Welcome Ranger – and Ben!

Our new boys- the story of two horses!

Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will remember a post just over a month ago The lone Ranger.  Essentially, that explained that we had visited Strawberry Mountain Mustangs in Roseburg, Oregon and, subject to their approval, had decided to adopt Ranger, a 15-year-old gelding.

Ranger, when first seen in February.
Ranger, when first seen in February.

Thus it proceeded to the point where two-days ago Darla, of Strawberry Mountain, ably assisted by Cody, brought Ranger and Ben to us here in Merlin.  It’s been a wonderful twenty-four hours (at the time of writing this). Why Ben?  Please read on.


Darla and Cody making a safe and timely arrival a little before 10am last Tuesday.

Ben, our new foster.
Ben, our new foster, being coaxed out by Darla on the lead-line and Cody behind him.

Why did we take the two?  Last October, Ben had been found starved and showing the signs of a great lack of confidence.   He was ‘rescued’ on orders of Darla’s local sheriff because of Ben’s condition despite being in private ownership.  Darla was certain that Ben had been physically beaten in recent times, hence him being very wary of strangers.  Thus his relationship with Ranger was part of his journey of returning to a healthy, confident horse. Darla offered us the opportunity of fostering Ben because Ranger had become a good companion for him. Darla explained that Ben was a very wary horse, especially of sudden movements from men.

Jean leading Ranger; Darla leading Ben.
Jean leading Ranger; Darla leading Ben.

Another 100 yards and the start of a new life for these two gorgeous animals.

Hey Ranger, is this for real!!
Hey Ranger, is this for real!!

In the those first few minutes after Jean and Darla led the horses to the grass paddock, Ben seemed to have an expression on his face that suggested it was all too difficult to believe!  Ranger just got stuck into munching!  But not to the extent of not enjoying a back-rub!

"I think I'm going to like this, Ben!"
“I think I’m going to like this, Ben!”

In the afternoon, it was time to bring Ben and Ranger for an overnight in the top area where the stables, food and water were.  Ben was very nervous at coming through the open gate and for a while there seemed to be a complication in that Ranger kept thrusting at Ben as if to keep him away from the fence line separating the horses from Allegra and Dancer, our miniature horses.

But in the morning, yesterday, things seemed much more relaxed. To the point that when Ben and Ranger went back out to the grass, Ben was much more relaxed towards Jean and me, as the following pictures reveal.

Jean offering Ben some treats.
Jean offering Ben some treats.


Yours truly doing likewise.
Yours truly doing likewise.

OK, want to turn back to Darla.

To give an insight into the awe-inspiring work of Darla and her team (and many others across the Nation) and to recognise the need of the authorities to have such outlets as Strawberry Mountain, here are two photographs of Ben shortly after he was removed from the people who had stopped loving and caring for him.

Ben2 when found
Ben as seen last October.


Ben as seen last October.
Ben close to starving.

Strikes me as only one way to end this post is with the following as seen on Darla’s Facebook page.

Author unknown.

Thus this post is offered in dedication to the good people all over the world who know the value of the unconditional love we receive from animals and do not hesitate to return the same.

Darla, Cleo and Cody setting a wonderful example of unconditional love.
Darla, Cleo and Cody setting a wonderful example of unconditional love.

How about giving the nearest animal, or human, a big hug telling them at the same time how much you love them!

9 thoughts on “Welcome Ranger – and Ben!

  1. Paul its so lovely to see Ranger and Ben so much healthier and loved that roll over in the grass. I think he knew he has come home… And what amazing work Darla and Cody do.. And they could not have picked a nicer home or two more loving people who devote their time and energy in giving unconditional love out to our four legged friends…

    I read this post early this morning minus the photo on my phone.. The wait was well worth the visit.. As I so enjoyed seeing their arrival and hearing more about the journey … Blessings Sue xox

  2. beautiful Souls all around…
    I enjoy happy endings especially where animals are concerned…
    Thank you Paul to you and your wife for all the goodness of deeds y’all do…
    it makes me smile knowing humanity is alive and well in your neck of the woods…
    Beautiful story…and I really like the words from her FB, I understand them well…
    Thank you for sharing …
    Take Care…You Matter…!!!

    1. MaryRose, ‘thank you’ feels such an insignificant phrase in response to your beautiful and generous words. The sharing of kindness from so many who follow this blog genuinely inspires Jean and me to do whatever we can.

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