Nicholas: a story of resilience and compassion

Mustang Valley Sanctuary

Join us in supporting Nicholas and his Sanctuary friends today!

When Nicholas, named after Nicholas Jerry, a generous donor who contributed to the sanctuary’s new indoor arena, first came to us, his world was bleak, clouded by shadows from his past. Rescued under dire conditions, his journey from fear to affection is also the story of Mustang Valley Sanctuary’s unwavering commitment to healing and hope

Nicholas’ story begins at what might have been the ending, when the local SPCA alerted sanctuary founder Mustang Mary about the plight of several thoroughbreds. Confiscated by the police due to severe neglect and abuse, the horses had endured heart-wrenching conditions, with one horse weighing under 600 pounds and another bearing scars of a painful history. Nicholas, traumatized by his past treatment, displayed defensive behavior, a natural shield against his past abuse.

Under Mustang Valley’s nurturing care, Nicholas slowly began to shed his fears. Once fearful and aggressive, he has transformed into a gentle soul, seeking out human touch and nuzzling mares over the fence. This transformation wasn’t instantaneous but evolved through countless moments of patience, understanding, and unconditional love.


“He was very fearful. He’s not anymore. Now he’s just a little love bug,”

shared Mary, reflecting on Nicholas’s journey.

At the sanctuary, our efforts go beyond just rescuing horses. With the help of volunteers and community members, we have constructed shelters and pens, ensuring the horses’ safety and comfort. These structures, named in memory of Sabrina, another thoroughbred with a touching story, provide a secure, loving environment for horses like Nicholas to recover and thrive.

The story of Nicholas and the other thoroughbreds recently rescued underscores the ongoing need for support and awareness regarding animal rescue, particularly for horses that have experienced neglect and abuse. The rescue operation was an emergency response, with the sanctuary quickly constructing additional shelters and separate areas for the horses, incurring significant expenses. Mary estimates these costs to be around $10,000 to $12,000, for which the sanctuary seeks financial support.

As we continue our work at the sanctuary, we depend upon the support of the community. It is absolutely crucial. If you are able, we encourage donations, sponsorship, and involvement from groups and individuals alike.

“If they’re part of a lodge or a rod and gun club or a hiking club… if everybody donates $2 a month to sponsor a horse, it goes a long way here,” she said, highlighting how collective efforts can make a significant impact.

Mustang Valley Sanctuary stands as a testament to resilience, compassion, and the transformative power of care. Nicholas’s story, from a life of neglect to one of love and safety, reflects our enduring commitment to giving noble horses like him a second chance at life. As we forge ahead with our mission, we’re calling on the community to join us, ensuring these horses continue to find solace and joy in the heart of upstate New York.

Join us in supporting Nicholas and his Sanctuary friends today!

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