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Meet The Horses

We would like to introduce you to our special herd of Sanctuary Horses who call our centre their permanent home. Each of these lovable equines has their own unique story, and they are all adorable characters in their own right. Their daily antics never fail to brighten our day, and we hope that you will enjoy getting to know them and following their adventures ❤️.

Reuben Mug Shot Horse Sanctuary Horse at Natural Horse NZ

Name: Reuben aka Boo Boo

Age: Rising 11

Herd Position: Whole Herd Boss 

Best Friend: Otto

Favourite Food: Everything

Favourite Hobbies: Eating, Doing Nothing, Getting Scratches Off His Humans, Having his Tongue Massaged

Special Skill Sets: Can Open Doors and Gates, Can Sit,  

Gives the Best Hugs, Can Creep up on Humans

Riding Facts: Ridden Bitless and Treeless by His Person, Brave and Independent When Out and Takes Good Care of His Rider. Thoughtful, Loving and Safe.

Medical Issues: Chronic Lymphodema, Nerve Damage Due to Partial Tail Amputation By Breeder, PTSD. 

Behavioural Issues: Can Be Aggressive to Unknown Horses, Sceptical of Some Humans, Can Be Challenging At Times.

Is Fearful When Having His Hooves Trimmed

Interesting Fact: Has Unfeasibly Large Hooves

Changes Made: He now likes people

Hooves: Barefoot Rock Crunchers

Reuben came to live with us when he was 4 years old and was mentally shut down and scared of people. He had had his tail cut off, and his gelding had gone badly wrong, so he had developed a painful cyst in his groin, as well as retained male hormones that made for stallion-like behaviours and severe aggression with other horses.  

Thankfully, all that is far behind him now, and he has slowly learned to trust us, turning into the sweetest boy who loves his people and seeks us out for hang-out time and cuddles.


Reuben now spends his days with his adopted family band of 6 horses and 2 donkeys, who all live at our sanctuary as one big happy family, where he thrives in this position.

He is our big teddy bear herd boss. 

Meet Otto who is one of our sanctuary horses

Name: Otto, aka Ots

Age: 24

Herd Position: 2nd  

Best Friend: Reuben

Favourite Food: Brazil Nuts

Favourite Hobbies: Running, Frolicking, Play Fighting with Cleo and Casper, Getting Massages Off His Humans

Special Skill Sets: Wise and Kind, Tries to Help New Horses Learn, Has Great Depth and Empathy, Can Speak To Your Soul with A Single Look, Great with Other Horses

Riding Facts: Was Ridden Bitless and Treeless by His Person but Has Now Retired Due to Arthritis  

Medical Issues: Cushing'sPartially Sighted, Arthritis

Behavioural Issues: Can Be Aggressive at Feeding Time, Needs Emotional Support from His Trusted Person When Interacting With Strangers, Arrived with PTSD

Interesting Fact: Had Untreated Eye Damage That Contributed to Previous Severe Behaviours

Changes Made: Too Many To List, But All Good

Hooves: Barefoot Rock Crunchers

Otto was donated to us in 2014, suffering from severe behavioural issues, including unpredictable and extreme aggression towards humans, which was discovered to be partially related to eye damage that had not been recognised or treated. So, he had no peripheral vision. We funded some eye surgery to help restore his vision, which was a partial success and helped him a lot, and over the years, he has turned into the sweetest-natured of horses that we all adore. 

As we fondly call him, Ots is the kindest soul who is wise and caring around his people. Despite his age, he still behaves like a spring foal at times and enjoys play fighting with his adopted family members Cleo and Casper, which is a joy to see.

Unfortunately, Otto has been short of food somewhere in his past, as he is food obsessed at meal times, which has to be carefully managed and now is his only vice.

We absolutely adore this big fella. 


Casper is one of our sanctuary horses

Name: Casper aka Cas

Age: 19

Herd Position: 3rd  

Best Friend: Cleo

Favourite Food: Peanuts

Favourite Hobbies: Running and Playing with Otto and Cleo

Special Skill Sets: Making New Horses Feel Safe

Medical Issues: None

Behavioural Issues: Traumatised, Fearful and Hypervigilant

Interesting Fact: Fastest Horse in Our Herd

Changes Made: Lots of Positive Changes 

Hooves: Barefoot Rock Crunchers

Casper was donated to us in 2017 by a kind new owner who realised he needed special care and help.


Sadly, he had suffered the horse equivalent of a nervous breakdown and had never fully recovered.

