Our Equines – Our Partners!
“SuzAnne really leads by example with her horse, Power. She told me at one point that she felt that Power was her soulmate, and it made me realize that we weren’t just riding horses, we were part of a team with them.”
–Katrina Flower, Madison, Wisconsin
Our equines are not livestock standing in the field, but are our partners in every way. Most are superb athletes, veteran trail mounts who have been trained by professionals, while some cannot be ridden and serve in many other ways. Our dude horses regularly meet the challenges presented by the most experienced riders while staying gentle and responsive to the needs of beginners. Nothing compares to sailing through Montana’s mountains and forests aboard a sure-footed, smooth-gaited horse in peak athletic condition!
And, just because our Donkey DIVAS and Ponies can’t match the Tennessee Walking Horses’ superb running walk gait, does not mean that they are not equal partners – just in different ways. Dunrovin values all the horses/donkeys/ponies for the individuals that they are. Each and everyone of them contributes to the character and beauty of the ranch.
The Dunrovin Herd
These are the horses that put smiles on the faces of our guests as they glide through the back country of Montana. All of them are Tennessee Walking Horses and all are geldings except Annie and Lady Lonza. They all have very distinct personalities, likes, and dislikes. Some are always eager to go, others are more reluctant at first only to show real vigor on the trail. There are both friendships and rivalries among them. A few love to swim the the rivers, while others aren’t that keen. Since of our trail rides take different combinations of horses out to different places all the time. Dunrovin’s horses are experienced travelers who are at ease in the trailers for long distances, ready for any challenge on the trail, and expect the unexpected.
Meet Annie.The herd matriarch, the first horse SuzAnne ever purchased, and mother of Lady Lonza, Annie unfortunately became lame from an accident many years ago just months after SuzAnne bought her. She was boarded at the ranch owned by the person who sold her to SuzAnne. At that ranch, Annie lived in a beautiful large pasture along the Clark Fork River with several other horses.
Meet Butte. One of the newer members of the Dunrovin Herd. Butte is jet black and a very handsome boy. He is already proving to be a wonderful guest and wrangler horse. We are excited to learn more about him.
Meet Chief. Chief is a horse that you’ll want to bring home! He’s a very quiet guy with a naturally gentle disposition, making him an excellent horse for similarly mannered riders of all experience levels. Not only is he a totally reliable and friendly fellow, but he has the most amazing smooth and fast gait, and will happily lead any group.
Meet Chinook. He came to Dunrovin under difficult circumstances. Power, SuzAnne’s beloved partner for over 15 years, suddenly died and left SuzAnne with a broken heart and in need of a new guide horse to lead horseback trips into the back country. While most of the horses from the Dunrovin remuda could have fit the bill, SuzAnne didn’t want to take any one of them out of commission for guests, so she started the long process of finding a new horse.
Meet Dugan. This handsome guy joined the Dunrovin herd in the early summer of 2016. He came from the Kentucky via a horse trader. While Dunrovin has never before purchased horses from a trader, we are delighted that we took a chance on this guy who it turning out to be a real champ with his kind personality and his fabulous running walk.
Meet Erskine. This beautiful BIG blue roan arrived with both Dugan and Flynn in 2017. Since they came via a horse trader, very little was known about them. We suspect that Erskine was not well treated at his former home and it has taken Erskine some time to settle into life at Dunrovin. He is coming along well and should soon be ready for taking guests out on the trails.
Meet Flynn. This sweetheart of a horse arrived with his buddies Dugan and Erskine in 2017 from the horse trader, and he had clearly been sick with EPM which is very common in the southeastern US. Flynn needed both medications and some physical therapy to help him recover from his illness. He is gaining strength every day and will soon be ready for riders of all ages. He is sure to be a favorite with his winner personality and desire to please.
Meet Lady Lonza. She is more than horse to SuzAnne. She is the first horse to be born at Dunrovin and to be raised by SuzAnne. She is a direct connection to her late father as Lonza was foaled on his birthday the year after he died.
