Quarter Horse
Star, stripe, and three white socks
Approx YOB:
Online Adoption Application

Banjo (aka Joe!) was surrendered to SAFE by his owners on the recommendation of City of Snohomish animal control officers, who discovered the gelding had not received basic vet or farrier care for more than five years. Banjo’s hooves were terribly overgrown, but instead of having the “slipper feet” we usually see in these cases, his hoof walls were not curled under or split…they had just grown straight down until his soles were literally three inches off the ground. It was as if he was walking on cups! Banjo will never fully recover from the neglect he suffered at the hands of his former owners. It is our fond wish that someone will open their hearts to this gentleman and give him a safe place to live out the rest of his life. He needs to be monitored very closely to ensure that he is not in pain, and he needs to receive expert farrier care on a strict schedule.

Banjo was named by Ann R, who won the “Name a SAFE Horse” package at Heart of the Horse! Thank you, Ann, for giving Banjo a new name to start his new life!

Health Update: Banjo

On December 21st, we took Banjo (aka Joey) up to Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital to perform a biopsy on his coronary bands. Joey, whose hooves were horribly neglected before coming to SAFE, has had swelling and extra hoof material built up on his coronary bands since his arrival at SAFE. We have done many different things to treat them topically but we’ve not seen significant improvement, leaving us to wonder if this might be an autoimmune issue or something we could treat with a medication such as steroids.

The biopsy is something we had not done until now, due to the expense. But thanks to a veterinary care grant that Pilchuck has given SAFE, we were able to make this decision without worrying about the cost. The hope was that getting this answer would help us possibly take even better care of Joey and also prepare him for adopters who would want to know what are the ramifications of his ongoing coronary issues.

The histopathology report showed no signs of neoplasia or immune mediated disease. This is GOOD NEWS! It means that there is nothing worse going on, and what we’ve been doing so far is the right course of treatment. We have to just keep making sure that his feet stay clean and dry as much as possible. Hopefully with continued care and nutrition, he will eventually heal himself. There is a chance that he may never fully have a “normal” coronary band but as long as it is not painful, he will continue to have a normal life.

Joey was such a good boy for the trip to Pilchuck and the procedure! He loaded without a fuss, and trailered well. This was a scary experience for this boy, but he was super brave and behaved himself wonderfully, which made the whole event easier. Joey is doing well at his foster home with Finn and gets lots of love and attention there. We hope that we can find this boy a permanent home as a companion horse soon. Now that better understand his coronary band condition, we hope he will catch the eye of a good adopter and find a home.

Go Joey Go!

After a couple of days cooped up inside by bad weather, Joey was feeling good, good, GOOD to get outside for a nice little jog!

Foster Update: Finn & Banjo

Finn, Carrie & Joey (From left to right)
Finn, Carrie, & Joey

Here’s a wonderful update about Banjo and Finn from their foster mom Carrie!

Here’s a Finn & Joey (aka Banjo) update! 

Finn’s just as cuddly as ever. His feet have been doing well this summer and is spending most of his time out of his Soft Ride boots, though he’s very tender when barefoot on gravel for 2-3 weeks after his trim. We’ve been going on walks on the Tolt Pipeline trail, with the longest distance of 3 miles round trip (in his Soft Ride boots!) and while he seems to enjoy the change in scenery, he’d probably rather be eating hay.

Joey, on the other hand, loves taking long treks! He’s got a good motivated walk and seems to want to go on forever. He’s curious and brave–unlike Finn, he doesn’t try to hide behind me when we encounter something new–and when he spooks, it’s in place. He hasn’t batted an eye at bikes or dogs…but there was a scary traffic cone once!

Joey’s feet have improved quite a lot with the dry weather, and while they’re still not “normal,” they don’t seem to be sore, not even after long walks on the pipeline. His central sulcuses have dried out and his coronary bands are best on the front feet with the hair mostly laying flat with little to no swelling. We’re still working on the hind feet which have been slower to heal, due in part to his habit of stepping on his coronary band and re-injuring the area. (The skin that grows there is flaky and lumpy, and it’s easy to knock off chunks and cause bleeding. It’s clear it’s painful for him.) For the last few weeks I’ve been wrapping his hind with vet wrap and topping with bell boots and that seems to help both with the injuries and the healing.

I’m attaching a bunch of photos you guys can use. Joey’s really filled out and I was happy to see some dapples come through. The photo with Joey and Finn in the barn was taken when we had family visiting. They entertained three very excited little girls–Finn taught them how to groom, and Joey taught them how to give treats. 🙂



Foster Update: Banjo and Finn

Here are some great photos of Finn and Banjo (aka “Joey”) and their foster parents Carrie and Derek. They are taking wonderful care of these two boys. We are so lucky to have wonderful fosters to care for and love our companion horses!

Banjo and Finn: Foster Buddies!!

Like 2 peas in a pod! Banjo & Finn
Like 2 peas in a pod!

