We have quite a few animals for the kids to enjoy. Each one has a unique personality that brings life to the ranch!
What makes our program successful? It is our dedicated volunteers and our horses. Horses have an amazing sense of a person’s inner being. They don’t stereotype. They don’t care about your past. They make connections with people in ways that often cannot be duplicated by humans. It’s our horses that help break down the walls or barriers of these kids, while building up their confidence. This, in turn, allows us to mentor these children and hopefully make a difference in their lives.
Bailey is a palomino mare that has been at the ranch for almost 12 years. When Bailey was a young filly at another farm, she was often picked on by the other horses, so much so, that when a gate was pushed off its hinges, she was pushed into it and severly injured her shoulder. She endured 3,000 stitches that left a huge, unsightly scar. Her story, with her visible scar, as well as her inner scars from being bullied, allow many kids to instantly relate to her. Bailey helps show kids how to learn to overcome their own scarred pasts. Bailey is a ranch superstar when it comes to connecting with kids, and helping them develop confidence and inner strength.
Dewey is a large, sorrel gelding with a wide blaze and four bright, white socks. He has been at the ranch helping to impact the lives of kids for over a decade! He is often referred to as one of our “Gentle Giants,” for he is indeed a very large horse. With his big stature comes an even bigger heart. Dewey has an incredible ability to connect with many, many kids, especially those that have disabilities or special needs. He has a special protective nature about him that attracts kids like a magnet!
Shadow, a beautiful, chocolate colored mare, is a world champion and the fastest horse on the ranch. She is the horse that planted the seed for the Roanoke Ranch For Kids to begin, as she helped the Ranch founder, Aaron Decker, through many hardships and challenges with her extremely giving heart and personality. She is quiet and a little shy, but has the ability to see right through you with her amazing eyes. Shadow has had thousands of kids on her back and is known as a “Gentle Giant” because of her statuesque physique, big heart, and loving personality.
One of the ranch’s newest additions, Little Man, is a cute, small paint pony that came to us when one of our volunteers found him online. He had been abused and was very skittish and shy. You could say that he had completely lost his faith in humans. Since he arrived at the Ranch we’ve shown him lots of love and have been working on building his trust and confidence. It has been amazing to see how the kids instantly connect to Little Man. His bright blue eyes light up as he responds to their love and affection.
Rudy is a strapping, sorrel gelding that has been at the ranch for over 10 years! Rudy is a true cowboy horse. He is brave, reliable, and confident; traits he seems to bring out in all those he connects with. Rudy is quite the pal to most of the other horses, but most importantly, he’s a good pal to many of the kids that get to come to the ranch. His kind eye and loving attitude makes him a favorite for many of Roanoke Ranch for Kids’s visitors.
Sylvie is a petite, white mare that has only been at the ranch for 8 years. She’s made a huge impact! She has helped kids grow in their confidence and self esteem as they learn to ride both inside the paddock, as well as on trails. For such a small girl, she has an incredibly big heart and a strong willingness to please. Sylvie loves treats and she loves the kids that come to visit her at the ranch.
Kippy, a small paint pony, came to the ranch in his late 20s, and had been at the ranch for close to 16 years! His welcoming whinny and outgoing personality makes him an automatic favorite. Even the shy, tentative kids love to brush and groom Kippy and he loves them back just as much for doing it. He is one of the special ponies that gets to travel to different cities to meet kids that may not have the opportunity to come out to the Ranch. Kippy may be a little pony, but his heart is that of a clydesdale!
Willow, a little, sorrel pony, is the oldest horse at the ranch. He has called this place home for 14 years! Although he is almost 40 years old and a little more slow moving than the other ponies, he is still always a favorite with the kids. Willow loves attention both with treats, and grooming. He will stand at attention as kids brush and comb his mane and tail for hours. This is special old fellow that loves life!
Goldie is a sunny palomino mare with a bright personality to match. She is a quite plump gal, but that doesn’t stop her from participating in rides with the kids. She absolutely loves visiters and comes running to the fence for treats and pats when kids out stretch a hand. With a sunny, sweet personality, it’s no surprise Goldie is a good friend to many!!
Ruby is a bay mare quarter horse and came to us in 2017. Ruby's career involved barrel racing and working with kids camps at Springhill Ranch. Soon after the Ranch adopted her, Ruby not only took to the other horses, but also to all the kids that come here, quickly becoming a favorite. Ruby loves being groomed so much, she will fall asleep during the process. She loves scratches on her back and behind her ears, and really enjoys going on trail rides with the other horses!
It is an honor to introduce our newest resident at the ranch. Rojo proudly served area residents with the Kent County Sheriff's Office
Mounted Unit for 13 years. We are grateful for their generous partnership and excited that Rojo chose to spend his retirement here helping at-risk kids. Welcome to the ranch Rojo!!
Shadrach, our resident comedian. Always excited to welcome our guests and always able to put a smile on your face.
Joseph, aka Little Joe. The Goat of many colors. Always willing to give you a "kiss", be in a "selfie", or go for a walk.
Clyde, our floppy eared goat. Clyde is just as goofy as Little Joe, but just a little more reserved in front of visitors.