Sometimes it takes two special people to see the special qualities of someone else, even an animal. So when two ranchers who take in rescue animals were approached about taking in a tough-as-nails horse, they knew they had to give it a shot.
16. Spanky the Horse
Spanky the horse had not had an easy life. The miniature horse was just two years old, but he was very hostile toward animals and other people. But Francesca and Steve took one good look at the little horse and decided it was meant to be. They decided to take a chance on Spanky and brought him home.
15. The Little Equine Boss
Francesca and Steve run the ranch full time, and they have other rescue animals, so they believed they could take a difference. “We went to take a look and saw the little 2-year-old horse was making it known he was the boss of everyone,” Carsen said. “So we agreed.”
14. A Determined Family
Spanky arrived at the ranch with big plans, because nobody was going to be the boss of him! He was plenty aggressive at first, making trouble wherever he could. The family wouldn’t give up on the little guy though.
13. Settling Down
It took a full year for the horse to settle down, but once he did, he started to show how great he could be. The couple trained the horse and he seemed to love it. He could even do a “high five!” Sparky still had his spunk, but after the year was up, he became a different horse altogether.
12. Spanky Meets Dally
The only major issue for Spanky was that he was reluctant to bond with others. That didn’t change much at all that first year. But then he met Dally, the dog.
Dally was the runt of a litter who had been living with one of Francesca’s friends. The other pups were adopted out quickly, but nobody wanted Dally. Of course, Steve and Francesca love a good rescue, so they offered to take Dally in. To their surprise, the dog was immediately obsessed by the horse.
10. Dally Loves Spanky
Dally was only four months old when she starting hanging around the ranch. She would love watching them work with the horse, who was trying to lose a few pounds. “He was severely overweight so I had to exercise him regularly. Wherever he was, she wanted to be.”
9. Spanky is Hesitant
Spanky wasn’t all that impressed by Dally at first. He was very careful around the new dog. The horse was very careful not to step on the dog, which was a major improvement since he was once quite aggressive toward other animals. But other than that, he didn’t seem to feel the love. That all changed the day that Dally hopped on the horse’s back.
8. Riding Spanky
“After about two months, she hopped up onto Spanky’s back from the step stool … and that day they became inseparable,” Carsen said. “We noticed the next day she was more excited than she had ever been. She loves riding her pony and feels pretty important. She no longer needs the step stool, she jumps on Spanky’s back from the ground.”
7. Nap Buddies
The horse wasn’t the least bit annoyed by his new friend. In fact, he really loved that she would hang out on his back. The two have been inseparable best friends. They hang out together and even take naps side by side.
6. Styling Showpony and Dog
Sometimes Spanky and Dally wear matching outfits. Dally loves to wear a cowgirl hat, just like a proper rider! And now that Dally has softened Spanky up, he’s starting to make new friends, like Blue the Kitten. She’s waiting to jump on Spanky’s back here.
5. Publishing Stars
As news of the friendship grew, the two had lots of new opportunities. Francesca wrote a book about their relationship, with 20 percent of the proceeds going to charity. People are absolutely thrilled to read about such a pure relationship.
4. Toy Models
Dally and Spanky also have their very own coloring book. But the most exciting opportunity came when the two formerly unwanted animals became models. That’s right, the famous toy company Breyer made models of the best friends, and they even appeared at Breyer’s annual festival, Breyerfest.
3. Meeting the RCMP
Dally and Spanky are becoming well-traveled animals. In addition to the Bryer festival, they have gone up to Canada and met with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police!
2. Cover Models
Spanky and Dally are also on the cover of a new book, 125 Stories of Amazing Animal Friendships. Now that they have so many fans, they have a website, Instagram, and newsletter so people can keep up with their exploits.
Although Spanky wasn’t sure at first, Dally has become his best friend and partner in life. Nobody could have predicted that the horse would be happy to be ridden by a dog, especially with his history of being aggressive. It just goes to show that every animal has its own soulmate.