Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary Inc
ONA FL 33865

The mission of Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary has three components: to provide rescue, rehabilitation, and lifetime sanctuary to abused, abandoned, neglected, and unwanted horses; to promote awareness of the principles of natural horsemanship through educational programs at the sanctuary; to provide outreach assistance to horse owners in the community.

CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Robin Cain
Board Chair Affiliation Founder, Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary
General Info
Organization DBA
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2007
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2018
State Registration Yes Feb 2018
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $102,626.00
Projected Expenses $102,626.00
IRS Letter of Determination
Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

2015 Accomplishments 

1. Rescued 4 horses with special health needs, 3 of whom would have been euthanized
2. Acquired new sponsors for 8 horses, bringing the number of sponsored horses to 29, with only one horse still in need of a sponsor
3. Acquired 5 new "regular" volunteers 
4. Continued to improve our facility by 1) clearing the ditch along the northern border of the property in order to minimize pasture flooding during the rainy season and 2) erecting a roof over three feeding stalls at the western end of the barn  
5. Utilized new strategies to raise funds and promote Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, including 1) participating in the 2015 Giving Challenge, 2) setting up a display and sharing sanctuary information at four Sarasota Polo Club matches, 3) advertising the 2015 Sarasota Polo Magazine article featuring Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, and 4) conducting workshops for summer campers at Cat Depot and the Sarasota Humane Society  
2016 Goals
1. Rescue additional horses in need and expand our foster program
2. Acquire "double" sponsors for horses with special needs
3. Acquire new "regular" volunteers and a part-time paid staff member
4. Continue to improve the facility by adding stalls to the current barn (to accommodate more horses when pastures become flooded) and erecting a round pen (for natural horsemanship activities)
5. Expand our community awareness and fundraising efforts by celebrating Help a Horse Day and applying for an ASPCA Help a Horse Day grant 
6. Expand our outreach program in order to help horse owners keep...and care properly for...their horses
7. Step up our efforts to promote Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary as well as high-quality horse care and natural horsemanship by using the education center for monthly volunteer meetings, horse-owner awareness sessions, instruction for campers, and tour group workshops
Needs Statement
Fulfillment of the following pressing needs will enable us to attend to the physical and emotional well-being of our horses even more effectively than we currently do.
1. General operations support ($100,000 per year)
2. A Parelli professional trainer to work with several challenging horses who can't be touched or haltered and 4 volunteer trainees for 5 consecutive days and 12 follow-up sessions ($12,000)  
3. Additional "regular" volunteers to assist with the care of the horses at least one day per week
4. A tractor to make and keep every component of our 23 acres functional ($15,000 - $20,000)
5. A maintenance specialist to perform routine maintenance tasks and troubleshoot failed equipment ($10,000 per year)
Background Statement

Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary became a nonprofit organization in 2007. Its founder is a lifelong horse-lover who didn't acquire her first horse until she was in her early 30s. Her initial intention was to be "just" a horse owner like many others in the area, but when times became hard in the early 2000s, she began rescuing unwanted horses. As time went on and needy horses continued to arrive, she and some family members and friends met to discuss the possibility of creating a nonprofit sanctuary. There were eight people (with sixteen hands) at the meeting, and Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary was born. 

Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary was originally located at the founder's home on Wauchula Road in Myakka City. In 2011, it moved to a large vacant property just east of the Manatee/Hardee County line in Ona. Over the past four years, a home for the founder, a 22-stall barn, a hay barn, a mini-barn, six pasture shelters, an education center, and extensive pasture fencing have been added.
Since its inception, 54 equines (horses, ponies, and donkeys) have been rescued by Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary. Most have come from Manatee and Sarasota Counties. There are currently 28 horses and 2 donkeys living out their lives in peace on the 23-acre Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary ranch. Six horses and 3 ponies live with compassionate and responsible foster caregivers. Some of these animals were near death when they were rescued. Some were "just" hungry and/or ill, while others were physically healthy but emotionally scarred. At Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, they receive quality physical care as well as the love, compassion, and attention they deserve.
When the founder of Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary became a horse owner, she received training in the Parelli Natural Horsemanship program. The "nature of the horse" serves as the foundation for the human-horse partnerships developed at Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary.  Force, dominance, intimidation, and gadgets aren't used.  Our horses are treated by everyone who works with them in a humane and natural (for the horse) way. 

