HEREFORD — For 10 years now, equine rescue Horse’n Around has been helping horses, donkeys and mules find caring, forever homes.
Most of the animals are removed from situations where they are starved, neglected or abused and go through rehabilitation before they are adopted. Others live out their lives at the rescue.
On Sunday, Horse’n Around Rescue Ranch and Foundation Inc. is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an open house and a lineup of family activities in an outdoor setting. The community is invited to stop by Single Star Ranch, 7484 E. State Route 92 in Hereford from noon to 3:30 p.m. and meet the rescue’s equines, many of them ready for adoption.
Since its inception, 173 horses have made their way to the rescue’s rolling pastures where they are provided appropriate feed, fresh water, medical care, training and tons of quality attention from volunteers. To date, 101 equines — horses, ponies, mules and donkeys — have found forever homes through the rescue’s efforts.
“We currently have 61 wonderful equines at the ranch, and several are ready for adoption,” said Theresa Warrell who, with Steve Boice, founded the rescue in 2010. “We’re very excited about showing these beautiful animals to the community through our open house. With COVID and all the event cancellations it has caused, people are looking for opportunities to be outside in a family-friendly environment.”
Along with the 10th anniversary, Horse’n Around is celebrating its 100th adoption: a 20-year-old former show and performance quarter horse named “I got Invited,” or “Iggy” for short, was adopted by Lori and Peter Kelly of Hereford as a companion for their mare.
“We’ve both purchased and adopted other horses and a donkey through the years, and they eventually died from age-related problems,” Lori said. “Horses are herd animals and they are happier when they have a companion to help them swat flies and hang out with. When we met Iggy, we decided to adopt him. He’s wonderful. We’ve had him for two weeks, and he and Mary are best friends.”
“Unlike most of the horses that we rescue, Iggy came from a very nice home,” Warrell said. “He was born and bred by a show trainer in Mesa and was a beautifully trained show horse. They called him the ‘blue ribbon horse’ because of all the first-place ribbons he won in his show career. He is a well-bred horse with a fantastic disposition.”
An injury to Iggy’s neck through a fluke accident forced Iggy into an early retirement and ended his show career.
While feeding him a carrot, Peter Kelly said that his own horse died a few months ago, as well as a pet donkey they had.
“It was a tough year for us,” he said. “We felt that Mary needed a friend, and when we saw Iggy, we liked him right away.”
As an organization dedicated to rescuing all equines and restoring their health and wellness, horses like Iggy are an exception for Horse’n Around.
“Most of the equines that we rescue are victims of cruelty and neglect,” Warrell said. “When Steve and I started the rescue, we knew there was a need for something like this, but had no idea how huge that need was.”
Volunteers help with horse care and projects at the ranch.
“With more than 60 horses, our volunteers are the backbone of what we do here,” Boice said.
Eighteen-year-old Davirey Trujillo is one of several dedicated volunteers.
“She started coming here with her mom and sister, and has been feeding the horses every Sunday morning for five years now,” Boice said. “We have several dedicated, amazing volunteers here. This rescue work is rewarding.”
Trujillo’s volunteer work at Horse’n Around is what laid the foundation for a career path she plans to pursue.
“I’m studying the agriculture program at Cochise College and hope to be a veterinarian someday,” she said. “I’ve been volunteering here since I was 13 years old, and I love all the animals here. And I love volunteering here.”
Sunday’s open house offers a great opportunity to see the good work being done at Horse’n Around, meet the horses that have benefited from the rescue and possibly add an equine member to the household.
“We’re very happy that we adopted Iggy,” Peter Kelly said. “He’s perfect for what we wanted.”