Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary

Where Horses Live in Freedom

Jim and Melanie Bowles, the founders of Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary, are deeply committed to the horses in their care.

“The Sanctuary is the culmination of years of hard work and all the dreams and visions we’ve had for nearly three decades,” says Melanie.

“One of those visions was to provide as natural an environment for the horses as possible. Domestication has created so many problems…founder, colic, vices…problems that you never see in the wild. It was essential to Jim and to me that we place just as much emphasis on the horses’ emotional well-being as we do their physical needs.”

The horses at Proud Spirit are never stalled. They function as a herd with no cross fencing, safe in the companionship of other horses…something they so desperately need. They have room to move about, and to graze and roam… which they need to thrive.

One of the very few true sanctuaries in the United States, the Bowles do not adopt out any of the horses who find their way to Proud Spirit, “having given enough,” as Melanie would say.

“Somewhere…somewhere in time’s own space, there must be some sweet pastured place, where creeks sing on and tall trees grow, a place where forgotten horses can go.”
– Author Unknown

Proud Spirit Books by Melanie Sue Bowles

All profits from the sale of the books go toward caring for the rescued horses at Proud Spirit and continued rescue work.

Liberty Biscuit

Does a family mystery stand in the way of saving Kip's
best friend?

Katherine Pearl Baker--"Kip" for short--is the only child on her family's rural peach farm. She longs for a pet to ease the loneliness. Unfortunately, her father has an angry opposition to all animals--horses in
particular. Why he dislikes them is a confounding mystery.

Hiding in the woods on the Fourth of July, Kip encounters a bedraggled donkey with one eye and a floppy ear. Immediately smitten and compelled to protect him, she feeds him biscuits and takes him home. When it is discovered the donkey fled an abusive owner, Kip's father finally relents, reluctantly allowing him to stay.

Kip is elated when her grandfather agrees to help her foster the donkey, who she names "Liberty Biscuit," along with two emaciated horses removed by the local sheriff from the same home, as the cruelty case goes to court. While caring for the animals, Kip's happiness is overshadowed by a shocking discovery in a trunk in the family farm's hayloft--a faded photograph of her father as a boy that reveals secrets long kept.

A court order to return the horses, and even worse, Kip's beloved Liberty Biscuit, to the owner who had starved and beaten them, throws Kip's world into turmoil. She knows she must find a way to keep them, or she will have betrayed the best friend she has ever had. But saving the animals means risking the complete unraveling of her family as she exposes the long-buried truth about a tragic accident and a hurt like she's never known before.

We are often asked why we do this… take in these horses who no one else wants. People wonder about the unyielding commitment of caring for a heard of 50 plus rescue horses. They wonder about the monumental financial responsibility and the tremendous workload. Others wonder if there is an emotional toll. After all most of these horses come from abuse and neglect, many arrive injured or ill, or they suffer from some unseen damage. And people want to know… “Why do you do this?”

They spark our imagination and awaken the best of who we are…

Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary
302 Clint Johnson Rd.
Wilkesboro, NC 28697

Proud Spirit Horse Sanctuary is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Federal Tax ID #65-1103738
Your contributions are tax deductible.

Thank you for your support!