description: 2011 palomino and white paint mare
type of rescue: Owner Surrender
adoption date: 11/4/2017
length of time with SAFE: 4 years, 10 months
ADOPTED!! by Julie V of Redmond WA
Jewel is a palomino & white Paint mare who came to SAFE in an emaciated condition with a severe parasite load, lice, a poor coat, overgrown hooves, and facial indentations from a halter that was too small for her. Jewel made a full recovery from her neglect and blossomed into a lovely young horse. Jewel did a great deal and she’s done very well in her lessons. She was very easy to start under saddle, thanks to all of the ground work and liberty training done at SAFE. Jewel and a young rider named Claire cliniced with Buck Brannaman and did exceptionally well. Jewel was ridden on a regular basis by her volunteer rider, and under the guidance of trainer Joel Conner, Jewel made tremendous progress as a riding horse. Jewel found her forever home with SAFE volunteer Julie V, who was kind enough to board her new horse right in the neighborhood so she’s never too far from our hearts.
We recently received an update from Jewel’s adopter, who tells us that Jewel is quite the character and that she is very well loved! We had the pleasure of seeing Jewel at our September Joel Conner horsemanship clinic, which is always a treat. We also asked Jewel’s adopter a handful of questions about Jewel, and here’s what she had to say:
What is your horse’s favorite treat?
She loves all kinds of things but good ‘ol carrots are her go-to. And she eats them out of her food bin with her right leg up!!
What is your horse’s most winning characteristic?
She has the curiosity of a puppy.
What does your horse like best about YOU?
That I take her on trail rides.
Jewel and Julie went camping!!
For updates on many of your favorite adopted SAFE horses, visit our SAFE Alumni Facebook group! It’s where SAFE adopters can post updates, photos, and videos of their SAFE horses, to share their progress with the SAFE community!
Simply the best part of our work at SAFE is seeing our horses placed in wonderful loving homes. It is what all the hours of volunteering and care is working towards. It is even more sweet when it is the placement of a long time herd member like Jewel. So many people have been a part of this mare’s life, so her adoption is a deep heartfelt celebration for us all.
Julie came to SAFE to volunteer and rekindle her love of horses. Not long after, she started to dream of a certain bright eyed little palomino paint and what it would be like to call her family. Julie understood right away that this was a long term commitment and with Jewel there would be no rushing into things. As fate would have it, we were able to allow this relationship time to grow and develop into a strong bond before moving her to her new barn. And by “move her” we actually mean we walked her to her new barn on the other side of Ferrel McWhirter Park!
There are many people who made Jewel’s life special at SAFE and the thing that is true of all of them is that no one ever gave up hope for this mare. Through all the stages of growth with us, she was supported, loved, and cherished. She has become a very sweet and confident partner and was just waiting for the right person to walk into her life. Julie is a very thoughtful owner and is ready to take on the responsibility of horse ownership. She and Jewel make a beautiful pair and even when Jewel tries to test her, Julie looks for ways to improve her own skills and communication. Sometimes it takes time to find a match but it is worth the wait to find that perfect fit.
Jewel, while we miss your sweet face at Safe Harbor, we are so excited for you and Julie. We will be seeing you on the trails soon, love!
Jewel Western Dressage test Hollywood Hills Saddle Club Ride and Review:
This past weekend Cameo and Jewel went to their first show of the season at the ride and review at Hollywood Hills Saddle Club. It was Cameo’s first show and she did amazing! Her volunteer rider Lindsay has been working on her trailer skills and our little frightened Arabian mare did a fabulous job. She has really grown up!
The ride and review was a great start to the show year. They were able to run through their tests and then had a 30 minute lesson with the judge. Both riders said that the feedback from the judge was great and they felt really good about how the horses did and what they can work on for next time. Here are some photos of girls during their lesson:
Jewel and Casey:
Cameo & Lindsay:
The cold weather has been hard on all of us. The horses and volunteers had to endure a few weeks of abnormally low temperatures for our area and we are all looking forward to warmer spring and summer months! One of the biggest problems is the very hard ground in our dry lot for turnout. Unfortunately, Jewel went out there and jumped around and came in sore. To help release some of the tight muscles in her neck and hind, Lori spent some time massaging her. She really liked the work and we took this funny video of the great releases she was getting and all the BIG yawns! Jewel is feeling better now and back to work. We are going to make sure that Lori gets to her on a regular basis and have the chiropractor come out again soon. All good things to help her feel her best and like all of us… make it through the cold weather!
We are so grateful for the help of our volunteer riders. Casey is one of a very special group of people who make SAFE a great community, working together to train and find adoption homes for our horses. She has been studying and working up to five times a week out at the arenas with her string of SAFE horses. We love to see all the progress she is making with them and to hear of her successes with both Jewel and Stevie in this past Joel Conner clinic. Here is a bit from Casey about the experience with Jewel:
Jewel was awesome in the clinic, and we got some great changes under saddle. At the clinic in August, we were struggling with going forward, particularly up to the canter. She was reactive to the leg and would stop, pin her ears, try to bite my leg and refuse to move. To help with this issue, Joel had us doing many transitions up to the canter on a long rein and then petting her down to the walk. Going into the clinic this weekend, she was feeling much more willing in her transitions. In addition, Joel showed us a figure eight exercise that really has her lifting and balancing. We yield hindquarters in the first part of the circle, reach the front quarters on the second half and then straight through the center. This is really helping Jewel find balance, which has resulted in greater comfort in her transitions. She is even offering canter of her own accord. Jewel is a lovely mare and is so ready for her forever home!
Here are photos of Casey working with Jewel at the clinic:
Jewel helps the vet demonstrate an exercise to help strengthen a horse’s stifles:
Jewel is now officially confirmed in her walk trot and canter work under saddle. She’s been getting constant work here at Safe Harbor and has recently added a few new volunteer riders to her workout team. Just five years old this year, Jewel has filled out into a very good looking pony! She is suitable for an intermediate rider, due to her age and just having one year under saddle. She only shows signs of getting better with training. She is uncomplicated to ride, has great ground manners and no vices. We would love to see this girl find her forever home soon! Help us get Jewel a home and open a space for SAFE to pick up another horse in need.