Cas has a kind soul who wants desperately to trust people but has sadly endured too much torture and trauma to return from it all entirely. He trusts us to do his hooves and carry out routine maintenance and health care for him, but he doesn't like people and is mistrusting and sceptical.


However, despite these challenges, Casper continues to thrive living with his adopted family band of horses and enjoys his life to the full being with his herd. 


Being with horses like Cas teaches us how lucky we are to have these magnificent animals in our lives, giving all they do to us, and that they do not need to give us anything for us to want to care for them. So, we are happy to have Cas as part of the family and learn all he has to share with us about horse behaviour from a non-invasive approach from this side of the fence, which seems to be working well, as he occasionally rocks on up for a cuddle and some one on one time with his favourite humans from time to time.  


Meet our Horse Sanctuary Horses

Name: Cleo aka Tank Girl

Age: 7

Herd Position: 4th  

Best Friend: Casper

Favourite Food: Everything

Favourite Hobbies: Getting Into Mischief, Breaking Things, Running, Frolicking, Play Fighting with Otto and Casper,  Neck Scratches and Being Cooed Over By Us Lowly Humans. 

Special Skill Sets: Far Too Clever For Her Own Good. Generous Natured, Loving and Kind

Medical Issues: Throat Injury, Sidebone, Arthritis

Challenges to Her Skeleton Due To Her Size, PTSD over Hoof Trimming. 

Behavioural Issues: Can Be Aggressive and Extremely Challenging at Times. 

Interesting Fact: Can Only Lay Down For 20 Minutes at a Time Due To Her Mass

Changes Made: Too Many To List, But All Good

Hooves: Barefoot Rock Crunchers

Cleo is not a horse for the faint-hearted as she is enormous and can be a real challenge at times, which she does through fear that she had previously turned into aggression.


She continues to make tremendous improvements and has turned from being a nightmare into a kind and loving girl, who is mostly cooperative these days until it comes to hoof care, where she still struggles, as she has a painful condition called sidebone, which is her bodies attempt at making more bone in her hooves to deal with her above average size, which we manage with padded hoof boots and supplements. 

Despite her challenges, Cleo is also an incredibly loving mare who is more sensitive than her size might suggest.  From being stubborn with ADHD-type behaviour of being into everything, she is also incredibly intuitive and knows all you have going on in your heart.

Cleo continues to teach us that less is always more for even the biggest horses and that big horses do best with softness. 

We love this gorgeous big girl for all she is. 


Meet our horse sancturay horses-this is Oscar the little sheltland

Name: Oscar aka Ozzie

Age: 23

Herd Position: Herd Boss Of Small Herd  

Best Friend: Missy

Favourite Food: Banana

Favourite Hobbies: Taking Care Of His Herd

Special Skill Sets: Chivalrous, A Genuinely Old Fashioned Gentleman, Sociable, Loving, Kind and Generous Natured

Medical Issues: Has Cushing's Disease, Managed By Diet and Lifestyle.Some Breathing Issues Managed by Herbal Remedies

Behavioural Issues: He is an Absolute Sweetheart but Can Paw You Sometimes With Eagerness  

Interesting Fact: He Struggles To Lose Weight Due To Metabolic Disease

Changes Made: Lost a Lot of Weight and Now Off Medication

Hooves: Barefoot Rock Crunchers

Oscar is just a complete sweetheart. He is sociable and kind, with a mild manner, but watch out if anyone should mess with his herd mates of Missy and our 2 Donkeys, Emma and Blossom, as he will fight to the death to protect them and even take on the big drafts should he need to, who look at him sideways with what looks like amusement.

He is so caring to the herd, too, literally guarding sick horses when they have been unwell or injured.

Unfortunately, Oscar suffers from a metabolic condition called Cushing's and Breathing Issues, which have their challenges that we address with diet and lifestyle management. 


Oscar is a bonded pair to our tiniest Miniature Horse called Missy, whom he absolutely adores, and we are all in awe of him as he takes such wonderful care of her. 

Despite his small size, he continues to be the heart of our herd, and everyone loves this little fella as he is such a lovely horse to be around. 


Missy is one of the horses that we saved that lives at our Horse Sanctuary here at Natural Horse NZ

Name: Missy aka Missy Moo

Age: 11

Herd Position: Bonded Pair With Oscar

Loved By All Of The Herd  

Best Friend: Oscar

Favourite Food: Grass, Which Has To Be Limited

Favourite Hobbies: Hooning Around and Playing

Special Skill Sets: Standing Under Bigger Horses In the Rain, Having a Cheeky Personality 

Medical Issues: Has PSSM, which is a Metabolic Disease Managed By Diet and Lifestyle. High Laminitis and Colic Risks.Also Has Primordial Dwarfism.

