Those that know Shishana Rourke are inclined to suppose twice today when attempting to swap tales with their longtime pal.
That’s to not recommend they’re mad at her. She’s simply their most favourite particular person on the planet. It’s simply that Rourke, an Argyle resident, has skilled extra in her 29 years than most of us might dream up in our most inventive moments. And this typically results in an unintended sport of one-upmanship when standing across the proverbial water cooler.
“It makes me really feel unhealthy. I didn’t imply to one-up you, however right here we go,” Rourke mentioned with fun. “The opposite day, we had been hanging out, and I used to be listening to folks discuss how they used to go on hikes once they had been children. And I’m like, ‘Once I was a child, my dad and mom locked me exterior, and we stalked moose or chased a bear for a couple of hours.’ Persons are all the time like, ‘What? Holy cow!’ Each time I believe again to my life, it’s one thing completely different each time.”
She’s not kidding. Rourke is the proud proprietor of 9 Spur Ranch, a small equine rehabilitation and using ranch with an out of doors area in Argyle. She has a small calf named Bert who lives inside — sure, inside — her home. Exterior, there are tons of horses and different animals, together with a water buffalo named Hank, Codee the zonkey, and a 7-year-old horse that Rourke has had because it was an embryo on the backside of a cup.
She was born within the Caribbean and was the primary youngster legally adopted from St. Lucia to a U.S. household residing in Alaska. Her organic father was an Olympic sprinter, and when she was born, she was their ninth youngster.
At this time, she is one in all 21 siblings in her organic household. Seven are full siblings. The remainder are half.
Rourke and her adopted sister, Maya, actually did stalk moose and bears. And in contrast to children immediately who usually have their noses buried in a cellphone, iPad, or one other gaming machine, the one electronics that they had rising up had been energy instruments.
“I do know. It’s a loopy story,” she mentioned. “There wasn’t a selected motive for me getting adopted, both. I wasn’t in peril or something like that. However my adoptive dad and mom had been insistent, and the whole lot ended up figuring out the best way that it did. A part of the settlement with me getting adopted was that I’m going again typically to the Caribbean and go to my household. So we’re all actually shut. I’ve been again 13 instances.”
So how did Rourke go from all of that, together with residing in Alaska, to shifting to Argyle and proudly owning 9 Spur Ranch?
To inform that story, you first have to understand her love of animals — and that always results in much more intriguing tales. Her adoptive dad and mom purchased her using classes when she was 8 years outdated, and she or he instantly fell in love. Naturally, she wished a horse of her personal, so she saved up $1,100 and set out together with her mom to search out the proper mare. This included a pilgrimage to Israel and journeys to each nook and cranny of Alaska.
Shishana discovered her horse, and by the point she was 11, she was coaching.
“I believe I received bucked off each single day for a yr,” Rourke mentioned. “However I caught with it. Once I ultimately went off to varsity, I used to be one in all 36 college students accepted to the College of Montana Western for pure horsemanship. I received a four-year diploma in pure horsemanship, a two-year diploma in equine science with a administration minor, and I used to be recruited for a job right here [in Texas] in 2014.”
By 2020, she had give up to formally open 9 Spur Ranch, which, when you’ve ever been, is certainly greater than your common ranch. Rourke reveals horses, rescues others that suffered from years of neglect and had been on the verge of loss of life, and purchases others as challenge horses that want somewhat TLC to achieve their full potential.
Rourke rescued 10 horses final yr alone, and 9 Spur Ranch usually locations about 100 to 150 horses per yr into loving properties. In truth, her ranch simply went worldwide with its gross sales final yr, having offered a pony to a purchaser in Switzerland.
Past all the nice deeds she does for horses and different animals, Rourke additionally opened 9 Spur Ranch to the general public to supply newbie rider classes to youngsters. This consists of children who’re merely on the lookout for an outlet to beat the dangerous results of bullying and attempting to develop wholesome social connections.
Her packages embrace Farm Life, which provides children a true-to-form life-on-the-farm expertise doing the whole lot from using horses to cleansing stalls and doing different chores.
“I keep in mind being bullied after I was youthful, and being round horses helped. One of many the explanation why I opened to the general public was as a result of there are such a lot of households the place children don’t have probabilities to go exterior and simply be outdoor,” Rourke mentioned. “I wished a spot the place children can run round, go loopy, chase a pig, and so on. It’s lots of enjoyable — and lots of work.”
Naturally, operating a ranch and doing so many good deeds has led to much more tales. Rourke is blissful to share all of them after which some, offered that her buddies don’t thoughts getting one-upped a couple of extra instances.
“It’s loopy tales. I do know,” she mentioned. “Nevertheless it’s a life I’m actually grateful for.”
Be taught extra about 9 Spur Ranch at www.fb.com/ninespurranch.