Starving horses get 'storybook ending'

It looks like a pair of abandoned horses will live out their golden years on a small ranch in Stagecoach.

Tracy and Mark Humboldt, who are retiring as firefighters, plan to make Hope and Courage a permanent part of their family when they move in November from Brookdale, Calif., to Nevada.

Tracy Humboldt said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she and her husband were inspired by the story of Cis Kemp who found two starving horses wandering near her Fish Springs ranch on May 20.

When Kemp and her brother Kit Pearson rescued the horses, the animals were literally skin and bones. She believes they were brought to Fish Springs in a trailer and abandoned. No one ever came forward to claim the horses.

"I just can't believe someone would have treated them like that," Humboldt said.

"Mark's mom sent us the article and it just touched us. We told Cis we would like to help pay for some food. We were not thinking about adopting. We've been calling her every once in awhile and told Cis were interested if they came around."

In two months, Hope and Courage responded to love and care and a steady diet.

"I've always wanted horses, ever since I was a little girl," Humboldt said. "But we lived in a residential neighborhood and my mother said absolutely not."

Humboldt said since she and her husband were retiring and moving to Stagecoach in Lyon County and living out in the desert, "horses can be my life."

She's not sure Hope and Courage, both in their 20s, are rideable, but that doesn't matter.

"Let them live out their lives as pasture horses," she said.

The Humboldts visited Kemp a couple of weeks ago and met the sorrel mare and red roan gelding. Having seen pictures of the horses from May, the Humboldts didn't know what to expect.

"They looked 100 percent better to me," Humboldt said. "They're like big giant dogs, and we don't care if they're rideable or not."

Humboldt said she has ridden horses, but never owned one. She and her husband have 10 acres in Stagecoach.

"I'm kind of worried, but you live and learn. It can't be that difficult. Cis even said to call her if we needed some pointers or help. We just want to make sure for those horses that their last days on the planet are good ones," Humboldt said.

Kemp said she was grateful to the Humboldts for helping support Hope and Courage and agreeing to take them.

"It's like a storybook ending," Kemp said. "It will be bittersweet when the Humboldts come to pick them up. I will miss them, but they'll live out their lives being pampered. They deserve it."


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