SEE JEWEL IN ACTION at the 2016 SAFE Benefit Horse Show, July 30–31, 2016, at Meadow Wood Equestrian Center in Snohomish. Click here for details about the show!
Claire has done an absolute AMAZING job training Jewel for SAFE. Our little palomino paint has transformed into a beautiful young riding mare with a TON of potential. Claire had a few things to tell us about the progress Jewel has made and riding her in last month’s Joel Conner clinic:
“Jewel was a rock star in the clinic. She once again handled a very crowded and energetic situation with ease. We worked a lot on connecting the reins to her feet, which she caught on to quickly. We also had the chance to work on some cantering, and I got some great advice from Joel on how to be more effective with my reins, so there is less confusion for Jewel. As soon as I started playing around with this, Jewel became much more relaxed and confident. Joel also helped us with making sure Jewel is okay to have her sensitive cinch area touched, which improved greatly just in the few hours I was working on it at the clinic. Overall, I’m very happy with how Jewel is coming along.
Jewel also got to go out on the trails near Safe Harbor Stables this past weekend. She accompanied Anderson, Bean and Scarlett. Here is Claire’s report:
Jewel was absolutely fantastic on the first trail ride I took her on. She was calm and interested, but not spooky at all, just curious. And when another horse was scared or bothered, Jewel was a perfect support horse and helped the other horse feel secure. She walked on a loose rein and often flicked an ear back at me to “listen” to anything I had to tell her. I am so pleased with how she did!
Below are some photos of Claire and Jewel in the Joel Conner Clinic and photos of Jewel and Bean out for a trail ride. This was Bean’s 2nd trail ride and Jewel’s 3rd this spring. Both were very well behaved!
We had a great time hosting Joel again at Safe Harbor. The horses and volunteers had an amazing weekend and everyone progressed in their feel and training. Here are a few accounts from the volunteer participants about what they learned about the horses they were working with during the clinic:
Jolene D:Khianna- At the time of the clinic Khianna had a total of 4 or 5 rides on her since her return from foster. She was nervous, but did so well! She tries so hard. She is coming along nicely and I believe will develop into an incredible partner for someone.
Sara E: Jewel — Jewel was an all-star for the clinic, Claire has done such a great job with her. She felt flawless going from hind-end to front-end turns. I learned so much while riding her during the clinic. She is going to make someone a really great horse.
Sara E: Khianna — Did ground work with Khianna and at the beginning she was a nervous trotting mess, but Joel came over and helped me get her front feet moving and she calmed right down. She is so loving and tries so hard. Once she figures out you aren’t going to eat her, she just wants to please you and be loved on, I don’t know if I have ever worked with a horse that tries to give you 150% all the time.
Lisa G: Ben- I can’t say enough about how the horsemanship that Joel has helped bring to SAFE amazes me. I had Ben in all 4 sessions, GW and riding, and I was honestly just hoping I could get him to stay focused on me with all of the excitement, maybe get some nice serpentines down in the riding portion, and work on soft feel and stopping/moving forward off of the seat. Well.…. He did all of those things and SO MUCH MORE. Every exercise that Joel moved the participants through, beginning to advanced, Ben tried. And SUCCEEDED, at least on some level. I am so impressed with the effort this big guy puts into everything; as long as he understands that there are no consequences if he doesn’t understand, and he knows that I will wait for him to figure it out, I believe this horse would be willing to try anything under the sun. In the few days since the clinic, Ben had maintained a quiet, willing attitude, with TONS of deep, relaxed sighs, even during the riding work. SO proud of the progress he has made and so grateful that this work was brought to the SAFE horses.
Sara S: Khianna- I worked with Khianna for the first time doing GW on Saturday morning, and was so impressed by her “try”. She does get a little nervous about the rope and flag coming at her while moving (though not at all while standing still in the comfort of the “herd” (me)). I particularly enjoyed the backing exercises, and she was so in tune with my feet and body language it felt like we were dancing partners! She is such a sweet girl.
Sara S: Phoenix- I did GW and rode Phoenix on Saturday afternoon. He hadn’t been ridden in weeks, and it was raining on the tin roof, so he was extra “special” to start, but after just a bit of GW he calmed down and started paying attention to me. Riding, he was great. He’s getting very good at backing circles, front and hind yields (he’s so bendy!). Over the few months I’ve been working with Phoenix, I’ve noticed he tries very hard to anticipate what I want (if he’s in the mood), but as soon as I push too hard and/or he doesn’t understand what I’m asking, he shuts down. On Saturday, I didn’t feel him shut down at all which is probably a combination of both of us getting better at this!
And many thanks again to Joel and Terry for putting on such an inspiring clinic!!! I wish I could come out to SAFE every day, but I’m glad to be even a small part of this great community and cherish this opportunity!
Claire C: Mesquite- It was my first official time working with Mesquite, and I think we made some really good changes. He is super sensitive so it was interesting to experiment with him and see how much pressure he needed. I only did the groundwork session with him and it was fun learning to time up with his feet better.
Claire C: Phoenix- For the afternoon session, I rode Phoenix, who I have not done a whole lot with either. He was also good; we worked a lot on more forward motion and keeping him focused on what I was asking. We did lots of bending and yielding, which was so good for him. Overall, he did very well.
Casey A: Stella- I worked with Stella, who is turning out to be a great little horse. We worked on slowing down and developing balance on both the ground and under saddle. We were both so much lighter by the end of Sunday, and I know we got a big change in our partnership. She was so relaxed through the entire clinic, even when horses around her were nervous. She’s also pretty resilient and forgiving of my mistakes. She has taught me so much, and she is going to make someone really lucky!
Erika S: Maggie- I worked with Maggie for all 4 sessions, and she did fantastic! She’s such a smart, willing mare, and we connected early on. One idea that I heard this weekend was that eventually it will feel like your horse is reading your mind… Well, I’m here to tell you that that’s the truth! Maggie remained tuned in for everything we learned about, and worked in sync with me. It honestly helped me more than I think it helped her!
Ann A: Bridgit- Bridgit is a friendly girl and likes getting attention. She is a bit on the lazy side and I had some trouble getting the life up in her while doing circling exercises. She just wanted to come into the center and hang out with me. She made good progress under saddle in the afternoon sessions. She was learning how to pick up a soft feel at the walk by the end of the first day and we had some nice walk/trot transitions. She needs more work backing straight and in a circle both on the ground and under saddle. She also needs more work reaching with her front foot and disengaging her hindquarters under saddle. She felt much more balanced to me than she did when I rode her last summer.
Jane M: Oscar- As a relative novice to practicing Joel’s horsemanship skills, the greatest lesson I took away from GW and riding Oscar during this most recent Joel clinic is the impact GW has on riding. Yielding hindquarters, circling to achieve bend and balance, it all makes such a difference when aboard the horse. I’m able to apply lessons learned under Joel’s guidance to my regular riding lessons. It’s quite remarkable to me, and I look forward to Joel’s next visit and my next “aha” takeaway!
Claire Crist, a volunteer at SAFE, is doing her senior project by helping horses get trained and adopted at SAFE. Her blog, Finding the Feel, documents her work with SAFE horse Jewel. Read more at http://learning.safehorses.org.
Here are some videos from our ride on Saturday. Jewel’s canter under saddle is improving so much, and she is really getting the hang of turns on the haunches. She’s coming along so well, I can’t wait for the clinic in just a little over a week!
Jewel has doing well in her training and riding work with shoes on for the last 6 weeks. Our farrier Marla Karabinos was out yesterday to put a new set on. We discovered that she has a pretty significant bruise along the outside of her right front foot under the shoe. This is her high angled “club” foot and was the reason she got shoes on when we found that the hoof was causing her discomfort. Why she has the bruising on this foot is due to the limb deviation which causes uneven loading. Simply put, she lands heavy on the outside of her right foot and this caused a bruise to form.
We are trying a new set of shoes with leather pads cut to fit just under the shoe. The hope is that this piece of leather might help some of the compression caused when she loads that foot. We are also doing a bit more research to see if there is anything else we can do to help her feel better on that foot. She remains sound for riding so far but the bruise tells us there is a problem. She is stoic so she doesn’t show pain while being worked but she’s extremely sensitive to the hoof testers. We will continue to work on getting her hooves comfortable in hopes to help prevent any long term issues. On a positive note, her left knee has reduced a little in size since the shoes have been put on. The support and trim have helped alleviate some of the stress on that leg. Here are a few pictures to understand what the bruise looks like, the conformation on that right leg and the new shoes we put on yesterday.
We are all very excited that for her senior community service project, volunteer Claire Crist chose SAFE! Here is a little about her first project with Jewel. You can follow her progress online at: http://learning.safehorses.org
“My name is Claire Crist. I’ve been volunteering at a local horse rescue called Save A Forgotten Equine (SAFE) since January 2015. SAFE is a truly remarkable organization filled with people who are committed to the well-being of all horses. Countless horses have passed through SAFE’s doors and been given a second chance at a life they deserved all along. Because of the huge difference SAFE has made in the lives of so many horses, I wanted to give back to this one-of-a-kind organization. To do this, I’m starting a project that involves a combination of community outreach and working with SAFE’s horses to get them ready for adoption.
The first step of this project is assisting in the training of Jewel, a four-year-old paint pony. She’s a pretty special girl—quiet, gentle and just wants to get along with people. When Jewel came to SAFE at less than a year old, she was infested with lice, emaciated, and had facial indentations from a halter that was too small for her. SAFE took her in and helped her make a full recovery from her neglect. This spring, Jewel was started under saddle and is coming along excellently, thanks to some help from trainer and clinician Joel Conner. She’s teaching me a lot too!
To further her training, Jewel and I will be riding in the Buck Brannaman clinic in Spanaway, WA from October 30th to November 2nd. Buck Brannaman is a world-famous natural horsemanship clinician who travels the country helping horses and people work together. A huge part of SAFE’s mission is to have their horses experienced and educated before adoption for the good of both horses and people. This clinic will be an indispensable opportunity for Jewel; it will help her become the best horse she can be for whoever is lucky enough to adopt her. We are so excited, but we need your help to make this happen! Even a small donation makes a huge difference. Our fundraising goal is $1,000 which covers the clinic fee, transportation, and the cost to house Jewel in Spanaway.
Please check back often to follow our progress! I will be posting regular updates of how Jewel is doing and a summary of what we learned at the clinic. This little horse is going to make someone very happy!”
Volunteer rider Claire has taken on Jewel as her special project. She has been working with her since just before the SAFE show and there have been some great changes since then. Here is an update from Claire about how things are going so far:
“Jewel is an absolute delight to work with, especially now that she and I have gotten some valuable help from Joel. I’ve started being more clear and assertive when asking her to move forward, but also just “getting in and getting out” so she has a better chance for success. We went from ears-pinned, crow-hopping when asking her to just trot, to moving out at walk, trot and canter off of practically just my seat (with a few “reminders” here and there!). As Joel suggested, we have been practicing backing circles and short serpentines to help her carry more of her weight on her hind end as oppose to her front end. Jewel has a bit of a club foot and crooked leg so it will help her a lot to keep the weight off of this foot as much as possible. Because she is so heavy on the forehand, backing circles has been challenging for her but she is starting to develop a really nice reach. We are also still working on yielding the hind correctly—when I first started working with her she tried to do this with no bend in her body and pivoting on her inside front foot (which means she is just bracing), but now she is starting to step under really nicely with an actual bend. We still have a lot of work to do, but she is coming along so well! Her personality is just fantastic, she is very quiet not spooky at all. I get the sense that she just wants to be around people and to get along. She is such a great little horse, I love working with her!”
Yesterday was a marathon day of dental care for the horses at Safe Harbor Stables. Dr McCracken of Rainland Equine did seven floats and some lameness consultations along with them. Here’s a rundown of how each of the horses did:
Annabelle was not terrific about getting injections for her sedation, but considering it’s probably been several years since she’s seen a dentist, her teeth were in reasonably good shape. Some sharp points but nothing significant.
Jewel was a pill for her shots, but her teeth were in great shape. Dr M said that based on her teeth, Jewel is well into her 4th year and could be closer to 5! (For the record, we’re going to leave her at four!). Nothing too conclusive about her thickened left front knee. Dr McCracken said Jewel could have had soft tissue damage at some point and has some arthritis in that knee. It’s unlikely that it’s a bone chip since those generally happen more in the knees with TB race horses, but we might x‑ray at some point to take a look.
Oscar did considerably better for his shots, and his teeth looked good, but he does have some extra large spacing between some of his teeth on one side, which means that food can get trapped there and cause decay. She cleaned it out and said if he is good for us we can help by squirting water into his mouth to help flush his gums and remove anything that gets stuck in there. Dr McCracken also flushed his left eye to see why it is always tearing. There was no clog in his tear duct. She also examined his eye using a little stain to reveal ulcers and scratches, but everything looked normal.
Bridgit was an angel for her shots! Her teeth looked good too. But here’s another surprise: Dr M puts her age closer to 3 years old!! She is still losing baby teeth! Bridgit popped a splint a week or so ago and Dr M advised us to give her another 3–4 weeks off until there is no heat in the area. No that means that Bridgit won’t be at the SAFE Horse Show this year. In fact she may end up going back to foster along with Sophie, which would be awful for her because she’ll have nothing to go all day but graze, snooze, and play in a huge pasture. Poor Bridgit!
Lola we knew would be bad for her sedation, so we did an IM sedation to start and let that soak in, then came back to start the dental. She was still too awake so did have to give her more drugs this time IV and still not great for it. But her teeth were in good shape which made the procedure quick and painless. We will need to work on Lola’s aversion to seeing the veterinarian. She can be very difficult to handle when she sees them coming. Fear based issues can be hard to overcome but it is important we help her through just like any other training issue. Lola has her strong opinion and self preservation and while we love her for it, it’s what makes her our endearing “sass-apolussa mare”, we need to help her stay safe and understand vets are there to help her feel better.
Khianna was good for her shots, but her teeth showed more sharp points than you’d expect to see considering she was floated in January. Dr M suggested that we plan to have her teeth looked at and possibly floated again in 9 months.
Finn also handled his shots like a pro, giving Dr M the chance to do an in-depth evaluation of his jaw, which has had some unusual swelling for about the past month. The swelling has gone down some and she thinks it will just take more time. His teeth are very, very weird with the right top long, right bottom short, left top short and missing some and left bottom extremely long. She took a lot off the tall areas and it took a little work but she did get to a point where there was some contact now on both sides. It is a slow process to correct his teeth and he will continue with the 4–6 month dentals for a few more times. Dr M can only take so much off at a time and keep the tooth alive. He is a very sweet boy even with his funny teeth.
It may or may not be a secret but I LOVE this little mare SO much! She has grown into the cutest little quarter horse mare. She looks like a little miniature version of Finn and we all love his nice hindquarters! We recently brought both Jewel and Stella in from foster for a little training. One of the goals is to see how well Jewel does in work with her crooked front leg.
Sydney is volunteering for her senior project and Jewel has become one of her training horses for the next 3 weeks. So far they have worked on remembering some of the light groundwork we had did with Jewel before she left Safe Harbor last fall to go into foster. Sydney reports that Jewel is doing well with the desensitization to the flag, as well as lunging and maintaining a bending circle. Sydney has even tried a light saddle on her back to help her get used to having tack on and the noises that a saddle makes.
Jewel is a sensitive mare but she has quite a tough outer layer. She has a slight stubbornness to her but she is also very interested in being with you and interested in what you are asking. It will be neat to see how she progresses over the next few weeks and if she is able to stay sound for the work. We sure hope this little mare can be a riding horse, she has so much personality to offer!
Jewel doing groundwork with Sydney
Phoenix: Going well under saddle with strengthening exercises in the walk including: shoulder fore, hauls, halt rein backs, and collected walk. He’s up to 7 minutes at the trot and continues to look sound. We’ve been working in some trot poles during the rides.
Skittles: Skittles is doing well with riding. She will have good days but others she is stiff and unhappy to use her back if I don’t give her a long warm-up
Jewel: Doing well at foster and looks to have filled out quite a bit this summer. She been turned out with Ruby and everything seems to be fine, the two are “cohabiting” well.
Lola: Lola continues to do well with both ground manners and riding. The canter has been our main focus this month and she is now consistently picking it up when asked and is learning to keep the gait for longer amounts of time. She is a bit grumpy about this at first but it is getting better. Some nice long canter moments have been happening. The key to improving this is achieving a true inside bend. This will take a bit of strength building but she is getting some lovely forward and soft canters now.
Kai: He does still have his moments of exuberant energy so I am continuing to work him in hand only. He is doing well over the trot poles and is stretching nicely. I have raised them up to keep them challenging and added polls to both sides of the arena. When he isn’t showing his nutty side, he is very lovely.
Sapphire: I saw Sapphire 3 weeks ago at Kim’s. She is looking happy and was sweet when I came to talk to her. Kim is lunging her and has some very loose side reins on her and she is doing well.
Oscar: He’s has three months off work, and he’ll have another three before we trot him again to evaluate soundness. Helga said she can trot him on the lunge for us to see if he is sound when the time is up.
Finn: While he remains sound with the work there is still a slight “offness” when traking to the left. I have to think this may always slightly be there but it is dramatically better than it was before the shoe package.
Cameo: Working on a nice balanced trot and feeling much stronger. Her left shoulder is still much more developed than the right due to the club foot. I have to use a pad with buildup of the right side so that the saddle sits level and on the middle of her, otherwise it will slide crooked the entire time.
Skye: Skye has been a really great girl this last month. So much that I used her as my riding demo for the Chamber of Commerce evening. She was great with the crowd and did a nice walk, trot, and canter for them. She is a beautiful girl and a lot of fun to ride! We continue to work on trailer loading and things are going well, all 4 feet into the trailer and quietly coming out.