Parelli identified seven "games" (for example, the Friendly Game) that horses play with each other. We use a long rod with a string on the end, called a carrot stick, to play the games with the horses as we go about routine tasks, but a volunteer can also take an individual horse into a separate space to practice the games. 
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
FL- Hardee
FL- DeSoto
FL- Charlotte
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Animal Related
Secondary Org Type Animal Related
Tertiary Org Type Animal Related
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary rescues horses in desperate situations. We learn about them through their owners, concerned friends of the owners, and law enforcement officers.  Sometimes we spot a horse in critical condition from the road.  Even when we're at funding and pasture area capacity, it's difficult to turn away from an ill or injured horse on the verge of death or an unwanted horse about to be euthanized by the owner.

Horses arrive at Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary in various states of physical and emotional health. Many are starving and painfully thin, while others may be physically healthy but have emotional issues.  Some have both physical and emotional needs.  The physical rehabilitation process typically takes six months, but it can also last the lifetime of the horse if there's a special health concern.  Emotional rehabilitation is even more challenging.  The Parelli natural horsemanship approach, patience, and love help our emotionally needy horses recover.
Budget $5,484
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Protection & Welfare
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Adults
Short Term Success

Four horses were taken out of harm's way by Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary in 2015.  All are thriving. 

Long Term Success

We would like to be able to rescue and rehabilitate even more horses in need. To that end, we've significantly improved our facility over the past few years, and discussions of expansion are ongoing. We've added barn stalls, and we're always thinking about ways to create additional pastures for new and/or reconfigured herds. We're constantly reviewing literature pertaining to physical issues and diseases and researching new medications, supplements, and alternative treatments. 

Emotional rehabilitation plays a major role in our long-term success. We run natural horsemanship workshops for our volunteers and encourage them to sign out Parelli training materials. Long-term success in the emotional rehabilitation of rescued horses depends on the skills of the volunteers. Their use of natural horsemanship techniques in everyday interactions with our horses is critical.
Program Success Monitoring

We monitor our rescue and rehabilitation efforts by constantly assessing the physical and emotional progress of the horses we save.  We make adjustments based on our observations.  Others help us monitor program success as well. We receive feedback and advice from our veterinarians and farriers. We also seek and receive reports from our foster caregivers. 

Program Success Examples

Joe is one of 42 sick horses rescued from another "sanctuary." When he arrived, he was thin and had an infected lesion on his shoulder and abscesses on his front feet. We treated those conditions and then discovered that he has chronic hepatitis. We began giving him an herbal supplement called Liver Happy and feeding him 3 small meals a day. He now eats well and has put on weight. His energy level is good, but his still-high liver enzymes tell us that he'll need special care for the rest of his life. 

Cisco is a handsome Paint gelding who develops nonmalignant, recurring sarcoid tumors caused by a bovine papilloma virus. Our vet removed four tumors shortly after Cisco arrived, and those sites are doing well. We're using topical treatments on other tumors and planning for additional surgeries. Like Joe, Cisco will need special care for the rest of his life. He's a young horse with a playful spirit and a love of people and other horses. We're glad he found a lifetime home with us. 
Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary is unique in that it provides a lifetime home for rescued horses. We don't have an adoption program because many of our horses have spent their lives being passed from owner to owner, and they've suffered because of it. Also, because we're experienced in rehabilitating horses with physical and emotional issues, we're reluctant to transfer ownership to someone who may not have the knowledge, resources, and/or willingness to handle that task for the lifetime of the horse. 

We do have a foster program. Fosters are people we know well who are interested in developing a bond with a rescued horse. Of our 37 horses and 2 donkeys, 9 horses are in foster care.  

We work hard to give our horses a lifetime of health and contentment. It takes an 8-hour day and several volunteers to feed the horses, provide hay and fresh water to 7 herds, scoop barn stalls and pastures, groom some of the horses, and provide loving and "natural" attention to all.

Budget $82,266
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Protection & Welfare
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

Short-term success can be measured by the quality of life that Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary horses experience on a daily basis. Every day that they're well fed with grain as well as hay and/or grass is a good day. Every day that they graze peacefully and comfortably with their herd is a good day. Every day that they interact with our volunteers and foster caregivers in a positive, "natural" way is a good day. 

