Zelda is a Zorse, a horse Zebra hybrid.
While she is not the only Zorse in existence, she is a rare cross breed between a Belgian draft horse and a Grevy's Zebra, and is most likely only one of two animals in existence of this specific cross. Zelda is a large, stocky girl standing at 16.2 hands tall. She has very unique coloring that shows a combination of Belgian draft and Grevy’s Zebra. Zelda loves being with her herd at home, consisting of other horses and donkeys. She is definitely known as the caretaker of the bunch! Zelda shares her food bowl with others and even helps her owners herd the horses inside when it’s time to go off pasture!
Born in 1997, Zelda started her life in Kentucky and was trained to be ridden, something not all Zorses can be trained to do, due to the stubborn temperament they can inherit from Zebras. She came to Jerry and Cheryl Johnson after a Michigan estate, housing many exotic animals, closed. Luckily for Zelda she inherited the draft horse’s gentle, calm, and sweet demeanor and the Johnsons have been using her as an ambassador for the Zorse breed, riding and taking her to fairs and other functions.
Cheryl and Jerry love to show their special mare to the public to educate everyone on Zorses and Zebras. They love and cherish Zelda, but do not recommend Zorse ownership overall. Zelda is incredibly rewarding but she is also a lot of work, and a Zorse is not a suitable riding partner for most people! Zebras, even those born in captivity, are known to be quite dangerous and extremely stubborn. While Zorses have one domestic parent, they are still harder to tame, harder to train, and overall harder to handle than a horse, having a much stronger flight instinct than horses. Though being a draft cross is probably part of the reason Zelda is calmer and gentler than many other Zebra crosses, a lot of credit goes to her expert home and patient owners being able to dedicate their time and skills to make her the well rounded, happy, unique riding mount that she is.
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