Ronan looks out over the field of other horses at the Golden Carrot (GC) in Anza. The GC is a horse rescue owned and operated by Casey O'Connor.
The horses at the Golden Carrot graze in their pen on a recent winter afternoon. There are 29 horses in all at the GC, many of which require special care.
Casey O'Connor leans against the fence of the horse's pen and takes a break from her daily work. She cares for the all of the horse's every need, including food, water, cleaning, any medication they may need and more.
The harnesses hang on a horseshoe hook on the pen. Many of the horses can't be ridden anymore because of the poor treatment they received before being rescued by the GC.
O'Connor cleans out the nose of one of the newest horses, Surely. Surely was rescued moments before she would have been loaded onto a slaughter truck. She has many medical problems and has had a bad cold, which can be deadly for a horse if they can't breathe through their nose.
Debbie, an older horse at the ranch, looks around the pen for another horse "gal pal," as O'Connor put it, Mary. Some of the horses, she said, form bonds and friendships with each other. Some, she said, fall in love and become virtually inseparable.
Shine, one of the younger horses at GC, peeks over the fence to see what's on the other side. Shine came to GC thin and undernourished, several years later he has become happy and healthy, O'Connor said.
Most of the horses that come to the Golden Carrot don't get adopted out (usually because they have special needs) and live their last days at the ranch. Although the crosses represent all of the horses that have passed while at the GC, only one is actually buried there, Bobby Sox, O'Connor's first horse.