Since she was a little girl, Jennifer (Taylor) Williams (’96) has been infatuated with horses. Between riding lessons and the prospect of someday owning her own horse, she was hooked. Her passion for horses has since grown through her work with nonprofit equine rescues.
Williams is the co-founder of two separate horse rescues in Texas, Lone Star Equine Rescue and Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, and currently serves as the executive director of the latter. She works with volunteers, donors, law enforcement officials and horse professionals on a day-to-day basis to resolve horse-neglect situations.
“I remember being a kid and thinking when I was grown I would buy horses at auction that no one wanted, train them, and then find them new people. So, I think rescue was in my blood before I even knew rescues existed,” Williams said.
Since Bluebonnet’s inception in 2005, Williams has helped save more than 750 horses and seen more than 600 adopted. Additionally, she understands that in order to be successful there is more to rescue work than saving animals.
“You need passion to carry you through the times that are emotionally draining, but a nonprofit is still a business, and you need to run it like one,” Williams said. “It’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to be involved in rescue for 18 years.”
As part of her position, Williams is in charge of many administrative duties, including training and managing volunteers, fundraising, supervising investigations, soliciting new foster homes and writing articles about the rescue. Although there are occasionally difficult decisions involved with abused horse cases, Williams promises that her positive experiences far outweigh the negative.
“One of my favorite stories involves one of my foster horses and an adorable little girl. A man applied to adopt her for his granddaughter and brought the girl to meet her. I gave her a mini-riding lesson on the mare and she just lit up,” Williams said. “That was love, and it was awesome to play a small part in making it happen.”
After getting her degree in psychology from Truman, Williams ultimately pursued her master’s and Ph.D. in ethology, or animal behavior, from Texas A&M University. She writes articles for horse magazines and other local general interest publications, and teaches an equine behavior class for an online university. Williams also has been recognized by American Horse Publications and the Texas Veterinary Medical Association.
Williams lives in Lorena, Texas, with her husband, daughter and six horses of her own. She plans to continue her equine rescue work by expanding Bluebonnet’s programs and influence.
“We will do everything we can to make the world a better place for horses,” Williams said.