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Meet the Herd

Hope* (AKA Merrylegs)

This delightful Welsh pony (born 2014) is our newest addition and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome her aboard our team! Intelligent, confident, playful and fun to ride, she has already won the hearts of young and old alike. Previous owners found her unwilling to stay fenced in, but she has made no effort to leave her new home at Achaius Ranch! This photo was taken upon her arrival, as she was being introduced to our little blind Faith. Although we love her name, some would like to call her Merrylegs but one of us thinks of her as “Joy;” we have yet to make a final decision!





Mackinney, a Palomino Quarter Horse, came to Achaius Ranch in March, 2018 in a desperate condition of malnourishment, extremely underweight (body condition of one), as he had not been given food for many months. Happily, he survived the delicate process of getting him back to good health, quickly gaining weight, and never lost his friendly, trusting attitude. He clearly has good genes because despite how much weight he had lost, he was in surprisingly good condition overall. His age is unknown – believed to have been born somewhere between 1992 and 2002 (depending on who you ask). We have virtually no information about his past, but we like what we’ve seen in this courageous, resilient, handsome horse. We are honored that we have been entrusted with his care and delighted to have him join our youth program. (An album of pictures documenting Mackinney’s recovery can be found on our Facebook page.






Duffy (born 2009) is a Quarter Horse gelding that we adopted from a therapeutic riding center in Spring, 2018. It turns out that his horsenality (left brain introvert) is a better match for our program than for their needs (he has a different kind of job here). We gave him the name, Duffy, because it means “dark one who brings peace.” He is calm, confident, intelligent, and has indeed brought more peace to our herd! He has proven a wonderful addition to our youth program.






Iago (born in 2002) is a 1/4 Belgian Warmblood, 1/4 Thoroughbred, and 1/2 Paint gelding. He is one of our biggest horses and is such a laid back guy. Calm and easy going with a beautiful big trot and canter! Iago has proven to be an exceptional session horse!




Quinn (born 3/18/14) is a goofy, curious, loving, Appendix Quarter horse. Click here  to learn about his amazing story! He came to us during the winter of 2017 and has been a wonderful addition to our herd and our program!


Cricket (2005 – 2019)


Cricket came to us with Pumpkin (a mini) and JJ (a Nubian goat), in April 2017. They came from a loving home where they had recovered after abuse/neglect from previous owners. Their current owner was no longer able to keep them and sought us out. Cricket was severely foundered when she came to us and had many chronic health issues. After about 20 months of treatment, including farrier, vets, chiropractor, even two inpatient visits to Purdue University Large Animal Hospital, Cricket very sadly succumbed to colic. Cricket had the kindest gentlest heart and was the sweetheart of Achaius Ranch in the short time we had the privilege of caring for her. She was a beloved part of our Youth Program for two seasons and she will be greatly missed.




Pumpkin (born in 2012) is a round little mini, or possibly a Shetland, who came to us with Cricket (a mini) and JJ (a Nubian goat), in April 2017. They came from a loving home where they had recovered after abuse/neglect from previous owners. Their current owner was no longer able to keep them and sought us out. We have loved getting to know them! Pumpkin is a confident little guy with a lot of spunk and energy. He is part of our session program and we hope after even more training he can become one of our main little session horses.


Liberty (2002 – 2017)


Beautiful Liberty was a black and white paint quarter horse mare. She kicked her way out of a barn fire but sadly her foal didn’t make it out in time. She then spent 11 months surviving with a burnt back that refused to heal. Her owner was not able to afford veterinary care but managed to keep her alive through a scorching hot summer and one of the worst winters we’ve had in a long time. We found out about Liberty through a friend of ours and her owner happily gave her to us in February 2014. We took her to Purdue where they did skin graft surgery to repair her damaged back.

With special care, she did well for more than three years until the summer of 2017, when we started noticing various sores on the previously burnt skin. With much prayer and loving care, we strived for six months to heal the area, consulting with four different vets, following all treatment advice, but the wounds continued to grow worse. Finally we took her to Purdue University, where they took multiple biopsies to determine what was keeping the area from healing. Sadly, every biopsy showed squamous cell carcinoma (cancer), which apparently frequently happens to burnt skin. The cancer was across such a broad area – all surrounded by tissue already damaged by the burn – that intervention was not a viable option. It was clear that the best thing for Liberty was to prevent further suffering, especially as the cold winter months approach (we could not cover her sore back with a blanket). She was lovingly released from her suffering and laid to rest in her pasture.

We know with all of our hearts that Liberty was a well-loved friend. Her story touched many lives here at the ranch and beyond (you can read her story from the 2014 newsletter on our website here). We feel that her life had meaning and that she enjoyed her role in this ministry to her very last day. We are so sad about losing her and we know that many will grieve her loss. Losing our beloved horses is the hardest part of this ministry and this is the second loss we’ve had in the past month. We are so thankful to know that God loves each and every one of his creatures, even more than we do. His Love and comfort are available to us all. Glory to God for all things!

