Governor Link is a Percheron draft horse, twenty-some years of age. He started out life in an Amish community as part of a pulling team. Governor Link did everything with his teammate; they worked together, played together, even saw the farrier together. When his teammate passed away, his owners had no further use for him. Link, still going through the grieving process, was taken in by Hightail Horse Ranch and Rescue. That is where he met Free Willie and they both found their permanent homes at ARRR. Link spends his days with a small herd of horses and donkeys, roaming the pastures or quietly munching on a hay bale. Apparently this lifestyle suits him as he is holding his head up once again and seems generally happier than when he first arrived. On occasion there is a small dispute among equine and when needed Link, even though he is an introvert, will put his foot down. We have a witness who absolutely insists that when Link stomps his foot hard enough, you can feel it shake the ground 100 yards away! He is only about 17 hands tall, but apparently is VERY sturdy. Link loves to be brushed so much so that he will send other horses away and put himself in front of you if you happen to have a curry comb in your hands. He stands quietly as you brush him head to foot, mane to tail. The Governor likes treats too….not so much the apples and carrots, but most definitely the cookies and peppermints. Link has not been ridden although people can sit on his back. We hope to get a harness and put him to work on the ranch with some light duty chores, such as tilling up the garden. He is our gentle giant who has a good work ethic as long as proper attention and treats are given.
Angel is a 2 year old morgan, quarter horse cross. She arrived at ARRR on June 1, 2014. Her previous owner was moving and had been looking for a home for her for a year, with no success. Apparently no one wants a young horse with attitude because it is difficult for anyone to find the time to train horses these days. When Angel first arrived at ARRR, she allowed petting only if you had a treat and only up to her shoulder. Now she allows petting all along her back, belly, and rump. What a good little horse, you might say! Well, Angel is no Angel. She is smart and mischievous and still full of attitude, which we love about her.
Apache had been rescued from a neglect situation and came to the ARRR in August of 2014. His previous owner had left him in a stall for 4 years; he was never let out to exercise or graze or feel the sun on his back. Now Apache spends most of his time outside with the rest of herd, and has access to shelter in the barn whenever he chooses. He is curious, playful, loves to run, and sometimes is an instigator for trouble amongst the horses 😉
Ahhh, the Duchess of the ARRR Ranch! This lovely dun mare also came here in 2014. She has an old injury on her left hind leg which makes her unsuitable for ridding. Sometimes this leg bothers her and as she walks along she lifts it high and does little kicks; perhaps trying to get feeling into it or stretch it or kick the pain away. Times like this is when we massage arnica gel onto her leg, which she really seems to appreciate. Duchess is even tempered, sweet, and very accepting of affection. She loves apples, cookie and peppermint treats, but not carrots or watermelon.
Free Willie arrived here, along with Governor Link, from Hightail Horse Ranch and Rescue on May 1, 2014. This 14 year old Arabian came from an abusive situation and is blind in his right eye. For the first couple months that Free Willy was here, we could barely touch him as, understandably, he has trust issues. However with a little ground work during a few natural horsemanship classes that summer, we learned how to show Free Willy that he could trust us! He still keeps his guard up and does not like to be haltered, but at least we can pet him now. As we have continued working with him, he has become more and more at ease around people. One of his most endearing qualities is his protective nature; when the surprise colts were born here at the ARRR, Free Willy was constantly standing by to watch over them. To this day, he is still near the colts most of the time. Free Willy must be their father figure.
Cookie LOVES cookies! That must be how she earned her name. If we don’t give her the treats fast enough, she kicks the gate or stomps the ground to demand more. Cookie is a 10 year old mustang who came from a BLM wild mustang roundup in the Sandwash Basin of Colorado. She came to the ARRR on June 1, 2014 along with Angel and Daisy. Cookie is a strong personality and dominant female; some the wild is still in her. She surprised us with a colt in the spring of 2015. She is a very good, although strict, mother.