Meet Mickey. The Drama King, Mischievous Mickey, Bully, Little Napoleon are all names that have been used to reference this beautiful, all black, and very talented gelding. Mickey is NOT an easy horse – but he is a magnificent horse in many, many ways. A local rider, Sally, partnered with him for a number of years and they became well known winners throughout the horse show circuit for the Montana Tennessee Walking Horse Association of Montana.
Meet Monty. His full name is Montana’s Strollin’ Joe; and it’s the PERFECT name for this horse. He is confident without being aggressive; he is handsome and he knows it; he is a tad lazy and looks for fun rather than work – a real roaring twenties Storllin’ Joe kind of a guy. His friendly, easing going nature make him everybody’s – and we do mean every BODY, as in humans and horses – “go to” horse.
Meet Mystery. Also a newer member of the herd, Mystery came to us from our good friend Brandon Carpenter at Hashknife Tennessee Walkers. He hasn’t been ridden yet, but Dunrovin’s Taryn is currently training him. Under the mentorship of Brandon Carpenter, Taryn is going to turn Mystery into a great guest horse.
Meet Razz. The another new horse that found his way to Dunrovin in late 2015. Razz, is true to his name. we call him “razzamatazz” for his spunk and ability to move quickly. So far he is only being used at a Wrangler horse. Hopefully after a season of riding he’ll be ready for guests!
Meet Rocket. This handsome horse acquired his name from rocketing around the pastures in Montana’s Nine Mile Valley as a foal. Some of Dunrovin’s guests are intimated by the name – but they need not worry. Rocket is a mellow fellow; and if anything, he is a bit on the lazy side. You may have to coach him along to stride out, but once he hits his classic Tennessee Walking Horse running walk, you’re in horse heaven. His walk is smooth, fast, and even. Rocket would be a blue ribbon winning horse were he to be put in the show ring.
Meet Romeo. SuzAnne frequently changes the nickname for a new horse if the original one doesn’t sit right with her. Such was the case for Romeo. Yahwehs Sterling Legacy is his given name on his registration with the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitors Association. She knew she had to do something with that, but what? She had no idea what Yahwehs was or meant; and she couldn’t use Sterling since her husband already occupied that name in her mind and heart.
Meet Smokey. Smoke gets in your eyes! Smokey’s deep brown eyes are mesmerizing and hypnotize all who gaze into them. He had a very commanding presence with his tall stature, his big bones, his feet the size of plates, and the light hints of blond on his otherwise dark chocolate coat. This is one handsome horse – and one fast, sure footed mountain horse as well. He is sometime referred to as Dunrovin’s gentle giant. He is careful to take special care of his young charges, gives the most inexperienced rider a suburb ride, yet is like butter in the hands of an experienced horseman.
Meet Whiskey. His copper color makes him a real stand out. SuzAnne jokingly tells people that Whiskey should have been named Dubonnet as he belongs in a fine French restaurant rather than a western saloon. He is such a refined and handsome gentleman, yet he also has something of a rakish and competitive side. On the trail he is always pushing to be first; he happily canters along, will stay in his fast, smooth running walk for miles, and really chews up the ground when given the opportunity. He never give his rider any trouble; children love him, beginning riders love him, and experienced riders are enchanted with his responsiveness to their cues.
The Dunrovin Barn Yard Crew
Our ponies and our donkeys are seldom let out on green grass because as the saying goes ” they are easy keepers” who are prone to health problems if given too much rich food. All of these critters excel at delighting kids – of any age. The donkey DIVAS as so special that they merit their own section of this web site.
Meet Bonnie & Clyde. They came to Dunrovin via a telephone call. A woman in the Bitterroot Valley who tries to help horses in need called SuzAnne to see if she knew of anyone who could take in two sweet ponies that belonged to a kind, but very poor family lacking the resources to care for them. They wanted the ponies to stay together, as the older female was going blind and she was completely dependent on her younger son for guidance.
