The Horse Shelter

Rescuing Abused, Abandoned and Neglected  Horses Throughout New Mexico

About Us Our Horses Events Adoption Volunteer Support Us! Info Contact

2016 Gimme Shelter - Trainers Rally For Rescues event was a great success and all eight horses found new homes!

2015 Gimme Shelter Event Trainer Videos

Bode - Trainer Julie Phillips

Rolo - Trainers Joost Lammers and Erica Hess

Stella - Trainer Greg Russell

Julie Phillips has been training horses and people professionally for over 30 years. She was a cattle rancher in Utah and now owns the Starry Night Ranch in Llaves N.M. with her husband Tony Shepperdson.
They host horsemanship kids camps and adult retreats for their guests. 
Julie trained with some great horse trainers throughout her life and has been a youth leader for many years.
Ranch sorting is her horse sport of choice.

Bode is a 6 year old light sorrel gelding with a flaxen mane and tail.

Bode is a great horse, who is super nice and quiet. He has been on the trails and is turning into a nice trail horse. Bode is pretty smooth in his gaits. He can act fearful of some things, but is mostly bluffing. Bode has a very cute personality.

Stella is a 3 year old gray dun filly that was born at THS. Stella is growing fast, is already 14 hands, and filling out.  Despite her size, Greg took note of her especially good, balanced movement. He has found her to have a very positive attitude, and always looks forward to her lessons.  She is trusting, and willing to try new things as well as go new places.  Stella has developed a long, elegant stride, so Greg believes she could make a fine hunter/jumper type.  Because she enjoys the trail work so much (Greg regularly ponys her on the trails), he also thinks she will make a brave, reliable trail horse.
   Stella has impressed Greg enough that he has nicknamed her "Stellar"!

  Greg Russell was born in New Zealand into a horse training family and he has been developing his skills in training over the past thirty five years. Starting as a young child in riding whatever ponies or horses he had available. As young adult working in an agricultural/cattle industry, Greg had the opportunity to work under a natural horseman, Paddy Sherriff, who became a lifetime mentor. Realizing his passion was in developing young and challenging horses, in 1997, Greg decided to move to the United States to work with a broader performance horse base full-time and to train in various equine disciplines. Greg developed a business starting colts and rehabilitating horse with physical and/or behavioral problems. Personal reasons and climate preference brought him back to N.M. in 2015.  

830.459.2981 or

Chaca - Trainer Alexis Fastle

Alexis Fastle is 19 years old and lives in Corrales, NM. She has been riding horses her whole life, competing in team sorting, cutting, ranch pleasure, and trail. She was introduced to training horses at 11 when she competed in the youth 007 Extreme Mustang Makeover, winning first place with her yearling, Fleet. Alexis has since taken part in one more youth Extreme Mustang Makeover, and then, the adult 2015 Extreme Mustang Makeover, where she took 11th with her five year old gelding, Little Joe. Since then she has gotten her own yearling quarter horse to train, and plans to be advancing her training over the next many years.

Alexis Fastle: (210)-834-1465 or

Chaca is a 3 year old liver chestnut filly from Gallup that was also a part of the Navajo roundup. Alexis says Chaca is a really sweet girl that bonds very strongly and really considers herself "part of the team" so to speak. She's naturally very soft and responsive as well as very athletic and always curious.

Figaro - Trainer Patrick Otis

Joey - Trainer Katie Johanson

Oscar - Trainer Stephanie Gershon

Jesse - Trainer Rudy Lara, JR.

Katie Johanson, a native Kansan, she first began training horses at age 16 when she experimented with starting halter horses under saddle at her family's Quarter Horse farm. She continued training for the public through college and for several years after. In 2013 she took a job as head wrangler at a cattle ranch in northern Colorado. For three years she spent her days in the saddle riding over ten thousand acres of National Forest ground managing a herd of 1200 cattle. In October of 2015, she accepted the position of trainer at The Horse Shelter, and is looking forward to finding forever homes for as many horses as possible.

Joey is a 3 Year old brown gelding. Joey is going places. He is an extremely willing gelding who likes to learn and see things. His gaits are easy to ride and relaxed. He is neck reining nicely and is ready to cover some ground. Joey loves people and always comes right to the gate to greet me before a ride.

