Happy Valentine’s Day from RTF!

/ Featured, Staff Blog

Christo and Pale Ale. Photos by Paloma Ianes.

Love is the Answer

Dear Friends,

What is love?

However you choose to define it, anyone who thinks that other-than-human animals don’t experience love is not looking very hard. This is clearly evident with horses, whose bond with family and mates is as profound as any human attachments.

A touching example is Christo and Pale Ale.

When it came time for Christo to leave his family band, he and his brother Corazon joined a few other growing young colts. Though closely mentored since birth by his father, Amante, Christo seemed to become confused about his role and place in the world. Although he had been familiar with humans since his birth at RTF’s sanctuary headquarters in Lompoc, he grew shy around people as he matured.

In the hope that Christo would be happier there, we released him at our 2,000-acre San Luis Obispo satellite sanctuary last March, just before his sixth birthday. He soon befriended three members of Nevada’s Cold Creek herd who had been captured in a 2015 government roundup—two other bachelors and a friendly eight-year-old mare named Pale Ale.

Cupid must have been watching over Christo and the pretty mare, because he and Pale Ale became inseparable.

With his love at his side, Christo grew calmer and more confident, at peace with his role within his small band and the larger herd community. He is now relaxed and approachable when people visit. Love has conquered!

And their love will not be easily challenged. When the mature stallion Galahad drifts too close to Pale Ale, Christo quickly puts himself between her and the senior stallion, determined to stand his ground. Having tested the upstart, Galahad returns to his harem band, leaving Christo and Pale Ale standing together, side by side.

We have a feeling that’s where they’ll stay.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Christo, Pale Ale and all of us at RTF!