Jane is likely to be the first horse you meet when you visit the sanctuary. She has special privileges and free run of the property. Her gentle demeanor makes her a perfect ambassador to people who are uncomfortable around horses. Jane is often the first to receive holistic healing techniques offered by volunteers. As she relaxes, she forgets her tongue is lolling out of her mouth. If you notice a horse with her head poking in the kitchen door, that can only be Jane. This gentle senior never asks for much, but she draws the line at being first in line at the kitchen.
Born in 1988, Jane takes her place as the oldest horse at the sanctuary. Tall and stately, she has the classic beauty of a sorrel mare with her bright chestnut coat contrasting with her flaxen mane and tail. She was a strong athlete in her youth and still has the body of a much younger mare. You would never guess her age at a first glance – especially when you see her turn on the charm to flirt with Seastar. Aches and pains inevitably come with her advanced age, yet she carries herself with dignity.
Jane’s personality is shaped by a variety of experiences in her full life. She once gave rides along the Central Coast. When she’d had enough of this, she expressed it in no uncertain terms. In 1995, her owner brought her to the sanctuary to ensure that the rest of her years would be spent in peace.
Jane has a maternal nature. In her younger years, she gave birth to a beautiful paint filly, Jessie. She also felt the pain of separation when Jessie was sold to another owner. Jane’s best friend at the sanctuary was the indomitable lead mare, Papoose. When Papoose was weaning her colt, Kiva, Jane stepped in to nurture him through the transition. When Papoose was in the last weeks of a very long and fulfilling life, Jane stood watch over her as she rested. When Papoose passed away in January of 2020, the need that horses have to process death was respected. Jane stood beside her and sniffed her body. She walked away briefly, and then returned to stand watch over her friend in death, as she had done in life.
Half a year later, during the chaos of wildfires, another horse arrived at the sanctuary. The moment Starberry stepped off the trailer, Jane rushed to meet her. Today their stalls are side by side and open into a shared pasture, where the two will graze, roll in the sand pile, and rest together.