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Digital Subscriptions > Horse Illustrated > Jan 2020 > HOME off THE RANGE

HOME off THE RANGE

An innovative program is helping former dude ranch horses find new homes.
COURTESY C LAZY U RANCH

Dude ranch mare. Knobby knees, but I see no lameness. Good kid’s horse. Late teens to early twenties.” This was the description posted on social media of a small chestnut mare at a Colorado livestock auction. She sported the brand of a well-known guest ranch, and it was the post that opened the door to a new and better way of rehoming guest ranch horses in need of a good retirement.

Ranches like the C Lazy U are proud to own their horses, provide quality care and now can promise a safe retirement through The Annie Project.
COURTESY C LAZY U RANCH

In the ranching world, it was common practice to send surplus horses to auction. It was an easy route that allowed the rancher to recoup some money, and there was always a chance that the horse could go to a nice new home. But in reality, the odds of horses bought at auction winding up on a long, cruel journey to a slaughterhouse in Mexico or Canada are far greater. For the chestnut mare, the stakes were high.

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