Kai is back at SAFE Harbor and is once again available for adoption.
Kai was adopted earlier this year to a rider looking for a horse to do low-level eventing and trail riding with. After an extended trial period, things were going quite well for Kai — he was enjoying long rides in the park at Bridle Trails and he was excelling in his lessons over fences. But several weeks ago, during the onset of fall weather, Kai and his adopter were walking on the trails in the park when Kai suddenly spooked, spun, and bolted, unseating his rider. She came off and almost landed on her feet, but the impact resulted in two fractures in her lower leg. She ended up having surgery followed by 12 weeks of recovery with no riding.
I spoke with Kai’s adopter about the incident at great length, and she agreed that it was definitely an example of a “young Thoroughbred moment” and that Kai has just momentarily lost his brain due to whatever he saw that caused him to spook. She was very clear that he had done nothing wrong, and had not behaved dangerously or done anything intentionally that caused her to be hurt. But after giving it a great deal of thought, she asked SAFE to take Kai back. Her accident and injury caused her to rethink her decision to adopt this young, athletic horse, because, as she wryly commented, at a certain age, “we don’t bounce the way we did when we were younger.” Her concern was that she would be worried about falling again and communicating that fear to a sensitive horse like Kai might not end well. Despite the logic behind her decision, she still struggled with it a great deal because she recognized that he’s a quality horse, the likes of which don’t come along that often. And she was very fond of him and his sweet, snuggly personality. But in the end, she made the decision that he wasn’t the right horse for her, and we agreed to take him back.
Since he’s been back at SAFE Harbor, Kai’s been reunited with trainer Brittney Stewart, who has always really loved riding this horse, and the two of them are back at work. Brittney says that Kai has lost a little bit of conditioning since he left SAFE earlier in the year, so they are working on building up his muscles and his top line and getting him fit again. Once he’s back in shape, she plans to take him on a field trip to work on jumping (the arenas at SAFE Harbor are a little too small to safely jump in). We are offering him for adoption right away and hope to find an experienced, confident rider who can deal with an occasional spook from an athletic young horse. Kai’s adopter told us that his spooking behavior was pretty much limited to the trails, and that he was good as gold when working in the arena. She also said that he did great in his lessons over fences, and was extremely brave and willing, and really seemed to enjoy jumping.
If you are interested in Kai, you can find the SAFE adoption application online by clicking here.