The H-Bar Animals

Nugget is the skinniest member of the Little H-bar menagerie. We got him from the Marin Humane Society in January 2004, at the age of five months. He is part border collie and part blue heeler. Unfortunately, this means that he tries to bite the horses' tails, which they don't like at all. He is very sweet and very full of energy. In June 2013, Nugget ruptured his ACL in his left rear leg, and had the TPLO surgery to repair it. He recovered but then tore his meniscus and had a second surgery in December 2013. As of mid-2014, Nugget fully recovered and is now back to running around like crazy!
Nugget
Nugget
Mr. Ed is a registered paint, who is Hannah's son. I found him on the internet by sending an e-mail to the American Paint Horse Association Registry. His father is a champion working cow horse named Tommy's Doc Bar. Mr. Ed is twenty-eight years old, and is semi-retired. My friend Georgia McDaniel rides him on the weekends. He is not really paint-colored, as he only has a small patch of white near his right front leg. This makes him a "Breeding Stock Paint". But he is not doing any breeding either, as he is a gelding! He loves cows, however, and knows much more about them than I do!
Mr. Ed
Mr. Ed
Blazar is a Morgan-Quarter horse cross. He is now 21 years old. We found him through an ad in the Press Democrat that said he was "young, strong, willing and handsome!" The ad didn't lie - he is a great trail horse, even though he is a very wide-bodied ride. Blazar is the boss of our horse herd, and although he is not very nice to the other horses, he is very affectionate with people. I call him my "sweetheart" as he has a black heart shaped spot on the tip of his nose. In July 2013, Blazar developed laminitis. Blazar retired from trail work in the winter of 2017 due to complications from Cushings.
Blazar
Blazar
Jackson is an Appendix Quarter horse and is 17 years old. After doing an Internet search for the perfect new horse, we found him less than 2 miles away at the Bonelli's. He seems very calm and is much better trained than our other horses, as his former owner KC used him to carry the flag in the color guard, and he has also done team penning and western pleasure competitions.  I have been riding him on the trails quite often, and because he is so skinny, my lower back problems have almost gone away!
Jackson
Jackson
Our neighbor Jim Carlson has a million chickens (not next door), so we ask him to give us six of them each time we run out. They are Rhode Island Reds, and each lay about one egg a day. Our friends are getting lots of free eggs and we are really enjoying watching the chickens - they are hilarious! And the eggs are really yummy. We currently have five chickens, from the batch that arrived in spring 2016.
Chicken
One of six chickens.
When he first showed up at the Little H-bar Ranch in December 2010, we assumed that our "fowl visitor" had lost his way somehow. He hung around outside the chicken coop for several weeks, and didn't seem to know how to be a wild pheasant. We later discovered that he had escaped from a cage, where he was destined to be Christmas dinner, and thus did not know how to forage in the wild. At the suggestion of our neighbor, we trapped him and put him in the aviary with our chickens. He seems very happy to be fed and we have even built him a little shelter out of a wood pallet and some tree branches, where he happily spends most of his time. Although he was afraid of the hens at first, they are all getting along great, and they have not pecked on him. We named him Ringo, as he is a Ring-necked Pheasant.
Ringo
Ringo
Jhett and Peggy Sue are registered American miniature horses. We adopted them in November 2014, when Jhett (black gelding) was about 7 years old, and Peggy Sue (white mare) was 10. They are a bonded pair and extremely sweet, furry and huggy. They have their own stall in the barn and love to hang out under the big oak tree.. They all share the pasture next to the barn, and they are getting along very well!
Jhett and Peggy Sue
Jhett and Peggy Sue
Coco and Poco are two all-black barn cats that were adopted from the Petaluma Animal Shelter on "Black Friday" 2012. They are now about six years old. The Shelter runs a free barn cat adoption program for feral cats, complete with cage and carrier. They stayed in the cage for a month, bonding to the barn, and were then released. Poco spends most of her time rotating between the barn and the garage while Coco seems to prefer eating at the Carlson's. We do see her every so often, and she lets us pet her a little bit. Poco Coco
Poco (top image)
and Coco (bottom image)
Alice is a white rabbit that came to live at the ranch after being rescued from under a car in a Reedley parking lot by our friend Lauren Novatne. Lauren decided Alice would be happy living with the chickens, so she gave us a hutch as well. At first the chickens scared Alice, but now Alice is the boss and her binky runs are lots of fun to watch.
Alice
Alice
Nina is a three-legged Boer-Nubian goat that was rescued by Erica at Flat Broke Farm in the spring of 2016 after a bad accident which led to the amputation. I helped to pay for Nina's surgery and she has now come to live with Jhett and Peggy Sue in the pasture behind the barn. Nina is very sweet and she lets me pet her. She is also totally in love with Jhett, who really seems to have a way with goats. She is about 2 years old.
Nina
Nina
Code is an eight-year old Mustang, who lived as a wild horse until he was four. We adopted him in winter 2016 through Jodi Tuft at the Valley Horse Center in Vacaville. Although we had some difficulties getting him to load in the trailer, he is becoming a great trail horse!
Code
Code
Kauai is a four-year old tabby who we adopted from Petaluma Animal Services. Originally from Hawaii (hence his name), I think he is secretly from North Carolina, as the bottoms of all four of his feet are black!
Kauai
Kauai
Sage used to be Georgia McDaniel's cat before coming to live with Steve and Kathleen, who renamed her Gracie. When they got a second dog, she was no longer very happy, so we adopted her and changed her name back to Sage. She is actually the color(s) of the sage plant, a weird mixture of greys and browns, which Georgia said is called blue cream tortoiseshell. She seems very happy and already has figured out how to go outdoors through the doggy door. She is probably about four years old.
Sage
Sage

