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About What If Farms

What If Farms is a sanctuary dedicated to horses and donkeys where rescued equines find a consistent home.

Rather than “rescue, rehab and rehome”, What If Farms has a vision rooted in the commitment to not only rescue a body, but also to provide a new start in life, where each of the inhabitants of the sanctuary (and the caretakers with them) can find the experiences that facilitate them to finding a way back to being themselves, a big issue for almost all equids.

(For more insight, I refer the reader to the book, Equus Lost? by Francesco de Giorgio and José de Giorgio Schoorl)

From Tradition to Liberation

We offer fields with shelter where they can go in and out as they choose, never being closed in a stall.  This allows freedom of movement, grazing at will and reduction of the reactivity caused by more traditional barn situations.  The privacy and dignity of these equines is maintained at all times, not only in daily life interaction, but also during a vet visit, trimming, any kind of therapy, and even when there are visitors to the farm. Our approach is of utmost respect for the equines while at the same time potentially offering visitors a glimpse of a new paradigm in human animal and non-human animal interaction.

Founded In a Difference

Being relatively new to equines in 2014, as the founder of What If Farms, I could “see” from my non-equestrian background that there was something missing in the methods, trainings, behavioristic viewpoints and usage surrounding equines in particular, and animals in general.  However, I couldn’t seem to find what it was that was missing.  Until, quite by chance, I picked up the book Equus Lost? by Francesco de Giorgio and José de Giorgio Schoorl.

Within the pages of that book I had finally found this missing link. A logical and non-human centered way of coexistence, not only with equines, but with all non-human animals. 

Thus, my journey began. Reading the book was simply the beginning of de-conditioning myself from old knowledge and deconstructing an anthropocentric societal framework (which is thrust upon northern cultures, in particular). It was and continues to be a completely different way of thinking.

Living Animality

I continue to learn and study with Francesco and Jose long distance at their Sparta Riserva dell Ánimalita in Italy, as well as having them come to America to What If Farms on occasion to immerse all of us here in what is defined as “animality experiences”.

Here at What If Farms, we are about recognizing all animals as cognitive beings that are “born for themselves not for us”.

We look to discover ways of coexisting that do not employ a human-centric position, which in the habits of our society is actually a non-stop reference: “this horse needs a job”, “this horse needs to provide therapy for humans”, “this horse is a healer/energy clearer/teacher”, “this horse is my baby, I’m its mom”, etc.; as well as not anthropomorphizing or projecting in general: “this horse is naughty”, this horse is lazy”, “this horse is rude”, “this horse is a gentleman/lady”, etc.

What we continue to discover here at What If Farms is how we can share and facilitate experiences in a culture of recognizing that everyone here is the protagonist of their story and their life. We look for opportunities to facilitate each one to find their inborn cognitive abilities.  We” look for experiences not results”.

Breaking free from the functional and result-oriented attitude of our modern society, a brand new dimension has opened up, where a donkey with so-called trust-issues, today dives into shared adventures, where horses with tensed bodies are not taught to relax, but are rediscovering their own movement again, where everyone is growing in a curiosity towards one another, horses, human, donkeys, cats, birds and others.


Providing liberation for these horses and donkeys, and examples of coexistences, beyond the labels of trauma or species, requires an effort in time, energy, and finances. Each individual inhabitant requires their own particular effort as well (see the inhabitants’ short introduction section).

At What If Farms, our goal is not only to make a difference in the lives of our inhabitants, but to bring awareness to an idea that we believe should be spread throughout the world, for all animals. In order to do that, and to provide our inhabitants with the best quality of life possible, we rely heavily on the financial support of likeminded supporters who also want to see the equines at What If Farms empowered to live out their roles as the protagonists of their own stories. Donating and supporting the What If Farms helps facilitate that, while also ensuring that the physical needs of every equine in our sanctuary are met. What If we could really change perspective?

If you want to learn more about our mission and how you can be involved, reach out to us or click the Donate Now button below.

About Christine Hendler

Even though my grandfather trained horses in England, my mother grew up on a farm in Canada, where horses were essential, and my father had me at the racetrack every weekend and holiday as a child…my  love for horses consisted of hopping on, with no fear or training, and enjoying any wild ride on which I was taken.

Life and an opera career took me in another direction for many years, until, one day, I had my “Field Of Dreams moment” and horses came back into my life in ways I never could have imagined. The Universe presented me with a “crash course in everything horse” and this “novice” quickly became experienced.  This journey is chronicled in my blog at www.confessionsofanovicehorsewoman.com.

In addition to participating in continuing education from the Learning Animals Center in Italy, founded by the authors of Equus Lost, Francesco De Giorgio and Jose De Giorgio-School, the following describes some of my experience:

  • Bachelor and Masters of Music Degrees  from Northwestern University
  • Bachelor of Divinity
  • Ordained Minister in the Universal Brotherhood Movement
  • Certified Facilitator in Family Constellations in Silence
  • Certified Reiki Master

But, mostly, I am simply a human, dedicated to making a difference in the lives of horses and donkeys and to bringing equines and humans together for mutual learning, joy and healing.

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision is to provide a haven where horses and donkeys are encouraged to take back control of their lives and simply to be a horse or donkey the way nature intended.

Your donations do more than just feed some animals; they serve as an expression of unity and hope while supporting these horses and donkeys on their journey of self-empowerment. By donating to What If Farms’s cause, you are making a statement that every living being should be facilitated towards the liberation to choose their own life path.

100% of all donations go directly to the care of the equines at the santuary.

Sponsor a
Horse or Donkey

Each of our horses and donkeys has a story. Whose journey will you resonate with? In addition to accepting general donations, we also offer the opportunity to sponsor a particular horse or donkey. Your monthly donation will go toward the specific health and quality of life needs of your sponsored horse or donkey.

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