What makes Saddle Up! Ranch truly unique is that we work with both animals and people. Many of our animals are rescued. In the last year alone Saddle Up! Ranch has saved nine horses from euthanasia, and 25 in total. We retrain horses, essentially, by teaching the horse to trust rather than act through fear.
Each horse is very different and the time taken with each horse has varied from months to years. Saddle Up! Ranch has a core group of Therapy Horses with the rest of the herd being rehabilitated or retrained. Read a little about our horses’ histories, personalities and what makes them individual!
As well as horses we also have a number of other animals at the ranch including alpaca, sheep, chickens and goats!
We have a specialised K9 team too that play an essential part of our education programme.
Deserves his place as highest ranking; Big Red is a gentle leader and teacher to the young horses as well as being a lucky horse to have been owned by humans with empathy. He was diasgnosed with a joint issue meaning he could no longer compete and has come to the charity because he is very people orientated and being a young horse still needs stimulation which he recieves through clicker training and gentle exercise.
Before & after pictures to show how even gentle exercise can tighten the core and increase muscle mass.
Heather has come from a much loved home where daughter was going to university. She is in semi-retirement and we are very pleased to have such a wonderful, kind horse here. Not only does she help
train the young riders, she also acts as Grandma to our youngsters helping them to learn boundaries!
You can learn more about Heather in our Natural Barefoot Works page, because she is a good example of what long term shoeing can do to hooves.
Heather is now on loan up north providing therapy for a young man
Famous little River was gifted to us but unknown to us he was a stallion! He is a very calm quiet boy since his operation and bottom of the herd in terms of rank. He loves to be fussed and groomed
and will not surface to breathe if given a bowl of feed until it's all gone!
River has now started a new chapter in his life and is now a horse at riding for the disabled
On loan to the charity as a therapy horse, skye was rescued by his original owner from the meat man as a youngster. He has lived a quiet life and is worried about people. Since Skye came to the ranch his confidence has soared due to positive exposure to new people and different experiences. A real testament to humans helping horses, horses helping humans.
We received a tip off that these horses were not being properly looked after and we dropped everything to go get them. The before pictures show their under nurished condition but not their
withdrawn attitude to life, it seemed that they had given up. With time and patience they have florished into the most beautiful natured souls.
Sadly Chance has an old injury which means he will stay with us. We have worked with both of these horses to be ridden and now Bessie is teaching volunteers and clients to be compassionate riders.
(Top image shows Chance on the left and Bessie on the right)
Bessie approximately 6 months in our care
Chance approximately 6 months in our care
Hope is another ex-harness racer who had soured from racing. We believe this is because these athletes are not given the correct physio or nutrition before and after racing. She is a young horse who was quiet and withdrawn when she came in and is now starting to show her spirited side.
Harmony has a beautiful nature and has had a loving past. She has now retired from being a brood mare and will be an up and coming star in our workshops where people can learn about behaviour and body language.
One special horse and his training just this year alone has come on leaps and bounds
- After weeks of ground work and games under saddle he was finally strong enough mentally and physically to be sat on
- Being ponied out to expose him to things off-site
- Ponied out with rider on board
- Meeting water and different terrain
- Going into water
- Going into town
- Learning about neck cues and how to respond to body weight shifts
- Being part of a public parade as a therapy horse!
He's only a green ridden horse but he needed no training on how to give therapy, he's a natural. Claude has helped one of our very special volunteers with his fear of horses, and now teaching him to ride. This year has witnessed the start of an incredible friendship
Tonto was originally bought as a youngster by one of our loyal volunteers. But he proved quite a handful so has come to Saddle Up to receive long term training, to allow him to mature at his
He is fun loving and described by those that know him as puppy like, very much wanting to be part of whatever is going on. He is trick trained and also starting his bridleless training, and although not quite sensible for novices to ride yet he can often be seen as a demo horse at our workshops.
Todi is a rare breed - a swiss valais blacknose. The breed is known for being gentle and docile. We call Todi the friendlist sheep in the world as he adores attention and fuss. Todi is bringing Caspers confidence on and is a great friend to him.
Volunteers always welcome to come brush Todi!
Casper is a deaf alpaca who was rejected by his original herd. With us he gets on well with Todi our resident ram. He knows hand signals and loves his treats.
This girl is a red deer - the largest species of deer in Britain. She was born in captivity and was wild in behaviour when she first came to us. Through clicker training she is now eating from the hand and allowing us to touch and groom her and you can take her for a walk
The cheeky duo, these guys are pygmy goats. They are coming on well with their clicker training and you can learn how to take them over the agility course!