Ruby: Doing well at foster. We’ve been talking about her growth and whether we should wait to start her until she has more time to grow. I think not putting too much weight and heavy rides on her are a good idea. If this is SAFE’s choice, I suggest since her personality can be a bit young, big and head strong, would be a great idea to start getting the basics on her and working towards saddling well before she has a rider.
Misty: (From Kellie:) Bottom line is that Misty has improved, but, not as much as I hoped. She is better at bending left and taking weight on the left hind than she was before the stifle injections. Fewer missteps as well. However, she is still very stiff to start out, for about 15 minutes, and this is in addition to the lunging time. Sometimes she gets a short lunge if she is not too silly and other times, she might be lunging 15 minutes. She has also improved from the donated chiro and the muscle relaxants.
As the chiro vet said, it is best to bring them back to full work/strength slowly with the stifles. My goal is to get Misty out 4–5 times a week again, like she was before her May “stiffnesses and swollen legs”, but still low key work. Some riding, some lunging, and to start some trot poles.
I guess it was too much to hope that the stifle issue was going to be a “ quick fix.” Since, it has probably been going on for awhile– just like a person with a similar problem—it is probably going to be a longer rehab period for her.
Lucky: Doing well WTC. The 7 doses of Pentosan have helped him look less stiff in the hind end. He shows no more hesitations going into the trot. He does fuss a little when first asked for the canter but the next transitions up are usually better. He still looks a little stiff when tracking to the right. Also he is pretty tender on his front feet so we’re looking at putting front shoes on.
Perhaps this is obvious, but we are just so proud of our horses! Every single one of them faced tremendous challenges in their lives before being rescued, and the courage and bravery they show us during their rehabilitation and retraining is nothing short of astonishing. The horses of SAFE have an incredible team of humans helping them on this journey, led by our trainer Terry Phelps and the volunteers who work by her side. This month’s training report is filled with brightness and hope, and we are so proud to share this with you and to say thank you to supporters like you for making our training program possible.
Continuing with his rehab work. He’s being very steady and calm during his rehab rides! We’ve tried him out briefly at the trot — just trotting down the long sides of the arena a few times each direction — and he trotted sound in both directions. Fingers crossed that this is a sign that his rehab has been successful!
Continues to do great with ground work and riding. She has gone on two trail rides and was eager and happy to be out of the arena but listened well to me even when she was excited to be outside. She is brave walking past dogs and construction work and with cars passing along the road. She does like to walk fast and is less of a “quiet school horse type” on the trails but nothing dangerous or misbehaved.
Jewel did seem to remember her ground work training when she came back to SHS for the week, but she seemed to have regressed a tiny bit in her patience and softness when it came to picking up her feet.
Our Lola Bear continues to behave like a very good solid citizen! She was the best behaved for dentals when the vets were out, a master at walking over the tarps, and she loves to jump right into the trailer when asked! She was very relaxed and easy going for her trail ride, good with the cars along the road, didn’t mind the barking dogs or the construction noises. Her only fault on the trail was that she did not want to lead that particular day (normally she’s happy to be out front, and just as happy to bring up the rear!) She has been ridden frequently by Stephanie and has been very well behaved for her at all gaits.
Trailer loading training has continued with great success. The secret to success is not to apply a ton of pressure but with quiet asking and reassurance, she will step all the way into the trailer. We are working now on quietly stepping out of the trailer and not running backwards. She still needs a lot of positive and calming energy to trust this process.
Kat is a super star! She did very well during a recent showing to a potential adopter and was very tolerant of a the 10 year old rider1 She has been doing very well with her volunteer riders and happy out in grass turnout with Dottie.
We’re doing a great deal of ground work and desensitization training, and she is really doing quite well. She’s learning and quieting down a lot. She does have her hot side, but with calm handling she can relax and get very easy in her mind and movement. She’s does best if ridden after a very good ground work session. She can be very centered and quiet. Since Cameo is so young, I feel it’s important to keep the work light and fun for her. I’d like to take her out on the trails this summer as well and give her a chance to experience fun outside of the arena.
Skye has very good ground work manners from her work with Dave. I can see how well this was done and it is a great starting point with our growing relationship. She has a finite amount of time she can work before she gets tired and her stubborn “I’m finished” attitude comes out. We are working on her willingness to go forward when asked. She has a bit of attitude but the fight is more of a slam on the breaks. This is getting better as we work together and she realizes I’m not asking for anything that hard. She really wants to please and has a very sweet nature. We have started the trailer work and will continue to have this as part of her weekly work.
Before leaving for foster it was evident that she was feeling a lot better, judging by the changes in her behavior. We had some testing of boundaries including a little nibbling, and some issues with standing for the farrier and getting into the trailer. She’s another horse who will benefit from ground work in preparation to getting started under saddle later this year.
Here are a few of the highlights from Kellie’s latest updates on Misty.
Happy to report that Misty got a new set of shoes today and we only had one “pull back and slam her front foot down” episode. Lisa and I have been working with her, holding her front leg up and out, and having her submit and let us do it, and then she gets a reward. That worked pretty well today. Misty got a piece of carrot each time Jim worked on her feet and set them down. She scored about 3 carrots and we got an obedient pony.
She is a smart girl and she seems to have made up her mind to work with us with less testing of the humans going on….
Overall, Misty is very fun to work with. She has a good work ethic and if she could do as well to the left as she does to the right for us, she would. I just think it is soreness and some weakness that keeps her from cooperating/balancing to the left. I’ve learned over the years that most horses will give you a lot of work/cooperation; almost every time that I had begun to think it was “attitude” versus pain, we discovered the cause, addressed it, and then no more bad behavior. When you hit resistance it is usually pain or protective behavior. Even in very dominant horses, they might “test” you, but, they almost always have a very good work ethic.
Ginger is doing fabulously with Kim Lacy! She has really come along nicely. I went to ride her and we got a video of her going w/t/c. She is ready for adoption or to return to SHS to be ridden and shown. Kim has taken her on trail rides on her property and is working on loading in the trailer, she was good for both.
