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  • Writer's pictureCheri Marks

There is information I wish I didn't know about horses and donkeys.

Prior to fall 2021, when we started looking for a horse that would be my riding horse, I had no knowledge of killpens. I wish I still was ignorant of killpens and auctions and horses and donkeys being dumped at both. Young and old, big and small, get dumped at auctions every year. It's estimated that 40,000 horses end up as horse meat every year. With the rise of prices of hay, hay shortages here in parts of Oklahoma, and the rise of grain, those numbers could substantially be higher. Many senior horses are dumped, even horses that were once prized for their athletic ability to win in the arena in which they once competed. Some older horse owners try to find homes for their aging friends, believing their old friend will be well taken care of during their older years, just to find out the horse is not taken care of, many times, starving and sick.

Thankfully, there are many horse/donkey rescues active today, that go to killpens and auctions, and because of generous donations, are able to purchase these animals, to give these beautiful creatures a chance to live out their lives being loved and cared for. Some rescues keep the horses and donkeys they save from death, other's are committed to finding good forever homes for each they rescue. Either way, I'm thankful for these groups that are committed to helping save so many!

At Cole's Ranch, we have quite a few horses and donkeys that came from killpens, in Oklahoma and Texas. Some are seniors, some are young. 1 of our senior horses, Charlie, who is a 21 year old paint gelding, was a "you can have him for free with the 2 mare's." Jess is 20 years old, Eliza is also 20 years old, Reagan, like Charlie is 21 years old. While older horses can have some health issues as they age, they can also have vibrant health during their golden years. What I have found with all our older horses living on the ranch is, they are so patient. Patient with me, patient with the other horses, patient with our dogs and cats that wander in to their spaces. They truly are a joy and it's equally a joy to provide them a safe and loving place to live out their days!

This was not exactly a blog I really wanted to post, but, Cole's Ranch is an animal sanctuary, and I do want to make people aware of the plight of many horses and donkeys. Our hope is that, when you stay at Cole's Ranch ranch stay cabin rentals, you will take the short walk down to the barn and meet our sweet equine family!

Thank you for being part of our adventure!


Jess is 20. years old, came out of the Stroud killpen.

Eliza is 20 years old and came out of the Stroud killpen as well.

Reagan is 21 years old and he too, came out of the Stroud killpen

Charlie is 21 years old and just the sweestest pony!

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