MN ranch's new arrivals lost their home and eyesight – but are wild at heart

A sanctuary near Hastings has taken in seven old blind stallions who used to run wild in Arizona
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Some of Minnesota's newest immigrants come from ancestry that can be traced back nearly 500 years to some of North America's earliest Spanish explorers.

They're horses.

Seven stallions, to be precise, who (along with a filly and a mare) arrived at a Hastings-area sanctuary for old and unwanted horses last week.

Called "This Old Horse," it's sort of an equine retirement home. You can go there and see the new stallions at an open house Saturday but they won't see you. They're blind.

They're originally from Gila Bend, Arizona, where a herd of wild mustangs had been living since their ancestors escaped from – or were released by – Spanish conquerors who brought horses to the area in the 1500s.

But in the 1990s when the Bureau of Land Management wanted the wild horses removed, most were shipped to a sanctuary in South Dakota. That ranch now has more horses than it can care for, so This Old Horse said last week it would be taking in some of those from the Gila herd.

Why?

This Old Horse said in a Facebook post they've been getting the "Why?" question a lot. People asking things like: "Out of all the horses who need help, why put resources and energy into these horses? Why not take in young, healthy horses that have a productive life ahead of them?"

Short answer: it's what they do.

This Old Horse says on its homepage that many of its animals worked hard for a living during their younger days but are no longer able to do so. "We give these veterans a safe harbor for life where they may age in place, loved, honored and respected to the end," they say.

In the case of the seven blind stallions, the group says those horses had no shot at being adopted through the normal channels and most likely "...they would go from life to death unheralded, unmourned. And frankly, who cares? We do."

A spokeswoman for This Old Horse tells the Pioneer Press they don't know what caused the blindness of the stallions.

The Star Tribune says the group was already caring for a couple of blind horses and uses plastic fencing that doesn't hurt horses who bump into it.

Monica Carlson also tells the Star Tribune the wild horses have a distinctive look – smaller and shaggier than quarter horses with "more of a Roman face."

This Old Horse boards its animals at Wishbone Ranch, which is near Hastings. Saturday's open house is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Jorge Polanco

Red Sox sweep Twins in Wednesday's doubleheader

The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and 7-1 in Game 2.

Minnesota Wild

Wild score 3 power play goals in win over Coyotes

Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 5-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 2.38.15 PM

Viral drone video of Bryant Lake Bowl to be auctioned off as NFT

Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in consumer finance.

kimberly potter

Here's what the manslaughter charge against Kim Potter says

Activists are calling for more serious charges against the former officer.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz criticized for comments on 'thoughtful' use of tear gas

The governor is under fire for comments he made Tuesday as protests continue over the police killing of Daunte Wright.

Andrelton Simmons

Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons placed on COVID-19 list

Simmons is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.53.07 PM

Kim Potter to be charged with second-degree manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Potter was a 26-year veteran officer before she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday.

Related

MN ranch's new arrivals lost their home and eyesight – but are wild at heart

A sanctuary near Hastings has taken in seven old blind stallions who used to run wild in Arizona

An orphaned puma meets the public at the MN Zoo, and another is on the way

A cat who arrived last fall met the public Friday; a younger one is also earmarked for Minnesota.

An orphaned puma meets the public at the MN Zoo, and another is on the way

A cat who arrived last fall met the public Friday; a younger one is also earmarked for Minnesota.

The late albino bison 'White Cloud' is back at her old North Dakota home

A police escort completed her journey from a taxidermist to the National Buffalo Museum.

The late albino bison 'White Cloud' is back at her old North Dakota home

A police escort completed her journey from a taxidermist to the National Buffalo Museum.

Duluth zoo animals will get those pearly whites checked, thanks to donation

The gift helps replace equipment the zoo lost in a flood nearly five years ago.

Duluth zoo animals will get those pearly whites checked, thanks to donation

The gift helps replace equipment the zoo lost in a flood nearly five years ago.

Double your duckling rescues: 2 Minnesota cities save baby ducks in 1 day

From Moorhead to Medina, city employees were saving ducks today.