Where the Whispers of Horses in Need Are Heard


Milagro and Brenda © Courtesy of Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue

In the sprawling fields of Ontario’s Hagersville lies a sanctuary for horses.

Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue was started by Brenda Thompson and her husband Dave in 2008, but Brenda’s passion for healing horses started long ago.

“I have always had a passion for horses, even as a child,” Brenda shared. “When I was 10 years old I used to help out at a local riding stable all day to have the opportunity to ride for one hour at the end of the day.”

In her teens, Brenda continued to spend her free time working and volunteering at local riding facilities, leading trail rides, taking care of chores, and most importantly, spending time with the horses.

In 2001, Brenda became an animal cruelty agent with the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where she would receive calls to remove horses from unsafe situations. However, she recalled, there was nowhere to take them. She realized that with her wealth of experience in caring for horses, she could create a rescue that would provide critical care for horses and give agencies a safe place to bring the animals.

whispering hearts horse rescue
Photo © Courtesy of Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue

In 2007, Breanda and Dave bought a 48-acre farm in Hagersville and opened the doors to Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue.

“At Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue, we don’t just heal the horses physically; we also heal them emotionally,” the team shares on their website. “People often ask, ‘How do you work with all of these abused and untrained horses?’ The Chris Irwin Method of Horsemanship has provided us with the tools to reach deep into the souls of these horses, and the knowledge to work through the fear and trust issues many of them have developed due to human injustice and ignorance.”

Whispering Hearts has become what Brenda always hoped it would be; a place that advocates and protects horses. Over the years, Brenda and Dave have saved and nurtured hundreds of neglected and abused horses by providing proper care, ultimately restoring the animals’ trust in humans.

“During our first year, we brought in 42 horses, adopted 22 horses to good homes and euthanized four horses who could not be saved,” said Brenda. “However, at least they don’t hurt and are not hungry anymore. They have gone to a better place. To date we have helped over 400 horses and found homes for over 250.”

Over a six to eight week period, Whispering Hearts completely rehabilitate the horses they take in, from feeding to training to riding. This program allows the rescue team to ensure that the horse can be well-matched to a new owner—and the adoption process is equally careful.

Brenda and her team take care to interview potential adopters, inspect their farms, and perform follow-up visits to ensure that the horse is being cared for in its new home.

“You can’t change the world,” Brenda said in a 2019 interview with CBC, “but you can change the world for one horse, one at a time, and that’s what we do here, we take it one horse at a time and do the best we can.”

A registered charitable organization, Whispering Hearts depends on the generosity of sponsors, donors, and volunteers to keep their services running and continue providing critical care for horses. Every donation makes a difference in the lives of horses in need. Become a rescuer at www.whhrescue.com

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At Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue, we don’t just heal the horses physically; we also heal them emotionally.


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