2007 bay roan Grade mare
Type of Rescue: Animal Control seizure
Intake Date: 4/15/2018
Time at SAFE:
Asha and and her herdmate Tabitha were seized from their owner by animal control officers, who were called to the property by a report of a horse that was down and stuck in mud. When they arrived, they discovered that the horse had been severely starved. They were unable to save that horse, but seized two other mares that were living on the property. Months after her rescue, we discovered that Asha had been pregnant prior to being seized by Animal Control. On September 1, 2018, Asha gave birth to a very healthy filly, we named Pippi. She was weaned from her filly in the late Spring of 2019 and started under saddle soon after.
Miss Asha headed to her adopters and the pair is doing great. Makia spent a few weeks at SAFE learning to work with Asha and forming a special bond. All the hard work has paid off and they are ready to start their life together at home. We were so glad that we were able to help support this relationship as they grew their partnership. They have the tools needed for success and Makia is going to give Asha a wonderful life!
Asha recently completed her training with Nick Donahue and is back at SAFE. She had a slow start in training because she got a sinus infection before starting work and needed antibiotics to get rid of it. Once she was well, Nick took some time on the ground to help her accept the saddle and find more comfort with new things. Once Nick began riding her, she did very well with the work and they were able to ride both in and outside of the arena without trouble.
This very sensitive mare made her way into the hearts of a wonderful woman named Makia. She fell in love knowing that Asha was not quite ready for adoption but wanted to get to know her and learn the horsemanship work Asha had started learning with Nick. To help this bond grow and to allow Asha a little more training before adoption, we decided to move her home to Redmond and work with her and Makia for the next month.
Already Asha is settling and a few of the green horse issues are falling away as she matures as a riding horse. Makia comes out to work with her during the week and the pair is bonding and growing into a partnership can last. There are little things about green riding horses that just take a bit of time and experience. Asha is a very willing and smart mare who has a ton of try. Makia plans on finishing her bonding time at our November Joel Conner clinic and then take this sweet mare home! We are thrilled that this adoption is going well and that we are able to support them both during this transition time.
The first of the mamas from last year is on her way to get started! Asha moved down to Nick Donohue’s training barn at the end of May. We had only been able to do a little bit of groundwork before she left Safe Harbor so Nick would be starting pretty much from the beginning. Asha was troubled about the flag and would need some time to prepare before saddling and riding could happen. Unfortunately, she had a cold that had kept her at Safe Harbor longer than expected and while she seemed to be on the mend at home, when she went down to training, her cold came back and she needed to have some time off. After a vet visit and antibiotics for a sinus infection, she was finally ready to work.
Now that things have been moving forward smoothly, good changes are happening and carrying over from the last ride. Asha is a very sweet mare but may have not had much riding in her past. Nick said that the first ride was uneventful but she did not understand what things meant like his legs to go forward. We will let her tell us what she needs and give her the time she needs to be successful. It is very nice to have a training program that listens to the horse. The foundation Nick is giving her is essential to her success and giving her every opportunity to a lifetime of safety with good training.
Here is a short video of an early ride:
Dear Asha has come home to Safe Harbor and started her preparation for saddling. She is pretty troubled about things like the flag so I am working on getting her relaxed and hooked on to me. It takes her some time each workout to find peace with me and not overacting but each time gets a touch better. She is getting her girlish figure back after giving birth to her filly Pippi last fall. With an training program its important to take it one day at a time and work slowly up to full work. She is building muscle and will be ready to start soon! Here is a little video of our work in preparation to be started under saddle.
It’s hard to believe that just over a month ago it was 13 degrees at Safe Harbor Stables, and this week the thermostat is hitting 80! The horses are enjoying it tremendously and taking every chance they can to sun bathe.
The downside to this beautiful weather is that horses still wearing their winter coats can dehydrate quickly when it’s hot outside. We’ve been keeping a close eye on ours to make sure they aren’t getting overheated. Provide access to fresh, clean water for your horses at all times–and monitor to make sure they’re actually drinking it.
Welcome, Spring! We’re all happy to see you.
Pippi and Asha have settled in well to their foster home for the winter. Their foster family reports that they are both the incredibly social, happy, and well-behaved horses that we expected they would be. Pippi has matured quite a bit over the last month and has gone from being a nosy baby testing mom’s boundaries to a calm and loving 3 month old filly.
Mom and baby both got a visit last week from our farrier, Daphne. Daphne was able to trim all 4 of Pippi’s feet with no restraint and without fuss. Such a good little baby! With sweet Asha as her mom, it’s no surprise that Pippi is turning out to have such a pleasant demeanor. And look at the beautiful color she’s turning!
Why are there foals at SAFE right now? Because this year, we rescued three mares who were pregnant. We have not changed our stance against breeding, nor did we have anything whatsoever to do with the breeding of these mares.
