Tommy Horse Protection 1
Tommy horse for adoption
Tommy horse for adoption

My name is Petunia, and I am a nine year old Mustang. I was rescued by the Levy County Sheriff’s along with 15 other horses from a severe case of starvation and neglect. Horse Protection teamed up with the Levy County Sheriffs and came to my aid. I like to hang out with my herd mates (known as the flower girls, Iris, Lily, and Rose). I also like to nap a lot during the day and to munch on green grass. It’s fun! You should try it! Thank you for caring about me and reading my story. Love, Petunia.

Breed: Mustang

Age: 9

Gender: mare

Size: 14.2h

Color: Chestnut

Condition Upon Arrival: neglected

Arrival: 2023


To learn more about Petunia, contact our Adoption Coordinator. All of our potential adoptions begin with a conversation.

View our adoption application here:

Consider Sponsorship! Horses under evaluation are great candidates for limited time Sponsorship.

Awaiting Training

Horse Protection evaluates its horses extensively and provides them with natural horsemanship training to give them the best chance to find a loving human partner. The horses in this category are undergoing that process. We try to understand each horse well before offering him or her for adoption.
Learn more about our adoption process.

Flower Power

Flower Power

Ryan and Lisa have a productive conversation about training while Rose listens in.

Graduation Day

Here we are already on the last day of the Flower Girls’ time with Ryan Rose Horsemanship. If you’ve been following the progress this week, you’ve seen the four semi-feral, aged mustang mares making realistic, steady progress as they respond to the expert instruction from Ryan’s team. You’ve also noticed that our staff is working right alongside them. All our staff commit to learning natural horsemanship as part of their job and mission here at Horse Protection. We consider it critical to rehabilitating the horses’ minds as well as their bodies, so they can live their best life. We invest in professional natural horsemanship training for all our rescues – to the level appropriate for them. You, our donors, make this possible through your generous donations. The Flower Girls and all our horses thank you for caring about their whole beings – mind, body and spirit – and donating so that we can turn their tragedy into triumph.

Here’s what the Horse Protection community has been able to do for the Flower Girls with Ryan’s help in just five days:

Impressive Iris

As you recall, Iris started the week less than impressed with her time in the round pen. Now she is impressing all of us! Iris started out her session today with Ryan being able to walk right up and halter her. Tyler gave her a nice refresher on letting humans touch her all over. Ryan came in and they played with changes of direction. She finished off the day gaining confidence with having her legs and feet touched which culminated with Ryan picking up her feet.

Rose to the Occasion

Our Farm Manager Lisa had the pleasure of interacting with Rose today and she did very well! She improved on the important skill of yielding her front and hind end so that the staff can safely maneuver her around. She and Lisa also practiced touching Rose’s legs and picking up her feet. Rose has made an unbelievable transformation and shown that she can transfer her trust to more than one handler with ease.

Tuned-In Petunia

Today Petunia enjoyed working with another member of our team and a professional trainer, Sarah. Petunia is the eldest Flower Girl, which has made learning a bit more difficult, but she has still managed to make incredible progress. Sarah and Petunia practiced changes of direction and acceptance of the touch of hands and rope. Sarah did an especially great job at showing Petunia that it’s not scary to have her feet and legs touched. This lady of a certain age has shown us all that she is still willing and able to learn new tricks!

Lovely Lily

Lily and staff member Delaney made some huge progress today! They began by building her confidence in accepting touch and yielding her hind end. They also practiced picking up Lily’s front feet and working with them as if she were receiving a trim from a farrier. With a little bit of time, Lily was happily lifting up all four feet when asked! This is a huge and important goal achieved because mustangs are instinctively protective of their feet.

Look For Ryan's Video!

Look for a video from Ryan coming out soon with a far more detail of the mare’s amazing transformation. We’ll be sharing it on our channels.

Share in the Triumph

This miraculous week, and every week at Horse Protection is made possible by you, our generous community of supporters. There are many ways to give and all are welcomed: volunteer, help us to fill the food bank, take a Spirit Walk, sponsor a horse’s training, adopt, or foster. The horses thank you for caring and sharing.

Expecting Big Things

Expecting Big Things

Rose became comfortable with the feel of the rope on her legs and back.

With the Program

On Day 4, the reality is settling in that these Flower Girls have endless potential to learn and grow. The focus of the training from the Ryan Rose Horsemanship team turns more and more to sharing the knowledge with the HPAF Team so that the mares can transfer their trust to more people, and eventually to their future adoptive families. 

Likeable Lily

Lily and Emily played together today and continued to prove just how smart horses are! The pair learned to move off pressure and it was a breeze. It’s clear that she is settling into her life in the world of people. Lily was also able to improve on picking up her feet and getting used to things touching her legs. We are certain that she will excel in this challenge with more practice.

