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Sweet Lucy our rescue donkey is ready to be adopted! This girl was scheduled to be euthanized when we picked her up from a local ranch. She had foundered on way too rich pasture, was mostly laying down, and in a lot of pain. Two trims and a diet have made a world of difference. She is a different donkey now and is walking without a limp, holding her own in the pecking order, and she has the sweetest bray. She is in her mid-teens. She is just shy of 14hh and nice height to be a riding prospect for a small adult or children, and she’s an absolute sweetheart. She is well halter broke and very easy to catch. We require that she go to a home with other donkeys, the adopter must be knowledgeable on donkey diet especially for one that has foundered and still has weight to lose. She has a cresty neck and will need continued weight management and regular hoof care. Please call or e-mail us for more information. Pet home only, not for breeding or protecting livestock. Located in Gunnison Colorado. Adoption fee does apply.

Cagney and Lacey

These two beautiful molly mules were purchased with three others out of the same Jack for the 2016 AMTC (American Mule Trainer’s Challenge). The breeder of these mules died unexpectedly during a routine surgery and they and their siblings were bought from the widow with the promise that they would go to good homes. Three trainers were at the challenge and these two were culled from the competition as they were the wildest. They were handled minimally and are 5 or 6 years old. They were sold at the 2016 AMTC then sold again after the owner realized they would take more time to train then he had. They then sold to a person claiming to be a pack mule buyer. Unfortunately they somehow ended up in a kill pen in Texas being advertised as a matching driving team. We saw them on facebook and were touched by their story and by the beauty of these two mules and bailed them out of the kill pen. We were then completely blown away by the outpouring of support from the mule community and their donations to help ship these mules to the Grand Ranch. We are also very grateful to the Feltenbergers for picking them up from the kill pen and housing and caring for them until we could arrange for shipping. We have no delusions that training these beautiful mollies will be quick or easy but we are excited for the challenge and we have time and patience to give. They have both made excellent progress already and they will be available for adoption after they have received additional training. You can also follow them on our facebook page.

Captain Augustus McCrae “Gus”-Adopted by the Pace family in Colorado!

We rescued Augustus AKA Gus at an auction fall 2017.  When we saw him at an auction he had no life in him.  He was very emaciated, his eyes and coat were dull, he was missing patches of fur and had multiple abrasions and wounds, and his hooves were in terrible shape.  His lower back was noticeably swayed.  I (Katherine Browne) felt so terrible for him and I worked on locating his seller to find out why he was in such poor condition.  His seller told me he was near starvation when he purchased him back from his neglectful owners after selling him to them as a 2 year old. He is now 10 years old and 14.2hh. His owner was heartbroken at the state he was in but nonetheless brought him to auction in very poor condition. His seller said that since he rescued him he had put on a couple hundred lbs which is hard to believe given his current condition. According to the seller, he was bred by Garrett Jackstock but ended up in the wrong hands. I spoke to Garret Jackstock via facebook and they were unable to provide me with any information on him given the volume of mammoth donkeys they breed.   Gus was being used to halter break cattle by his neglectful owners.  They would tie the cattle to a collar to train them to lead. We took the seller’s information with a grain of salt as our instincts told us he too was responsible for Gus’s condition and he has taken him to an auction in very poor condition.  Gus is the sweetest, gentlest soul and we fell In love with him immediately.

Since coming to the ranch Gus has received an all he can eat hay buffet and daily grain with fat added.  He has been seen by our vet, he’s been wormed, he’s received his vaccines, and had his feet trimmed.  He received a spiffy blanket to help him with the Colorado winter with the lack of meat on his bones.  His coat has grown in and he has gained a significant amount of weight.  He is running with his herd of mules and donkeys and learning to love and trust.  He is a different donkey and he runs, plays, and relaxes with his friends.  When at first he was standoffish with people, he is becoming very friendly and coming for love and scratches.  He has received halter training and learned to tolerate his hooves being trimmed without kicking out or dancing around.  He had received no hoof care so it tooke him a few training sessions to get used to his feet and legs being handles, especially his back legs.  After additional time to recover Gus will be available for adoption.  While he is with us he will continue to receive training.  We will be consulting with an expert regarding his back but we are confident he will be able to pull a cart, there is a good chance he can be ridden, and packed as well.  Most cases of sway back in equine do not effect the animals ability to be ridden.  Gus will be an amazing companion to anyone who adopts him.  We do require that he go to a home with other mules, horses, or donkeys.  He is a soulful, gentle, and extremely lovable boy.


Bruno is a 12 year old Jack Russell terrier we adopted locally after Mom’s elderly Jack Russell passed away.  Bruno had been with the same family for 10 years when they decided to rehome him, something we will never understand.  He is a incredibly happy and lovable little boy.  He loves running and playing with our other dogs and being petted and loved by people.  He will live out the rest of his life here with us.


Poncho is an adorable standard donkey gelding that we rescued locally.  Poncho was being used for roping practice (they were roping him) and we picked him up from his rescuers after they re-homed their other animals. He was all alone and starving for companionship.  When we picked him up his feet were in poor condition but his feet have been rehabbed from being long and having seedy toe. He has greatly improved in his halter training and in getting his feet trimmed.  When we got him is loved to hop all around while I tried to trim his feet.

We had planned on putting him up for adoption but we have fallen head over heals for this boy.  He is the friendliest most gregarious boy and he has bonded with his girlfriend Lorie Darlin the mammoth jennet.  He was also an excellent buddy and friend to our two foals this year,  Poncho’s sweet and loving nature has made him the perfect candidate for a therapy donkey.  We took him to Trick or Treat on Main Street and he was an absolute hit as Donkey from Shrek.  we then took him to out local Senior Center and the residents loved him.  He was so careful and kind.  His next adventure will be training to pull the pony sized cart we picked up over the holidays.  Follow his adventures on our facebook page.

Zoey the ranch Cat!


Zoey was a malnourished kitten Katherine brought home from a Prois Women’s Hunt in Texas.  She was the only friendly kitten of several barn kittens that neither had access to food nor water.  After some food, love, worming, and vaccines Zoey felt much better and has blossomed into her ornery self.

West Elk Equine

Katherine Browne
Call for our address Gunnison CO 81230

p: (970) 275-9870

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About West Elk Equine

Nestled in the beautiful Ohio Creek Valley in Gunnison Colorado, West Elk Equine is truly paradise on earth. I have been riding, training, and showing horses and mules since I was six years old.