One of the three mares, Asha, came from an Animal Control seizure in which she and another mare were removed from a situation of neglect and starvation. Her foal was born Sept 1, so she was likely bred in October 2017. This mare was seized by Animal Control on Jan 30, 2018 and was signed over to SAFE on April 15, 2018.
The other two mares, Luna and Mina, came from a large band of 21 horses (including 9 stallions) who were roaming free on a property that was foreclosed upon and resold. These mares gave birth on Nov 1 and Nov 3, which means they were bred in December 2017. We were brought in by Animal Control to help disperse this herd in April 2018. Because they were exposed to stallions, we had to assume that all the mares in the herd were pregnant when we took them, and this was confirmed by veterinarians after they were rescued.
Furthermore, whenever we intake a colt or stallion, that animal is gelded as soon as it is physically possible to do so, and usually before the horse even comes to our farm. The only intact stallion to ever set foot on our farm in Redmond was Valor. He was gelded on August 9, 2017.
So, to recap:
1) SAFE does not breed horses
2) SAFE does not keep intact colts or stallions
3) SAFE does, however, rescue pregnant mares
If you or anyone you know has questions about SAFE and the work we are doing, please ASK. We operate 100% in the public eye, so if there’s something you’re curious or concerned about, just ask. It’s that simple.
Now let’s get back to enjoying those beautiful babies!
Check out miss Pippi! Apparently she is NOT going to be a light colored chestnut pinto…her winter coat is coming in dark! It leaves her looking a little comical.
Pippi and Asha will be spending the next several months at a lovely nearby foster home, where they can enjoy a sizeable pasture and great care. We’ll miss having them here at Safe Harbor Stables, but we’ll be visiting them a lot and sending updates. And we have two more foals on the way…
If you missed it, please check out our Foal to Four page. It details the costs involved in raising a foal an age where it can be ridden and enjoyed. The numbers might surprise you! Babies are expensive, which is why we recommend looking at an older horse who is ready to go, like the many horses available for adoption at SAFE.
We did have a few people ask if we’d consider adopting out Asha and Pippi together, especially since the cost of raising Pippi to adulthood is so high. There are a few reasons why we’re reluctant to doing that, unless the absolutely perfect opportunity came along:
Number one, we are wary of placing any of our horses into homes before they have been started under saddle. In the past, we have adopted out unstarted horses, to people who promised that when the time came, they would make certain that the horse received good training to develop it as a riding horse. Why is this important? It’s important because for the most part, rescues like SAFE don’t end up taking in very many well-broke, well behaved horses. We get the horses who have never received a day of training in their lives, the ones who don’t understand concepts like “personal space” or “making good choices.” Horses who cannot be ridden or who have terrible manners on the ground are more likely to end up in a rescue than the ones who get a solid education. So it’s important to us to ensure that every horse who leaves SAFE is leaving with an education, and is ready to be an enjoyable partner to their adopter. We’ve adopted out babies in the past whose new owners did right by them and provided training and good handling. We’ve also had horses returned to us, much older than when they left, still knowing next to nothing about how to be a good horse. As a result, we are very cautious when it comes to adopting out babies, unless we are completely confident that the adopter will follow through.
And number two, we have big plans for Asha too, and they don’t include being a baby mommy again. Once Pippi is weaned, Asha will return to our Horsemanship program and continue the work we started before we found out how pregnant she was. We envision a future for her in which she’s valued for her personality, her athleticism, and her spirit. Not her uterus. Again, a perfect opportunity might come along for us to consider, but unless that happens, we want to write a new story for Asha, one that doesn’t include the word “broodmare.”
So, that’s the reason. Always glad to answer questions and hear suggestions from our supporters!
It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies when we look at our little Pippi! It seems like just yesterday she was a wobbly little bundle of legs, gangling awkwardly around the foaling stall. She appears to be growing before our eyes and is exploring her world like a big girl, imitating mom by trying to nibble hay and drink from the water trough.
Pippi has blossomed into an outgoing little girl and has quite the inquisitive nature. She isn’t afraid of much, and she lets us handle her without fuss. She quickly learned that a brush feels really good, and when Asha gets groomed she nuzzles right up to take her turn. She recently had her first interaction with our barefoot farrier, Daphne. Pippi was enthralled by watching her mom get trimmed, and she let Daphne rasp her little feet without even having a halter on or anyone holding her.
Asha has been a wonderful mom. From the moment she laid eyes on her baby, she knew exactly what to do to best take care of her. She graciously lets us handle Pippi whenever we need to. She gives Pippi the freedom to explore, but always keeps an eye on her to make sure she stays safe. Asha has handled this whole baby situation like a pro, which makes us think that she may have done it before. Either that, or she has incredibly strong instincts.
