Now five horses at Rock Ledge

       With the donation of two new draft horses, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site has begun a new program called “Sponsor a Horse.”

Rock Ledge Ranch manager Andy Morris works with the ranch's two new Shire draft horses - Winston (left) and Victoria.
Cynthia Holling-Morris photo

       The new horses are young black English Shires from Illinois named Winston and Victoria (half-siblings from the same mother).
       According to ranch manager Andy Morris, the donation resulted after a Nevada man bought the two horses then decided he couldn't keep them. His buyer was an old friend of Morris', Nate Bowers of Bowers Farm in Fort Collins, who asked Morris if he would like to be the recipient of a gift.
       This brings the total number of horses at Rock Ledge up to five - the others are the Belgian draft horses, Duke and Dan, who pull the wagon; and a mustang named Kava, who pulls the buggy and is assigned to the ranch's American Indian area during special events there.
       King, who had been a ranch draft horse for many years, died a year ago.
       The Sponsor a Horse Program seeks annual contributors between the $25 and $1,000 levels. “This is your chance to help the horses receive the outstanding care that Rock Ledge is committed to providing,” Morris said. “Each gift directly supports the needs of the horses, including food, tack and equipment, horseshoes and veterinary care.”
       He expressed regret that contributors “don't get to feed, ride or pet the horses, but we won't ask you to clean the stalls either.”
       Expected to be even bigger than Duke and Dan (who each weigh about a ton), the newcomers are a type of draft horse that can grow to 6 feet high at the shoulder. Winston and Victoria weighed 100 pounds at birth, Morris said.
       He is working with the new horses to teach them how to work together as a team. Next Morris will teach them how to pull - “they are not born with the knowledge to pull, just the ability,” he explains in the current issue of the Annunciator, the Rock Ledge publication. “Won't they look flashy pulling the beautifully restored sprinkler wagon someday!”
       A continuing ranch-support opportunity is the Living History Association (LHA). Membership contributions go to Rock Ledge improvements. The range is $20 for a couple ($10 for a senior couple) up to $500 or more, according to the Annunciator.
       For more information on either program, call 578-6777 or go to the website: rockledgeranch.com.

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