Tag: Ranger

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!

Picture Parade One Hundred and Sixty-Six

September Memories

Jean was asked to send some photos of our horses to her friend Suzann down in Mexico. Here are a few. Their names are Ben and Ranger. Ben has the longer white dash down his nose and the photos were taken out on the horse paddock.






Also going to indulge myself and share with you some recent photos of the approaching dusk looking Eastwards from our property.


p1160476Welcome to October!

(And over the weekend we had rain – the first since July 10th!)

Celebrating Ben and Ranger.

The joy these horses have given us.

It’s almost impossible, at times, to get one’s mind around life’s events.  I’m not wishing to be overly philosophical but, nonetheless, it doesn’t do any harm to muse from time to time about the nature of things.

Take our two rescue horses: Ben and Ranger.

They have now been with us for coming up to three months.  Considering how terribly they were treated before being rescued by Darla Clark of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs, it’s a privilege to experience the way that these two horses have so rapidly put their past behind them.

All of which is a preamble to this photograph taken just a couple of days ago.

Ranger (LHS) and Ben enjoying our open grassland.
Ranger (LHS) and Ben enjoying our open grassland.

Just look at their shiny coats!  Just look at them so happily munching away on the grass.

Now look at how they were not so long ago.

Ranger, when first seen in February.

Ranger, when first seen in February.


Ben2 when found
Ben as seen last October.

So back to present, happy times.

The last photograph is of Jean having just put a halter on Ranger so that the two of them can be taken in at the end of the day.  Ben follows Ranger in without the need of a halter.  Ben and Ranger are inseparable!



Tomorrow, the celebration of another beautiful animal!

Ben and Ranger have settled in!

Can’t believe how quickly a month has gone by!

This last Tuesday, the 15th April, was a month to the day after our rescue horses, Ben and Ranger, arrived here in Merlin.  There was a post on the 20th March called Welcome Ranger – and Ben!

Here’s a picture from that day:

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

Here’s a picture of Ben from sadder times:

October 2013: The Sheriff’s department have passed Ben to Darla.

So with no further ado, here are four photographs taken last Tuesday, the 15th April.

Waiting to greet Jean and me in the morning!
Waiting to greet Jean and me in the morning!


Ranger totally at ease with his 'old Dad!'.
Ranger totally at ease with his ‘old Dad!’.


Ben, behind Ranger; both loving up to Jean.
Ben, behind Ranger; both loving up to Jean.


Ranger loving up to yours truly!
Ben loving up to yours truly!

Jean is used to horses from previous times in her life but, for me, horses are not animals that I am familiar with.

But after a month of getting to know Ranger and Ben and them getting to know me, I find them adorable!

Just words!

Odds are you have already seen this!

Reason I state that is, as of yesterday morning, some 19,070,066 viewings of the following video had taken place.

But so what!

That number shows that despite the advertising insertions, despite the video promoting a commercial concern at the close, there are plenty of us who want to be reminded of the power of words.

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care

for people will hear them and be influenced by them

for good or ill.



Jean and I were pottering around yesterday afternoon getting everything ready for Ranger’s arrival planned for Tuesday.  In the back of my mind was some self-criticism for just sticking today’s post up in front of you, in the sense that it was just too easy.  Not that the message isn’t powerful but does it relate to the essence of this blog – exploring what we can learn from dogs?

Then it struck me as blindingly obvious! Of all the things that dogs offer us humans, the one key aspect of their integrity is their unconditional love.   The way that dogs love us acknowledges our existence at a ‘being-to-being’ level.

That’s the power of that short video. That the passing lady stopped and acknowledged the existence of the blind beggar-man.

We all need to be reminded of that all the time!

A hero

Another example of the power of social media.

I subscribe to Naked Capitalism, as much for the Antidote du Jour, as for the fine economic commentaries.  In my inbox of the 16th December was this wonderful antidote.  A quick Google search shows that these pictures are spreading like wildfire around the world’s email servers.  Not without reason.

Maybe these pictures resonate in all of us when we long for some simpler way of life …..

This Ranger is assigned to prevent poaching around the wildlife refuge area of Lanseria, South Africa. The way these animals interact with him is absolutely stunning! The lions seem to know he’s there to protect them. His charm works with hyenas and cougars too. Hyenas are usually vicious. Check out the pictures taken in the river – amazing because lions hate water.

As they say, don’t try this at home!

View the rest of these stunning photos