Success Stories

Any horse that is no longer in the slaughter pipeline is a success story, but some of our rescues are on their way to Happily Ever After with their adoptive owners. Here are their stories.

Jake and Lauren

Jake caught our eye on Facebook because he looked so much like our mare, Aubrey. He was on his final day, about to ship to slaughter, when we took a leap of faith and bailed him. Lauren, 17 at the time, fell in love on Facebook, adopted Jake, and is training him for event competition. Stay tuned as their love story blossoms!

Elvis and Kymberli

Elvis was Landers when he caught our eye on his final day before shipping to slaughter. This gentle giant - 17.3 hands and skittish as a kitten - was skin and bones when we brought him home. He wouldn't let anyone but a vet tech touch him for 30 days. Kymberli, a law school student, was saving the name Elvis for the perfect companion. When she saw this emaciated creature in need of a forever home, she knew she'd found her King. We've since learned Elvis has EPM, a neurological disorder believed to be caused by possum feces in hay. Kym and Elvis are working through treatment at the D. 

Cash and Karen

Cash nearly died after we rescued him from the kill lot, starved to the brink of death by a woman who was supposed to provide quarantine. He could barely walk after his trailer ride to Tulsa, but we nursed him back to health and fell in love with his sweet disposition and puppy-dog ways. One day our neighbor decided to surprise his wife, who had been admiring Cash from afar, with the perfect gift of equine love. Now this handsome prince is fat and happy...safe for the rest of his life.

Krista and Zane

Of all the adoptions we've been part of, Krista's and Zane's is our greatest, most memorable success.

Krista is the first person to take advantage of our foster program, which allowed her to take Zane for 30 days to determine whether they were a good fit. Because Zane had trust issues, we couldn't adopt him to just any owner. Krista had experience with horses, and she had trainers available to help her.

She and Zane hit it off immediately, and two weeks in to their foster, Krista knew they'd be together forever. Zane bonded with her immediately, and their relationship has allowed him to let go of the fears and anxieties that made him tough to adopt out.

We're so grateful to be part of Krista and Zane's Happily Ever After. We'll continue to share their progress as he trains for barrel racing!
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Rook and Chuck

Rook was saved by his stunning good looks, and a sob story that turned out to be artful marketing. He and Zane were listed on a Facebook page as "bonded brothers, broke to ride and drive." Swingin' D was bursting at the seams but we were urged to save them with a promise the page would help us place them. They're not bonded brothers, nor are they broke to drive, nor did anyone help to place them, but that didn't keep Chuck from seeing something special in Rook.

He's working patiently with rook to get him started under saddle.

Juno and Troy

Rescued February 2017
We fell in love with this baby's gait in his kill lot video. We watched as his deadline loomed, but no one was willing to put in the time it would take to rehabilitate and train him. In his final minutes, we saved him from slaughter.

He survived a nasty bout with strangles and near starvation from a sham quarantine. We nursed him back to a healthy weight and started him on ground work. We also built a deep bond with this special, soulful boy.


Juno was adopted by Troy, a gentleman battling a  disabling disease of the central nervous system. A study, “Therapeutic Effects of Horseback Riding Interventions,” says horses have multiple therapeutic qualities, like helping riders with balance, gait and psychomotor issues.

Aware that Juno is green broke, Troy will work with an experienced trainer to get him going.


Adoption fee: $1,200
Total Investment: $2,019

Den and Bailey

Rescued October 17, 2017
Quarantine complete November 17
Bailey never even made it out of quarantine before the transporter who picked him up for us from the kill lot fell in love and snatched him up. The kill buyer who purchased him at auction said he was a well broke ranch horse with a quiet, calm, gentle, easy-to-handle disposition. and r
Den Burdette agreed! He said he loaded on to the trailer like a dream and rode quietly for five hours. Like many of the horses we rescue, he stands to mount and goes where directed. Den, a professional trainer and experienced horse person, said he can't wait to get to work with Bailey!
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Gladys, Agnes, Ellee and Seth

Gladys and Agnes brought such joy to the Swingin' D in the weeks they were here. Their precious personalities and sweet demeanors coupled with their experience and work ethic made it impossible to believe they were dumped with a kill buyer.

Thanks to Seth and Ellee of New Mexico, the girls will star in parades across the country, starting this Christmas! We can't wait to watch them shine, and we're grateful to have known them before they became big celebrities. 
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Emalee and Priscilla

Priscilla was a tattooed standardbred harness racer with a lifetime purse of under $12,000, which told us she probably didn't race long in her 19 years (which told us her joints and ligaments were probably in pretty good shape). At 16 hands, this gentle giant has the heart and soul of an angel, but we knew her age would scare off many buyers. We were hoping and praying a child would fall in love with her, but 16 hands is pretty far off the ground.