Banjo spent about a month at Safe Harbor Stables before heading out to a foster home with Finn. These two Palomino geldings are like brothers!  After a little “play fighting” to establish that Finn was the boss, they have now settled in and are good buddies.

This is the perfect foster home for Banjo and Finn!  Both horses need to be kept off the grass for the most part due to their tendency towards Insulin Resistance and the concern of foundering. Their foster home has a large dry lot for them to hang out in during the day and deeply bedded stalls to come back to at night. Perfect!

Their foster mom, Carrie, is taking excellent care of the boys and paying extra attention to their hoof care needs. Banjo’s hoof problems have been improving but there is still a lot of work involved in cleaning and treating it with anti-fungal and antibiotic creams.  

We are very grateful for Carrie’s efforts to get Banjo’s hooves healthy and for taking such great care of these two sweet gentlemen.


Photos of Banjo at SHS

Here are a few photos of Banjo while he was at Safe Harbor Stables for training and preparing to go out to foster:


Health Update: Banjo

BanjoWhile at Cedarbrook, Banjo is getting a special treatment on the Theraplate. This type of therapy helps increase circulation and promotes healing of hooves.  Lisa, Cedarbrook’s office manager, reported: “Banjo had his first Theraplate session today and he did well.  He was a little wary at first, walking on and off multiple times, but finally decided it might be okay to stand there for a while.”  We are hopeful that this treatment, along with other hoof care, will help Banjo feel better soon.

Health Update: Banjo

Recently, I visited with Banjo, who is still under Dr. Hannah Muller’s care at NWESC. He is doing well and will hopefully be ready to be released shortly.

Daphne Jones just completed Banjo’s second trimming and she reported that his deep fungus shows signs of improvement.  Still, we think it will take quite some time for a full recovery.  Generally, he’s been cooperative about receiving his treatment of triple antibiotic ointment and anti-fungal mixture.  It does take two experienced people to treat his hooves but they’ve managed to do so every day.  However, he did think the vinegar-soaking boot was going to kill him and he was having nothing to do with that!

The continued coronary band dystrophy is still a concern.  This is the area along each hoof where the hairline is pushed up due to the inflammation along the coronary band. X-rays have ruled out any founder or rotation, which is a great relief. It is possible that this was caused by the distribution of weight on his hooves due to the upright angles on his hind and his long toes on the front.  It can also be an infection in the deep sulcus grooves.  We will continue to treat fungus on all of his hooves as well as the coronary band.

As we continue to monitor him over the next few weeks, there are a few other tests we can do if the irritation remains.  One possibility is a deficiency in Selenium, which can be determined through a blood test.  Banjo is currently getting well-balanced vitamins with Selenium added, but if he is found to still be deficient, we may need to use an injection to assist in bringing him to normal levels.  Another possibility is that the cause could be a rare autoimmune disease called Pemphigus.  We are hoping that the inflammation clears up soon, but if not, we will explore these other options. For right now, he is comfortable and the hooves are starting to heal.

Since he has completed his quarantine time and remains healthy, Banjo has been allowed out for a little turnout in the arena.  It was wonderful to see him moving around and even giving a few little crow hops for joy.  After Dr. Hannah extracted his infected tooth, his eating has begun to pick up, with is another good development. The extracted tooth looked horrible and most likely caused him a lot of pain.  I am sure he is feeling much better with it now out of there!

Lisa, one of our volunteers, and I spent some training time with Banjo in the round pen.  We asked him to walk at liberty and follow us.  At first, he was a bit shy, but after a little time he was following Lisa around like a little puppy and he became more comfortable with her reaching out to pet him.  It took a little time getting him to be okay with the halter but Lisa kept trying and he had a few successful on and offs with it.

All in all, I’d say he was coming along well and I look forward to working with him.


Banjo Vet and Farrier Update

Banjo had his dental done Tuesday evening. It took a lot of work and he had one tooth that had to be removed. It was infected deep into the socket. He is on bute for a few days to help with the pain. Hopefully this will help him start eating a bit better.

Banjo got his feet done over the course of a few days, with Daphne alternating fronts one day and hinds the next. Here are photos of his amazing transformation. He’s already feeling a lot better!

Banjo Update

Banjo is doing well at NWESC. He was a bit sucked up in his flanks on Friday and they think it was from de-worming. He’s been given some Probiotics and Banamine to help. He is also on a little bute to help with his hoof pain. He is soaking in apple cider vinegar each day and getting the triple antibiotic/ athletes foot cream injected into the deep sulcus of his frogs. He is not eating well and splitting a lot of food out. Dr Hannah will give him a dental this evening around 5pm.


Banjo’s Friends:

1. Margaret C.

2. Kim C.

3. _____________________

4. _____________________

5. _____________________

6. _____________________

7. _____________________

8. _____________________

9. _____________________


Every horse deserves at least ten friends! Even a small monthly donation can make a difference. Plus, SAFE horse sponsors receive discounts at local businesses through the SAFEkeepers program!

Click here to sponsor Banjo!