Meet Cool Dude. He is exactly that – one very cool dude who is a favorite of all the children that he meets. Sturdy enough to carry a small adult, his short stature and easy going, slow moving personality inspires confidence among new riders of any age.
Meet Gertie & Maude. This New Year’s Eve photo of the DIVAS says it all! First, it reveals their color choices, results of careful analysis with their beauty consultants. Miss Maude always dresses in red as she is convinced that it highlights the amber tones in her beautiful chocolate brown coat, while Miss Gertie is equally insistent on donning purple to contrast with her lovely light gray coat.
The Dunrovin Team
These two handsome fellows are co-captains – hence the names Captain Lewis and Captain Clark – of their beautiful black cart with red trimming. Sporting lovely Amish made leather harnesses, these two cut quite a figure on the roads of Lolo. With more training, we hope to have them in parades in the BIG city of Missoula.
Meet Captain Lewis and Captain Clark. This team is Dunrovin Ranch’s newest equines who came in August of 2013. It all started as some many things do at Dunrovin – with a phone call from someone wanting to do something with horses. In this case, it was a phone call from a lovely woman asking if Dunrovin knew of anyone who might be interested in purchasing a pair of draft ponies along with their beautiful black and red carriage and black leather Amish harnesses.
Dunrovin’s Rescue Horse
Mackenzie Cole’s beautiful rescue horse, Canner, lives at Dunrovin and has become much loved member of the Dunrovin herd. Everyone at Dunrovin has learned a great deal from watching Mackenize work with Canner to overcome his fear of humans that stems from having been in some very traumatic situations. Mackenzie’s commitment to and patience with Canner is very inspiring.
Departed, But Not Forgotten
Just because one of our equine friends has died or moved away, doesn’t mean that their spirits don’t remain at Dunrovin. We miss them all.
Power was SuzAnne’s “Mane Man” and her “once in a lifetime” horse. They were bonded at the hip – and together they travels thousands of miles in Montana’s beautiful back county. She misses and thinks of him every day.
Señor Kona introduced Dunrovin Ranch to the wonderful world of donkeys. His genial, loving, kind, willing, and patient personality won over even the hardest of hearts. No role was too silly, no costume too outlandish, no duty too difficult for him to happily cooperate. He was a true member of the team and inspired Dunrovin to new levels of fun and foolishness.
Denali is the name that the indigenous Athabaskan people of Alaska gave to Mount McKinley and it means “The Great One”; and Dunrovin’s Denali fit it to a tee. He was big – over 16 hands tall – yet gentle and an excellent horse for beginning riders. Denali had the equine equivalent of asthma which meant the Dunrovin had to have special medications and wet all of his hay. His condition did not, however, slow him down. He was willing and energetic to the end.
Dandy served as a Dunrovin Ranch guest horse until Laura came along and feel in love with him and it was obvious that the feeling was mutual. Dandy simply belonged with Laura – so Dunrovin sold Dandy to Laura in 2011. She kept Dandy at Dunrovin Ranch for a couple of year before buying her own little piece of paradise farther up the Bitterroot Valley where she could start her own small ranch. As soon as she had hay in the barn, she moved Dandy to his new home.
Flash was a long time Dunrovin Ranch who suddenly become permanently lame with a stretched nerve. He was a much loved horse and Dunrovin is most happy that he went with Dandy to be his pasture mate at their new home with Laura.
Martine was a very special horse at Dunrovin. He was permanently lame from ring bone and was rescued by Dunrovin. However, he found an important job as an emotional therapy horse – people just seemed to migrate to him. He was with Dunrovin for over eight years.
Charger was a big beautiful blue roan and was one in a million. He came to the ranch site-unseen over ten years ago. He was the PERFECT guest horse. A true gentleman to children and adults alike, he was our gentle giant and often gave people from around the globe their first horseback ride.