Here lie the deceased animals of H-Bar Ranch whom we shall never forget
Freckles showed up under a tree stump at the edge of the property in May 2010. She just kept hanging around and asking for food, so we fed her. Soon we could pet her, so we caught her, got her spayed, and vaccinated, and brought her in the house. She lived her life as a happy house cat until her nose cancer took her life in August 2017.
Freckles
Freckles
Toby was a present from our friend Georgia McDaniel who was staying at the ranch. He was the sweetest who liked to flop over to be petted. This photo shows him at the age of three on the patio table about to ask for a tummy rub. In the summer of 2017, he suddenly developed an incurable brain disease, and had to be euthanized.
Toby
Toby
Hazel is a female pygmy goat who was rescued from the Marin Humane Society and came to live at the Little H-bar Ranch in February 2012 along with her older sister Willow, who died suddenly in September 2014. She developed health issues late in 2015, and despite Garrett's and vet's best efforts, we lost her in December 2015.
Hazel
Hazel
Buckeye was about 10 years old when he came to the Little H-bar Ranch to keep Hazel company after Willow passed away. He was neutered, very friendly and rather arthritic. After about a year at the ranch, his arthritis worsened to the point where he could no longer walk or stand up, so we eased his transition to goat heaven.
Buckeye
Buckeye
Willow was one of two sister pygmy goats that we rescued from the Marin Humane Society in 2012. For most of the time that we took care of her, she suffered from false pregnancies, and a bad front leg. She was about 8 years old when she died suddenly in September 2014.
Willow
Willow
This was our most beautiful cat, Tracy. Tracy was rescued by our friend Lauren Novatne, who was teaching in the city of Tracy at the time (although she and the cat were both living in Stockton.) He was a purebred Siamese cat who was very affectionate and well adjusted to ranch life. He often hunted in the fields next door by the vineyard. In July 2012, Tracy was diagnosed with vaccine induced fibrosarcoma. His left rear leg was amputated to try to prevent the spread of this fatal disease. It seemed to be working, but on a weirdly rainy night in June 2013, he went outside and never came back.
Tracy
Tracy
Oreo was named for the cookie, as she was black on both ends and white in the middle. Lena (my massage therapist) found her starving, after being hit by a car in January 2006. We fixed her broken jaw, got her spayed and she became the sweetest kitty in the world. She spent most of her four years sitting on my lap, never biting or scratching and loving to have her tummy rubbed. In March 2010, she suddenly fell severely ill, and was diagnosed with multi-centric lymphoma. She lived for only three more weeks, dying on March 26 and breaking my heart.
Oreo
Oreo
Smoky lived in our garage from 2001 until September 2010. He was abandoned by the former neighbors, when they moved away. After two years as a feral cat, he showed up to eat one day by the fence, where I was putting food for Dragon, while walking Clancy. Smoky developed hyperthyroid and colon motility problems in 2009, and had to take three types of medicine twice each day. He was very good about all the indignities of old age until he finally got too weak and stopped eating.
Smoky
Smoky
