Shadarobah Horse Rescue is home to 27 horses. Owner Michelle Heitz and her team of volunteers rehabilitate malnourished or abused horses and get them ready to be adopted into loving homes.

Investing in a better tomorrow, one hoof at a time

Living in downtown Fort Wayne, Michelle had no place to put Leroy, so she bought a farm and horse barn on US Highway 33 between Churubusco and Fort Wayne. It was a big barn for one horse–with 26 stalls–but Michelle soon found horses to fill those empty beds and Shadarobah Horse Rescue was born.
“I guess God put me in this big barn to have a horse rescue,” she said. Since September 2008, Michelle has saved 55 horses.
Shadarobah is a Native American word meaning “may the future be better than the past.” Michelle and her staff of volunteers rehabilitate horses–many of which were up for slaughter– getting them back to physical health and then training them to be approached, touched and even broke to ride. Once a horse is rehabilitated, it is put up for adoption.
Michelle currently has 28 horses, but the number changes weekly, if not daily, due to new arrivals and adoptions. Each horse has an individualized diet with a variety of vitamins and minerals, and the rescue goes through 100 pounds of grain each day.
Although she had little experience with horses, Michelle said she was eager to learn. She read several books pertaining to horses and their care and asked horse owners, breeders and veterinarians question after question.
“This place has come so far in such a short amount of time,” Michelle said. “And the horses give back. They have touched a lot of people’s lives.”
What you can do:
* Volunteer–Volunteers go through a training course and are free to volunteer whenever their schedules allow. Shadarobah operates from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
* Sponsor a horse–Sponsors make a monthly commitment to a horse, such as paying for hoof trimming, vaccines or general upkeep.
* Donate — Shadarobah is in need of all sorts of horse supplies, including hay, feed, bedding and halters. Monetary donations are also welcome.  
Upcoming events:   
* Fall Benefit — Join in the fun Saturday, October 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a live auction, 50/50 drawing, carnival games, horse and pony rides, bake sale, cake walk and much, much more.
* Halloween at the Barn — Come in costume and trick or treat at each horse’s stall. The horses will all be dressed in themed costumes, including “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” The cost is $4.00 per person to trick-or-treat and go through the spooky straw maze. Autumn refreshments and bake sale items will be available.
* Introduction to Horses — All ages are encouraged to take the ten-week course introducing horse basics, such as walking, communication, care and beginning riding. The cost is $70 and is offered at various times throughout the year.
For additional information, call Michelle at (260) 410-1999 or visit

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