Manes and Tales is a New Jersey-based, horse rescue that rehabilitates, retrains, and re-homes the most commonly slaughtered breeds of horses - Quarterhorses, Thoroughbreds, and Standardbreds. Started informally in 1995 by Ellen Cathryn Nash, this rescue operation didn’t incorporate until 2004 when Nash set it up as a New Jersey 501 (c) 3 non profit.
Manes and tales were all that Ellen Cathryn Nash had left of two beloved horses she leased and lost in a tragic accident. “One was a Seattle Slew son and the other was an Arabian. They had to go together because they were so bonded,” says Nash.
Always careful about whom she leases to, Nash did her homework before releasing Bullie and Sahlih to their new caretaker. “...a girl at Cornell University, a really experienced horse person. I had her stay with me for a week or two,” explains Nash. “I drove up there and I checked out the place,. I liked the place and the owner.”
The farm and the person leasing the horses checked out but no one could have predicted the outcome. “Somebody forgot to turn on the electric fence. They hopped out and raced along the road, ran down a mile long drive that ended up on a highway,” Nash pauses. “They died together. All I have left of them is their manes and tails.”
That’s how she came up with the name of the horse rescue and rehabilitation operation she has been running for more than 5 years.
Manes and Tails is a small equine rescue with a unique twist. “I don’t sell horses; I don’t take horses that are healthy. I rescue horses and I free lease them. People don’t pay me anything,” says Nash, quietly. “I wanted to keep the horses safe and retain ownership. I will always take a horse back so that horse will never go to a killer, ever.”
There are no fees for leasing one of Nash's horses, just the usual costs of board and upkeep. People who lease horses from Manes and Tails are getting a good deal - rehabilitated, healthy and happy horses.
Nash has been rescuing horses, one at a time, since 1995. Her quiet courage and her determination have helped to keep her operation going but today, she is facing her most serious challenge.
“...getting donations to take care of my horses. I don’t have any money but I pay to get them done myself,” she explains quietly. “I have gotten donations but not in the last couple of months because of the recession. It is tough.”
Nash tries to make it easy for people to support her rescue. Manes and Tails accepts checks that can be mailed right to Nash. And she accepts PayPal payments on her site. Nash says no amount is too small. “If you are thinking $25 isn’t much, it will pay for a trim or go into a fund for supplements. People have sent me donations of $5.00, any amount is good.”
Rescuing horses, bringing them back to health and fighting for donations keeps Nash pretty busy but she still finds time to help other rescues. Nash is a Vice President of Gray Dapple Rescue, another small, Pennsylvania-based horse rescue run by Amanda Sorvino. Nash and Sorvino also went after and are trying to shut down Bravo Packing, a horse slaughter operation in Salem, New Jersey. A look at Sorvino's operation is next for saving horses, one at a time.