Meet Topaz, HHH’s Adoptable Animal of the week

Topaz, an adoptable mare at Heavenly Horse Haven, is in perfect health with a fluffy winter coat just beginning to shed. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Topaz is a mare with a history, and before she landed at Heavenly Horse Haven, her future was quite murky.

“She came from San Diego Animal Control as part of a cruelty case,” ranch owner Gina Perrin said. “She was a tripping horse left tied to a tree. The rope on her nose was so tight it caused parts of her nose to collapse. She is completely healed now.”

Banned in most states, horse tripping is roping the animal’s legs to make it fall violently to the ground on purpose.

Called “mangana” in Spanish, it is defined as a throw with a lariat designed to catch a horse by the legs.

The cowboy, or charro, ropes the front or hind legs of the horse, causing the animal to come crashing to the ground. Charros prefer small, lightweight horses because they are easier to bring down.

Topaz has intelligent eyes and an alert disposition. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

The act of horse tripping is said to have been developed from animal husbandry practices used on the haciendas of old Mexico.

Horse tripping was banned in California in 1994, when Gov. Pete Wilson signed a bill into law banning the intentional tripping of horses – for sport or entertainment – in the state.

When Topaz arrived at the rescue, her healing began, both physically and mentally. Slowly, Topaz learned to trust people and showed an amazing intelligence.

“We started riding her, having her gain confidence. She is doing very well. I do believe that if someone took the time she needs, she will be a very good horse,” Perrin said.

Topaz is in perfect health and very resilient, Perrin said, and having survived cruel conditions and neglect, what she needs now is someone to continue her journey to trust and relish her quality time with humans.

The Heavenly Horse Haven equine rescue ranch is looking for loving homes for the adoptable animals, primarily horses.

Perrin said she also needs more volunteers to assist at the ranch, due to her ongoing health issues.

Many of the animals at Heavenly Horse Haven were acquired by the rescue in poor condition and in need of rehabilitation. Others were owner-relinquished in perfect health and in various phases of training. The horses are assessed and vetted, and their individual needs are met. Additional training is provided if needed. When they are ready, they are offered for adoption to their forever homes.

“It is our mission to help meet the need for a ‘safe haven’ for horses or other farm animals who are at risk, neglected, abused, too expensive to keep, unwanted or otherwise in need of special care,” according to the Heavenly Horse Haven website. “We are a diverse team of donors, supporters and volunteers from all walks of life who have stood up and said, ‘Not on my watch!’ We are united in the belief that ‘I can help save this animal.’”

Besides horses, ponies and miniature horses, the ranch is home to an emu, dogs, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, goats, poultry and pigs.

Heavenly Horse Haven is located at 58290 Marlis Lane in Anza. Contact them at (951) 551-3561 or at

For more information about Heavenly Horse Haven, visit or find them on Facebook.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at