At 12 years of age, Little Miss Emalee is fearless, and it was love at first sight when this precious pair met. Within seconds, Emalee was standing on Priscilla's back, which puts her head about 10-12 feet off the ground!

Already an experienced horsewoman, Emalee will show beautiful Priscilla in horse shows, and enjoy her for many years to come!
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So many successes...

Yes, we save horses' lives, but the responsible owners who adopt our horses might say we also saved them. Anyone who owns a horse knows the feeling.

Walt - 20-year-old geld

Rescued September 2017
Horses live well in to their 30s with proper care and feeding. Walt gave 20 years of his life to his humans and they repaid him by shipping him to slaughter. This gorgeous, hard-working former roping horse deserves to live out his years with a human who will cherish him for all his strengths: gentle, well-broke, sweet demeanor, excellent ground manners, gives you his feet, stands tied. 15 hands.

Thankfully, a gentleman who adopted one of our younger horses is also opening his home and pasture to this gentle old soul.

Peppy - 10-year-old geld

Rescued May 2017
Why would anyone sell a gorgeous, stout registered quarter horse for slaughter? We rescued Peppy from a kill lot just before his 10th birthday. We paid for training, and the first trainer was unable to handle him. We quickly learned he had an explosive side to him which made him unsafe for inexperienced riders. We had several people interested in buying him because of his pedigree, but he just wasn't safe.

Regardless of his behavior, we believe he deserves a chance to live out a peaceful life, so we gave him to a horse whisperer who specializes in troubled horses. As of October, Peppy was doing well with a trainer he appears to respect and trust.

Total investment: $1,250 

Mila - 19-year-old mini

Rescued July 2017
Donors paid to bail Mila from the kill lot and we paid to transport and quarantine her. Blind in one eye, older, and unable to get around like she used to, Mila was not in high demand.

Because Mila had made friends at the rescue where she was in quarantine, and because we thought it was in her best interest not to move her again, we gave her to the rescue where she'll live out her life.

Total investment:  $440

Winston - Gaited yearling

Rescued June 2017
Little Winston is already a huge success, and we haven't even begun to tap into his potential. He came to us as a scrawny, bony stallion, afraid of absolutely everything.  He'd never been in a halter, wouldn't allow anyone to touch him, ran from his own shadow and had no interest in humans.

Today, Winston is Mr. Personality! He follows you around like a puppy dog, fears nothing, trusts unconditionally and does what you ask him to do. He's gelded, up to date on all vaccines, works great with the farrier, and is on his way to being a superstar.

We're submitting his hair for DNA to determine whether he can be registered in the International Champagne Horse Registry.

Total Investment So Far: $750

Gladys and Agnes - Mules

Rescued October 15, 2017
Oh, my goodness, the impact this beautiful mule team made on Swingin' D is everlasting!

We've never spent so much to bail an animal from a kill lot, and we knew nothing about mules; but we knew the girls were worth their weight in gold to a slaughterhouse and we couldn't let them die in such a horrific way. We knew God would provide the answers, so we took a leap of faith and brought them to the D.

Soon after their arrival, it became clear they were dumped because Gladys had an old tendon injury and couldn't produce like she used to. With the help of a vet, we nursed her back to health. Literally within hours, God sent Seth and Ellee to the D to give Agnes and Gladys the life they deserve.

The girls will star in parades across the country from their new home base in New Mexico.

Total Investment: $2,500

Shanny - Babysitter Mare

Rescued October 6, 2017
Shanny was one of those babysitter horses everyone seeks for their young riders. Because of her calm demeanor and years of experience, she was snatched up within days of word getting out about her.

Shanny went to a family in the Broken Arrow area as a first horse for a little girl. They're a perfect fit!

So many more successes...

We're so grateful for the gift of these beautiful creatures, who teach us what it means to love.

Roxy - gaited mare

Roxy barely made it through quarantine before we started receiving dozens of calls from people wanting to adopt her. Apparently black gaited mares are a fan favorite, but that didn't keep her owner from dumping her on a kill buyer, and it didn't save her from sitting on a kill lot for weeks.

After donors paid the kill buyer to set her free, and Swingin' D foot the bill for transport and quarantine, Roxy was adopted by a horseman in the Enid, OK area. He plans to use her for pleasure riding.

Future Success Story

Watch this space for another Swingin' D Happily Ever After!

Future Success Story

Watch this space for another Swingin' D Happily Ever After!

Sometimes "success" is helping the horse to feel useful again.

The videos below show just some of the miraculous transformations we've seen at Swingin' D.