2014 January Newsletter



2014 January Newsletter
January 2014
Truhaven Ranch
23677 Cable Ave
Winsted, MN 55395
In This Issue
President’s Message
Page 3
The Fillmore “55” - A Year Later
Success stories coming out of the past year
abound. When things are tough, hay prices
are crazy and equines needing homes are an
all-time high, it’s the successes that we look
back on that keep us going. (See Ghost’s
Story in this issue.)
Fillmore Rescues at MHARF:
Marin, a little Hackney pony, almost lost an
eye, but Drew’s perseverance and care saved
it. She will be in training with us starting in
Edison, a beautiful young Paint gelding
survived extreme emaciation, pneumonia,
cryptorchid surgery and weeks of corrective
hoof care. He is now ready to be a contender
in the 2014 Trainer’s Challenge.
Mulligan’s Minute
Page 5
Ride To The Rescue
Page 6
Buttons, Tiahna & Sarah at Christmas.
Yes, they are in the Lounge.
Ghost’s Story
Around the Corner There
May Wait a New Road
or a Secret Gate.
J.R.R. Tolkien
In the last issue featured the three Fillmore
animals that we presented at the 2013
MHARF Trainer’s Challenge, Gaston,
Porsche and Casey Tibbs. All three were
adopted. Earlier Daisy Mae and Gilda
were adopted by our wonderful friends in
Canada. Serena’s story you have also seen
in previous newsletters. She is a pretty,
bouncy driving pony, looking for a home.
Buttons, a dark brown pony mule plans to
begin giving lessons and rides here at
Truhaven Ranch. A year ago she was angry
and frightened, kicking at people and
running away.
Then there are Trixie and Macy, 13 hh
and 12.2 hh Halfinger cross ponies.
Trixie lost sight in her left eye from an
injury. We found that she is trained and
just needs a little more love and
understanding as she is somewhat shy on
that side yet. Macy nearly had her left
rear leg severed. The scar is still there, but
she is now trained to ride and sound for
walk/trot riders. She has a quiet, gentle
disposition and will make a great first
horse for some young person.
Edison—November 2012
Edison—November 2013
Leo’s Precious Justice was recently
adopted. She had a long hard recovery ,
nearly dead, she was sent to the U of M in
one of the first loads. She was treated for
pneumonia and eye infection,
then on to MHARF where
Drew babied her for months
with special care, a warm barn
and blankets.
Truhaven Ranch Equine Rescue Update
Other small successes occur every week, sometimes
every day, as we are able to catch, lead, pick up feet
and get them trimmed on a regular basis. It is not
unusual to walk in the door of the barn to find one
or more of us crying or laughing hysterically at
some small break-through we just witnessed. The
first day that Rascal walked up to Candy and let
her catch him, it was so exciting than she let out a
big yell, startling Rascal and causing Melissa to
come running to see what had happened. On
December 18, Wylie stood for the first time,
without restraint, to get his feet trimmed.
Thank You,
To all of
You make
it possible
for us to
our equine
It is so hard to explain just how terrorized and wild
these animals were when they arrived. We have
dealt with them first hand every day for over a year
now, so bear with us as we try to share with you
what these small feats mean to us.
Here are some of the newest equines at
Truhaven Ranch.
Shadow—A beautiful bay Arabian gelding, 14.3
hh, age 17, well schooled hunt seat.
We are very happy to report that as of now,
eighteen of the Fillmore rescues have been
adopted. All the remaining equines from Fillmore
are healthy, sound and at least halter trained.
Many need foster homes so they can grow up
before training.
The expenses for this rescue have been
astronomical for both Truhaven Ranch and
MHARF despite the many generous donations of
money, feed and services. The out of pocket
expense to Truhaven Ranch to date for the
Fillmore Equines now exceeds $50,000. This does
not include any labor or overhead expense, just
veterinary, farrier and feed costs.
Since the Fillmore Rescue both Truhaven Ranch
and Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue have taken
on many more rescues, even though we are still
caring for the Fillmore group. Truhaven Ranch
currently has 42 equines in our system, 20
Fillmore Rescues plus 22 others.
Sam—20 yr. old, 15.3 hh Saddlebred gelding, rides
hunt or western, trail rides, been there, done that,
but still a Saddlebred. Great lesson horse.
