Begin Again Farms Equine Shelter, Ellerslie, GA

The Beginning: Robos and Mr. Malloy

Posted on Sep 8, 2016 in News & Events

Robos was a stallion of defining qualities. He was an attentive quarter horse, a Romeo, with not a mean bone in his body.

Mr. Malloy was a man of strong character who had a gypsy spirit, loved to travel and loved animals. When it came to animals, he connected with them so intuitively – especially horses. He had dealt with horses his whole life – bought, borrowed and sold them.

As is often the case, the events and situations in our lives and the people and characters we come into contact with, one could choose to believe, is brilliantly orchestrated. These two beings met, and the connection between them was immediate. Horses have their people, and Robos had found his. It’s a difficult phenomenon to explain, and perhaps only one that can be experienced or witnessed. In any case, their friendship flourished, and soon Robos had more company with family horses out on the farm. Robos remained the horse-in-charge, and spent his days frolicking around the fields.

And so the farm began simply with a few horses and cows – family owned and ran.

One early morning, Mr. Malloy heard a knock at the door. It was the Deputy Sheriff of Harris County. He informed Mr. Malloy that one of his horses was seen running down the road towards the highway. Baffled, he ran to the window to see if Robos had gotten loose, but the stallion was still in his pen. Being the kind of man he was, Mr. Malloy pulled on his boots to assist in catching the mystery horse. It was a runaway mare, which he brought back to look after until her owner was located. Weeks went by, and no one claimed the mare. In the meantime, her thin frame began to fill out and she became fast friends with Robos.

Finally, Mr. Malloy found the owner and went by to tell him about the mare. “That mare is nothing but trouble,” said the owner, “I’d just assume shoot her or you can just have her.” Mr. Malloy accepted the offer without a seconds thought and kept the mare on his farm.

A while later, a blacksmith came out to Mr. Malloy’s farm. Rumors had traveled about Mr. Malloy and his kindness towards horses. The blacksmith had heard of a horse that was going to be put down for seedy toe. Mr. Malloy exclaimed, “But that’s curable! No need to put a horse down for that!” He immediately set out to see the horse, and try to talk to the owners. Not wanting to bother taking care of the horse, the owners simply gave it to Mr. Malloy. Back on his farm, he cured its hoof, and was able to find it a good home.

Slowly, Mr. Malloy’s farm started getting a reputation around the area as a good and safe place for strays and unwanted horses. Mr. Malloy himself would never stand for any kind of abuse toward the horses. He became known as the Horse-Whisperer he was, and took in whatever needy horses that found their way to his safe haven. Through it all, his best friend was always Robos, who was also a helpful friend and rehabilitator to the new horses.

What began as a modest family farm out in the boonies was turning into quite an opportunity to help these beautiful creatures. Something big had begun.

When Mr. Malloy passed away quite unexpectedly, the idea of turning the farm into a shelter for horses came to a halt. Now 21 years old, the prize stallion of the farm, Robos, became extremely depressed and began losing weight. His person, his companion, his caretaker was no longer there. It is an experience of isolation and aloneness, one that many of us may have also experienced when someone or something leaves our lives. Such is life for a horse, as well. Robos spent his days roaming around the farm. Many people came to visit him, trying to pep him up and provide some companionship. However, no one could replace Mr. Malloy.

It took a long time for Robos to come back to life, and to be honest, he was never quite the same. The emotional trauma took its toll, but he did finally begin to interact with people again. He continued to be the main stallion of the farm, romancing the mares and even assisting the caretakers a time or two.

One day, a little pony named Daphnie was standing out in the field. She had foundered and desperately needed to be moved to the barn for treatment. However, walking was very painful for her. Robos was quite fond of Daphnie. Upon seeing the caretaker trying to coax Daphnie toward the barn, Robos let out a huge whinny and began to charge towards them. The woman was terrified of the stallion, as they’re known to fiercely protect their mares, and the caretaker quickly jumped over the fence. Robos stood behind the little pony, looking towards the woman as if to say, “What are you doing? I came to help!” The caretaker slowly approached Daphnie again, taking the rope once more to encourage her towards the barn. Robos began gently nipping at Daphnie’s legs and continued to do so until they all reached the barn. He let out a final whinny, then off he trotted. Daphnie would have never gotten to the barn without Robos’ help that day.

So, life went on for Robos. He fathered numerous foals and even in his old age enjoyed showing off for and romancing the ladies – including the life-size fiberglass statue of a horse that remains on the farm to this day. Even when his arthritis set in, he still managed to puff himself up long enough to prance past the mares, before turning the corner and dropping the act to reveal a tired limp of an old, yet spirited, Romeo of a horse.

Robos lived to the ripe age of 36 years old.

Robos was the very first horse on the farm. He was the beginning of Begin Again Farms. Many of his children are still around the area, and a few of them even continue to live on the farm today. He was a great horse, a great stallion and a treasured companion.

So, that’s the beginning of Begin Again. The foundation that Mr. Malloy provided gave footing for a thriving equine shelter – the first of its kind. It is a wonderful legacy and he will forever be remembered for it.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more stories!

Heather Ray is an artist, traveler and yogi. After spending several years abroad, she is back in her native Columbus, GA. Putting her creativity to use, she is happy to help out and share the amazing stories heard around Begin Again Farms. Please send any questions or comments to beginagainfarm@aol.com or contact Heather directly at rayofheather@gmail.com.

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