Sem (Semental)  aka “Boog”, came to us in 2011. Born in 2002, he’d been purchased by a local family that determined he was not a good match for their daughter, but had kept him as a pasture pet for several years due to his impish charm. He’s full mustang, although he was bred in captivity, and is descended from the Sulphur Springs BLM herd.

After several years of training he’s become Megan’s beloved and trusty trail horse, although is still only suitable for experienced riders. He’s definitely got a herd-boss mentality and mustang sensitivity, and like most of our other horses will climb in your pocket for a treat if you let him. The only accurate way to describe him is “dun-roan”, as his coloring changes several times through out the year from buttermilk to light chestnut, with striped markings revealing themselves on his black legs from time to time.

Ellie Mae


Ellie Mae is our permanent resident foster. She is believed to be a 2003 model Appendix, with a gorgeous read roan coat that can almost appear purple at certain times of year. Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue received her when they closed the slaughterhouse she was at awaiting her end. At the time she had a foal on the way, and they soon discovered another of her foals was in the herd at the lot as well. These two horses now reside at another local farm and are thriving. She went through a couple other foster situations before landing here with us, brought home to be a companion for Sem. Ellie has a bad front leg and is permanently retired. She can be somewhat herd dominant in the absence of other strong leadership, and has good ground manners, but is only truly friendly to people she has established a relationship with.



Bella, aka Miss Piggy or Piglet, is the poster-child of Palomino kid’s horses, born sometime around the Millennium. She’s about as cute as the day is long, will let you do about anything to her, and is afraid of nothing in the world except her yak next-door neighbors. She came to Fawnwood in 2014 with her late pasture-mate Hondo. Information about her past, age and breed are sketchy, but we’re just glad to have her here with us! Bella’s EMS mandates that she spend the better part of the year in the barn, but she takes it in stride and maintains a sweet disposition for novice riders and kids no matter what the season.



Ranger, aka The Range, Ranger the Bow-legged Wonder Horse, and Peanut, is a tall bay with a split mane and an unconventional rear-end.  He came to Fawnwood from a family no longer able to care for him, severely underweight and with some skin and hoof issues. When we purchased him in Fall of 2016 we weren’t sure if we were making a lifetime commitment or just helping him get to a better place, but he’s still here, and we do so enjoy having him around. He is a sweet, willing and at least somewhat skilled mount, his conformational issues and history led us to determine that he should be permanently retired.

Although all he wants in the whole world is to be around other horses, he struggles to make horsey friends, and herd dominance is not a concept that even exists in his universe. He is sweet as pie with humans, although can get very nervous when separated too far from his herd. When we posted pictures of him on Facebook he was identified by a woman who had leased him in the past, when he was known as “Peanut”. She had nothing but wonderful things to say about him as well. When activity is low on the Ranch, Ranger is sometimes turned loose to graze on the inner loop of the property—his high-strung personality and low dominance drive make it a struggle to keep weight on him, and giving him his own happy place to graze is a great way to keep him looking good.


IMG_5330Raylan, aka Bebeh Horse or Ray-Ray—In early 2020 we volunteered (or we were volunteered? Hard to remember now!) to foster Trinity, a mare that had been surrendered to CHRN emaciated and pregnant. The plan was that, once the foal was born and they were ready to wean, they’d each go on to their own new forever homes…. But the best laid plans… Raylan was born March 18, a gorgeous, blue-eyed, cremello thing (we had been misinformed about the father apparently!) Curious and rambunctious, he somehow managed to tear open his cornea before he’d even been on the planet for 2 months. After several trips to CSU vet hospital and Bill spending nights in the barn giving him his meds every 2 hours for what seemed like forever (but was probably about three or four weeks), it was pretty obvious that this little guy was going to become a permanent member of our Fawnwood Family. All that hard work paid off, too! The eye has healed almost completely, with just a small cloudy scar that continues to diminish. Like a lot of the critters around here he thinks Bill is extra special, and since being weaned in August 2020 he’s already begun ground work with Bill and a trainer. We only have one picture of his dad and it’s a face shot, so we’ll all be eager to see how this adorable boy grows up!

