In the fall of 2011, Redwings received a call from the United States Border Patrol. They needed help for their loyal mounts that had reached the point of retirement. It seems that in the past, most of the retired mounts found permanent homes with their agent riders. But as we know, economic times are hard and no less so for the men and women who serve our country as agents. Keeping a horse is not an inexpensive endeavor, and about 15 of the retiring horses could not be given homes by their riders. The agents of the Border Patrol decided to reach out to see if they could find safe, forever homes for their loyal, retiring mounts.
Redwings was just one sanctuary/rescue called – and we were somewhat in a quandary. Our mission is to take neglected, abused, and abandoned horses – but these animals were loyal service animals that deserved respect for their service well done. And in Lockwood, our neighbor is Fort Hunter Liggett and we know all too well that sometimes those who serve our country need a little help from the citizens of the country. After some conversation, we went to our roots, remembering that when Redwings first began, we learned from experience that horses that had some physical problem were always the hardest to place. So in the next conversation with the Border Patrol representative, we agreed to take two of the horses that had the most serious physical problems.
On January 17, 2012, Dirty Red (15) and Max (14) came to live at Redwings. They had to be retired because after years of climbing the steep mountains along the border near Tucson, AZ, Dirty Red had developed foot problems, and Max had become arthritic. Besides carrying riders ranging from 180-200 lbs., these horses also carried heavy loads of equipment in order to do their job. The horses can go places all-terrain vehicles cannot go – and they go quietly. There are multiple stories of these horses literally surprising drug smugglers who never heard them coming.
Today, Dirty Red and Max live at Redwings, and they will be honored for their years of service to our country by receiving loving care until the end of their days.