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New Equine Handling Facility Opens at Black Beauty

Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch opens state of the art humane handling facility for their horses and burros

  • New equine handling facility opens at Black Beauty Ranch. JP Bonnelly

  • A few burros hang out in the chute, waiting to be lead into the new facility. JP Bonnelly

  • A horse is treated using the state of the art humane handling equipment. Ben Callison/CABBR

  • Buckaroo no longer fears his check ups now that the new equine facility is in place. Holly Stamps/CABBR

On a beautiful day at the end of March, Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch opened the doors of its newly constructed equine handling facility to provide medical evaluations and vaccinations to our 500 plus rescued equine residents. Designed by Temple Grandin and Mark Deesing, both famous for being pioneers and leaders in the design of humane handling systems for animals, the facility is truly an industry leader in the humane handling of equines.

We all know how scary it can be to go to the doctor, especially when you're young and you don't quite know what's going on. Now imagine you're a wild horse or burro who isn't quite used to human interaction, or whose only human touch has been negative, and you can understand how difficult it can be to provide medical care to some of our rescued equine residents.

Although the horses and burros at our ranch spend much of their time roaming our nearly 1,300 acres, it is necessary to round them up from time to time for routine medical exams or treatment, and the new facility has made this process far easier on the animals and staff alike.

Many horses that could not go through our previous facility, due to their size or fractious nature, can now be handled and medically treated without issue. The new facility has an open design, modified chutes and wider lanes that allow the horses and burros to move through the chutes in smaller groups. In addition, the facility houses state of the art equipment, which allows our staff to provide humane handling for equines that otherwise couldn’t be handled. Access doors allow veterinarians to safely access all parts of the horse, while the structure makes the horse feel comfortable and safe.

For example, Buckaroo, a beautiful Leopard Appaloosa gelding, came to the ranch ten years ago after being rescued from slaughter. A former bronc horse, he began refusing to perform and was sent to auction. He came to us in poor condition with a deep mistrust of humans. The new handling facility, with its innovative design, has made the process of yearly check ups much easier for Buckaroo and all of the horses and burros at the ranch.

Temple Grandin’s and Mark Deesing’s design, along with our knowledge and expertise in humane care standards, combined to create a facility that will be showcased and shared as the new standard in humane equine handling.

After observing the completed facility and handling process Mark Deesing stated, "The facility is the best horse and donkey handling facility I have had the pleasure of designing and operating... It is my hope that this facility becomes a model for other Humane Society facilities, and a teaching facility for animal care staff."

Thanks to the help of our generous supporters, we have created an equine handling facility that provides our horses and burros with the most humane handling process available and will also serve as a model facility for others to emulate. This year marks the beginning of a new, improved experience for Buckaroo, and are other equine residents, allowing us to continue to provide the best of care to all our equine residents.

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