Patches was abandoned by the former neighbors along with Smoky, but it took her an extra year to get up the nerve to come over to eat. She started living at the Little H-bar in 2002, and was fed in the garage with Smoky. She spent most of the day hanging out by Garrett's tool bench or sitting in her heated kitty bowl. Patches had a tumor over her eye which was removed in December 2009. All seemed to go well but then she suddenly died on February 4, 2010.
Patches
Patches
Gizzy was the last survivor of the four original barn cats who came with the ranch. In the beginning, she was rather shy and used to eat on top of the tack room. She then developed a recurring thyroid condition which made her meow alot. We tried surgery in 2003, but the tumor came back so in 2007 we used radioactive Iodine-131 which worked well for a while. In 2008, she had to move into the house as her kidneys began failing and she was rather arthritic. She finally died in January 2009, at approximately 18 years of age. She was a very sweet kitty.
Gizzy
Gizzy
This is Beau, who died suddenly on May 24, 2008 at the age of sixteen. He was my husband Garrett's main riding horse, and they logged over 8400 trail miles together. Beau was happy and healthy until the moment of his death, and was seen grazing happily only 10 minutes earlier. We had gone camping with him at Samuel P. Taylor Park two weeks previously, and he was as strong and as smooth as always. Beau lived with us from the time he was 3.5 years old, and was bred by our good friend Joanie Bondoc, from Novato's Canyon Oaks Farm. He was our very big and sweet boy and is greatly missed.
Hannah
Beau
This is Hannah, who was my very first horse. She died peacefully on Christmas eve 2007, at the age of 32.5 years. She had seen quite a few trails in her time and was the best first horse any green rider could have ever had. After logging over 5000 trail miles with me, and training Beau and Ziggy to be good trail horses, Hannah was retired at the age of 24. She lived out her life comfortably at the Little H-bar Ranch, giving occasional rides to visiting children. Mr. Ed is one of her many offspring, and shares her sweet and forgiving disposition.
Hannah
Hannah
This is Binky, who was the queen of the Little H-Bar Ranch. Binky was supposed to be a barn cat, but she had other ideas. Binky bossed everyone around, including Nugget and the horses. Here, she's just enjoying the afternoon lounging around on our back deck in the shade. She was rescued by a friend of J. Robert Dobbson's. Binky was a real party animal and loved to follow everyone around. Once, she even went horse-camping with us, as a stowaway in our trailer! Binky died in September 2005, of chronic renal failure. She was only about eight years old, and lived at the ranch for most of her life.
Binky
Binky

This is my husband Garrett's first horse, Ziggy. Ziggy died at the age of 13, on September 18, 2003 after he broke his leg in a pasture accident. Please visit his memorial site.

 

Ziggy
In loving memory of Ziggy

Clancy was a border collie mix who lived at the Little H-bar Ranch until 12/3/2003. She died at age 12 of a recurrence of canine osteosarcoma after 13 months as a three-legged dog. She was a great ranch dog!

 

Clancy
Clancy
Amby lived at the Little H-bar ranch from July 2002 to January 2004. She was very sick when she first showed up in the barn during NASA Educator Ambassador week (after which she was named.) She had a happy life living in the barn until she died of terminal kidney disease at a very old age.
Amby
Amby

Dragon died in September, 2004. He was one of the original barn cats that came with the ranch in 1997. He was blind in one eye, and lived over the tack room. As he got older, I could pet him when I fed him, but I could never catch him to take him to the vet.

Dragon
Dragon