Hadley-Rae has grown up on a horse farm, loves horses, and is deeply involved with the creative people who board their horses on the farm. One day Hadley announced that she was going to start a business so she could “save a horse,” and as this six-year-old child began her craft by plucking off the jewels from an old headband and gluing them to a pair of flip-flops, she dubbed her newest creation, “Filly Flops.” With the encouragement of the many women who board their horses on her mother’s farm, in less than two weeks Hadley had enough Filly Flops, visors, and “koozies” to set up a booth at the local 4-H show. She sold her crafty items for $5.00 each and realized the grand total of $380.00.
Hadley’s mother, Angela Balmes had rescued a sickly little slaughter bound appaloosa colt from a Pennsylvania all breed horse rescue, Another Chance 4 Horses. One part of the rescue’s program is to act as an intermediary providing local broker owned horses a larger viewing audience as compared to only a few moments in an auction ring to find homes. Since brokers buy and sell horses to earn a living, sometimes horses are sold to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico where their meat is used for human consumption in such countries as France, Belgium, and Japan. Even though slaughter plants in the United States have been closed, there are still nearly 100,000 American horses each year bought, sold, and transported over the borders for the purpose of slaughter.
According to Balmes, that skinny appaloosa, is “now the most beautiful two-year-old and is competing in local horse shows. He is the most natural little western pleasure horse.”
Within a few weeks of the Balmes family rescuing Halo (the appaloosa colt), a horse that Balmes had owned and sold years before to a friend without a contract ended up in a similar situation. She had been looking for this horse for ten years, when one of her friends called and recognized the flashy paint that the broker had purchased a few days before from a kill-pen. “I had been looking for this horse Canaan for over ten years! Once again, Another Chance 4 Horses assisted in rescuing my old horse, and I made the trip to New Holland, PA, and met Christy and her husband, and saw how amazing her efforts and network are first hand,” explained Balmes.
Every week Hadley and her mother sit down and look at all the horses on the Another Chance 4 Horses website and hope they can help another horse in need. “Hadley is very “tuned in” with the lives of horses as she has spent the majority of her six years by my side in the barn. We have 17 horses, mostly boarded horses that I take care of; my husband and I do all the work ourselves,” states Balmes. “This last time Hadley wanted the money to go to Chester the paint. She was so sad to see his sorry condition and wanted the money to go to his cause.”
According to Christy Sheidy, co-founder of Another Chance 4 Horses, ” What an inspiration to see the results of a six-year-old’s determination and commitment. I don’t think it will be the last time Hadley does something awesome like this!”