Minn. resident adopts a pair of abused horses

Farm Forum

Brad Anderson, who lives on Long Lake, heard about the dozens of horses that were seized last winter from a property northwest of New Salem, N.D. Tracy Tschakert, a horse trainer from Barnesville, Minn., rescued 30 of those horses.

Anderson called her up, inquired about them, and immediately adopted two of the rescued horses, Belle and Starr, named after the famous outlaw Belle Starr.

“They were in need of friends,” Anderson said.

Authorities seized more than 150 horses and mules from William Kiefer’s properties in Morton and Burleigh counties in January after finding nearly 100 dead animals.

With so many horses in need of rescuing, Tschakert had the urge to help, so she started brainstorming. She called the Morton County Sheriff’s Office in February and offered to take 30 horses and find them homes.

“I just started calling everybody I knew in the horse community,” Tschakert said. “And so we kind of just started this big network.”

Everyone arrived and adopted horses, though Tschakert told Anderson he could come, but he didn’t have to commit to anything. That was before Tschakert saw the two female horses Belle and Starr walking around like they were practically tied together. Whoever adopted one of those had to take them both.

Enter Anderson, who held the horses for awhile. His wife came over and said, “‘You’re taking them, aren’t you?’ And I said yes,” Anderson said.

“I just got swept up in the heat of the moment, just got excited,” he said. “And no regrets.”

Anderson, who now keeps the horses at his son’s property in Erhard, Minn., wasn’t prepared. He didn’t have the proper fencing, and needed to get water and hay.

But Tschakert stepped up and kept Belle and Starr where her horses are, near Lake Park, Minn., for a couple months. Anderson was a frequent visitor, of course. Tschakert arranged for the necessary, daily medical care for the horses. They had lice, ringworm and fungus on the legs, not to mention their nutritional needs. The horses were healthy again by April.

Anderson enjoys spending time with them daily to take care of them, ride them and just be around them, he said.

“That’s the fun of having them, is just messing with them,” Anderson said.