Intelligent Iris

After the pieces fell into place for Iris yesterday, she was a whole new horse. Iris and Ryan spent time together and concentrated on becoming more comfortable picking up and handling her feet. She also spent some time with our Equine Care Staff Member, Delaney Ruska, so that she could be comfortable around more people. Overall, she had a great day, and her future is looking very bright!

Rockstar Rose

Rose spent her Day 4 session with Delaney and Ryan. Delaney practiced approaching Rose and helping her to be comfortable with people coming up to her. They also built her confidence with things on her back and around her legs. Ryan came in and offered Rose a sense of leadership which she took to very quickly. We are expecting big things from Rose. 

Productive Petunia

Petunia spent the day with Tyler. She had a very productive day, as she learned how to move off pressure and get more comfortable with humans guiding her. Tyler helped Petunia to gain confidence with touch and halting. Her progress over those past few days has been immense. 

Tomorrow's The Final Day!

We’ll be sharing a wrap up on the horse’s progress, pictures and video clips.

Breakthroughs Galore

Breakthroughs Galore

Iris started out the day bracy, but Ryan helped her to become relaxed and confident.

Grow Where You’re Planted

It’s day 3, more than halfway through Ryan Rose Horsemanship‘s work with the mustang Flower Girls. The mares are all learning to thrive in human company thanks to the work of Ryan’s team and the dedication of the Horse Protection Staff. This is hard work for all involved, including the horses, who are learning how to trust and follow a leader that they have always seen as a predator. It’s truly remarkable to watch as they turn their tragedy into triumph a little more each day.


Petunia worked with Ryan and Tyler on haltering and learning follow a feel. She took to it quickly. These were definite breakthrough moments for her. By the end of the session, she was being led around the pen, comfortably wearing her halter and accepting lots of pats and scratches. 


After the first day, Lily started to make steady progress and show the more social and friendly colors that we had seen around the farm before training began. Today, Lily was the easiest to halter and the most relaxed horse of the day. She worked with Emily for the session and practiced moving off pressure. Lily picked it up in just a few tries and overall had a great day. 


Iris has started each day with fresh reluctance. Today, as you will see from the video clip,  she was quite braced, but Ryan was able to once more show her that following a feel is a positive experience. She was able to accomplish being led, having her face touched and wearing a halter. Even after Ryan let her go, she willingly followed him for a few steps. 


Rose had a very relaxed and productive day. She was one of the easier ones to halter in the morning and she got right to work with the Farm Manager, Lisa. They spent time working on allowing touch all over her legs and she even was able to pick up her front feet a few times to prepare her for hoof trimming. Rose ended the session very calm and eager for more attention. 

Tomorrow's Another Day!

We’ll be sharing daily reports on the horse’s progress, pictures and video clips. 

Blooming Flower Girls

Blooming Flower Girls

Petunia calmly regards Ryan on her first day in the round pen.

All Four Came Out to Play

It’s the second day of mustang gentling, and all four of our Flower Girls got some quality time in the round pen with Ryan, Emily, and their assistant Tyler. These mares are mustangs, estimated to be in their teens and early twenties. As you might recall, they were rescued from the recent animal neglect case in Williston involving sixteen horses. To our knowledge, they have lived their lives after the range in a pasture with no training and very little human contact. 


Yesterday, she was happy to be a wallflower at this dance. Today, she came into the pen and Ryan started out by moving her around at liberty. He then was able to get a rope around her that he used to show her how to follow a feel. She was very skittish but made progress quickly. 


It’s amazing how quickly Rose has come to enjoy human interaction. Today, our Farm Manager, Lisa worked with her most of the day on haltering and being able to touch her all over. With time and patience, Lisa was able to halter her multiple times and even touch her legs. By the end she was leading around beautifully alongside Lisa and soaking up all the cuddles that she had to offer. We truly appreciate how Ryan’s team is actively including us in the training process so that we are able to seamlessly continue with the mare’s education after this week ends.


Iris started the session today similar to the day before – skeptical to say the least. But Ryan and Tyler made big strides with her today. Ryan moved her around the pen quite a bit, asking for different things to keep it interesting for her. Tyler stepped in and worked with her on being touched all over. She is now able to be led around a few steps and is much more comfortable being groomed and loved on. 


Lily turned over a new leaf today. Emily worked with her today on leading, and she excelled!  She allowed Emily to give her lots of scratches and attention. By the end of the session, she was much easier to handle and halter. 

Tomorrow's Another Day!

We’ll be sharing daily reports on the horse’s progress, pictures and video clips.