Ralphie – Gaited, BORN 2016


Born Early 2016 Sweetheart Gaited Gelding

Ralphie's adoption fee will be discussed with the most qualified, experienced adopters

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Precious spirit, huge heart, great start

If you’re looking to adopt a gelding with a gentle spirit,  earnest heart and tons of potential, Ralphie is your man!

Swingin’ D Horse Rescue saved Ralphie from slaughter around Christmas of 2017. Several people told us he couldn’t be saved, that we should humanely euthanize him. He was too abused, too sick, too starved, too terrified to ever recover and be useful.

After months of loving care, Ralphie grew to be an amazing horse with a limitless future. We just had to get him through the illness and infection he likely picked up in the slaughter pipeline. 

Young, broke to ride, gentle, loyal, strong work ethic and very smart, Ralphie is available for adoption to an experienced horse person.

Our dream for Ralphie is to continue lessons with a rider who plans to work with and keep him forever.

Ralphie's "Tale"

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Christmas Day Haul to Hell Thwarted by Love

It was Christmas, and Ralphie was the last of the horses that had a shot at Facebook salvation before the trailer departed for hell. Only 2.5 years old, he was scrawny and barely broke. He didn’t fit the ideal profile for people looking for a cheap horse: 8-year-old, dead-broke, babysitter gelding that saddles, rides, trains and grooms itself. No, Ralphie would take some TLC and commitment, so there he sat on Christmas Day.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, Ralphie’s life was spared, and we paid his ticket to Swingin’ D, where he’s been ever since.

So traumatized by life before the ‘D, Ralphie ran from us for weeks before he would allow us to touch him, so it was 45 days before we realized he had e. Coli-infested lesions lurking under the hair on his tail. Our first order of business was to deal with his spiritual wounds, which took months; then we could start treating his tail.


$6,500 for Treatment

When I say we tried everything to heal Ralphie’s tail, I mean we tried EVERYTHING. Every time we thought we had it under control, we unwrapped the dressings and it was flared up again. I personally spent nearly $6,500 on veterinary care, lab work, x-rays, medications, lotions and magic potions trying to save Ralphie’s tail.

Following is a list of everything we tried. 


On February 6, 2019, concerned Ralphie hasn’t improved after more than a month on powerful (expensive) antibiotics, the vet took x-rays and found the infection has reached two vertebrae. She recommended amputation.

After religiously dressing Ralphie’s tail every day for at least 10 months, and paying a small fortune to try to save it, our efforts finally paid off! On April 23, the vet declared Ralphie was 100-percent infection-free!

A year later, you can barely detect the hell Ralphie went through. His adopter will need to fly spray him in the spring and summer because the nerve damage made it impossible for him to swish. We hope he’ll regain the ability to use his tail, but there’s no way of knowing for sure.