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A Grand Reprieve

Fallon's Farm is a sight for sore eyes (and sore hearts)

Skin and bones.

Every rib bone visible through her sorrel coat, withers and hip bones jutting out from her body, the neglected mare wasn’t much to look at, her head hanging limply over a stall door.

But Wendy Ramos saw a promise and felt a pull to save the ex-racehorse, plopping down her American Express to pay for the mare’s ticket out of a kill pen and into, one day, the green pastures of Arlee and a home that now bears her name—Fallon’s Farm.

“She was skinny and in rough shape,” Wendy explained. “We got her nursed back to health.”

In early 2020, Wendy volunteered at a horse rescue in Arizona—an experience that altered the course of her life.

“As soon as I volunteered at that rescue, I knew there was a huge need. There were 53 horses there. All used, abused, and thrown away,” Wendy recalled.

Fallon in tow, Wendy sold her house in Arizona and found property near Arlee—acreage that would provide a happy landing for rescue animals of all stripes but with one common denominator: the need for love.

Now home to seven horses, four dogs, and one donkey, Fallon’s Farm is a menagerie of young and old, short and tall, all with a piece of Wendy’s heart.

“I thought I was saving them, but they saved me,” said Wendy. “I am a person who deals with depression. After my kids left, I had no purpose in life. Going to that horse rescue—it changed my life that day.”

Wendy didn’t set out to run a full-fledged animal rescue, but as word spread across western Montana, people called, wondering if she could make a home for abandoned dogs and horses whose owners had passed away. And while she’s at full capacity now, Wendy’s working on gaining non-profit status and hopes to someday offer volunteer opportunities and horse therapy programs for veterans in the community.

“It’s impossible to be in a bad mood around horses,” Wendy said. “I just feel great—a calm and present feeling that I don’t feel driving to town or getting groceries.”

Writers, horsemen, politicians, and poets have long extolled the benefits of animals—especially horses—for the soul. Wendy knows this in her heart as well: she grew up with horses, spending time at her grandparents’ ranch in southwest Montana. When her first marriage ended, she was forced to leave behind her horses and dogs, never knowing what became of them.

“I’ve always felt a little guilt about that,” said Wendy. “I feel like I had to make that right. Helping these other animals is my purpose in life.”

Doc, one of Wendy’s seven horses, came to the farm skittish and afraid. Wendy couldn’t even walk close to him.

“It took him about six months to trust me,” Wendy said. “It’s been fun to watch him come around. I’ve never hurt him and he knows that.”

They are a rag-tag group: dogs playfully wrestling over a chew toy, one even perched high on a horse’s back while his equine friend chomps on a bucket of grain. A four-year-old donkey recently joined the crew, claiming the oldest horse—Stormy, 33 years old—as his best buddy.

Animals, once with no prospects and no hope, bonded together by camaraderie and love.

“We’re just in the very beginning of this,” said Wendy, smiling. “I had a vision as a kid that I would live in a barn with my horses and my dogs. I didn’t know it would look like this. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Find Fallon’s Farm on Instagram @fallonsfarm