Ranger's Story

Donations can be made using the DONATE button below or by mailing 
your tax deductible donation to   HVWHPF  PO Box 20052  Reno NV 89515              


This is Ranger, a Virginia Range mustang stallion estimated to be 25-30 years old. We don't know exactly when Ranger's story began, but we do know that he was, for many years, a successful band stallion with his own family of mares and foals. Ranger's advanced age is a testament to his remarkable mental and physical prowess, as well as his incredible survival instincts.

Unfortunately, old age is a foe that will eventually bring down even the toughest stallion, and Ranger was no exception. Inevitably, he grew slower and weaker, and some years ago, he lost his family to a younger, more vigorous stallion. Driven out and alone, he attempted to join up with the small bands of "bachelors" (usually younger stallions who have not yet attained any mares of their own), but the bachelors, possibly seeing a slow old horse as a predator magnet, drove him away with fierce bites and kicks, leaving him covered in marks and scars.

Still, Ranger managed to survive. Each winter grew harder as arthritis crept into his joints, and he began struggling to keep weight on as his teeth began to fail. His condition continued to deteriorate until the summer of 2015, when the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDoA) began receiving calls of concern about Ranger. One observer reported that Ranger appeared to be unable to chew or swallow properly, as he was wadding up and spitting out any forage he tried to eat. He was believed to be surviving mainly by consuming dried horse manure.

Permission was given for Ranger to be captured so that he could be properly assessed by the NDoA. It was, perhaps, the easiest "round up" in history, as Ranger willingly walked into the catch pen, where he was being offered a soaked pellet mash. Even when the gate closed behind him, he remained remarkably calm, almost as if he knew that he was finally going to get the help and attention he needed.

When the government officer came to do the assessment, he happened to get a look in Ranger's mouth when the horse yawned, and was able to see why the little stallion was so thin, and why he could not chew or swallow forage. The horse's teeth are either missing or worn down to the gums, leaving his dentition completely non-functional. The assessor therefore concluded that Ranger should not be left on the range to fend for himself, as there was no question that the horse was facing starvation. A hold order was issued, allowing Ranger to remain in foster care until a permanent adoptive home can be found for him.

Since being rescued, Ranger's condition has improved tremendously, his attitude has been wonderful, and he is progressing very well in his daily gentling sessions with trainer and foster volunteer Susan Kauffmann. Says Kauffmann, "Ranger is a wonderful, beautiful, and very special horse. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body, and he is just amazing to work with. To me, he is living proof that older mustangs should not necessarily be passed over by potential adopters or thought of as 'untrainable'".

Ranger is currently available for adoption to the right home. If you are interested, please contact Hidden Valley or call Susan Kauffmann directly at (775) 847-0547.

If you cannot adopt but would like to contribute to Ranger's ongoing care, you can make a tax deductible donation by clicking on the link to the right.  You may also mail your generous donation to  HVWHPF  PO Box 20052, Reno NV 89515  
The donations collected will be transferred to a Trust Fund and allocated towards the care and feeding of this bravehearted stallion of the Virginia Range!!!
Thank you for your kindness and support for this senior citizen!!!!!