The Herd Members that Moved On
In Horse Heaven
Our oldest horse here at Heart Ranch is Gus, a 37 year old buckskin gelding. Originally named Mr. Big, Gus was born mid-April, 1982, on the island of Maui. One of his first owners had his license removed, so he would ride Gus from bar to bar. Gus was brought to the Big Island to said owners brother, who would ride him hard up at Parker Ranch. A man bought him and used him in a trail riding business, where Gus picked up some very bad habits, including being rude towards other horses. The business went broke, and Gus was moved to a pasture where he was neglected. By the time he was rescued, Gus was obese and had horribly rotten hooves. The vet said that it was possible that he would never be ridden again. The organization did a great job at getting him back to health, and had him for ten years. When we first saw Gus in May of 2011, he was underweight by a few hundred pounds. As an elderly horse, we assumed that he would most likely not be able to put all the weight back on, and we were probably not ever going to use him as a riding horse. We fed him special feed, and he put the weight back on in only a few short months. He is now a healthy old guy that still loves his special food, especially when he has kids to massage him while he eats. His balance has become poor with age; therefore, we don't ride him anymore. He enjoys his job as greeter and loves getting groomed while laying out in a light slumber.
On to Greener Pastures
Tessa arrived at the ranch when she was about five years old. She was very skinny and somewhat malnourished which seemed to have stunted her growth . After lots of TLC and training she has became a lovely shiny black mare that adores small children. She has been known to get overly excited and pretends to be a barrel horse at times. This makes her a wild ride and it can be a lot of fun. She loves playing in water and having her mane combed and braided. Many kids at Heart Ranch adore her for her loving, calm and sweet nature.
Customer Support Lead
Toughy is the only miniature horse on the ranch and makes himself very noticeable by his brave attitude towards the larger horses and his cleverness that always seems to take him where the food is. Some people are intimidated by the size of horses so Toughy is the perfect transition gorse to help overcome fear. When we first went out to see him, he was living on a ranch with a herd of cattle. Anytime he heard his name he would come running to his owner because he knew it meant attention and food. We were told that he was previously owned by a lady who would load him into her van and drive him to visit elderly homes, so we knew he would fit in just right at the ranch. He was born 6/5/97, and although he isn’t a young horse, he still plays as if he is. We were worried about our large horses playing rough with him, but he has lived up to his name and is Tough about standing up for himself.