Terry and Jewel working together at liberty
Terry and her team spend time teaching the SAFE horses the small but important skills they’ll need once they’re adopted. Some of the horses still object to the spray bottle (I’m looking at you, Kai!) but Jewel is completely unfazed.
Dr King of Pilchuck Vet Hospital came out to SHS and donated her time to give lameness exams to some of the SAFE horses. We asked her to take a look at Miss Jewel, and her assessment of Jewel’s crooked leg was not half bad. In fact, she told us she’s seen perfectly sound horses in full training with much worse looking limbs. Jewel was not lame during the exam, and Dr King indicated she’d like to see her again after she’s had some hard work to see if the lameness presents itself more clearly. But overall she was positive about our little princess and said to give her some more time and keep up the good regular trimming.
Jewel is doing well, learning to lunge and develop some ground manners. She still pulls on the halter when lunging and she overreacts when asked to go out on the circle. Treatment to the injury she sustained to her left hind foot was actually beneficial to desensitizing her to having her feet handled. I really concentrated on this every time a lot and last week, when Daphne trimmed her, she was perfect! Jewel does seem to be very stiff and sore when moving and we’ve noticed that she continually rests her larger left knee when in her stall or sleeping. It’s beginning to look she she will need more time before she will be ready to start under saddle, even though she’s almost three years old. We’re probably going to need to give her more time for growing over the summer and reassess her in the fall.
You can probably imagine my response to the call that Jewel had been injured. At first I was worried that she was hurt, then hearing the treatment plan I was quickly thinking: oh no what are we going to have on our hands?!? I am very pleased to report that she has been a little angel in her stall. She is more of a cuddle bunny than ever before and very very happy to see everyone. You really can’t help stopping to say hi when you hear that soft knicker behind the stall door. She is quiet and calm all day with the busy barn life going on around her. I personally think she may be under the impression that she is at a spa. Deep bedded stall, room service and daily visits from her hair and grooming specialists. While grooming and braiding her hair, Jewel has a relaxed soft eye. I’ll have to say she is the absolute cleanest looking horse in the barn! We did try a few toys hanging in the stall but she really wasn’t too interested in them and she seems very content looking out her window and nibbling from her hay bag.
The area that was lacerated is a hard place to keep from moving. So she has not been allowed to go out of her stall during this critical healing time. I am hopeful each time the bandage is changed that the vets will say she is free to go play in the arena. Although it is healing well, with no signs of proud flesh or infection, it is defiantly taking its time. Meanwhile we keep giving her lots of special attention and tons of kisses—she is such a doll!
During the major windstorm last weekend, SAFE horse Jewel was injured. We discovered a 2” laceration across the back of her left hind pastern. The cut was deep enough to warrant an emergency vet call, and Dr. Penny came out to take a look (driving around multiple downed trees to reach SAFE Harbor!) Fortunately, there was no tendon involvement. The wound was clipped, cleaned and treated. It was in a location where stitches were not an option. So the leg was carefully wrapped to keep the wound clean and Jewel was put on stall rest. Antibiotics and pain relievers were prescribed. Aftercare instructions included every-other-day bandage changes.
At first, Jewel tolerated the treatments well. But she eventually grew tired of it and over the recent weekend the bandage change turned into a major battle. With oral sedatives on board, three people working to distract her, and multiple restraint strategies in play, Jewel was determined to lob strong kicks at SAFE Barn Manager Terry each time she attempted to touch the leg. After it became apparent that the safety of the handlers was in jeopardy, the decision was made to call the vet out (another Saturday emergency call!!) to utilize IV sedation to get the bandage change completed.
Jewel continued to battle, even after IV sedation, and the vet (who initially found it amusing that he was being called out for a bandage change) agreed it was necessary and suggested that she would need sedation again for the next treatment. Fortunately, the wound is not infected. But it is in an area where movement inhibits healing, so Jewel is on lockdown in her stall to try to facilitate the healing.
Jewel has been a tough nut since the day she became a SAFE horse. We have worked hard to teach her that people can be trusted and are her friends. Terry has invested significant time teaching her good manners on the ground. It is unfortunate that this injury has created a situation where Jewel’s opinion of people has been negatively impacted. We will get her through this medical issue, and then go back to work on her trust and behavior. We are committed to this young mare and helping her become a good equine citizen so she can find her forever home with a person of her own.
I have continued to work with Miss Jewel on her ground work to establishing respect and good social behaviors. A lot of the work includes leading and positioning along with catch and release game. She is a surprisingly very smart little girl who really enjoys doing a job well. She will lick and chew when she has done it right and of loves getting lots of praise. Jewel reacts well to voice cues and is quite sensitive under her mask of confidence. When she is about to or has done something wrong, just using your voice to correct her can be all she needs to make the right decision.
Jewel still is quite young and has “baby” energy that needs to be released. We have yet to find her a perfect turnout pal since the other playful horses get too aggressive with her and she thus returns with squeals and kicks to protect herself. Savannah has been an ok companion for some turnout. However she would rather look for hay on the ground than engage with Jewel so it doesn’t solve the dilemma to finding her a buddy to help let out the energy. So for now, I get to be her “play” friend and she loves to chase down the yoga ball or run in the arena as I make a fool of myself running and playing till she thinks it’s a good idea to join in the fun! It’s quite comical but gets her to play without feeling like anyone is chasing her around.
While this mare comes across as having thick skin and maybe a little pushy, it has been my experience that she really just needs to learn her place and good social skills. Jewel is learning quickly that I will love on her with all my heart but she has to show respect and follow lead I am offering. She really wants to be the teachers pet!
We currently have two SAFE horses in need of special foster homes: Strider and Jewel.
StriderWe have been incredibly blessed that Strider was able to spend the summer and fall at the home of our wonderful supporter Sheridan. Not to put too fine a point on it, Sheridan loves Strider. Unfortunately, while her facility was fantastic during drier weather, it is not yet set up to keep him through our soggy winter. She would love to have him back in the early summer when her fields can handle 18 hands of Strider! So we are looking for a temporary foster home for Strider over the winter.
