Horses and Furry Friends

Note from Noah and Shalom:

Hi RHF Family,

We wanted to tell you that we recently moved to a new, loving, retirement home.  We enjoyed serving you and seeing each of your smiling faces every week!    The Lord says in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything and to everything there is a season.  We will miss you all, but are excited about our awesome new digs!  Have a great New Year and we’ll keep in touch!

Whinnies and Nickers,

Shalom and Noah

Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?      Job 39:19



My name is Shadow (“Shadow of Light”). My name comes from Psalm 91:1 which says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” I was born in 1993 and have lived with Gail since I was 1 year old.  I am a racking horse with smooth gaits and the oldest horse in the barn.  I led the horse herd responsibly for a long time until I passed the mantel to my buddy, Prophet.  Now, I am enjoying my retirement years but still like to carry some of our littlest riders from time to time.




My name is Miracle. My name comes from Psalm 77:14 where it says, “You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” I came to the farm in September of 2010. I am a Spanish Mustang and was born in 2000. My coat is a beautiful olive dun color that shines in the summertime. I am the smallest horse on the farm. My small stature helps those that are intimidated by the bigger horses to feel comfortable and safe. Despite my small size, I am very strong and have a wonderfully smooth trot that my riders enjoy. You will often see me with my ears back, but don’t let me fool you. I am not being mean, that’s just what I do. I am feisty and quick, but I know when I have a special child on my back, and do my best to protect them.




Hi Everybody! My name is TUG (acronym for “Thanks Unto God”). I have resided at RHF for several years. First I visited temporarily, but decided this was where my home needed to be. A volunteer took me under her wing and has dedicated my services to the special riders at RHF. I am a Haflinger/Belgian cross horse with chestnut color and flaxen mane and tail. I am about 16 hands high and was born around 2002. I love apples and carrots and give big slobbery kisses. I have been trained to pull a cart but I like my job working with the wonderful and special riders of RHF!



Hello, my name is Judah.  I was named for Judah, one of Joseph’s older brothers in the Bible (Genesis 35).  Judah was also the largest tribe of Ancient Israel.  I am big and strong, and I am also a leader in the Rising Hope herd, a lot like my namesake.  I am a bay, Quarter Horse cross, and was born circa 2008.  My best friend is Noah.  We lived together on a farm in Virginia and were hunter-jumpers before we moved here.



My name is Zion, which means “holy place.” It is the word God uses throughout the Bible to refer to Jerusalem, Israel, and the City of David.  It is the place where King Jesus will one day sit in throne.

“Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.
Beautiful in [a]elevation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.” Psalm 48:1-3

I was born in 2012 and lived on a ranch in Oklahoma.  I am a blue roan Quarter Horse.  I always try to carry my riders in honor of King Jesus on His everlasting throne!



My name is Joy, after the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law.”  I was born in 2002 and lived with an amazing volunteer named Randy before coming to Rising Hope.  I like being brushed and petted.  One of my favorite things is to be part of the nativity scenes we sometimes do at Christmas.  There is no greater JOY than knowing my Lord Jesus!


Barn Staff


My name is Genesis but everyone calls me “Gen”. My name means “beginnings or origin” I was named after the first book of the Bible. This book unfolds the record of the beginning of the world. It is the story of God’s purpose and plan for his creation. I have many purposes at the Rising Hope. First and foremost is to be a companion to the riders that visit each week to the farm. I love rubbing against their legs because that always results in a pat on my head or a rub down my back. I also love the volunteers; they are so sweet to me and allow me to sleep on their laps as they are resting.  I try to stay safely away from the hooves of the horses, but I do jump on the top rail of the fence so the horses and I can nose each other. I am not a lazy cat; I work hard catching mice and keep snakes away from the barn. Sleeping on the straw in the loft is so cozy after a hard day of mice catching. We all get along nicely at the farm. Please come see me when you can and feel how soft my hair is as you rub my back!!!!



My name is Faith.  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.  I am the farm dog.  I take my responsibility to greet all the riders and volunteers seriously, and I love attention!  I joined the family in about 2015, and my favorite thing to do is lead the way when our riders go on trail rides!

In Loving Memory:

On April 18, 2022, our dear Prophet went home to be with his Lord.  Prophet was a founding member of the Rising Hope Farms herd and belonged to executive director, Gail Wartner.  She rescued him as a young horse from severe abuse.  Prophet’s entire life became a miraculous part of RHF’s ministry as he overcame his own trauma to help riders with disabilities.  He was the herd’s lead horse for many years and his quiet confidence provided assurance to the other horses, the volunteers, and the riders he faithfully served.  He is deeply missed, and we eagerly anticipate the joy of seeing him again, galloping across the fields of Heaven.



In 2014, we lost one of the special members of our farm team, Abraham (Abe). Abe joined Rising Hope Farms in the second year of the ministry. His majestic stature and kind heart caused everyone to take notice of him. There was not a doubt that God would use him to reflect His love and kindness. He served the farm well until age and crippled legs made it so he could no longer carry the special riders. Yet even then he continued to serve by allowing children and adults alike to groom and love on him. Abe’s quiet and kind personality made it impossible for you not to fall in love with him from the time you met. One of the greatest lessons Abe taught us was that despite struggles and disabilities we may face in our lives, God can still use us to make a difference in those we encounter every day.



In April of 2019, our beloved Gideon went home to Glory.  He was an incredible member of our team and is deeply missed.  He served as a therapy horse for over 5 years and lived 30+ years.  He impacted numerous lives and left a loving imprint in the minds of all who knew him.  We are so thankful God granted us the time we had with Gideon and look forward to the day we will see him again.


In 2021, we received the news that our beloved Heaven passed away.  He and Baalam moved to a loving retirement home a few years back as Heaven’s health meant he could no longer be in our programs.  Heaven’s immense presence reminded one of the vaults of heaven and the power of God.  We are grateful to have known him.


Samson, was named after the biblical hero in the book of Judges.  Samson was a mighty warrior of incredible strength.  The named suited this sweet, powerful horse.  He faithfully carried many riders for several years.  Samson was a strawberry roan, Tennessee Walking Horse.  He retired to the home of a volunteer who loved him well until his passing a few years ago.




In May of 2014, we lost our dear friend, Buddy, the Siberian Husky.  Buddy was a lively, endearing companion to many people on the farm.  He loved for volunteers to take him on long walks around the property.