Rolo is a 3 year old sorrel gelding and a smart, sensitive, easy going horse. He has a laid back mentality about people, other horses and life in general.

 We ride him in our arena and round pen as well as out on the trail.

We started swinging a rope on him, he carries the tarp around like it is nothing. We enjoy the heck out of him and so far we have not found anything that he balks at!

Erica and Joost own For The Heart of The Horse Sanctuary in Santa Fe, where they use both liberty and traditional horsemanship methods. Their approach is unique,balanced and thorough. Erica has training from Bennington College, Carolyn Resnick Training Methods, Robin Gates Mentorship Program and is also mentored by Mark Rashid. Joost started riding at six in the Netherlands and moved to the US in 2004 where he learned from Dave Claus how to start colts and turn around horses with people problems. Joost studied with Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, Harry Whitney, Rick Quinn, John Saint Ryan and Mark Rashid and many more renowned dressage instructors. He looks for a true connection with the horse, searching for suppleness, rhythm, and presence and focuses on conveying these elements to horse & rider.

Patrick Otis is a trainer in Eldorado at Santa Fe. He has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from NMSU and has been riding, in multiple disciplines, since he was 2 years old. Winning a national championship in 13 and under keyhole at the age of nine, and placing 7th in the world open pole bending in the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC). Patrick was on the NMSU equestrian team and in charge of caring for animals on campus and then moved to NMSU School Ranch to work and train horses. He was a barn manager at Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital for four years, while training and Rodeoing on team roping horses. Patrick and his wife, a mixed animal veterinarian, live and work in Eldorado.They have two and half year old twins and horses, dogs, sheep and chicken. 915.526.1656 or

Figaro is a 4 year old sorrel gelding. He is very enjoyable to be around and is always looking for attention. He has been willing to take on all obstacles put in front of him. Figaro has beenhandling long rides in both locations. He has no problems with cars, hikers, and bicyclists, likes going through the timeber and steep terrain. He has also moved cattle multiple times, carried elk sheds from the back country, and crossed creeks. Figaro can go in many directions but seems to have a real appreciation for the wide open spaces and mountain trails.

Stephanie Gershon spent her junior years riding and showing sale horses and earned many Champion and Reserve Champion awards in shows and then rode for the Equestrian team at NMSU. She received All American Honors in Equitation on the Flat for NCAA (now NCEA) Varsity Equestrian. Through NMSU’s horse starting classes, Stephanie also worked on her western riding and produced the top selling horse at the NMSU sale. Stephanie considers hunter/jumpers to be her specialty, her diverse experience in multiple disciplines allows her to cultivate a horse’s strengths and allow them to reach their potential.

Rudy Lara, Jr. has been riding since he was four years old and has been around horses all his life. He started competing with the Charros "Mexican cowboys" and with 15 years of age he was selected to represent the USA to compete as a team in the Charros National finals. Also at 15 he started helping his father work horses for people and Rudy has been doing that ever since. Rudy is now 25 years old and is currently competing in ranch roping. Last year his team made it to the finals at the Buck Brannaman Pro AM ranch roping in Santa Ynez, CA. This year in January Rudy and his father were called out to Porto Feliz Brazil for a world expo where he gave a demonstration on ranch roping.

Jesse is a 5 year old dappled gray gelding. He is smart and willing and is catching up on his training, as he switched trainers after 30 days of the 100 total days of training assigned. Jesse is doing so well in training with Rudy, that we all felt confident he would be able to show at our event.

Photo courtesy of Max Underwood

© Max Underwood

© Max Underwood

© Max Underwood

Oscar is a 4 year old, bay, 15 hand Thoroughbred mix. He is as good minded as they come, taking everything in stride. He has an "in your pocket" personality. Despite having club feet, he is an elegant mover and has a wonderfully smooth canter. He is an ideal combination of being quiet but still light and responsive to the aids. On the trail he is forward moving but still relaxed. Oscar has been going to horse shows and has started working over fences.

© Max Underwood

© Max Underwood

© Max Underwood

The results are in! Trainer interviews with Staci Matlock, Santa Fe New Mexican radio cafe interview

Peoples’ Choice Award Winner