Nonprofit catering to veterans, first responders tries to help its therapy animals survive winter blast

Legacy Farmstead provides equine therapy to veterans and first responders with PTSD

BOERNE, Texas – John and Amy Henderson started the nonprofit Legacy Farmstead a year ago on their ranch in Boerne. Their mission is to provide a weekend of healing for those who have sacrificed to serve our communities and nation.

Since their inception, the Henderson’s have provided services to numerous families including Purple Heart Veterans.

“We are a nonprofit that provides equine therapy to veterans and first responders that may be struggling with PTSD or just the stresses of life,” John said.

“Our mission and (why we trust) the whole purpose of why God gave us this ranch and has blessed us with these animals, is to impact those in need,” Amy said.

Days ahead of the freeze, their focus shifted from serving others to protect their own.

“We have had below freezing temperatures and not much wind and movement,” John said. “It’s very difficult to keep the water from freezing, and most horses, you know, won’t drink or push through like a cow would.”

The family has several pigs, chickens, cats, cows, goats, a turkey and five horses. All of the livestock has been moved to the chicken coop to keep warm and the horses are covered in blankets.

John and Amy Henderson started the nonprofit Legacy Farmstead a year ago on their ranch in Boerne. (Legacy Farmstead)

“We rescued them out of kill pens where they were days, sometimes hours from going to slaughter,” John said. “So, they’re definitely special animals, for sure.”

The work to keep their animals alive doesn’t end there. It’s a demanding job that continues all day.

“We have to break up the ice on that water every few hours and then as well, we’ve been bringing down hot water to pour into their buckets in the stall,” John said.

Ice must be broken up every few hours to ensure animals stay hydrated. (Legacy Farmstead)

The power outages have also caused major pains for the nonprofit as their water supply is pumped from a well on their property. This week, their source of water to fill the buckets is down to one cabin as like many across the state, water pipes have burst throughout the property.

“We’ve had water breaks at the barn,” John said. “We’ve had a water break in one of the cabin, and and we’ve had different power issues that we’re going to have to resolve now.”

The Henderson’s hope is to see every single one of their animals survive to welcome more military and first responder families to Legacy Farmstead.

“Our prayers just go out to everyone in Texas right now,” Amy said.

For more information on Legacy Farmstead, visit its Facebook or Instagram page.

To contact the nonprofit, send an email to