The great news is that Strider’s demeanor and overall happiness greatly improved when he was moved to a place where he is turned out 24/7. Sheridan reports that while she was a bit concerned when she first met him, Strider’s ground manners have been impeccable at her place. He is still a very large, strong horse, who needs a confident handler, but he is much easier to manage when he has plenty of turnout. Sheridan currently has him turned out with her 18 hand gelding Austin, who is the dominant of the two. She thinks that he probably does best with a dominant buddy.
Strider does still have a few special needs. The burns on his back still require regular conditioning. If he gets a cut or scrap on his limbs, they are slow to heal and can require extra care. Given his difficulties healing, he truly does need to be kept in as mud-free of a situation as possible. He needs to eat from a hay net or a slow feeder or he is prone to wasting hay.
If you have good mud-free turnout space and are comfortable with big horses, this would be a great short-term opportunity to be part of this very special horse’s life. Read more about Strider here.
JewelJewel is about as different from Strider as you can get! She’s a coming-three year old filly. At intake, we originally believed she was a yearling, but her teeth and the fact she has started cycling indicates she was probably closer to two years old then. She is still a very small filly, and we would like to give her as much opportunity to grow as possible before starting her training.
Jewel has been in the foster program but has spent the last couple of months at SHS working on her ground manners and being evaluated. Jewel originally had very poor ground manners and distrust of people. While she is still a young horse that requires a competent handler, her ground manners have greatly improved and we would love to get her out of SHS and back in a field where she can mature.
Full disclaimer, in her prior foster home, she was known to kick fences when in close quarters to other horses, but her behavior at SHS has been very good. We would like to get her out in an open space, ideally with some herd mates, to allow her to learn good herd dynamics and simply keep growing up! If you have pasture space available and would be interested in providing a home for our very dainty girl, we’d love to hear from you!
If you have interest in fostering either Strider or Jewel, please contact Kyle at email@example.com or at 206–854‑2168.
When I was told that Jewel would be moving back from foster, I was warned she had a history of being a bit of a stinker. I thought for a long time on how to prepare the barn for this little rebel and what ways I could set her up for a successful transition. We played a little musical stalls and left an open space between her and the other horses to ensure no kicking or broken fences to mend!
When I heard the trailer pulling up I was ready for a sassy little mare to pop out but to my astonishment this fluffy doll face peaked out from the trailer and walked off like she been in and out of trailers a thousand times! She walked easily into her new stall and pleasantly began eating her hay. She fit right into the routine of the barn and never once squealed or kicked at her stall and instead knickers to her neighbor Miah. I think she is laughing at me for being so careful but better to be over prepared.
I turn her out in the arena for a little play time and she bucks a few good ones then comes to me for some love and to be taken out for grass turnout. She is currently going out with Maggie and Miah. The two older mares are a little annoyed by the little youngster but over all they graze quietly near each other. She plays a bit, loves to roll in the dirt, and sometimes give a few good bucks before relaxing in for some grazing.
She is a bit on the skinny side, probably due to a little growth spurt this summer, so we are giving her lots of good hay and some rice bran and vitamins to help. Her winter coat is also well on its way. She has been pleasant to groom and I have begun working with her on some basic ground manners. She is easy to halter and leads well however she is still hesitant to halt or backup but after a few easy corrections she is able to do both on command.
Last week we started to introduce the “dreaded” fly spray bottle. Her foster mom had done some work with this as well but she is still very afraid of it and did protest; nothing too bad just a roll of the head and a few scoots away from the bottle. We ended the session on a good note and accomplished a little spray touching her shoulders. We will continue to work on establishing trust and ground manners but would love for this youngster to get another great foster or better yet to find her forever home with lots of room for this little one to play.
She may have a few little jagged edges to polish out but I believe that it won’t take long until this jewel shines like a diamond!
It’s been a while since we updated Jewel’s page, and last time we reported about her, things were not going perfectly for this little gal. She was having a rough time getting along with other horses, and she was showing some conformation issues that had us a little bit worried for her future. But things have improved for Jewel over the last several weeks, and we have some more uplifting news to report.
First off, we had her examined by a veterinarian to get a second opinion on her physical condition and conformation, and the prognosis was a lot more positive than we were expecting. She does show some lateral rotation in her right front leg, but she tested sound at the trot in both directions. The vet feels that the RF rotation is fairly mild and likely won’t prevent her from being used as a riding horse. She also thinks it is likely to continue to improve as her chest expands as she grows. So she’s essentially been cleared to start training. We won’t be starting her until next year when we’re confident that she is fully three years old.
Her behavior has also continued to improve, and we are very grateful to Jewel’s foster mom, Janelle, for working with her on her issues. She’s getting along better with her herd mates, and this past weekend, she allowed Janelle to give her a bath. Well…half a bath…she did well with the scrubbing and soaping on one side of her body, but when the hose came out to rinse her off, she had some objections to it…so she got half a bath, and Janelle will try to wash her second side another day. On the plus side, her bath revealed some LOVELY dapples…she’s blossoming into a gorgeous filly!!
Report from trainer Brittney Stewart on her visit with Jewel today:
Jewel was fine to handle. I did have a sharp growl at her when I went to halter her and I thought she was thinking of showing me her hindquarters. She submitted to haltering and was good about the exam. A little squirrelly unsure, but Dr Megan McCracken got done what was needed.
She said she is sound and we can start training her. As her chest fills out she’ll look less crooked. She thinks her putting on weight is why it looks less crooked. Being super picky, Megan said she has a little more effusion right hock and left stifle, but that can just be Jewell’s normal way.
Trotting cantering in uneven field of slippery rocks she looked sound. She had one lame step to right, but it was really rocky and slick, so Megan said she wouldn’t count that against her and looked sound going to the right afterwards.
Jewel has been making great progress with the help of her foster mom, Janelle, but she’s had some recent setbacks that have us a little worried. Janelle recent adopted an older gelding from NWESC, and brought him home to join Jewel and her daughter’s pony Lucky. Jewel took an immediate dislike to the new horse, and began displaying some extreme aggressive behaviors toward him. In particular, she started kicking the walls of her stall so hard that the noise travelled all the way to the house, and made Janelle worry that she would injure herself. The new horse has gone off for a month of training, so some peace has returned to Janelle’s farm, but now Jewel is beginning to behave aggressively toward Lucky who she used to get on well with. This anti-social behavior has us worried.