Behavioural Issues: Missy can Be Fearful at Times and Suffers with PTSD Due to the Extreme Trauma She Experienced Before Coming To Us

Interesting Fact: Missy is very Tiny and Has Many Challenges Due To This 

Changes Made: Has Recovered From Severe Trauma and Is A Loving Little Girl To Her Person

Hooves: Barefoot 

We took Missy on as a young filly. She had suffered from unspeakable traumas and is a genuine survivor to endure such a horrific ordeal caused by sick people who should not have been within a mile of any animal.


Thankfully, Missy is made of the tough stuff, and despite all her trauma and medical challenges due to her small size and dwarfism, she continues to be a loving and kind little girl.

Missy has the kindest personality and is a real little character to be around, loving and fun. 

Despite strict grass management, unfortunately, she often suffers from bouts of laminitis due to her metabolic challenges. She is at high risk of colic due to her dwarfism, causing digestive issues, which is sadly the reality of the manmade breeding of these very tiny horses.

Thankfully,  she is loved by all who meet her and protected by all of our herd, who seem to have a sixth sense of her vulnerability. 

We will never give up on our beloved Missy, and our fight to keep her healthy continues. 


Blossom is one of our horse sanctuary rescue donkeys

Name: Blossom

Age: Approx 6

Herd Position: Joint 3rd In Small Herd  

Best Friend: Emma

Favourite Food: Brazil Nuts

Favourite Hobbies: Rolling Away The Round Mounting Block, Breaking into Hay Shed, Doing Laps Around The Track and Playing with Emma

Special Skill Sets: Kind and Highly Intelligent

Medical Issues: Has Suffered With Laminitis 

Behavioural Issues: Blossom Was Wild and Feral So Can Be Fearful Of Humans At Times

Interesting Fact: Donkeys Are Highly Social Animals and Need To Live With Other Donkeys For Their Emotional Well Being

Changes Made: Recovered From Laminitis and Has Learned How To Be A Donkey 

Hooves: Barefoot 

Our dear Blossom was used as a "Bull Donkey" for the first four years of her life. Due to this barbaric practice, she was severely neglected and left to be Feral without any proper care.


Her hooves were horrifically long, and she had laminitis upon arrival and needed her teeth filing, with a mouthful of ulcers, and was riddled with lice and worms, to name a few of her issues. 


Shockingly, this erroneous practice is still carried out in New Zealand. Some Bull Farmers believe a donkey will stop their Bulls from fighting, so leave Donkeys out with a herd of Bulls without providing proper care or another donkey for companionship. 

We rescued Blossom  when the farm sold, and thankfully, with the help of our horses and her other donkey companion, Emma, she has gone on to recover from her ordeal.

She has turned into a loving little girl who brays to say hello to us at every given opportunity. 

We love our Blossom and are thankful we found her to save her from further suffering. 

Meet Emma who is one of our horse sanctuary donkeys here at Natural Horse NZ

Name: Emma aka M

Age: Approx 6

Herd Position: Joint 3rd In Small Herd  

Best Friend: Blossom

Favourite Food: Carrots

Favourite Hobbies: Being and Extrovert and Getting Into Everything, Running and Playing.

Special Skill Sets: Very Vocal and Likes To Bray To Say Hello, Engaging, Loving and Highly Intelligent

Medical Issues: None 

Behavioural Issues: Goes Catotonic When Having her Hooves Trimmed and Is Sceptical of People at Times

Interesting Fact: Emma is Very Smart and Likes People For Their Companionship

Changes Made: Learning To Be Accepting Of Having Her Hooves Trimmed

Hooves: Barefoot 

Emma is a lovely little girl who is very vocal and engaging. She actively seeks out human company, although she can sometimes be a little sceptical of people. 

She has a negative association with her hoof care, so we are continuing to work on this to help her overcome her fear and worries about having her hooves picked up.


Em is an adorable little character who has made such a difference to Blossom, and it is a joy to see them running around and playing fighting together, having such a good time.  

Emma continues to come out of her shell more and more each day and loves to be out with the big herd of horses for adventures whenever possible.

On a side note, she is far too smart for her own good, sometimes climbing up the mounting block and leaving her paddock for an adventure further afield. 

She certainly keeps us on our toes with her sharp mind, and we think she is absolutely fabulous. 

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