Success Stories

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.

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth


Our goal is to adopt our horses to responsible adopters who commit to providing a happy, healthy, forever home where the horse can feel productive and needed. We’ve accomplished that goal dozens of times.

April and The Ghosts

Kymberli and Elvis

Karen and Cash

Shortly after we rescued the ghosts, April began volunteering with us. Her wish of having a horse and our wish of keeping the Ghosts together are the perfect example of a success story! April comes out to groom and work with the boys several times a week, and she’s helping to cover their costs, which allows us to keep them here, together, at very little expense.

One day an owner will come along and adopt the Ghosts together (that’s the only way we’ll let them go). Until then, we’re grateful for April’s loving help!

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 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.

Our Precious Ghosts

We call them “The Ghosts” because they came to us in the dark of night, just after Christmas 2017. Everest, a speckled grey, and Romeo, a palomino, glowed in the dark as they stepped easily off the trailer. We noticed the boys moved everywhere in tandem, whether going from pen to pen or eating from their buckets. It took us a while to even figure out Romeo was the dominant one because they got along so well. Incredibly well behaved and social, Everest and Romeo quickly became ranch favorites. Everest is a big, sassy lug, and Romeo is a smart, focused and gentle leader.

Krista & 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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Chuck and Rook

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.

Chuck and Rook

Rescued March 2017, Adopted April, 2017

Success Story

Choco's Happily Ever After

Catherine and David had been searching for a while for a horse to fill the void left behind after losing the companion to Macho, a 19-year-old Missouri Foxtrotter. They visited other rescues searching for the perfect fit to their family and social lives. Volunteers with the United States Marshals Posse of the Western District of Oklahoma, Catherine, David and Macho suit up in historical western garb and honor the men and women of the United States Marshals Service by marching in parades and attending community events. They needed a horse that not only got along with Macho, but that would do well in crowds.

US Marshals Posse

When Catherine told me she and David sought a horse that needed “…a loving, caring thoughtful home that we can partner with in life and in our equine needs,” we knew she had come to the right place. This is exactly the type of home we seek for all of our horses!

When Catherine and Dave came out to Swingin’ D, they had a lot to consider after meeting Romeo, Everest, Raven and Alfred. They’re all wonderful horses! I almost forgot to show them Choco because he had just completed quarantine. It was only because we were walking past his paddock that I remembered to introduce them! When Choco fell asleep while Catherine pet him, the bond was immediate and obvious.

Precious, calm, level-headed Choco will walk in parades and be part of school presentations where children will form positive images of law enforcement. Catherine and Dave also share their horses with veterans with PTSD. I can’t imagine better therapy than Choco!

Choco has so much to look forward to in his new life: Macho, a miniature goat, Catherine and Dave, and trail rides and adventures in other parts of the country. Who wouldn’t want such a beautiful Happily Ever After?



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 deserved to live out his years with a human who would cherish him for all his strengths: gentle, well-broke, sweet demeanor, excellent ground manners, gives you his feet, stands tied. Thanks to the beautiful hearts of generous donors, a gentleman who adopted one of our younger horses, opened his home and pasture to this gentle old soul.

Walter lived a beautiful life where he was well fed and happy until his peaceful death in March of 2018. A veterinarian was in attendance.

Walter was adopted in September 2017

Rest in peace, precious Walt

March 6, 2017


Bailey and Den

Rescued October 17, 2017
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 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 couldn’t wait to work with Bailey!

Harry was our first-ever surrender. Rescued from slaughter in July, he was placed in a hub that fell on hard financial times. They were unable to feed him, so he came to us with a body condition score of 1 to 2 (out of 8 with 5 being average) in October 2017.

Because it’s dangerous to overfeed horses, we painstakingly added more than 200 pounds to Harry through four-a-day feedings of rice bran and senior feed. I got to spend a lot of time spoiling old Harry, so we became very close.

We’re so happy he’s now the very first horse for a 13-year-old girl whose daddy used to train horses; so he knows them well. Our Harry is in good hands, happily ever after!

When Harry Met Paige

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You always remember your
very first horse

January 2018


Emalee and Prsicilla

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!

Priscilla and Emalee

A boy and his horse

Moses & Solomon

Have you ever seen a more perfect match? Moses came to us on a trade for an exceptional mule team. We were told he was 17 at the time of the trade; but the vet said he was closer to 25 – the perfect age and temperament for a young rider like Solomon. The two hit it off from the second they met; now they’ll be together for years of trails and pleasure riding! 

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Life is Success

So Many Successes

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.
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

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 December, Peppy was doing well with a trainer he appears to respect and trust.

Total investment: $1,250 

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

Winston - 2-year-old gelding ready to start under saddle
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.

He DNA-tested positive for the Champagne gene. He is a gorgeous classic champagne, with hazel eyes and freckled pink skin. We’re trying to figure out how to register him in the International Champagne Horse Registry.

Total Investment So Far: $2,000


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!

And even more success stories...

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.

Cyrus was so exceptional, he almost became a permanent fixture at the D; but an area surgeon caught  hubby on a day when the boss was off, and the rest is history. The surgeon adopted Cyrus for his wife, who got an amazingly-talented horse for Christmas.

Casear came to us on a trade for Gladys and Agnes, an amazing mule team that could’ve fetched thousands; but needed to get to “mule people.” In the best interest of the mules, we accepted Caesar and Moses as payment.

Experienced on an outfitting ranch and on trails, Caesar aught the eye of a 63-year-old endurance trail rider who needed a horse with a smooth gait. I hope she also needed a horse with a ton of personality – because that’s what she got! 

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