Jewel has done very well in her ground work training with Janelle, so she’s made a few attempts to test her progress by having her husband work with her, with mixed results. She’s still got a long way to go before she can be safely handled by just anyone.
We’re also troubled by the fact that Jewel recently lost a front incisor, which could indicate that she is closer to 2.5 years old, instead of a yearling as we were originally told. She has one leg with some significant crookedness that we’ve hoped would improve with age, but if she’s older than we thought, that possibility becomes less likely. This concerns us because it calls her future soundness and suitability as a riding horse into question.
In the meantime, she is filling out nicely and has shed out most of her winter fuzzies, revealing a pretty palomino and white coat, which reminds us a little bit of Misty of Chincoteague! We’ll keep you posted on her progress.
A terrific update from Jewel’s foster mom! Thank you Janelle for taking such wonderful care of this filly!
Just wanted to let you all know that Jewel has been doing really well. She has calmed down tremendously and is not spooking as easily, especially with being touched. Yesterday, I went into the barn to let the horses down to the pasture and she was laying down in her stall. She let me come right up to her and I sat quietly with her for a few minutes, petting her neck and face. She was so relaxed and happy, it felt good to see her like that.
I have been working with her using clicker training, and am happy to report that it is coming along well. She is not pushy or mouthy getting treats. Also, the clicking sound doesn’t scare her anymore like it used to. she is letting me toss the lead rope over her back, butt and around her back legs all while standing still, with no halter, free, and in the paddock. I want her to know that she can walk away if she wants, but I am trying to teach her that it is more rewarding to stay still than move anywhere. She is making huge strides in this direction. As a side note, she lets me run my hands all down all of her legs. I have not yet gotten to the point where I am picking up her feet, but that will start soon.
She is also coming up to me in the pasture so that I can put her halter on. I don’t have to chase her or trick her or anything. I hold the halter right where she can see it so she knows about it and can make the decision to come anyway. I have found the best way to get her haltered with little to no problems is to first let her come up to me. Then I put the lead rope around her neck from under her neck, not over her neck (so, I swing it over her neck from the far side of where I am standing). I then drop the led and put her halter on, and she stands really still for me.
I have also started to have my husband do some clicker work with her. I want her to learn to trust multiple people in multiple situations. Daphne is coming soon to trim her feet again so it will be another good learning opportunity for Jewel. She doesn’t really like Daphne (she makes her do horrible things like pick her feet up!), but she respects her. I am hoping we wont have to use the rope to pick her back legs up at all. We’ll see how that goes. I’ll give you another update after her trim.
Oh, one last thing, she is growing like a weed! I am going to stick her soon so I can start keeping track of how fast she is actually growing. I think she’s going to be a big girl.
Here’s an update from Jewel’s fabulous foster mom, Janelle!Jewel has been very respectful of me and my space without running away from me, just really polite. She is a bit nervous being caught but if you go slow she will let you halter her. She is terrified of the blanket going on her back. She’ll smell it and be ok, but when you lift it to put on her she dances around and when you try to flip it over her butt she really freaks out. She’s letting me groom her including half way down her thighs, and I have been using the mucking fork to gently touch her back legs. She has decided that it is not a threat at all to her and is completely comfortable with it which is why I am using it as my primary tool at the moment. She has let me touch down her front legs and pick them up. Hopefully that will help her relax more with the back end.
I’ll have more updates in a few days as I will start clicker training with her to help her understand to stay still for the blanket, halter, etc.
Our three recent intakes, River, Jewel, and Bridgit, have spent the past six weeks at NWESC regaining their health and their weight. They are all going to be moving on to their next accommodations and starting their new lives.
Jewel has already left NWESC for a foster home where she will get a lot of handling and attention. She’s been the problem child of the bunch, and so she needs to learn manners and accepting human handling before she can be turned out to start growing up. She’s filled out nicely and is being a good girl for grooming and currying!
Bridgit will be joining our Moonshine at his foster home where the two young horses can run and play and just grow up. She’ll be moved on Wednesday of this week, so we should have another update on her as well as some photos then.
River had some complications after his gelding procedure, so he’s had to spend some time recovering. He had a little more bleeding than normal after his surgery and developed a hematoma as a result of that bleeding. He’s all healed up now, and we are just waiting for Dr Hannah to give him the green light to move on to his next challenge: training!! River is the next SAFE horse who will be started under saddle by Andrea up at Half Trak. He’ll have a couple weeks of learning on the ground before anyone attempts to get on his back. River has been a very good boy for his handlers at NWESC, so we have high hopes that he will do well in training too!
SAFE has three new horses to introduce. All three are in emaciated condition with severe parasite loads, lice, poor coats, overgrown hooves, and facial indentations from halters that were too small for them. They are currently under the care of Dr Hannah Mueller at Cedarbrook Vet Care, and will remain there until their conditions are stabilized.
River is a young black & white paint stallion who will be gelded as soon as Dr. Mueller has dealt with his parasite overload. He is a delightful young man who has already made many friends among his rescuers! He is in the best condition of the three, and looks to be sound, despite the terrible condition of his hooves. Click here to visit River’s page.
Bridgit is a yearling bay & white pinto filly who is also very sweet, friendly and loving, despite her condition. She was hard to photograph because she kept moving toward the camera, asking for attention. She is surprisingly gentle and respectful for a filly from a neglect situation which we hope bodes well for her in the future. Click here to visit Bridgit’s page.
Jewel is a yearling palomino & white pinto filly who is undoubtedly going to be stunning once she’s rehabilitated. Right now, she looks pretty scruffy, due to her neglect, and according to the vet techs who are currently handling her, she’s a bit of a pill. Jewel has what appears to be a slight clubfoot, although Dr. Mueller is hopeful that it’s just an angular issue that can be corrected with proper trimming. Click here to visit Jewel’s page.
We will continue to update you on the progress of these three new horses, but for now they are all responding well to treatment, and enjoying being cared for and fed by people who care about them.