“House” Pets


IMG_0265After resisting the urge to add a new cat to the family for way too long, the need for extra shelter space during the Waldo Canyon Fire in 2012 provided a good excuse to adopt Melvin. Although he was considered a barn cat by the shelter, he very pointedly picked us to be his new owners at the shelter and made it clear that, although he takes his mousing duties very seriously, he also believes that his supervision is required for most human activities both barn and domestic, and that we all basically just serve at his pleasure. Melvin has been Employee of the Month at Fawnwood Ranch every month since joining our team. Melvin is also referred to as BFC, Melvs, Duesenburg, and The Beast.


IMG_0499Loni (full name Avalon), aka “Tall Dog” came to us in December of 2017, after her owner (who had adopted her from DDFL) determined she was unable to properly care for her. A DNA test showed she is a mutt in the truest sense of the word– German Shepard, Staffordshire Terrier, Sheltie, Rat Terrier and “some other stuff, we don’t know”. Born April 4, 2017 she’s adjusting nicely to Ranch life and is great with people, horses, and other dogs. Melvin and the yaks are still a little unsure about her, though. She’s extremely bright, and can usually be found either following Megan around or  lounging around the house. It appears that slippers and dirty socks really like her, too, as they are usually found snuggled up next to her.


IMG_1150Merle/Merley Dog/Smerlin’ Merle– After a few dogless months that followed Bender’s passing, Bill woke up one summer morning in 2018 and said “I wanna go to the Humane Society today!” Within a few hours we were driving home in a cloud of merle dog fur—she hadn’t even been in the shelter long enough to get groomed before Bill decided she was “The One”! We worked real hard on the name and came up with “Merle.” She fit in almost immediately as if she’d been here all her life! Merle has some genetic challenges—we don’t think she sees or smells real well, which is part of the cost of her unique, pretty eyes and her cute pink nose. As a result she can be a little uncertain around new dogs or people, but she’s super sweet and, like all the critters at Fawnwood, thinks Bill hangs the moon.

The Farm Side of Things


We have a flock of around 15 birds we raise for both eggs and meat. Some we hatch ourselves, and some come in from other places. For a few years we let them free range because they were great at keeping flies down around the barn, but we ended up with the healthiest pack of coyotes you’ve ever seen and far fewer chickens than we wanted, so we were forced to fence them in in 2016. We’re trying to breed birds that do well at altitude, in cold weather, and around predators so many of our chickens are mixed breeds. If you’re curious about their breeds (or are interested in purchasing eggs!) ask Bill or Megan for more information!


Although yaks are increasing in popularity in the US, they’re still unfamiliar to many. We brought Yolene and Minnie Mae home in the fall of 2014, have since added Yoko Ono, and had our very own yak calf, Mariposa Lily, born in July of 2016.


Native to the Himalayas, yaks are very well-suited for life in the Black Forest. Although very similar and closely related to domestic cows, they are heartier, more disease resistant, and more efficient in terms of converting calories to mass than common cows. And if you ask us, they’re also smarter and cuter! That being said, you should never enter the yak pasture without contacting Bill or Megan first. While they are generally friendly they can be a little unpredictable and sassy, particularly around strangers.


They can be used for meat, fiber, trek/pack animals, and milk (although that’s much more common in their native land). Here at Fawnwood, they benefit us by helping to combat soil compaction from horse hooves, and by eating some of the weeds that the horses don’t enjoy. In short, they’re our master gardeners. That’s why your Pasture Boarded horse will have the same herdmates, but rotate through the different pastures! The yaks help us ensure everyone gets proper balanced nutrition, and maximize the time horses spend on fresh grass each year.