Our Herd is Family!
Like human’s, every horse is born with a unique and distinctive temperament. Our Mission is to nurture each and every one of these beautiful souls. We provide every horse that enters our stables the opportunity to blossom into the fullest and richest expression of themselves. As we embark on the greatest journey of our lives, we will be accompanied by four amazing horses. We don’t know if there is a written code of honor between horse and human. What we can say is that every effort has been made to ensure the health, safety and happiness of these horses on our journey. Because, quite frankly, without our equine companions, there is no trip.
OLIVER: Morgan, Palomino: Registered Name: Get Down Tonight!
Olie certainly lives up to his name as he provides endless hours of entertainment to both his human and equine companions. Olie’s shenanigans can prove to be a source of annoyance at times, but he is so darn cute that it is hard to not forgive him. Countless moments are shared rolling our eyes in expressions of disbelief at Olie’s propensity for getting into a bind. Olie might more appropriately have sported the name “Dennis the Menace." At the tender age of 3, Olie came into George’s life. Now age 8, Olie and George have spent the last 5 years together, joined at the hip. When it comes to partnerships, there isn’t a tighter bond. Without a doubt, Olie’s personality will keep things lively on our trek to Canada!
BALTHAZAR: BLM Mustang #9848, Great Divide Basin, Wyoming, Dark Grey/Appaloosa
Is this majestic creature a reincarnate … a Ghost from the past? Certainly, not intentionally. Balthazar displays an eerie likeness to George’s beloved Ghost, whom he lost in 2017. During his quest to fill the hooves of Ghost who was intended to make the trek to Canada, George came upon this beautifully wild Mustang at The Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS). Although there are many similarities to Ghost, with Balthazar “It was in the eyes,” says George. “He wouldn’t take his eyes off me for a second.” The path with Balthazar has not been easy, but slow, forward progress has been made daily. Over the months since we adopted him, Balthazar has made George work hard for everything he gives back. And, with more patience than a saint could summon, George works tirelessly toward that mutually beneficial bond of trust. On the long walk to Canada, Balthazar will have a lot to teach in the ways of the wild.
MUSTANG SALLY: BLM Mustang, Sand Wash Basin, Colorado, Flea-bitten Grey
She stole my heart! I first knew Sally as Pepper. She was part of a BLM round-up off the Sand Wash Basin in 2010 when she was seven. Her previous owner adopted her with the intention of using her as a pack horse. In the end, he held her in a pen for six years where she received little to no hands-on interaction. We were asked to help move her to a new barn, as her owner was giving her up. Haltering her and helping George load her into the trailer took a couple of hours… and it wasn’t pretty. She had so much heart, so much spirit, yet she was so scared and unsure. Her fear was familiar to me and I felt a strong and undeniable affinity with her. I didn’t intend to adopt a new horse, let alone a wild mustang. I followed my intuition and told George that very night that I was keeping her. I renamed her Mustang Sally in honor of her heritage. Sally and I forged a nearly instantaneous bond that grows stronger every day. It will be interesting to watch this beautiful, sweet mare keep the boys in line as we make our way to Canada.
KIP: Grey, Phantom Paint
Kip had been “around the block” before landing in his forever home with me. At our first introduction I felt an immediate bond with this guy. When I welcomed Kip into my heart and home he was a seriously well-trained barrel racing and roping horse. He was finely tuned and loved showing off his stuff. As a new horse owner, in the short 5 years we were together, not only did I completely untrain him, but I pushed him over to the side of belligerence and detachment. It seemed the more I worked with him, the worse things got. In hind-site, I now see that Kip was only trying to bump me out of what was a dreadful period of self-doubt, insecurity and sadness as I traversed a rocky marriage and subsequent divorce followed by the loss of my long-time, sweet canine companion. Kip was unshakeable, but his patience with me was wearing thin. If it hadn’t been for Kip acting out to prove his point, it may be that I never would have met George, and it may be that he and I together with the rest of the herd would not be heading out on the incredible journey we are about to embark on. When I visualize the trail ahead, not only do I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude toward Kip, I also feel a tremendous amount of relief and reassurance that we will be side-by-side. Steady as he goes … rock-solid Kip will be an anchor and a calming force to his combined equine and human herd on our journey to Canada.
GHOST: Appaloosa, March 26 2017, RIP
It was a beautiful spring morning and I take my usual walk to the pasture to throw hay to my horses. A sense of foreboding comes over me as I approach. As I always do, I count the heads waiting for me at the gate. They are waiting, but not with their usual enthusiasm. I count, one, two, three, four … but not a fifth. I look into the eyes of the four and know before I see the lifeless body of Ghost laying by the shelter. I throw the hay to keep the others calm and walk over to him. There are no signs of a struggle, no obvious thing had struck down this strong, proud, and beautiful creature. It was a peaceful passing. You will be missed, although I know you will be with us in spirit as we make our great journey to Canada. Thank you for all you taught me my friend. Rest in peace.
Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us,
these quiet friends,
is that they carry away with them
so many years of our own lives.
– John Galsworthy
In the words of a horseman:
"Don’t mistreat my horses, I like them way more than I like humans."