Our goal is to make every day a good day for our horses. Their breeds, ages, and physical needs vary, so we adjust diets, medications, supplements, and farrier treatments so they will feel well. Their personalities also vary, falling into one of 4 categories: left brain extrovert, left brain introvert, right brain extrovert, right brain introvert. Within the natural horsemanship framework, volunteers gear their interactions with each horse to his/her specific tendencies. The herd has an impact on a horse's emotional well-being, so placement decisions are made carefully. 
Long Term Success

Long-term success can be measured by the quality of life that Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary horses experience over time. The founder began rescuing abused, abandoned, neglected, and unwanted horses in 2003, four years before she founded Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary. Since then, the physical and emotional well being of every horse rescued has been her priority.

Unless a special health problem emerges (for example, cancer or a heart attack), our horses live comfortably into old age. Several of our rescues have lived into their mid to late 30s. We currently have one horse in her early 30s and seven horses between 25 and 30. Considering that rescued horses generally arrive in physical and/or emotional distress, our lifetime care approach appears to be working. 
Program Success Monitoring

We monitor our lifetime care efforts by constantly assessing the physical and emotional progress of the horses we save. It's gratifying to watch a horse reach and maintain a healthy weight or become energetic and responsive after a month of healthy grain and a special supplement. We rejoice when we see a horse bond with a herd after being moved to a different pasture or voluntarily stand right next to a volunteer after months of running away in fear. Everyone involved with our horses keeps an eye out for these and other signs of growth. We stay in close touch with our fosters to ensure that the quality of care is as high as it is at Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary. If a fostering arrangement becomes problematic, the horse returns to the ranch.  

Program Success Examples

Willow, an Anglo-Arab mare, was found in a muddy cow pen with a severe leg wound. She was down and nearly unresponsive. She had apparently kicked at another horse through a wire fence and "degloved" the skin on her leg. Our vet removed the loose skin and cauterized the wound, and we medicated and wrapped it for several months. Eleven years later, you can still see Willow's scar, but she hasn't injured herself again. She's a beautiful, energetic horse living peacefully with her herd.

Our only miniature horse, Dixie, was living in a nearby pasture when we rescued her. She'd been purchased at an auction and left there without any attention for two years. During that time, her front hooves became so overgrown that she could barely walk. Our farrier has been using special trimming techniques, but restoring her feet to a normal state is taking quite a while.  In the meantime, we're medicating her for pain, providing Jin Shin Jyutsu treatments, and giving her plenty of tender loving care. 

Education is a key component of the Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary mission. Most importantly, we educate the public about the tragic lives led by our horses before they were rescued. We also share information about our natural horsemanship focus and horses in general.

Our volunteers and foster caregivers receive in-depth information about the horses as well as training in natural horsemanship. Less detailed information and brief natural horsemanship demonstrations are provided for small groups who visit the ranch and supporters who attend our annual open house. Overview information is also shared with groups who invite us to make a presentation at their site, people who approach our table at special events, and supporters who peruse our website, receive our e-mail newsletters, and read our Facebook page. Recently the community learned about Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary through a television segment and a comprehensive article in the Sarasota Polo Magazine.  
Budget $4,935
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Protection & Welfare
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

Our education efforts are paying off. We've become more visible in the community and improved the quality of our presentations and training sessions. Our messages about the abuse and neglect of horses and the benefits of natural horsemanship are clear. As a result, over the past few years, the number of volunteers working with our horses has tripled, and their natural horsemanship skills are growing. The number of horses with sponsors has increased from 3 to 29.  All but one of our horses are sponsored (or fostered). We've begun to include a great deal of information in presentations to small groups visiting the ranch, and young visitors actually experience hands-on activities. We've also improved the education provided at our annual open house and strengthened our website, e-mail newsletter, and Facebook page. 

Long Term Success

We hope to experience even greater education success as the years pass. We'd like every member of the community, not just horse owners and horse lovers, to be aware of and concerned about abused, abandoned, and neglected horses. We'd like to increase our volunteer ranks and improve the natural horsemanship skills of everyone who works with our horses. We'd like to locate a sponsor or foster for every Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary horse. We'd like to bring many more individuals and groups to the ranch so they can see our horses first hand and learn about our rescue, rehabilitation, and lifetime care efforts as well as our natural horsemanship program. 

