Revisiting the story of Ben and Ranger.

The power of forgiveness displayed by our animals.

Last Sunday’s Picture Parade was mainly photographs of Jean out with our ex-rescue horses Ben and Ranger. Let me share the one of Ben as it is relevant to what follows.

p1160488A regular reader, Susan Leighton, the author of the blog Woman on the Ledge, commented (in part):

Ben and Ranger are handsome! They are known as roans, correct? I have always loved horses.

I didn’t know but said that I would ask Jeannie (and they are Chestnuts, not Roans!). It then struck me that republishing the post that was first presented back in March, 2014 might be of interest to others beyond Susan.

First, understand, for it is not specifically spelled out in this post, that Ben was removed by the Sheriff because he was being starved, being beaten and having air-gun bullets fired into his chest (the scars are still visible)!

Here’s that post from 2014:


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 “Revisiting the story of Ben and Ranger.

  1. What a beautiful post Paul. I have no words to say just that they all are unconditionally giving their love to one and all cause they just love us for who we are. Beautiful pics, just loved them.


  2. I am so glad that you and Jean took Ben and Ranger, Paul. For the life of me, I cannot understand how you open your heart to a pet and then like that, you turn on it. I don’t have that cruel or mean streak in me to beat or torment human or animal. Everytime I read something like this, I just hug my husband and Maggie a little harder. Thank you for sharing this story. BTW, I appreciate Jean clearing up the Roan, Chestnut conundrum I was having. I almost said Chestnut but then thought Roan was correct. 🙂


    1. Susan, there are times when I struggle to appreciate just how it is for some people. Partly because I have never had to confront cruelty and, partly, because I don’t have the courage to get close to people who do understand how anger, bitterness and cruelty can overtake a life.

      But I am conscious that there are so many people who, for a multitude of reasons, are much less fortunate than I. Indeed, tomorrow’s post features a recent George Monbiot essay on loneliness.

      Like you, when something does get to me I hug Jeannie and as many other dogs that want to climb in on the act!. Jeannie does likewise with me! ‘Till the moment I take my last breath I will never take for granted the love I receive from Jean and our dogs (not forgetting Ben!).

      (Apologies: didn’t mean to come over so emotionally in replying to you!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good to see Ben is thriving Paul.. I remember when you took Ranger and Ben in, and the generous spirit both you and Jean have in giving homes to so many four legged is wonderful.. This post proves just what a difference you both have made.. 🙂 kudos to you both.


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