Reading Time: 4 minutes


June 5, 2018


Amanda Bodkin


A Home For Every Horse Spotlight: Happened by Chance Horses

“Having a special-needs child has taught me to never give up,” said Linda Nemec of New Braunfels, Texas. “Just because there are different needs doesn’t mean they are impossible needs.”

Nemec applies the same philosophy to the hard-luck horses that she rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes through her non-profit organization, Happened by Chance Horses.

The subject of three new videos on the A Home For Every Horse website, Happened by Chance Horses has an unusual start-up story that’s reflected in its name. Inspired by the connection between her special-needs son Chance and a horse boarded on her property, Nemec acquired two older, bonded horses (Katie and Grande) through Craigslist for Chance and his brother, Trace.

“It was magical,” Nemec said of the metamorphosis that occurred —and the horses blossomed, too. “Katie and Grande were both underweight and just seemed sad when we got them. And they were so thankful each and every time we brushed them, fed them and loved them. They needed us, and the love they both gave back was tenfold. It felt great being able to help them.

“I was told Chance would never thrive, that he would likely never walk, never learn, never talk. I was devastated,” she recalled. “But I also said I will do whatever it takes to make Chance the best Chance he can be, special needs or not. I took that same attitude toward horses after I saw how happy they made Chance … I started looking at Craigslist for horses that needed help, those that were unwanted for whatever reason. And so it began: my mission to help horses.”

Starting a 501(c)3 rescue organization was a bold move for someone who’d had little experience with horses, let alone those that had suffered neglect, injury or abuse. But Nemec had a 10-acre family farm, an empty barn and the passion to give unwanted horses a chance.

Since 2014, she and her volunteer team have rescued more than 125 horses—”all kinds, all ages and all degrees of health and injuries”—with 58 successfully rehabilitated and adopted to date. They’ve come from auctions, owner relinquishments or county agencies. Some are seizures or strays. Each rescue typically spends at least a year at her farm, where health, attitude and training levels are assessed and addressed, and the starvation cases started on a careful weight-gain regimen. Therapeutic treatment is given as needed, and likely candidates are retrained from the ground up.

“We start all over with them and give them the time they need to learn,” Nemec said. Some will be trained as trail horses or become companion or therapy animals. Still others will go on to retirement homes or become permanent residents if deemed unsuitable for adoption.

A Home For Every Horse helps connect Nemec to potential owners, while Purina’s donations to the program help with the cost of feed—something rescue horses need in abundance. “When I decided to start the rescue and obtained my 501(c)3 status, I knew I would need help,” she explained. “I ran across A Home For Every Horse on the internet and saw the work they did helping rescues, and I applied. Thankfully, we were accepted—and when that first round of coupons came in, I was incredibly excited.

“Those free bags helped sooo much,” she continued. “The horses—even the most compromised horses—were rebounding on the Purina feed. It was a learning process, but with the different types of feed that Purina offers, we were able to customize a feed plan for each horse. Many of the horses are on the same feed regimen. It’s just a really good feed, and the horses do well.”

Nemec and her crew keep in touch with adoptive owners to ensure each horse’s continued safety. They also strive to educate people about the responsibilities of horse ownership. “We go out in the community at least once a month at our local feed stores, grocery stores, anywhere that will have us … we hand out brochures, we talk to people about what we do and why we have to do it,” she said.

“Many people don’t know the lifespan of a horse and what it takes to care for them for that amount of time,” she explained. “We offer to have people come out and learn, to see what happens when horses are let down by humans. We teach them about nutrition for the horse, keeping a clean home for a horse, what it takes to doctor a wound. We explain the dedication it takes to give a horse a chance at a wonderful life, and we explain how the horses give back all that—and so much more.”

For more information about Nemec and her facility, visit . To see videos about Happened by Chance Horses and to follow the story of a rescue named Fortuna, go to Photos are available by request.


About A Home For Every Horse

A Home For Every Horse was created in 2011 as the result of a partnership between the Active Interest Media Equine Network, the nation’s leading publisher of equine-related content, and the American Horse Council’s Unwanted Horse Coalition.

The A Home For Every Horse program helps connect homeless horses in over 600 501(c)(3) rescue facilities across the United States with people looking for horses. To help make the connection, rescue organizations can list their horses for free on, the world’s largest horse marketplace, where they can be seen by 300,000 visitors each month.

Rescue organizations involved with A Home For Every Horse are also provided with many great benefits from the sponsors involved with the program. A Home For Every Horse specifically works with sponsors to help provide much-needed assistance to rescues around the country. In recent years, Purina has donated a half ton of feed to eligible rescues through A Home For Every Horse. Zoetis, WeatherBeeta and Tractor Supply provide many donations, as well.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get our newsletter featuring adoption success stories and available horses, delivered straight to your inbox.

"*" indicates required fields


Additional Offers

Additional Offers
By clicking "subscribe", I consent to Equine Network’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and I represent that I am over 16 years old.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share this:
About Hope Legacy Equine Rescue

Hope’s Legacy Equine Rescue was founded in 2008 when we took in our first donkey. Since then they have taken in over 450 horses, ponies, mules, and donkeys.

Related Articles