Not just horsin’ around

Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary saves one life at a time

Deborah Gay and her mischievous show horse, Boston, have a chat in the Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary barn, 6608 S. Manning Road in El Reno. (Photo by Carol Mowdy Bond)

By Carol Mowdy Bond
Contributing Writer

EL RENO – Deborah and Bob Gay, owners of the Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary, 6608 S. Manning Road, are serious about saving horses and giving them fresh starts in life.

Born and raised in Piedmont, Deborah’s exposure to horses began at about age 4 or 5 years old. And to this day, she’s never given up her spurs. She and Bob, who hails from Kansas, were living on 12 acres in Piedmont. But Deborah’s love of horses was evolving. She and Bob took in one needy horse, then another, and the situation just kept growing.

So, Deborah and Bob relocated to 160 flat, prairie acres in El Reno. And in July 2013, they opened the Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that gives horses a second chance. They rescue, rehab, retrain, and re-home horses. They primarily help thoroughbreds, but if any horse has been dumped or abandoned, suffered neglect, starvation or abuse, can no longer be cared for by the owner, or is slaughter bound, the Rockin’ G is a great place for all breeds to blaze new trails of hope and new beginnings.

Based on a horse’s circumstances and level of need, the Rockin’ G nurtures and provides rehab, to increase the animal’s potential for adoption and re-homing.

Standing in their tidy, 20-stall barn, Deborah said, “We mainly rescue thoroughbreds from tracks that, for whatever reasons, need new homes. We currently have 25 horses, and 3 are personal horses. But some of our horses are from kill pens. There are kill pens in Stroud and all over the place in other states. The horses are jammed into trucks like cattle. Horses don’t travel like cows so it’s a terrible thing to do. The trucks are taken to Mexico and the horses are slaughtered. It’s a pretty awful sight.”

Micky munches on a mid-day treat from Deborah Gay at the Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary, 6608 S. Manning Road in El Reno. (Photo by Carol Mowdy Bond)

Deborah’s personal show horse, Boston, was in his stall, and she demonstrated Boston’s you-can’t-believe-it-until-you-see-it ability to open a stall gate and door. At times in the past, Deborah thought she fully locked the gate and door. But if she didn’t quite fully latch the bolt, Boston ended up out on the property, horsing around at his leisure.

Opening the stall door for Island, Deborah said, “She’s a thoroughbred. She’s injured and being rehabbed, and she’s almost ready to go home. Then she’ll just live out her life in luxury.”

Soaking in some rays in one of the pastures is Miss Nimble, aka Millie. “She was dumped in a kill pen,” said Deborah. “She was starving and pregnant. So, we thought Millie would abort her baby. But her baby, Baby G, is now just over a month old.”

One pasture over, Deborah points to Don Miguel aka Micky.

“Three years ago we got him from a kill pen,” said Deborah. “He’s put on 150 pounds since we’ve had him.”

In the past seven years, over 100 horses have clip-clopped their way through the Rockin’ G. And a rescue donkey, that’s now a pet named Darla, and an elderly horse, spend their days together enjoying the peaceful, pasture life of retirement.


The Rockin’ G is funded through donations, and adoption fees. They’re able to rehab most horses, and prepare them for adoption. “Most are adopted and go to various states to become horses for all kinds of purposes,” Deborah said. “They might become polo ponies, or trail horses, or calf and roping horses, or other. But some have been badly injured, and either retire and live out their lives here, or can be sold to be pasture pets, but they can’t ever be ridden again.”

Potential adopters usually learn about available horses through word of mouth, and social media.

To learn more about the horses, or to make a donation or volunteer to work the sanctuary, make contact through their Facebook page: Rockin’ G Equine Sanctuary. You may also visit their web site:

And they may be reached through email: