Age: 10

Color: Bay

Arrival Date to Cargo: June 4, 2011

Quick Facts:

  • Suffered the worst physical injuries out of "The Tornado Boys," with a broken shoulder.

  • Was never supposed to walk on all four legs again. However, he can not only walk but run!

  • The mentors and kids at Cargo have taught him to drink coffee out of Rachel's mug when she isn't looking.

  • The biggest jokester on The Ranch.

  • His first run post-injury was not planned, caught on film, and terrified the staff!

  • Has a brand on his hip that has an apple and a #1 on it. His name was "Jesse" before he came to Cargo and was ironically renamed "Teacher" before anyone noticed the brand. 

  • Due to his injuries after the tornado, he had to live in a small pen for limited movement and received hydrotherapy every day for over 10 months. 

Teacher was given his name because he taught us that even when things are tough, it's okay to be all right. A horse with impossible odds stacked against his recovery, but he never had a bad day. Even at the height of his pain, he greeted anyone who approached him with ears forward and eyes full of curiosity. He searches pockets for anything he can eat or play with and has never met a stranger, horse or human. He gives new meaning to "try." He was a victim of circumstance, not unkindness. He had a wonderful owner and life, but he couldn't outrun a tornado. He is a best friend, a playful partner in crime, and a steady presence of hope on the grounds. There has not been a person to date that has chosen to spend time with him and walk away unaffected. His story is one of overcoming adversity. His willingness to trust and follow a lead after such a traumatic time helps us to remember once again that The Lord heals damaged things and we can be made whole in Christ. And in the process of healing, the most important thing is giving glory to our Savior. He heals, He redeems, and He loves to show Himself through the broken. He loves. 

Teacher's Story


Age: 9

Color: Sorrel with flaxen mane and tail

Arrival Date to Cargo: February 2, 2013

Quick Facts:

  • Holds the title of “Largest Horse at Cargo Ranch”

  • Is the only horse on The Ranch to have been purchased. (Most are rescued, some donated)

  • Half Belgian draft and half paint horse, though his looks are mostly Belgian breed.

  • Mirrors the story of the elephant who was afraid of the mouse. Max struggles with confidence.

  • When around kids, we have noticed that Max is both slow moving and shows patience and bravery that he does not show with mentors or other adults.

  • So many names were suggested for this unique horse, we asked the kids of Cargo to vote. Maximus won. Co-founder, Jeff will tell you it’s a strong name, like “Maximus Decimus Meridius”, but in truth, the kids liked it because of the horse in Disney’s “Tangled”, also of the name Maximus.

  • Excels at Liberty Work. It uses less pressure and more freedom for his feet to move. Thus building confidence in him slowly but surely.

Maximus brings bright-eyed wonder to Cargo and everyone he encounters. Everything seems new and exciting and sometimes scary. He seems generally unaware of his size and can try to masquerade as a lap dog instead of a draft horse if not reminded. He is our resident gentle giant. He has integrated into the herd in such a way that it seems unimaginable to think he was ever not here. He is the horse that everyone, upon arrival to The Ranch, wants to meet. Every volunteer in training wants to pick him. Every kid wants to ride him. People want to just look at him. There is something about how the Lord put him together that is a reminder to all he encounters it takes guts to be gentle and kind. To be vulnerable and teachable in your own personal unknown is an often overlooked gift. Every year that passes with this gelding we are thankful.

Maximus's Story


Age: 17

Color: Palomino

Arrival Date to Cargo: June 4, 2011

Quick Facts:

  • Had a career in team roping in his younger years.

  • Survived an F5 tornado

  • Has a tick. It shows itself more on windy days. He will bob his head and blink his eyes in rhythm.

  • He holds his foot up when he eats. He will hover it above his feed pan and switch feet every few moments. It looks as if he is dancing.

  • He looks like a Basilisk when he is angry (Harry Potter fans will get it). This is probably why his name was "Snake" when we picked him up.

  • He is one of the three "Tornado Boys." His story and calm demeanor land him "speaking gigs" with various Cargo staff members.

  • Almost lost his eye due to a traumatic injury he received in a storm.

Quinn. If we had an award for the biggest change of character since arrival, it would go to this beautiful palomino. Since we picked him up after surviving an F5 tornado, he has grown from a hesitant, distant, uninterest, and barely tolerant horse, to a willing, playful, gentle, and truly unparalleled partner. He is a steady counselor to any child (or adult) that needs time to stand in the quiet with a brush in hand. 


Quinn spent the first half of his life as a team roping horse. With obvious signs of harsh handling, he had settled it in his mind that he had a job to perform well or risk being punished for a bad performance. After arriving at Cargo, he was given such a long break to completely heal from his storm wounds, that when he started back to riding, we never even let him run. All he knew was running, mostly because of fear. We didn't break a walk for months. With a calmness and patience like never before, he began a new job. He chose to participate in a new opportunity with people. He would ferry kids around, something that he is excellent at. He no longer races forward in his performances but understands the value of slow and steady. He reminds us that "forward is forward." We can all choose to step in that direction with grace and confidence, making the best of the lives we are given. 

Quinn's Story