After retirement from the US Forest Service working equine program, I adopted Stormy for Horse Haven. At the time, nobody wanted him. They said, “too old, too big, needs too much feed.” I thought he was beautiful, kind, and gentle and he needed a home ASAP or might go to slaughter.

As a government retiree, the agency can’t keep horses not being used. Once adopted, Stormy became the favorite of every youth in our program. Some had never been around horses and were frightened. Others had physical challenges that were helped by the movement of grooming and walking a horse. Some of the children came from homes of abuse and neglect and one young woman had autism. They all gravitated to Stormy and he to them.

[READ MORE: Getting a Leg Up]
[READ MORE: Rescued Horses Rescue Youth at Charis Ranch]

Recently, Stormy is the “chosen one,” for seniors who want to connect with horses. What makes him special is his soft eye, gentle demeanor, and willing temperament. Where he had been the lowest horse in his herd hierarchy, leading to fear, weight loss and uncertainty, at Horse Haven he became the top horse, the one everyone chose. As important, he became a friend and protector of Roso, a small, senior horse whose entire life had been one of abuse and neglect. When Stormy met Roso at Horse Haven, he watched over him, stood close while Roso slept, allowed him to share his hay, quietly stood by his side. As long as Roso was alive, Stormy was his constant friend and companion.

Now aged 31 Stormy found his purpose, forever loved by one and all.” —Janet R.

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