Friday, June 19, 2009

True happy endings for rescued horses!

I have frequently discussed the "saved from the truck" phenomenon, where everybody goes YAY YOU SAVED HER and six months later, the damn horse is starving at some hoarder's, if not dead or sent to another auction. It is one of my biggest frustrations about rescue. To me, "rescued" is something time will prove true or not. The only ones that count are the ones you keep safe for life.

It is certainly challenging to track where all your rescues wind up, and despite contracts and site visits, things do not always go as planned. Rescues are forever having to repo horses, or finding out horses have gone poof, or finding their horses popping up on Craigslist for free. It is super, super frustrating but the good rescues keep plugging along doing their very best not to lose track of any horses, and always being willing to take back a horse who is not in a good situation.

So today let's just celebrate some true happy endings...horses who were rescued a year or more ago and really are fine! Really are fat, and loved and happy with their adopters!

First of all, let me share Petersburg Knight's blog. You will remember his original story...this guy got rescued in the nick of time after a dishonest 4-H leader picked him up for free and ran him straight to Enumclaw. And that was after he lived through Dean Solomon!

PK, aka Suerte, is living the good life - he looks wonderful, he's being ridden regularly, and his terrible feet have been rehabbed. I'm so happy for him. Thank you to blog poster La Mexicana for putting in the effort to rehab him from his years of neglect! That poor horse just kept going from the frying pan into the fire until he was lucky enough to meet her.

A friend of mine adopted Cricket in 2006. She was a CBER horse and her CBER name was Rona.

Cricket was originally sent to a really nice foster home in Northern California, where she sadly delivered a stillborn foal - not surprising considering her mid-20's age and emaciated condition. After she recovered, my friend adopted her.

Cricket turned out to be a very well broke ranch horse (my friend would love to ID her - the brand is NO with a half circle over it like a sun) and for the past three years, she has been teaching her daughter to ride. She is older than dirt, completely sound and still spunky!

I also want to note that her owner has had some challenging times with almost all the excuses I've seen other people use for giving up a horse, from job changes to moving several times to going back to school to serious illness in the immediate family...and this mare has not been dumped.

When we first encountered this Arabian mare online, on Dreamhorse in December 2007, her name was Cabbage, she was standing in slop, her only shelter was an old horse trailer, and she had been bred to a zebra.

Yeah. I'm not making ANY of that up. Check out the pic. Fortunately she was not in (?) foal?

Cabbage, quickly renamed Shakirah, was rescued by Cowgirl Spirit and became a drill team horse. Although she was not even halter broke when she was rescued, she learned quickly and was competing within six months of her rescue.

She was swiftly adopted by one of the team members who continues to own, ride and enjoy her. She lives on a lovely private farm with another rescued Arabian mare. It is a Cinderella story ending and you can see by her pictures that she did indeed turn out looking like a princess!

Despite the rescues-gone-bad that we hear so much about, the truth is MOST rescued horses actually DO get good, loving homes. Sometimes they are permanent homes and sometimes they are step-up homes where they learn the skills that will find them a good home, but most rescues truly aren't failures and it's good to remind ourselves about the happy endings once in a while!

Do you have a rescued horse who has turned into your lifetime partner? Tell us about it!

By the way, someone once sent me pics of a buckskin colt emaciated and in a sling, and then jumping a course years later. They are amazing pictures. I still want the whole story. If you are reading this, please fill me in - that one deserves to be featured and the person/team who rehabbed him deserves MAJOR kudos!

Plans are underway for the 2009 SAFE Benefit Horse Show, which will be held this year on August 22. The show benefits the rescue, which I've often noted as being one of the rare well-run rescues that is not budgeted using the U.S. government's money management techniques as the model ;-) If you want to help rescued horses and/or can use a tax write off, SAFE is currently seeking sponsors. You can sponsor a show class for $50 or your business can sponsor a high point or championship which gives you a whole package of stuff including your banner hung on the show arena. More information here.

It's Friday and I have a Featured Rescue for you that really, really, REALLY needs a great home where she will never have to worry again. This mare has wound up in the kill pen several times. She just keeps getting hit with the unlucky stick. She was at Dean Solomon's, poor thing, and then Dean gave her to some dude who ran her to Enumclaw again and fortunately someone recognized her in the kill pen and bailed her out.

Axel is most likely a purebred Saddlebred. (I think so - does anybody see anything else?) (Does anybody recognize her? I keep thinking someone might, as ASB's are quite rare in Washington state.) The vet ages her at 17. She is a solid 16 hands with good bone and is in excellent health with no known issues (I would assume some normal age-related arthritis, but that'd be it). I've ridden her a couple of times now and while she's clearly green, she doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She may be broke to drive as she turns and stops well but does not understand much about leg yet. She is not at all spooky and I don't think it would take much work at all to make her into a reliable trail horse. She may be five gaited - or at least has been seen doing something that is not a trot while loose in the field!

Axel's only vice is that she truly hates trailering (who knows what happened to her - she has the scars of a horse who hasn't had an easy life) so she would be best suited for a home that does not need to haul her anywhere to ride her. She gets along great with others in a herd and is an easy keeper. Axel is in the Seattle, WA area and you can find out more about her by e-mailing Tasha.