This mild mannered little mare has quite a story. She is only around 8 years old but already has been through a lot. Daisy arrived at the ARRR covered in bite marks, scrapes and cuts, a bit on the thin side, and without a name. Her energy was very low. We fed her a lot and gave her gentle attention. She took part in the horsemanship classes that summer and built a little confidence. By winter she had grown fat and sassy! Spring came, and early in April she presented us with a surprise colt. Then in June she went down and it was three miserable days before we got her back up. Someone from the ranch was with her constantly, 24 hours a day, through her ordeal. Daisy tried every couple hours to stand, and in the attempt to get her feet under her she would lunge forward and end up doing a “face plant” on the ground. Her mouth and muzzle were all torn and bloody but she continued to try. Daisy soon became exhausted although she never gave up. We suspect part of reason for her determination was the fact that she is a mother and knew her young colt still needs her. With the help of a neighbor and his homemade horse sling, we got Daisy to her feet on the third try. A week or so later, the vet called with the final results of Daisy’s lab work. Turns out she was afflicted with TWO neurological issues. We continued treatment for those as well as treatment of infection from cuts. Daisy then had massage and chiropractor appointments. After having some time to regain some strength, Daisy and her colt were released back out to pasture with the rest of the herd. She continues to be a tolerant and loving mother, and is the only one of our adult horses who likes watermelon treats.
Mason and Morgan
What a wonderful surprise these two were! Unbeknownst to us, Cookie and Daisy were pregnant when they were surrendered to ARRR. In the spring of 2015, we had noticed that they were well filled out, but then all of our horses came through the winter well and looked chubby so we weren’t overly concerned. Then on March 28, a big colt was born to Cookie and found just outside the round roof barn by our ranch foreman that morning. We were given a crash course in the care of foals and mares who are new moms, and he was given the name Mason. Right from the start Mason was friendly and curious. He has no hesitation approaching people and checking things out. Ten days after Mason was born, Daisy gave birth to Morgan, with one blue eye. Unlike Mason, little Morgan did not initially like people. He would not allow petting and mostly stayed out of reach by putting his mom between us and him. It was not until Daisy was down and Morgan was probably feeling scared that he approached people to get some comfort and reassurance. Now days Morgan accepts petting but is still not quite as outgoing as Mason. Colts will be colts, and one day they returned from pasture with matching injuries to their hind right legs. The vet assured us that although the injuries look bad that they were superficial and required minimal treatment. Sure enough, the boys healed pretty quickly and are growing like bad weeds! Children who visit the ranch love to see the colts.
Ginny The Hinney
We don’t know a whole lot about Ginny the hinny. First off, a hinny is the opposite of a mule; a mule is the offspring of a female horse and a male donkey, whereas a hinny is the offspring of a female donkey and a male horse. Hinnies are less common. Ginny came to the ARRR in August of 2014 with a terrible case of founder. Her hooves had not been tended to in years, thus each and every step was painful. Ginny has now been seen by ARRR’s favorite farrier several times. Her back hooves are close to normal and her front hooves are greatly improved and we will continue with corrective treatment. Through conversation with the former owner, we learned the Ginny has always been a loaner. We believe that this can also be changed. She acts like she wants affection but is afraid. All we need is time to work with her to build a little trust.
Nena and Sunny
Sunny and Nena are mother and daughter. They were originally rescued by NARS in Minnesota, and at that time Nena could not stand and was barely alive. NARS got Nena back on her feet and got both ponies stabilized. When they arrived at the ARRR Ranch in 2014, both ponies were underweight; their pelvis bones were sticking out and ribs plainly visible. We are good at fattening things up around here, so that’s what we did. In no time Sunny and Nena filled out nicely. Sunny has a bright yet quiet disposition. Nena, who also has a bit of an attitude, has become close friends with Angel. The ponies, Angel, Harold, Petunia and Ginny are usually found running loose in the farmyard or in the small south pasture.
Rose and Tulip (Full-sized Donkeys)
Rose and Tulip are another mother and daughter pair. They had been abandoned at the vet clinic so in May of 2014 we brought them here to give them a forever home. Each one was accepting of affection from their fist day here, however Rose is usually first to approach. Tulip is never far behind. As their names suggest, they both have sweet faces and charming personalities.
Harold and Petunia (Mini Donkeys)
Harold and Petunia are the clowns of the ARRR! They were rescued from the slaughter pen at an auction and brought to ARRR in May of 2014. Both donkeys were very scared. They walked around with the auction tags still on their rumps for the first month or two; no one could get close long enough to remove them. Eventually they figured out that no harm would come to them and slowly they began to trust again. Now we can pet them anywhere and they will even stand still to let us cut cockleburs out of the hair on their tummies. They will rest their heads on our shoulders or chests and love to have their long ears stroked. Harold and Petunia, as with many donkeys, are very curious and get into everything. They are also the greeting committee; frequently whenever someone comes to the farmyard they are met by these two clowns. Sometimes it is a challenge to get in or out of a vehicle because Harold and Petunia are right there with their faces in the door. These two have come to expect treats from the Captain every day and will walk over to the garage and wait for carrots. Petunia, aka “Toonie”, will even whine until she gets her carrots. Full of personality, these two are!