Name: Clarissa

    Type: Somali Wild Ass?

    Color: Dun

    Markings: Zebra stripes on legs & dorsal stripe 

    Sex: Mare

    Birthday: 12/29/2013



Clarissa is the largest animal in a group of miniature mules, hinnies and horses that live at our Mini Woods barn. We believe she is actually a Somali Wild Ass! Her cry will curl your hair! It is not a brinny (bray + whinny), whinny (like a horse) or bray (like a donkey). 

This “war cry” has been known to induce grown men who are first responders to jump from their chairs and begin the hunt for an ax murderer on the property! She definitely has the “call of the wild” down pat! Clarissa is as beautiful as she is wild and we all love her immensely. She is definitely one-of-a-kind! Clarissa was rescued by a group in Oklahoma as a tiny equine with her best friend, a hinny named Zena. The two babies were left together at an auction lot – their mothers nowhere to be found. Without rescue by the Circle of Friends, neither would have survived very long. When Circle of Friends reached out to Red Bell Run, we were happy to take them in. We didn’t want to separate them as they were so young and closely bonded. While Zena stayed on the small side, Clarissa began growing and kept growing! After several years Clarissa can be handled (very carefully) to have farrier, dental and veterinary work done but we are always respectful of her wild side. We don’t encroach beyond her comfort level when we do have to handle her.

The Mini Woods area where Clarissa and her friends live is a modified “track system” that mimics the way they would live in the wild. Spending most of their day in an open, wooded area and track, movement is what keeps them healthy. Clarissa and her friends come back to their barns every evening for food and shelter. 

Clarrisa Heather VanDyke
clarissa head shot


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