About Maddy Butcher

Maddy Butcher:

  • Born and raised in Maine. Grew up riding the woods and fields of Harpswell Neck and beyond.
  • Graduated from Brown University with a BA in Biology (1988). Completed Independent Studies in Biology and English.
  • Worked for nearly two decades as a free-lance reporter for The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications covering sports, travel, business, front page, and investigative work. Read Boston Globe articles. Read Wall St. Journal article.
  • Grant Recipient, Center for Investigative Journalism (2001).
  • Founded 24 Carrot Horse Care, horse-sitting business, serving Cumberland County, Maine. (2005-2011)
  • Founded NickerNews, a horse community website (2008).
  • Founded BestHorsePractices (2012)
  • Author, A Rider’s Reader: Exploring Horse Sense, Science & Sentiment (2012)
  • Founded outdoor recreation sites ColoradoOutsider and UtahOutsider (2015)
  • Founded the website HorseHead: Brain Science to Improve Your Horse Work (2017)
  • Completed training as a Wilderness First Responder and Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescuer
  • Frequent contributor to High Country News


  1. How can I help. Being a partner with my rescue horse has lovingly given me both physical and mental therapy do to many medical issues. He has taught me so much since he was the age of four and broken down and unhealthy when I got him. Our partnership and mutual respect is indescribable.
    I would love to give back in some way. I admire what you are doing for these magnificent animals❤️

  2. Hi Maddy,
    You should meet my daughter, ELANA James. She’s a part-time wrangler in Montana and the two of you would get along great together.
    Marv Fremerman

  3. I just saw your Op Ed in the Washington Post. Thank you! These are all the things I have been trying to tell “horse lovers” for years. You don’t mention the carriage horse issue in your piece, but people also think those horses are going to go to some nice pasture somewhere, but ask any draft horse sanctuary if they have the room.

  4. just read our opinion piece about horse slaughter , as an adopter of 2 orphaned foals from the feedlot in Fallon nevada, I can speak from experience about this topic. I have been a horse person for 50 years.The foals were orphaned because a breeding operation went out of business sending 250 mothers and foals, yearling and 2 year olds to be slaughtered. I wish you would have addressed that side of the unwanted horse problem- over breeding! I agree the practice of shipping horses over the border is horrific but the idea that a stun bolt is 100 percent accurate in rendering the animal unconscious is wrong often they are not unconscious, just knocked silly and fully awake as they are hoisted up by their hind legs to have their throats cut. Education is vital to minimizing the unwanted horse problem. and Equine guided learning programs are one of the best because it awakens people to the humanity required to end this problem and so many others. if the loop hole that allows horse to be shipped across the border was eliminated than we would not be let off the hook so easily and be forced to reckon with this. Domestic Slaughter houses will be profit centers and where there is profit there is a need to keep regenerating the source of the profit. So I don’t see that as an answer . We abolished slavery and human sacrifice is no longer practiced, so I am assuming we can learn to do better with horses.

  5. Ms Butcher:
    I just read your article “In the Mud and Blood of Working with Horses, Death is not a Stranger” in the Washington Post this morning. I haven’t been on a horse in decades, but your thoughtful observations, comments, and approach, struck a cord. I grew up in Pueblo. During high school summers, nearly every Monday, when our club swimming pool was closed, we would go to Beulah and horseback ride. A brother was a resident in Beverly Farm, Godfrey, Illinois, a facility for developmentally disabled … the equestrian program there did wonders with residents. They are magnificent animals.

    I am familiar with Montezuma County, although mostly passing through … . I love the Southwest! I am an urban dweller, but never forget my rural urges. I understand what you are doing … keep up your good work …

    BTW, my eldest daughter is a 1998 Brown grad.

    John White, Arlington, Virginia

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