Danny and Lois LaRue began operating their pony ride business in the Fremont Area in 1984. It started, all those years ago, with pony rides at their home, and occasionally the local Hinky Dinky grocery store, in Fremont, NE, during store promotions. Those first rides cost one dollar (50 cents if you got in on the store promotion), and were hand led rides, on a buckskin Quarter Horse mare named "Abby," a bay POA pony mare called "Cheyenne", and a little Shetland gelding by the name of "Halfpint". Eventually, LaRues built a pony carousel for four ponies and were invited to various promotions and events all over the area. Today LaRue's Little Horse Ranch has two pony carousels, a small petting zoo and many pretty ponies.
The business began as a way for the family to spend time with each other and their animals, and to create a little extra income to provide for their care. As the business grew they found themselves splitting up to go in different directions. Fortunately, they now have a chance to spend time with the other children, grandchildren, family members and close friends who help with the business.
On Saturday April 28th, 2018, Danny had a hard fall, as he was knocked down by a pony while preparing to leave for an event, this collision seemed minor, and Danny insisted on going on to his event at Offutt Youth Center to give pony rides to the many children whom he has made smile for all of these years. About an hour before the conclusion of the event Danny fell, and was taken to the Bellevue Medical Center to be checked out, simply as a precaution. The hospital was right place for him to be, as it was determined that Danny had a severe brain bleed, and was rushed on to UNMC, then to the CCU there. Danny fought hard, as he always did, to overcome this huge obstacle. But we know now that God had a different plan. One week later, we had to say goodbye to this amazing Cowboy! No doubt there are little ones in heaven who were waiting for their pony ride! Our family plans to continue his legacy but will no doubt have to scale back a bit, as he was a huge part of it's success, right up to that last pony ride at Offutt! He truly spent those last moments doing just what he loved...Touching Little Hearts...One Pony Ride At A Time!
After three years without Danny (as of May 5th, 2021) and a year of Covid Restrictions creating a new normal for all of us, we've had some time to reflect on and are at this time redefining what LaRue's Little Horse Ranch will be in the coming years. As of June 12th, 2021 the ponies will be retiring, petting zoo will continue through October 2nd, and Unicorn Photography and Meet & Greet services will remain after that. We are creating a buffer for much needed time for our family, while all of the time considering some new options to carry on what LaRue's Little Horse Ranch has meant and stood for all of these years. We hope the plans we are working on will reflect the mission of Danny and Lois and will continue to share the wonder of God's creation with many people for years to come, it will just be in a new way that allows time for our family to connect and get back to the purpose God has planned for us!
Thank you in advance for your patience as we redefine LaRue's Little Horse Ranch, and for your support and faithful patronage of our family business! Your faith in us, and your friendship means much more than we will ever be able to express. Please look for details about our Open House and join us on June 12th to celebrate!
Danny & Lois LaRue
Founders of LaRue's Little Horse Ranch, Danny and Lois LaRue, have poured their heart and soul into this business for over 30 years, because they believed in sharing the wonder of God's creation with people of all ages, in and around the Omaha Metro Area.
Danny passed away very unexpectedly in 2018, but the family is determined to carry on this legacy!
Jason & Darla Garretson
Son in law and daughter, Jason and Darla Garretson, Owner/Operators, plan to continue this legacy, sharing God's animals with the next generation. Touching Little Hearts...One Pony Ride or one Critter at a Time! Honoring God, by sharing his creation with children and adults, for many years to come!
Bailey, Stetson and Meadow
These smiling faces, gladly give up their family time on the weekends and more to bring their animals to share with you and your families. They will be proud to tell you all about God's animals and their amazing qualities. Just ask them...their love and knowledge of animals may just surprise you!