Our vets have given both Pippi and Asha a clean bill of health. Our next step is to begin the halter training process. Once she’s had some time gaining a basic understanding of being led, she and Asha will go to a foster home where Pippi will be able to have space and freedom to learn about being a horse. We’ll bring them both back when it is time to wean her at about 6 months of age. It will be hard to say “Goodbye for now,” but she’ll be nearby and we will be able to see her regularly and manage her growing process from just a few miles away.
Beautiful mares, full baby bellies and a late summer glow were a perfect setting for photographer Jessica Farren to capture this special time in their lives. All three were wonderful models and our herd health manager Melinda, their midwife, helped set the stage.
Preparations have begun here at Safe Harbor Stables to welcome our three new foals into the world. Our three mothers-to-be became pregnant prior to their rescue, and while we are firmly on the side of responsible breeding to do our part in minimizing America’s homeless horse population, we really can’t wait to hear the pitter-patter of little foal feet in the barn aisle. We don’t like to see unplanned pregnancies bringing new life into the world, but we’re happy that these three foals are being born into a community whose mission it is to look out for their well-being for the rest of their lives.
Last week we got our foaling stall set up. It was just in time, too, because that same day Asha started showing signs that she might be going into labor. Dr. Lewis from Rainland came out to examine her. She palpated Asha again and found that the baby was moving a little less than she would like, and its heartbeat was a little slower than she’d like. This is slightly concerning, but not reason for alarm at this point. It was recommended that we monitor her through the night and that it wouldn’t be surprising if she had her foal over the weekend. Dr. Lewis said that we could also just be seeing late-gestation colic symptoms, or gastric ulcers related to pregnancy.
This past weekend was our fist “baby watch” for Asha. It was an uneventful weekend. All of her potential pre-labor signs have subsided for now, but we’re prepared!
Like all good horse owners, we keep close eyes on the weight of our horses. Clearly no one wants to see skinny horses, but a horse that’s overweight can face health problems too. Every SAFE horses has its meals tailored to its weight and health, and we make adjustments as needed to maintain proper weight.
So a few weeks ago, we started to notice that Asha was looking a little round in the belly. We’d recently started to put our horses out on grass for part of the day, so we figured we just needed to make an adjustment to the amount of hay or grain she was getting. But the odd part was that she didn’t really seem fat…in fact, she seemed pretty svelte, every place but her belly. Could she be pregnant? We consulted with Animal Control to see if Asha had been out with a stallion prior to being seized, and they told us they didn’t think she had been. But she seemed to have changed shape practically overnight. So we decided to have her checked for a possible pregnancy.
Dr. Fleck came out and palpated her, and sure enough…there’s a baby in there! Based on her size and how the fetus felt, he guessed that she’s in the last trimester of her pregnancy. Probably around the 8 month mark, give or take. This was confirmed today by Dr Lewis, who performed an ultrasound on our mama-to-be. She told us that we can probably expect her to foal in September.
We have not had a baby born at SAFE since 2008, and now we have three pregnant mares all at once! Luna and Mina are probably due a month or more after Asha. We have no idea when any of these mares were bred, so we may be in for a surprise or two. It’s challenging, because we’d like to be able to vaccinate these mares at the right times so that they can pass as much immune protection to their foals in their colostrum as possible. We will work with our vets to make the best decisions we possibly can and hopefully we will be welcoming three healthy youngsters to the world this fall.
Two approaches to finally being back out on the grass again: 1) Asha: commence eating and don’t let anyone distract you. 2) Tabitha: run circles around your friend because it feels so good to be outside!
SAFE volunteer rider Casey A worked with new girl Asha during the groundwork portion of last weekends’s Joel Conner clinic. Here’s what she had to say:
I worked with Asha for the groundwork portion of the clinic all three days. This was the first time she had been worked since arriving at SAFE, and she did great! She is quite responsive to a feel, so she settled in quickly and thoughtfully. Though concerned about the flag and rope initially, by the end of day three, she was ok with the rope dragging through her hinds and the loop over her rump. She does have trouble changing eyes, particularly left to right, but we got a big change by the end of the clinic. Asha is a great horse, and she is going to make an awesome partner. I look forward to continuing our groundwork in preparation for starting her under saddle.
Thank you to Jessica Farren for these photos of Asha and Tabitha:
SAFE took in two new horses today. Asha and Tabitha were seized from their owner by Animal Control officers who were called to the property by a report of a horse that was down and stuck in mud, but when they arrived, they discovered that the horse had been severely starved. They were unable to save that horse, but seized two other mares that were living on the property.
Asha is about 11 years old, and we’re told she is gaited. Tabitha is approximately 13 years old. Both mares are big bodied and tall, which bodes well for them being adopted as riding horses. They are extremely sweet and kind, but they have a lot of energy!