By Debra DeHoff

Merlin and Ashely DudasWildhorse Ranch Rescue is creating a magnificent ripple effect for rescued horses, volunteers, adopters, and staff!

In 2019 Wildhorse Ranch Rescue, located in Gilbert, Arizona ( ) received a $5,000.00 Horse Welfare grant and other resources from the Parelli Foundation.  Founder Kim Meagher wrote the grant for what she calls the Live Your Dream with a Rescue Horse and Adoption Program.  Wildhorse was awarded 5 Parelli Natural Horsemanship Level One kits for 5 horse adopters, natural horsemanship equipment, and the services of a natural horsemanship professional, Ashley Dudas (,  The grant includes production of  a special 5 part video series showcasing the development of a rescue horse named “Merlin” .

Meagher truly wrote an inspiring grant proposal to offer every rescued horse in their care a chance for a better life and hopefully adoption.  She says: “Rescue horses are not throw-away horses. They come to us from many different situations.”  The ranch utilizes the Parelli Natural Horsemanship (PNH) training method to train horses, volunteers, staff, and those lucky people able to adopt, resulting in an excellent partnership  between the horses and humans. PNH is a Merlin Under Saddlecomprehensive program that teaches horsemanship fundamentals to horses and humans with all types of backgrounds. The ranch enjoys and relies on many volunteers to help with the care and handling of each horse and other animals on the property.  Safety is a huge consideration when considering each volunteer’s well- being and the amount of hours they generously give to the non-profit organization.  By offering volunteers the opportunity of natural horsemanship training, proactive strategies are in place to minimize and avoid accidents. The PNH program provides educational benefits and confidence as volunteers work together with their rescues, giving these beautiful horses a chance at becoming model citizens for the horse world.

 The Live Your Dream with a Rescue Horse 5-part documentary series showcases the progress of “Merlin the Wizard”, a beautiful black Tennessee Walking Horse gelding, with Ashley Dudas starting from day one of their partnership.

  • Part I of the documentary is a true showcase of Ashley’s talents as she lays a foundation with Merlin to trust her as a partner and learn acceptable boundaries. Merlin was described as a bossy horse with no connection to people. He exhibited no boundaries and no knowledge that people could communicate with him, which resulted in safety issues in handling, standing still for the farrier or vet, and even being groomed.
  • Merlin and Ashley DudasParts II, III, and IV show the continuation of Ashley’s work with Merlin, along with insights from founder Kim showing the positive progress in their weekly work together. Watching the series is truly awe inspiring, as each careful step to build a foundation is put into place.
  • Part V, the finale, will be produced soon. This part of the series has unfortunately been put on hold due to COVID-19.

Visit to share in Merlin the Wizard’s journey in this Live Your Dream with a Rescue Horse “docuseries”.

This grant was made possible through the Parelli Foundation’s Horse Welfare program thanks to the generous support of donors across the United States and abroad!  Find out more about this program here and see more stories like this one here.

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