by Pauline Lafleur
Have you ever wanted to run like the wind? Rico can show you how! Just try and keep up with him if you can. Rico is retired from his former career as a harness racehorse and, as you can see, he is still very strong, fit, and simply glows with health. Pacers and Trotters are not as fast as racehorses, but can keep up a very quick speed for long periods of time and never break stride.
Rico is a 14-year-old Standard Bred, and, like many of his kind, is gentle with people, very smart, and so curious about everything that is happening at the Sanctuary. Rico can be counted on to supervise from a distance, he is particularly interested in watching our intrepid volunteers dig post holes while he looks on, munching on fresh hay or oats, and enjoying a quick nap in the sun. Rico makes friends with other animals very easily and his best friend is Jasmine, who adores him. They stand toe to tail and groom each other, and he encourages his older friend to take the occasional trot around the field and, always a gentleman, lets her set the pace. His other buddies include a tiny rooster and a hen. It is quite possible he had never met chickens before and finds them quite charming. Rico is always careful with his feet and his size- very polite, so he shuffles as he steps very gently, so that he doesn’t step on any toes!
When Rico first arrived, he wanted to show us what he could do and proudly trotted everywhere, as he had been taught. But then, one day… he felt the spirit of freedom and burst into a gallop! With the entire field to himself, he ran with joy from one end to the other and back again, his mane and tail blowing in the wind.
Big Sky Ranch is a place where animals can feel free and safe to be who they truly are. If you want to see more and visit Big Sky Ranch, become a volunteer, or donate if you are able to, please check out the website: www.bigskyranch.com.