One Final Note About the Fillmore
This is the last time we will refer to any of them as
Fillmore Rescues; the terror is gone, a new life has
begun. From now on they are Truhaven Ranch
equines! Most are available for adoption, some will
be staying with us to help with our youth and
community programs. All have a new lease on life.
Barrett—3 yr. old roan gelding
Bentley– 3 yr. old black john mule, 16hh
ALF—2 yr. old chestnut pony john mule
Falina—3 yr. old roan molly mule
Zeus— 1 1/2 yr. old bay QH gelding
Rion—7 yr. old, 14.3 hh, registered Morgan
gelding. Shown in 4-h and trail ridden. Lively but
friendly and loveable.
President's Message by Sarah Smith
It has a tremendous year at Truhaven Ranch and we are truly grateful for the wonderful donations of time and
money we received from our supporters and friends. As part of this President’s Message, I wanted to share a
few of my favorite highlights from the Ranch from 2013:
Hooved Animal Rescue. Featured
horseman and professional trainer Ken
McNabb was part of the judging team.
Fillmore Rescues, Gaston, Casey Tibbs
and Porsche found new homes and
Flurry is in MHARF’s foster care to
continue her training. Casey Tibbs
and Porsche were the first mules to
compete in this event. Being a part of
the Trainer’s Challenge was an
amazing experience and I encourage
others to consider participating in
2014. There are many equines that
need training and deserve a chance to
find their special person and a forever
Belgian mare Daisy Mae found a
new forever home. We enjoy receiving
photos of her from time to time. Daisy
Mae’s family also welcomed a mini
donkey and a mini mule to their family
Our delightful pony mule,
last spring.
Truhaven Ranch trained and
was the
presented four equines at the MHARF Reserve
Mule at the
Fair and
placed 1st
in the
class at the
Central MN Donkey and Mule Show.
We are now doing bridleless obstacle
training with her and looking forward
to having her in our youth riding
Trainer’s Challenge held last August
program in 2014.
which is a fundraiser for Minnesota
Goldie and Banjo, who were part of
a rescue case in East Bethel and
arrived at the Ranch in November
2011, found their forever homes with a
lovely family near Howard Lake. We
were overjoyed that they were
adopted together and that they
are close by so we can visit them.
Mulligan the Mule became a
contributing writer to the
Truhaven Chronicle and also
wrote a letter to Miranda
Lambert and Blake Sheldon
during Miranda’s visit to
Winstock. Mulligan’s resolution
for 2014 is to learn how to Tweet.
Mulligan, who is Barn Manager,
Melissa Norton’s mule companion,
also led the Wright Country Drill Team
and visited many states over the past
12 months as part of his trail riding
With the beginning of a New Year, I ask you to consider making a taxdeductible donation today which can be done by mail or by using the
PayPal link on our website (www.truhavenranch.org). Your donation will
directly benefit our equine rescue and youth programs. Remember, a gift
donation or equine sponsorship is a great way to honor a beloved family
member or friend.
As always, I encourage you to visit our Facebook page where you can receive
regular updates about the wonderful equines that are under our care. We enjoy
capturing and sharing moments from the Ranch. In particular, the videos of the
Truhaven critters always make me smile. On behalf of the equines and friends of
Truhaven Ranch, please accept my best wishes for a safe, happy and wonderful
New Year.
Truhaven Ranch Youth Start 4-H Club
Committed To Educating Equines and Humans, 4 Hooves and 2 Heels at a Time.
As part of our growing youth program,
Truhaven Ranch families and youth have
decided to start a 4-H Club.
In addition to rescuing, rehabilitating and
training rescued equines; Truhaven Ranch
strives to assist youth from the Greater
Minnesota area to get an education using
experiential learning.
On December 8, 2013, Wright County 4-H
Director, Nick Neaton, met with both
youth and adults to explain 4-H and it’s
 To learn responsible behavior skills.
 To build confidence and self-esteem,
Projects are not limited to just equine,
there are many other areas to choose from.
After the 4-H meeting, everyone helped
decorate for Christmas. We all enjoyed
pizza and an really fun time!
while gaining empathy and respect for
Please call us if you would like to be part of others
our 4-H group. Team Truhaven!
