Our horses, Ben and Ranger, now graze in our main pasture.
Nearly six weeks ago, we welcomed our two rescue horses to our home. Then a week ago I reported that Ben and Ranger had settled in. The final part of embracing these two wonderful horses was to offer them grazing facilities out in the main area of grassland.
Thus as soon as an electric fence had been installed, Ben and Ranger faced a great deal of fresh grass! Admittedly, for just a couple of hours a day to prevent them from getting fat.
So three photographs of two very happy horses!
Ben is to the left in the above picture; Ranger head down nibbling grass as if it was going out of fashion!
This time it is Ranger looking at the camera in the above picture, with Ben filling his chops!
Unlike Jean, I have had no previous experience of horses. I have been bowled over by the speed at which these two wonderful creatures, both with a background of suffering cruelty from humans, have embraced me. And Jean; of course.
Six weeks ago I could hardly touch them. Now they will nuzzle my hands and let me rest my face against their heads.
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.
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.
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.
Another 100 yards and the start of a new life for these two gorgeous animals.
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!
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.
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.
Strikes me as only one way to end this post is with the following as seen on Darla’s Facebook page.
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.
How about giving the nearest animal, or human, a big hug telling them at the same time how much you love them!