Kaitlyn "Kait" Cruz

In 2016, Kait's life was turned inside out after the loss of her grandfather from cancer. In her mourning, her love of horses blossomed into a faith-filled purpose of rescue, healing, and education. After rescuing Autumn in October of 2016, Kait began to share their journey of struggle and growth with her little online following. Just as steadily as her story's following grew, so did her interest in training, rehabilitating, and rescuing horses. Eventually, Kait decided to formally rescue an abused, ex-racehorse named Norman. Shortly after, she pulled Lila from a rescue, post-bail from a kill-pen in Louisiana. Thus, in the summer heat, The HNH Sanctuary was born.

Through developing her methods of natural horsemanship, Kait has learned how to rehabilitate the mind, body, and soul of high risk abuse and neglect cases. Her media and pursuit of being a pastor has created the perfect platform to educate the public about both spiritual and animal welfare. Accolades in the horse world have never been important, however, her experience as a Hunter/Jumper, and now taking on formal German Dressage, has now opened the possibilities of showing the world that "rescued" doesn't mean "worthless".

Each horse didn't just touch Kait's life and change her for the best, but their stories also inspired those whom heard them. The HNH Sanctuary's purpose came to fruition, a sanctuary for the broken to heal with the rescued. With a heart for animal rights and mental health awareness, this (soon to be) non-profit, is in aim of a community where brokenness is welcomed and healing is found, for all creatures. 



Autumn aka "Autumn The Filly"

Autumn was not a "first choice" horse. When Kait found her, Autumn's owner at the time was going through a divorce, not allowing Autumn to have the time and attention she needed. Eventually, money ran out and in came Kait. They weren't the best match. Autumn was feral, skinny, dangerous, and would eventually fall very ill due to parasites and phenomena. Kait was green, a first time horse owner, and wanted something "better". But, fates intertwined and Autumn came home in October of 2016. Thus began the trial by fire and a love earned through patience, empathy, and understanding. Through many ups and downs in health and locationally for boarding, the journey was tumultuous but, their bond only grew stronger in the process. Now, Autumn is healthy, happy, and living at home with her two sanctuary friends. Autumn was the missing piece that changed Kait's life forever. 


  • Born: July 9th, 2015

  • Rescued: October 10th, 2016

  • Job: to be an example of the power of patience and building trust

  • Likes: scratches, being groomed, teething on everything, training with mom, playing with Norman, bucking in the turn out, eating everything possible 

  • Dislikes: being told "no", rain, empty food bins 



Norman aka "Norman The OTTB" and "Storm Bid"

Norman came home in June of 2017 when Kait and Autumn moved with their family to horse property. He was an Off-The-Track-Thoroughbred, or OTTB, found on CANTER USA through a trainer add. The rehoming non-profit that was in charge of getting him a new home, wasn't the party that owned him but, knew his whole story. After coming of the track once, he fell into abusive hands. He then went back on the track, came back off, and landed in hands that starved and abused him further. Norman then started training English riding but, was left in a field, partly-barefoot and in need of a makeover. Norman's feet caught up to him and fell lame for nearly a year in the fall of 2017. During this time, Kait took the opportunity to build trust with him. From a horse that would tremble at the raise of a hand to pet him, to the big, cuddly teddy bear he is now; he has come leaps and bounds from the start. Now in 2019, he is constantly walking pain free due to proper nutrition, barefoot trimming, and 24/7 turnout. He is currently gaining weight, muscle, and confidence while training in ground work and soon, whatever discipline he wants to do. 


  • Born: April 23, 2010

  • Rescued: June 2, 2017

  • Last Race: February 12, 2016

  • Job: an example of the transferable power of courage: from abuse to success

  • Likes: making messes for mom to clean, pooping where he will walk in it, playing with Autumn, snuggling with mom, being brushed, lunging, "going fast", eating all day, making mom proud

  • Dislikes: not having his food bucket first, wind, trail riding alone



Lila aka "Little Lila The Pony"

Lila's story is the most devastating of them all, thus far. In June of 2017, she and fourteen others were rescued by Baker's Ranch Miniature Rescue in Ramona, CA from a "kill pen" in Louisiana. These controversial locations see many broken and dishearten horses, looking at the end of their days. Luckily, Lila was saved. Unfortunately, the large mini didn't get along with any of the other ponies on the property. So, Bakers Ranch reached out to Kait and, of course, she couldn't say no. Lila came home on July 2, 2017, still incredibly skinny, terrified, covered in sores with auction tags intact. It became clear, very quickly that Lila most-likely had limited exposure to other horses and been handled very little in her short life, at that point. After major TLC, a load of vet visits, and a mass amount of patience, Lila has been able to show her true colors and trust the people that love her dearly. From flipping over out of fear to gently taking carrots from two-year-olds, Lila has show HNH that her purpose in life is not only to inspire people with her story, but also to love all little humans that come into her life. 


  • Born: Unknown, estimated 2010

  • Rescued: July 2, 2017

  • Job: a super example of how we can learn to love sassy and passionate characteristic in our animals

  • Likes: tormenting her larger sanctuary family members, claiming mom as hers, neck scratches, baby carrots, calling to everyone that walks by, throwing hay all over her stall, going on walks with mom

  • Dislikes: being alone in the arena, not being fed first, being cold