, their changing bodies as they age and who they live with as a herd.

If you want to help a specific horse, you can sponsor his or her hay costs for a month:

Scroll to the bottom of the page for details on how to donate/sponsor.

We appreciate everyone who helps us help these horses. Donors, Volunteers, Foundations and those who "spread the word" about Dharmahorse. Thank you all.

You can use this DONATE button to access our website & donate from there. If you want to send a check, the address is 6874 Coyote Road, Las Cruces, NM, USA, 88012. Make checks to Dharmahorse. We are a 501c3 nonprofit, so donations are tax deductible.

We also have a WISH LIST at Chewy!
CLICK HERE to see it.

The Products on the list are SO needed and appreciated!

We had a strange night - lights over the sanctuary:

Dharmahorse Herbal
We use herbal supplements (of our own making) to support the good health of all the horses here. We make remedies for healing from plants! It's called "phytotherapy".

Lavender Blossoms

LAVENDER is one of the most popular medicinal herbs since ancient times, it is the supreme calming, soothing plant for our horses, our dogs and our families. Use it with confidence. It is non-toxic, rarely an allergen and easy to distinguish from other plants. If you or an animal are pregnant, do not use Lavender (or other herbs without consulting a Practitioner) as it can be a uterine stimulant.

It can be used as an infusion, a tincture, an ointment, a cream or as essential oil. The flowers can be dried and used in pillows or sachets to induce calm and aid sleep. They can be added to teas and to lemonade for flavor and calming. The tea is sometimes used for headaches in humans.


Essential oil of Lavender is the most important ingredient in a natural first aid kit. It is used for calming, on acupoints, on wounds full strength, on burns (including sunburn) when added to aloe gel, on rashes in a carrier oil, full strength on insect bites and rubbed on the soles of the feet for shock and anxiety.

We use powdered blossoms in hoof boots to dry and disinfect.


Lavender oil added to massage oils will help nourish the skin and relax the muscles. Lavender makes an excellent chest rub for congestion. It can be combined with peppermint oil to rub into painful joints (contra-pregnancy!). You can put 10 drops into an ounce of water in a spray bottle to scent the air, spray into your animal's coat to condition it. A stronger spray will repel lice and fleas. Lavender oil (diluted in a carrier oil such as olive) can be used for all animals with the exception of cats!

Always consult a health care practitioner in cases of illness or injury.

Our Herbal Guide has information on the herbs we use for the horses with recipes and safety guidelines:


All proceeds from the Guide go directly to the Sanctuary for the horses.

We don't do this for donations, we need donations to do this!

We wish you well. We hold this planet and all who fly with her in love & light.


Katharine, Mark, the DH Team & the Dharma Horses