Program Success Monitoring

We monitor the success of our education efforts through data as well as feedback.  Every volunteer has a file and signs a volunteer log, and volunteers frequently make comments about the horses, their training, and their daily activities. Our "regular" volunteers make suggestions, which we often use! We keep a running record of sponsorship donations in an Excel spreadsheet, and we periodically send each sponsor an update on his/her horse(s).  We seek feedback from visiting groups and ask open house guests and people who approach our table at special events to sign in. Comments on Facebook are ongoing.
Program Success Examples


Our volunteers number 29, and 10 of those individuals can handle daily tasks on their own. One of the 10 became acquainted with us through the article in the Sarasota Polo Magazine. Although they have "regular" work days, our dedicated volunteers pitch in whenever needed. Their positive comments as well as their interactions with our horses tell us that they love spending time at Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary.
Our sponsorship program has taken off. Twenty-two sponsors are currently donating funds for 29 horses. Sponsors tell us, in person and in written notes, how much they love "their" horses.
We receive thank you notes with positive comments from children who've been introduced to Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary. Over the past three years, such groups have included youngsters attending Critter Camp at Cat Depot, campers at the Sarasota Humane Society, and students at Gocio Elementary School in Sarasota.

We provide outreach to the community in two ways. The first is through a liaison program. We locate a new owner for a horse who needs to be rescued or re-homed and then link that individual to the current owner. We may also assist by transporting the horse to his/her new home.  Sometimes we go a step further and temporarily care for a horse at the sanctuary in order to help an owner who can't rehabilitate and/or pasture the horse. 

The second component of our outreach mission is a consulting service. We provide information on quality care and/or financial assistance to horse owners in the community who need temporary help or don't have the knowledge or experience to care for a horse properly.
Budget $1,040
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Protection & Welfare
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Adults
Short Term Success

Over the past several years, our outreach efforts have resulted in better lives for a number of horses in the community. Several have gone to new homes, while others have remained with the original, better-informed owner. 

Long Term Success

Reducing, or even eliminating, the need for rescue activities in the community is a long-term goal. Reaching more horse owners who need assistance, either with information or relocation help, will result in greater numbers of physically and emotionally healthy horses.

Program Success Monitoring

We monitor the success of our outreach efforts through feedback from the horse owners who've benefited from our outreach efforts.

Program Success Examples

In 2012, we served as the liaison for three miniature horses who needed homes. We've received feedback from the new owners, and all are doing well. 

In early 2014, we assisted a community member whose horse wasn't thriving. We provided advice as well as samples of feed and hay, and the condition of the horse has improved. Also in 2014, we assisted our feed store owner who took in 17 seized horses. As a nonprofit, we collected donations for the care of the horses so that contributions would be tax deductible and people would be more likely to help.

In 2015, we served as the liaison for three individuals who needed to rehome their horses and donkeys. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 29
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No


We work closely with the Sheriff's Offices in Manatee, Hardee, Highlands, and other nearby counties. When an officer calls about an abused, abandoned, or neglected horse, we either provide a lifetime home for the animal or place the horse in our liaison program and care for him/her on a short-term basis. 


We partner with several veterinarians, two farriers, and an equine dentist, all of whom help us provide the quality care our horses need.


In 2014, we collaborated with Whispering Ranches Feed following the seizure of 17 horses from Napier's Log Cabin Horse and Animal Sanctuary. The horses were moved to the feed store property, but we accepted donations for their care because we are a nonprofit organization and the feed store is not. 

External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
VerificationGlobal Federation of Animal Sanctuaries2013
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Board Chair
Board Chair Robin Cain
Company Affiliation Founder, Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary
Board Term July 2016 to July 2021
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Robin Cain Founder
Gary Fresch The Autobutler, Inc.
Diane Tait Retired, Community Volunteer
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 1
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 93
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 67
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $102,626.00
Projected Expenses $102,626.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$109,712$109,811$90,161
Administration Expense$4,088$5,838$5,149
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.631.391.37
Program Expense/Total Expenses96%95%95%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$203,142$138,251$122,815
Current Assets$101,287$39,376$54,767
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$2,510$9,965$15,316
Total Net Assets$200,632$128,286$107,499
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $155,272Contributions, gifts, grants $122,007Contributions, gifts, grants $89,324
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $31,775Program Service Revenue $34,650Program Service Revenue $39,800
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $0Fundraising $3,673Fundraising $1,597
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities40.353.953.58
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Financial information is taken from Federal 990-EZ.
Nonprofit Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary Inc
Address 712 ROY MOORE RD
ONA , FL 33865
Phone 941 228-5441