Ryder farm background

Ryder River Ridge Farm in Natchitoches, Louisiana is remembered by many locals as a beautiful, bustling farm. The farm has enjoyed honors such as Louisiana Breeder of the Year, and has won various categories of horse of the year in Louisiana. Mr. Firal Ryder is the farm’s founder, and all who knew him speak fondly of his farm, his horses and of him.  At its peak, the farm housed over 150 horses, including breeding and racing stock. In January of 2012 LHRA heard of the farm’s rumored decline. With Mr. Firal Ryder in poor health, farm affairs were seen to by Clay Ryder, his son. How long Clay Ryder had been at the helm of the operation we don’t know but by January of 2012 there were horses in very poor condition. Upon hearing of the condition of the horses LHRA contacted Clay Ryder to offer assistance, and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office to ask for an investigation. Despite formal complaints beginning in early 2012, the Sheriff found no reason to cite Mr. Ryder or to seize the livestock in his care. The Sheriff’s Office states that they monitored Clay Ryder who led them to believe he was increasing care for the horses and attempting to reduce his herd to a manageable size. In February of 2012 Clay Ryder voluntarily surrendered 8 mares to LHRA. The horses were delivered to a farm in Alexandria by Mr. Ryder’s employees. They were emaciated and unkept, and employees told us they had never had feed. LHRA placed all but one of the horses, and hoped that either authorities would force action, or Mr. Ryder would hand over additional horses. It was January of 2013 before Mr. Ryder handed over additional horses at the request of LHRA. He delivered 18 emaciated 3 year olds to the Alexandria farm on January 5th and 6th .  Along with the horses came the promise of more. Two of the 18 three year olds died shortly after their arrival. The second group of horses - 6 emaciated mares, one confirmed in foal, arrived on January 14th. Farm employees stated that there would be another delivery within a few days, and one last group of 14 yearlings (all crammed into one six-horse trailer) arrived. No additional horses were surrendered despite an inquiry by the state police. NO CHARGES WERE FILED despite evidence of scores of dead horses and the 47 more emaciated that were taken in by LHRA.


On March 24, 2013, a three year old filly "#69" gave birth to a tiny filly, "BillieJean."  Filly 69 was unable to care for her baby so Billie Jean was bottle fed for several months and learned how to be a real horse with the assistance of Amigo, Ryder gelding 37 and one of Victoria's Arabian broodmares who was a stand-in mama. On December 21, 2013, Billie Jean succumbed to a brain anomaly and our hearts were broken once more.  


One remarkable horse, Billy has become the mascot of the Ryder rescues.  You can track his recovery here and on his very own Facebook page.  Billy suffered from low protein syndrome, a horribly infected penis that was nearly amputated, and a series of hoof abscesses.  His brother, colt #60 died from low protein shortly after arrival but Billy fought his way through and trusted his caretakers to lift him several times daily with a tractor sling.  Billy developed a huge following after YouTube videos chronicled his fight for survival and recovery.  Billy was successfully treated for EPM and is now fat, shiny and loved by LHRA President, Patrick Richmond and his wife, Victoria who are his forever family.     

Roundup:

Cost of caring for the Ryder herd:

To date, over $110,00

  • 47 horses taken in +1 SURPRISE FILLY (see Billie Jean)
  • Two 3-yr olds and 1 mare succumbed to the effects of starvation
  • Three succumbed to EPM
  • ​34 adopted to loving familes
  • Seven Ryder horses remain on our foster roster and are being trained to be useful companion or riding horses.

 

 

About our Work and Recent Rescues

Above are some of our successfully trained and adopted Ryder horses!

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line below. 24 carrot sponsorship is a $500/month commitment for 12 months, 18 carrot is a partial sponsorship of $250/mo/12mo. and 14 carrot at bottom is a user-defined amount for 12 months.  You may specify a horse and the use.

LHRA is guided by an elected Board of Directors.  We are recommended by the HBPA and LTBA.  Our current Officers include President, Patrick Richmond, First Vice-President, Michele Rodriguez, and Second Vice-President and Treasurer, Therese Arroyo. 

Patrick may be reached at 318-344-3732 or lhra001@gmail.com

Michele may be reached at 504-481-2898 or mrodriguez@elitetitleins.com