Texas, Big & Rich came to AAE in January 2019 after abandonment on a large (400-acre) property in Placer County eight years ago. Sadly, these guys have a long history of failures after once roaming free.
Our understanding these mustangs came to a rescue in California in 2009 after removal from a neglect situation at another rescue in Nebraska. These are three-strike mustangs; they had three failed adoption attempts while at BLM. Long story short, in 2011, they were part of a group of 10 placed on a beautiful 400-acre foster property. The foster was asked to remove the horses after failing to provide the promised care. When they returned to remove the group of 10, they were unable to load these three and left them behind, never to return for them. Texas, Big & Rich lived on the foster property for years, until it was recently sold. Sadly, these boys lost eight years of prime time, and according to their brands, they are all 16 years old. Little is known about prior handling/training, but these guys were feral; none of the three were halterable at the time we picked them up.
Fortunately, picking up was straight forward. The fosters had set-up a round pen, and fed the horses in the roundpen to get them used to coming in. We setup a long loading chute from the roundpen to the trailer. The pick up was anything but difficult; actually, the hardest part was managing the panels with only one truck/trailer.
The loading was the easy part….literally seconds from the time the roundpen was opened until the horses were in the trailer. Think about the intake process and the hidden costs that most people don’t consider when thinking about the costs associated with rescuing horses: one trip to visit/evaluate the horses (three hours volunteer time), one trip to deliver and setup the panels (three hours onsite plus time hitching up, loading panels, fueling vehicle, ranch help unloading and setting up), one trip to load/pick-up the horses (three hours plus time for hitch-up, ranch help, an hour waiting on roadside for road service while truck was stuck in 4WD, return/unload, intake), and another trip to pickup the panels (three hours times two plus unloading). Add the gas and wear and tear on the truck and trailer. This was only the beginning of the journey with three feral mustangs that have already had failed placements a multitude of times. Consider prepping for hoof, dental, and vet care after eight years of none. Volunteer hours upon hours.
Fortunately, these boys were in relatively good health, except for Tex, who had foundered. There was much work yet to do!
Tex responded well to re-learning about human touch and haltering, and we were able to get radiographs and a farrier on his hooves. Thankfully, after several rounds of trimming, shoes, and ongoing hoof care, he’s done very well.
Tex and Rich were quite bonded. Well, Rich was extremely timid, fearful, and reactive. He found his confidence in Tex. Tex, on the other hand, had a sweet blend of curious with a bit o’ confidence. Where you found one, you found the other. It was hard on Rich when Tex was away for farrier care or other work. Unlike most mustangs, Rich was irrationally reactive, explosive, over the top. With the slightest of pressure, he would lose his mind. How I wish we knew what this lil’ guy had experienced; well, maybe not :( Rich did much better when he and Tex joined the herd in our “pasture” (10-acre dry lot). He interacted with the other horses and found solace with a couple of the girls. Sadly, his separation anxiety was so extreme, he tried to challenged a farm gate during feeding time to get to one of his girls, and he injured himself. Fortunately, we had made some progress with haltering, we were able to halter and sedate him for veterinary treatment (thanks to the team at Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center
), and his wounds healed with barely a scar.
It was very apparent the human world was simply way too much for Rich. His fear and reactivity far outweighed a safe existence for him and his human friends at AAE. We were very fortunate to find a sanctuary home for Rich and his BFF, Tex.
That leaves Big. While Tex and Rich were winding down their stay at AAE, Big graduated and took a little vacay to enhance his learning as a project horse for a student at the Monty Roberts International Learning Center
. Big was a favorite. (Consider the transport time and costs, as well as the student and instructor time, care costs, plus).
Big is a very willing and has a very kind soul. That being said, he is reactive and a long way to go in becoming a confident, trusting partner, but charming he is!
Big needs his own person that is very experienced with mustangs. He gives nicely to pressure, and he accepts touching around his neck, chest and withers more readily than his face, but he will tolerate facial and forehead rubs. At AAE, his human time is divided among the many horses here. He really needs his very own dedicated person to give him daily, consistent handling to continue his progress. Big has an adorable “dork” factor with his charming eyes, head tilts, and generally goofy expressions. You can’t help but fall in love with this guy. At 16, he’s probably best suited as a fun companion for lots of liberty work. He’s not going to be “easy” to develop into a trustworthy riding partner, but never say never. The right person is just what he needs. Someone calm, quiet, and confident, that knows how to develop trust and confidence and continue progress.
Big is available for adoption. He is current with hoof and dental care, as well as vaccines and deworming. He has a microchip in place. He is NOT suitable for a beginner or anyone without significant experience gentling mustangs.
As you can see, the time, effort, and dedication it takes to rescue is much more than a quick pick up and rehome. It takes hours upon hours of volunteer time and a lot of equipment and financial resources to accomplish just one rescue like Texas, Big and Rich. Your support makes it possible for horses like these three to have another chance for a happy, healthy life. Thank you!
BELIEVE, your support makes a difference….
and you can make more stories come true!
If you’d rather mail a check, please make check payable to
“All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.” and send to
2201 Francisco Dr. #140-174
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762