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)




Merlyn (born in 1991) is an adorable little Halflinger pony gelding who came to us in the summer of 2015. He’s been there, done that, and is a great addition to our session program. He really looks for safety and wants to know he’s okay and can rely on you as his leader. He challenges you a bit more than some of our other horses by making you work harder to gain his trust.


Midnight (1990 – 2019)


Midnight was half Missouri Fox-trotter, half Tennessee Walker. He was a gentle giant and beautifully jet black besides his two white socks. He came to us along with Napoleon from a wonderful older man who needed to find a new home for them due to his poor health. Midnight was a wonderful part of our youth program! Midnight’s age caught up with him and after a few years in retirement, he reached the end of his days. He is missed by so many who loved him dearly! (You can read Midnight and Napoleon’s arrival story here.)




Napoleon (born August 2004) is an adorable hackney pony. He is full of energy and quite the little commander, which is why he was renamed Napoleon! He is completely oblivious to his small size. He moves like a dream with the most gorgeous trot. He is very playful and loves to be scratched on. He came to us along with Midnight from a wonderful older man who needed to find a new home for them due to his poor health. What a wonderful addition he has made to our herd!  (You can read Midnight and Napoleon’s arrival story here.)


Eli (2005 – 2017)

Eli was a blind appaloosa/roan miniature horse. Eli was not born blind . . . sadly, we believe he went blind due to chronic untreated eye infections. His hooves and teeth needed some serious attention, and after a good trim and some dental work, he did well for many years. Eventually, we had his eyes removed because they continued to decline and cause him suffering without benefit. Sometime later (and totally unrelated), he developed diarrhea. For months, while consulting with several vets (including one from Purdue University), and undergoing a range of testing, we had tried many and various treatments. In the end, nothing helped, and in the past months he had lost a great deal of weight; it seemed that cancer was consuming his little body. It eventually became clear that the best way to help Eli was to release him from the battle.

We miss Eli and we are very thankful to have had the privilege of giving him five years of love, care, and peace at Achaius Ranch.



Faith (born 2005) is a blind appaloosa miniature horse. She came to the ranch with Eli. Faith, like Eli, was not born blind . . . sadly, we believe she also went blind due to chronic untreated eye infections. Her hooves and teeth needed some serious attention as well, and after a good trim and some dental work, she’s been doing great! Like Eli, we had her eyes removed after a few years of continued decline. She and Eli were best buds and now we are so glad she has Keva to lead her little herd! Faith is trusting and so very sweet! She is such a joy to have here at the ranch!



Sparky (born May  1, 1996) is a Standardbred gelding. He’s an ex-race horse. His favorite thing is to push our big ball around and show it who’s boss! He is best buddies with Patrick and loves to play with him out in the pasture. He has done great for sessions as well as giving “pony” rides to kids. He is wonderful at staying calm no matter who or what is running around him! We are so grateful to have him!



Patrick (born 1999) is a Standardbred gelding and is also an ex-race horse. He has such a great personality and is very playful, confident, sweet, and curious. He has been a wonderful addition to our youth program, though his advancing years have started bringing on some arthritis, as is to be expected. We don’t work him very hard; he’s earned some rest and deserves a peaceful life!


Eva (born approximately 1996) is a Quarter Horse mare who came to us in July of 2011 from the Indiana Horse Rescue, where she had lived for five years after being confiscated from her previous abusive owner. For more info on her arrival, and why we brought her to Achaius Ranch, please read here. She is fearful of new things, but is one of the sweetest horses ever and has learned to trust people more! We do not ride her, but she loves to be groomed and to have her mane brushed, and to simply be with you.

Sadie (1996 – 2018)

Sadie was a Quarter Horse mare that came to us in July of 2011 from he Indiana Horse Rescue, along with Eva, where she had lived for five years after being confiscated from her previous abusive owner. She had a scar on her face to prove it. (For more info on her arrival, and why we brought her to Achaius Ranch, please read here.) Sadie was surprisingly sweet and trusting despite her past. She was wonderful for hugs, grooming, kissing on the nose, and simply being with. Sadly, she reached the end of her life and we had to let her go after eight years, which we trust were happy years for her! Rest in peace, sweet Sadie; we are glad you will never suffer again!


Keva (1992 – 2019)


Keva, a Quarter Horse mare, was calm, quiet, and was one of our first horses used in our youth program. She reached the end of her days after a full life of serving others so well. We miss this gentle, lovely mare!

*These four horses (Duffy, Hope, Quinn, & Iago) were purchased and are owned (and their expenses are paid) by the McCullohs, primarily for the benefit of the youth program at Achaius Ranch.