Donkeys and Mules 101
Truhaven Ranch
also offers:
 Pony Parties
 Day at the Ranch Programs
 Ranch Visits
 Meet the Ranch Critters
 Riding Lessons
 Essentially Equine
Basic Training
Outreach is available through
lectures for groups, tours,
special events, our website and
our newsletter,
The Truhaven Chronicle.
Groups are welcome to visit by
Just give us a call:
Donkey Tidbits There are over 41
million donkeys in
the world represented by 185 breeds.
There are 5 breeds in
the United States
equaling 1/10th of a
percent of the
world’s donkeys.
Miniatures— under 36”
(a distinct breed from the Mediterranean)
 Small
36.01” to 40”
 Medium 40.01” to 48”
 Large
48.01” to 54” (females) 56” (males)
Mammoth Jack Stock (developed by
George Washington to help create large army
 Jennet
54” and over
 Jack
56” and over
2013 Update
Mulligan’s Minute (What I Did This Year)
 I was ridden over 600 miles of trails in
2013 and traveled approximately 4000
miles in the trailer through 8 states
including: North Dakota, South Dakota,
Montana, Idaho, Wyoming. Iowa,
Missouri and Minnesota. Do you know
that you can drive coast to coast from
east to west and it’s 3,000 miles. The
length of the state of MN is only 400
miles in length at it’s longest points.
Just sayin” . . .
 I saw so much stuff, I don’t even know
how to start describing everything.
Hmmmm… still wondering what those
big white boxes were in Montana. I
wish someone would Google it for me.
 I saw and even met lots of critters this
year including many kinds of Squirrels,
Rattlesnakes, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear
(YIKES only 150 feet away!) Coyote,
Wolf, Marmot, Mule and Whitetail
Deer, Elk, Grouse, Turkey, Pheasant,
Bison and Pika (in a pear tree….Mully
holiday humor). Also smelled and saw
signs of a few mountain lions.
 I was the camp monitor/guard during
the Great Western Adventure 3 week
trail riding trip in July. Every time we got
to a new camp, I was allowed to run free
to check everything out. No wild critters
were getting to my people! When it was
time for supper, I went and got our
humans to feed everyone.
I enjoyed drinking out of the fresh
mountain streams and helped Clay,
Sarah, Ellen and Candy deliver buckets
of water to my equine friends. I love
Leeroy and Spirit! They are very pretty
girls and they like me most of the time.
You will see my ears in most of the
photos from our trip out west. I was the
lead equine for the entire trip with
Candy as my companion. Oh, and I
gave Sarah a dip in the river in Medora
our first night out because I thought she
needed a bath.
Many of the miles I was ridden, I was
Mully Words of Wisdom:
ponying Truhaven’s MHARF Trainer’s
“What goes up, must
Challenge students,
come down.”
Gaston and Tibbs.
 I am currently
I knew that grizzly and
learning how to
her babies were up
Tweet. Last
 This fall I took part as one of Melissa’s
there! It sure took long
spring, I sent a
one of her trusty steeds in the MN Give
enough for the
letter about
to the Max “Ride to the Rescue” pony
humans to notice,
express ride. I know she likes me
then they got all
Ranch to
better than the brown horse (aka
scared and silly and
country singers
wanted to leave really
 Mully suggestion for next year . . . How
fast. Crazy people!
Lambert and
about we call it the Ride to the Rescue
Blake Shelton
(Just between you and
MULE Express? Good Plan, huh?
and invited
me, I was glad to get
 I love giving big Mully hugs, but only to
Miss Miranda to
out of there, too!)
the people I like best.
visit the
during her Winstock show.
I am now the Official
Spokesmule for Truhaven
Ranch and have written 3
articles for the Truhaven
Melissa is my constant
companion and I was her riding
partner and the lead equine for
the Wright County Mule Drill
Team. We also showed together
at the Central MN Donkey and
Mule Show in Howard Lake.
Love, Mulligan
“Ride To The Rescue” Truhaven Ranch Style
Pony Express Rides Again For
Give to the Max Day
November 14, 2013
By Melissa Norton
Truhaven Ranch's “Ride to the Rescue”
fundraiser kicked off with a parade along
U.S. Highway 12 through Delano. From
Delano, Conrad Flemming riding Regal
started off the 25 mile pony express style
ride. Each rider rode approximately 2
miles to meet the next rider. As one of
the riders on this cool and breezy day, I
have to say the ride was exhilarating and
fast. It was really nice to stop in the
town's along the way and meet some of
our followers on Facebook and also a few
new, curious faces who were wondering
what the heck we were doing.
