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Home to Argentine Falabella

and American Miniature Horses

Carol and Gary April 2021

Welcome to the Shades of Blue Ranch!


Our ranch is located in Hebron in northern Illinois. We have been breeding pure Falabella miniature horses whose ancestry dates back to the Falabella farm in Argentina. We also have raised American Miniatures.


The miniature horses ("minis") are handled every day to ensure a gentle and loving attitude. We focus on training and preparing our horses for activity and therapy work, such as visiting nursing homes, homes for the disabled, schools, hospitals, etc.  We have had a small foal crop each year that have been bred for temperament, conformation and color.  

While we are no longer breeding, we thank you for your continued trust, love and support of our babies that we have raised. 

~ Carol Swinford



October 2022

It is with great sadness that I share that my beloved husband Gary Swinford passed away on 10/29/22. While he was only 71, he was diagnosed with liver cancer just shy of 2 weeks prior and the morning of 10/29/22, in Heaven, he met many of his prior family, friends and the Shades of Blue Ranch farm animals who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge before him.

We met while fishing together under a bridge! We shared a love of miniature horses together and loved each other so very much. We celebrated our 36th anniversary, such a blessing.

Gary was always the "behind the scenes" guy. He loved being promoted to "Supervisor" at SOBR and joked about how he earned the "Employee of the Month" award! He took pictures of me at the many mini therapy horse visits that we started doing over 20 years ago. He went to all of the horses shows that I was in. We both loved driving the big horses and mini horses together.

We have LOVED our life together at Shades of Blue Ranch Miniature Therapy Horses, sharing the foals and horses we have raised with many others, whether as beloved pets or miniature therapy horses bringing joy to others.

Gary was loved by SO many and will be missed greatly. A true farm boy at heart, we know he is looking over the Shades of Blue Ranch from above with pride, and love for everyone who knew him.

Click Below for More Info about our Animals


11414 Vanderkarr Rd.
Hebron IL 60034


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