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Stable Living

R&R Ranch Provides Sanctuary For Miniature And Dwarf Horses, Donkeys

Stacy Rolfe considers herself the “chief snuggler.” In fact, the “About” section on the website of her 501(c)(3) nonprofit, R&R Ranch Miniature Horse Sanctuary, describes her this way: “If there's a chin to be rubbed, schmootz to get out of eyes, butts to be scratched or a neck to be hugged, that’s where you will find her.”

But Stacy is so much more than that. What started as the idea of purchasing a miniature horse for their intended small barn at 18222 Wild Horse Creek Road in Wildwood, has morphed, through every fault of her own, into a safe haven for miniature horses and donkeys—a special place that offers a good life to animals who might otherwise be bought and sold as novelties. 

Stacy, and her daughter, Belle Rolfe, care for and educate others about their 15 miniature horses, five dwarf miniature horses and three full-size horses, as well as two miniature and one full-size donkeys and one pony. They also have three dogs, two birds, a rabbit and a cat, whom they refer to as “The Rest of the Fur” on R&R Ranch.

Stacy offers numerous tours for children to business people to seniors, where she and Belle work to educate them on the uniqueness, preciousness and vulnerability of miniature horses.

Unfortunately, Stacy says miniature horses are often bred or purchased by people who want them because they’re “cute” and do not realize or concern themselves with the fact they require a significant amount of care, including proper feeding, grooming and exercise.

Dwarf miniature horses are “genetic hiccups,” Stacy says, “their needs are comparable to a dwarf person who will have lifelong challenges.”

Dwarfs have a number of unique issues, including limb and jaw deformities, malerupted teeth and gastrointestinal problems. Their legs and hooves often are twisted to the point of being sideways or even backward. This anomaly requires a special type of farrier work where extensions are placed on the hooves, which also are filed and trimmed, to retrain their growth.

Horses that find their way to R&R Ranch have a lifelong home there. Stacy says she won’t sell them, though she may try to help someone place one she cannot take. One hundred percent of the profits from R&R tours and the sale of gift shop items, such as stuffed animal replicas of the miniatures and story books about them, goes back to the care of the rescued horses.

“I don’t like to turn my eye when I see an animal in need,” Stacy confirms.

636.594.9694
RandRRanchMinis.com

"Unfortunately, miniature horses are often bred or purchased by people who want them because they’re 'cute' and don't realize or concern themselves with the fact they require a significant amount of care," says Stacy Rolfe.

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