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Long Time NTRC Residents Retiring

By May 13, 2024May 16th, 2024News

Dear Friend of NTRC, 

We are excited to share that Fancy and Red will begin their journey for retirement at the month’s end. Camp Rusk is a 400-acre ranch in Texas that utilizes its land to house retired therapy horses in a natural setting. Here, horses live in herd bands in vast pastures, closely resembling an instinctive life. However, unlike truly wild horses, our beloved herd members are still grain-fed, checked on, and cared for by human hands.  Fancy and Red will join previous NTRC herd members: Snickers, Bella, Bear, Tiger, and Pablo. 

Testaments to the definition of a therapy horse, Fancy and Red, have provided exemplary years of service to our organization. Steady and strong, they have given their love and compassion to our participants with unfaltering reliability. Friends of the two herd members may enjoy learning the horses’ histories below. 

In 2015, NTRC welcomed a large gelding from the white barn across the street named Red. This exceptional horse had impacted many lives in Collier County over multiple disciplines during his youthful years. If you asked, Red obliged and tried his hardest, no matter the task. He trained for Western pleasure, trail riding, and even jumping. With love and admiration, his owner wanted Red to retire from competitive training. Her choice to donate Red to NTRC impacted countless lives over the nearly ten years he has spent with us. Red was an asset to mounted and unmounted programs.   

In 2019, an Appendix Quarter Horse mare was unloaded from the trailer on our property. She was beautiful and, wow, was she Fancy. Originally from Fort Pierce, Fancy racked up ribbons for her previous owner in the Western Pleasure arena. Of Fancy’s time at NTRC, Lead Instructor Lea Haven stated,  “She was a great teacher of riding skills and aids by being so push button but yet responsive to the rider on her.  There is not a rider that has ridden Fancy that does not love her talent.” Fancy was well loved for mounted and unmounted programs. 

At NTRC, we believe in celebrating every stage of our horses’ lives in our organization, from their arrival to their retirement. While bidding farewell may be bittersweet, we take joy in the countless memories these horses have gifted us. We invite you to join us in celebrating their retirement by sharing your favorite moments and stories.

We warmly invite you to share your stories and well wishes for Fancy and Red in this special moment. Whether you email us at, drop off a letter, or visit our office, your words will be a cherished part of the herds’ retirement journey. 

Fancy and Red are scheduled to load on the trailer for Texas Wednesday, May 22. We invite you to schedule a visit with Fancy and Red to send well retirement wishes—email Barn Manager Kayla at or call (239)596-2988 to reserve your time.

Author Christian Vanorsdale

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