What makes Saddle Up! Ranch truly unique is that we work with both horses and people. Many of our horses are rescued. In the last year alone Saddle Up! Ranch has saved nine horses from euthanasia, and 17 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!
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.
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
As edible as her name suggests, Oreo is the sweetest wee cookie you will meet. Oreo loves cuddles and walks along the beach.
Oreo is now working as a full time therapy pony out with our ranch.
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.
Peggy was given to us when her owner fell terminally ill. She was retrained to western riding and is now a favourite to ride due to her eager forward nature and responsiveness. Peggy is an ideal therapy horse because of her laid back attitude to life.
Chip came to us as a little guy with a huge attitude. He was gelded here and volunteers worked hard with him to instill good manners. We found a small enough adult to back him and is now on loan as a childrens pony.
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
Skyfall is our only blue blood. She has prestigous bloodline but did not make the height for her breeder. Skyfall is just a giant puppy dog who loves people and is a firm favourite with the volunteers due to her kind and sweet nature.
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 is quiet and withdrawn when she came in and now she is 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.
As you can see from the photos these horses came to us in a very poor state and had never been handled - which made life extremely difficult for us and them!! They are undergoing training and rehabilitaion and are slowly gaining weight. They are sweet horses who love their food.
The horses that you see here have been trained as therapy horses and have now moved on to pastures new.