We started our ride in Delano at 8:30am
and we all made it back safely to the
ranch around 4pm. It was a long,
exhausting day but totally worth it. We
were able to educate the public about
what we do on the ranch and why we do
it. Hopefully they will become future
supporters of the ranch and our youth
Thank you, everyone who donated and
supported our pony express ride. Your
money went to our hay fund to help feed
the 42 rescues we
have at the ranch.
Thank you, all the
volunteers for your
time and hard work.
Thanks Candy
Phillips, Sarah Smith
and John Cody for
dropping off and
picking up riders and
horses along U.S.
Hwy. 12 and Wright
Cty 6. Also thanks
to Ron Denn for
lending us his pickup
and trailer.
We couldn't have done this event without
you. Thank you, amazing riders, who
stayed cheerful even in the wind. Thank
you, all the local businesses who allowed
us to use their parking lots for meet and
greets along Hwy. 12 and Hwy 6. A very
Special Thank You to Wade and the
Howard Lake Country Store, who not
only let us use your parking lot to meet
and greet, but also cooked a delicious
meal for our volunteers. We really
appreciate the extra mile you went to
help us with this fundraising adventure.
Treats For Equines
It is a common practice for horse owners to
offer treats as a reward for good behavior.
However, a few noteworthy points must be
considered, including calories and
temperament/behavior changes.
Horse treats are often high in
carbohydrates and sugars, neither of
which is a healthy horse food ingredient,
especially if fed to an already overweight
Potential problems with offering treats,
especially if hand fed, are:
1) The nutritional value in giving treats in
quantity might contribute to obesity;
2) Spoiling the horse with hand feeding
often creates a pushy, disrespectful
No matter what a horse is fed, moderation
is the best advice.
Horses evolved to eat dried grasses and
forbs (plants other than grasses), not grains
or peppermints; not apples, carrots,
cookies, horse candies, sugar, trail mix, etc.
The best recipe for a horse's digestive
health is based on a high-fiber diet in the
form of hay, pasture, hay cubes or some
form of balanced pelleted feed.
Besides these constituents not being
included in the main equine food groups
that promote nutritional health, once you
start feeding treats, you might let the genie
out of the bottle.
A horse grabbing for treats can
inadvertently bite beyond the treat,
producing serious physical consequences-nipping a child’s hand or a person’s leg
beneath their pants (where cookies are
often carried in pant or coat pockets).
There are numerous incidents of people
getting kicked or run over while trying to
catch a horse in a herd where the horses are
jostling and competing for treats.
carrying treats on your person whenever
possible. Use treats that are high-fiber
based, such as something made from
compressed hay or alfalfa. And, limit the
amount of treats you give, perhaps giving
just a portion of an apple or one carrot or
one or two horse cookies.
The best recommendation for those who
insist on feeding treats is to place the
cookie or candy into a bucket rather than
offering it from your hand. Refrain from
With these practical strategies, treats can
be provided as reward without overdoing it
to the point where it could become a
Ghost’s Story 1 Year Later...
On December 25th Ghost gave me
the best Christmas gift ever! She
allowed me to sit on her!
A rescue with the Fillmore 55 just a little
over a year ago, Ghost came home from
the U of M on December 5, 2012. The
vets at the U had insisted she be
euthanized due to a severe leg injury. We
fought tooth and nail to save her, arguing
vehemently with the veterinarian in
charge. Many of you know the Ghost
story from a year ago and what she
represented to us. We refused to give up
hope for the donkey that helped find and
load the many sick and injured animals
that long cold night on November 29 in
Fillmore County. We insisted she have a
second chance at
life on the ranch
and we didn't care
if she would ever be
sound again. She
had earned her
wings helping us
through the
nightmare. A year
Just back ago, she was a very
from the
shy, scared and
U of M
worried donkey,
emaciated nearly beyond hope. She lost
her foal three days after coming home
from the U, then refused to eat and
became very depressed for several days.
