Meet The Herd
(Born 2004) Tyler is a Dutch Warmblood gelding. His owner contacted us when Tyler had suffered a leg injury and needed stall rest for one full year. The boarding cost was incredibly expensive and the owner could no longer afford it. The owner did not want to sell him as she was afraid that he would not get the rest for recovery. Afraid that he would be pushed and continually re-injured, she had made an appointment to have the Veterinarian come euthanize him on Monday. She then heard about our ranch and on the Friday before, called us to inquire about donating him. There was little time for deliberation We decided to accept Tyler on Saturday and on Sunday, made the ten hour journey to pick him up. A warmblood is a draft horse crossed with a standard sized horse such as a thoroughbred or quarter horse. Needless to say, Tyler is quite stout. He’s not tall, only 15.2 hands but he’s built like a tank with the sweetest disposition.
(Born 1996) Athena is a Quarter Horse mare. Her color is considered a dark bay in the horse world but everyone says she's black. She was a donation to our ranch from the Berg family. Athena was not being used often enough so the family wanted her to go to a place where she had a job and someone could benefit from her experience. When Athena first came, she was stubborn, a little unruly and rude from lack of human interaction. It didn't take long before she fell into line with all our ranch horses. She now loves being brushed (especially the treats afterwards) and is a great trail horse.
(Born 2005) Cassidy is a paint mare, who was first leased to the barn by her owner, who loved seeing Cassidy with the kids. Cassidy has made so much improvement while at the ranch and was such a good fit for the program that her owner has let her stay and become part of the herd. She came to us a little untrusting but has greatly improved. Her size makes her perfect for kids who are leery of a high horse but too big for the minis.
(Born 2000) Juliet is a Morgan mare with a unique color. She is a Palomino, however, because she is spotted, she is called a Dappled Palomino. She was a show horse experienced in Western and English classes winning many ribbons and contests. But she (and Romeo, who since has been adopted) had to be removed from her owner's custody when she was neglected and rescued by another organization in 2015. Once she and Romeo were back to good health, Hog Heaven spread the word that they were looking for a good home for both. When they first arrived at RYYR in January 2016, their names were Cody & Lollipop. They were very herd bound to each other, perpetually calling out to one another from their stalls and pacing in the stalls as well, thus we named them Romeo and Juliet.
Juliet before and after her rescue in 2015
Romeo before and after his rescue in 2015
(Born 1998) Oreo is a Paint gelding and retired barrel racing horse. He was owned and loved by Kayla Wallace prior to becoming a ranch horse. Over the years, he has developed an allergy to molasses and has COPD so Kayla retired him and he was loving life in a field, eating all day long. When Kayla heard our program was growing so fast and we needed some lesson horses, she kindly volunteered Oreo's services. Thus Oreo has come out of retirement. He wasn't crazy about it at first but has settled into his job of a lesson horse and soaks up all the attention he gets at the ranch. He is adored by volunteers and lavished with so much love. Oh, and don't let his age fool you, this horse has lots of get up and go.
(Born 2000) Prince is an Arabian/Quarter horse gelding. His is a boarder who belongs to Kate the daughter of our faithful volunteer Ann. Kate is attending college, and since she wouldn't have the time to ride him much generously offered the ranch full use of him. He is an experienced show horse, sensitive and lively, and a favorite for riders with some experience who want to learn from him.
(Born 2001) Zeba is a miniature horse mare. We received her as one of a pair from Personal Ponies. Personal Ponies is a national non-profit for the rescue and placement of minis. Zeba and Latte were living in Illinois with a family that had adopted children with a variety of disabilities. Both minis were instrumental in helping the children with various issues such as balance and fear. Latte was adopted by a volunteer, but Zeba has stayed on at the ranch teaching many young children. Zeba also has experience driving carts.
(Born 2013) Aero is a Shetland pony gelding who was owned by a young lady who had rescued him from a bad farm situation. She fed him and did some training but Aero was young and had some abuse experiences. Micheline’s daughter, Savanah, purchased him from this young lady when he was three. Aero's purpose was to be a trailer buddy for Savanah's horse, Scout. After much training, she found Scout didn't need a buddy so she donated Aero to RYYR. Since then, Aero has been in training to pull a cart. He is a spunky little mini that has unique coloring with a black face and piercing blue eyes. Aero likes to push his boundaries but if you work with him for just a few minutes, he comes around and is very willing to please. Aero's best friend is our mini-donkey, Reuben. You can see them in the fields romping and playing.
(Born 2004) Calvin is a Thoroughbred gelding who was owned by an organization that leases horses out to various summer camps. When we went to look at another lesson horse, Calvin was standing next to the horse we were looking at for our lesson program. His head was way down and he was lethargic. We noticed he was rather skinny. The owner told us that the person leasing him was not feeding him properly so they took him back. She knew about our ranch and offered him to us as a free lease. We hesitated because he is a Thoroughbred and they can be hyper. But we saw his demeanor and thought we would try him out. We had been praying for a taller horse for the taller kids that come to our program, maybe Calvin was what God had in mind for us? He put on some weight and did such an amazing job for our taller riders. Calvin is so mellow that he is hard NOT to love. Since he has received proper nutrition, Calvin’s personality has changed. It is such a joy to see him running with his head high and playing with the other geldings. Calvin is quirky, yet devoted to those who take the time to listen to him. He is exactly the big boy the ranch was looking for!
(Born 2001) Dream is a registered AQHA & registered international Buckskin Association mare who came to us when her owner was unable to provide the time needed to work with and ride her. We free leased Dream and Sid for a short term and when the owner could no longer keep them, we were blessed to be able to keep them for our program. She is a sweet girl who loves quiet, gentle attention and will fall asleep in your hands while being groomed.
(Born 2014) Sid is a paint gelding who came with Dream as a free leased horse and is now owned by the ranch. His previous owner had purchased him at a horse auction when he was only 18 months old. Horses should not be ridden until they are approximately 3 years old as their knee caps do not fully close until then, so Sid's previous owner worked with him and trained him until he was able to be ridden and then used him in barrel shows. Sid is still young and needs more training but his demeanor makes him perfect for our ranch. Sid loves attention from the kids and is a calm, quiet ride. He is slow and steady and so perfect for kids just learning how to ride.
SCARLET & SAPPHIRA
(Born 2011 & 2009) Scarlet (left) & Sapphira (right) are both Shetland pony mares. These sisters were donated to the ranch when they really weren't being used. The owner thought they'd be a good fit for RYYR. They are great for pony rides & have had some training with pulling a cart. They are spunky and eager to move, and respond well to a consistent and firm handler.
(Born 2016) Reuben is a miniature donkey john who arrived in the back of Micheline’s SUV. He is intelligent and spunky, and enjoys romping with his friend Aero and climbing on rocks. He is training to pull a cart and is quick to learn tricks like pushing a ball. Everyone that meets him LOVES him!
This is why we named him Reuben:
When Micheline (Co-founder of RYYR) was young, she and her family (5 siblings and her Mom) were sponsored to America by a church in Annandale, Virginia, they could not find anywhere to rent. No one wanted to rent to a single mom with 6 kids. A deacon of the church that sponsored them stepped up and purchased a home down the street from the church. His name was Reuben Johnson and he was in his 60s! At an age when people are retiring and have to live on a fixed income, this man showed the love of Christ by purchasing a home so her family had somewhere to live. Mr. Johnson has since passed, however, Micheline recalled how kind and gentle Reuben Johnson was and so we named the little donkey Reuben in his honor (with his wife’s blessing of course!)