Program Horses

Our gentle, skilled and experienced program horses are trained and selected to guide and teach us to be confident, safe, strong leaders—

well-balanced in our riding and in our lives.

Make a donation to support and honor the lives and memories of horses who have shaped the mission and story of This Old Horse.

Halle {unknown age-d.2017}

Halle, one of the rescued blind Mustang mares that Owen helped save in February, died yesterday. She had a dramatic change in condition over the weekend that the vet speculated was due to massive organ failure. 

For most of her life, this poor mare had experienced nothing but failures of humans to properly care for her. What we would have given to see her survive, thrive, blossom under our care for many years to come. Of course we did all we could. There is no fault or blame. It just hurts so much.

The death of a horse is never 'business as usual.' It should hurt. We grieve and reflect and wonder if we did everything we could. This can never feel normal or inevitable--but always should and does feel raw and empty and unbearably sad.

In her final hours, her loyal little friend Owen was with her. When she lay down, he pushed at her, insisting she get up, move around, not give up. What a heart he has. We envy his optimism, effort, hope, persistence. He will always be our hero, our inspiration.

We had far too few days to let Halle know she was loved, cared for, safe forever. We were excited to have her welcome this Spring living a life with her friends where there was always enough food, to see her coat shed out and reveal her beautiful red color, to help her learn the soft and gentle touch of humans who would never hurt her…such hopes for her. We were just getting started. We mourn the things that didn’t happen. 

But there was one other thing that didn’t happen…we didn’t leave her behind. 

And she has touched us, taught us, tended to us and we are ever grateful to have known her.

Peaches {1979-2107}

“The first duty of love is to listen.”  

 

Peaches eyes were tired, her appetite gone.  Our arsenal of knowledgeand resources to protect her and inspire her were met with her polite rejection.    At 38 years old, Peaches lived 50% longer than anyone would have expected any horse to live.    

 

She spent her long life as a partner, friend, confidant to children and adults who told her their deepest dreams and secrets.  Giving all her undivided attention, she listened. So when this kind, dignified, beautiful golden girl decided it was time to leave us on her own terms, she did not have to beg or shout. It was our turn to listen.  The death of an old, beloved horse is not a tragedy.  But it is inconceivably sad.   

 

The rhythm of our barn life is disrupted; she has been with us since the beginning.  Her empty stall will startle us in the morning.  Her best friend Cowboy will look for her, call for her.   And it will be in these moments of thinking she should be here that she will be…always on our minds, always in our hearts.   Goodbye old girl.

Rho Mios Silhouette (Rhomi) 1988-2017

'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.'" —E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

Rhomi’s former owner loved her deeply. They spent years together trail riding, showing, parading. When life threw her a curveball, she struggled to take care of herself and Rhomi—finally deciding that the only way to save Rhomi was to let her go. When we picked Rhomi up in December of 2014, our hearts ached as we watched her owner hug her, kiss her, tell her how much she loved her and tearfully say goodbye. 

Tonight, this amazing, beautiful 29 year old bay Arabian mare with the perfectly round white spot on her rump was struggling. The only way to spare her, to save her, was to let her go. We hugged her, kissed her, told her how much we loved her and tearfully said goodbye. 

Rhomi’s story with us started and ended with tears and heartache—but in the middle, during the time we shared with her--loving and caring for her was our great joy and pleasure. Her little body held an enormous heart and we will keep hers in ours forever. Love is good.

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© 2019 This Old Horse, Inc.   .  651 . 437 . 1889  .  info@thisoldhorse.org  .  19025 Coates Blvd., Hastings, MN 55033

This Old Horse logo designed by Sue Shadow.  Principle photography on this site is by Toni Thomas.   Additional photography by Ronnie Hartman Images.