Since arriving at Truhaven Ranch,
she has become more amazing
every day. Watching her bloom,
grow and spread her love amongst
the other rescues and with our
youth is truly awesome. We have
hours of videos of her galloping
around bucking, kicking and
snorting at the world. She even
took our little “huggie bear” mini
donkeys under her magical wings
to befriend and teach. Ghost has
in the last year become everything
that Truhaven Ranch stands for, a
success story of how love, care and
compassion can work miracles.
She is why we do what we do.
Today, you would not recognize
her. We are pleased to report that
she is now a happy, sound, playful
She is always at the front of her stall,
waving her lovely long ears and braying a
greeting to everyone that comes to the
barn. She now basks in attention and
really likes sharing kisses with anyone
who would like one.
Candy and I felt that Ghost was ready for
the next big step...we would like her to
help with the at-risk youth and our
community outreach programs. To do
that, she should be trained and ready to
give rides. I had been working with her
off and on for a few months doing a little
bit with the bridle and lying over her
back, but she always acted shy and
nervous. I had dreamed for almost a year
of someday being able to ride Ghost.
Candy said, “Today is the day.” So on
Christmas Day, we walked into the barn
put Ghost’s halter on and I lay across her
back, getting her used to my weight. She
was a little antsy, stepping outside her
comfort zone. Candy and I spoke gently
to her and touched her softly, she gave a
heavy, nervous sigh and I climbed onto
her back. I was ready to grab the stall
wall and pull myself off at the first sign of
discomfort....but it never happened. She
just stood there, listening to me, and
staring into Candy's eyes. There are no
words to explain the emotions that we
felt at that
moment. The
closest I can
get is
Ghost was so
proud of
herself, she was
preening for
us, saying
“Look at me! I
can do it!”
Although, she
was probably a
little confused
as to why
Candy and I
were crying but
that's ok.
Merry Christmas 2013!
In that moment we decided that maybe
Ghost was no longer the right name for
her. After all, she received her name
because she was so ghost-like at Fillmore,
saving the other equines. No one even
remembered seeing her there, but Candy
and I. She is now a very strong presence
at the ranch, certainly not a ghost. We
think she needs something that describes
what she means to us. So world, we give
you Angelique ...aka Ghost... She is our
personal angel of hope, forgiveness,
unconditional love, teaching and
understanding. We are so honored to
have her in our lives. She has taught me
so much about forgiveness and loving
without judgment and about forging
ahead through pain and adversity. I can
only hope to unconditionally touch lives
as she has and will. A brand new future
now exists for our very special Angel.
By Melissa Norton, Equine
Director at Truhaven Ranch
Follow us on Facebook to catch more
videos and stories of Angelique, the
Huggy Bears (Kodee and Koko) and the
rest of our
Apple Brown
Betty and
Betty and
Galileo are
available for
Save The date
Wild, Wild West Day
September 13, 2014
23677 Cable Ave.
Winsted, MN 55395
Executive Director
Candy Phillips
23677 Cable Ave
Winsted, MN 55395
Equine Director
Melissa Norton
23677 Cable Ave
Winsted, MN 55395
Sarah Smith
4889 Iten Ave.
Howard Lake, MN 55349
Vice President
Cynthia Glock
5525 Colfax Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Jim Jacobson
2925 Keats Ave. SW
Howard Lake, MN 55349
Little Known Equine Facts:
The equine is the only hooved animals with a solid hoof
The equine is the only animal that once tamed won’t go back to the wild.
January Featured Rescue - Octavia
Octavia - 7 year old standard donkey jennet, due to foal
Lily, a 6 yr. old Morgan Mare who
loves trail riding is available for adoption. She stands 14.3 hh, loves obstacles and is willing to go anywhere.
soon. She came to us in November 2013 very malnourished
and with horrible, twisted feet, she couldn’t walk more than a
few steps at a time. She is slowly gaining weight, but her
tummy is growing very quickly. On December 12, she finally
trotted a few steps. This loving, beautiful, kind little girl could
use a sponsor to get back on her feet (literally). She will
require trims every 3-4 weeks for several months. Cost $25
each trim. She also needs a chiropractic adjustment. If you
would like to help with Octavia’s expenses please call
Truhaven Ranch 320-485-2449
Truhaven Ranch is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit entity.