|COLOR: bay & white pinto||MARKINGS: blaze|
|DOB: April 21, 2021||AGE: 0||HEIGHT:||WEIGHT:|
|LOCATION: Redmond, WA|
Coco’s dam Sundae arrived at SAFE in January 2021. Sundae, along with six other ponies, was seized by Animal Control after another horse died due to neglect. Two of the horses were stallions, so we were concerned that there may have been some unplanned breeding prior to rescue. It turns out we were right to be worried. After a few months in our care, we noticed that Sundae was getting quite round. Our vets soon confirmed that she was pregnant! Sundae is 25 years old, so we were concerned about a pregnancy with her advanced age. On April 21st at 10:37PM, Coco was born and soon after our worries melted away. The birth went smoothly and the two are now spending time bonding as Coco learns about the world around her.
All SAFE horses are adopted with a no-breeding clause, no exceptions.
Coco blew out the candles on her 6 month cake at the end of last month, ushering in a new era of her young adulthood. Coco: the baby, is still visible — those high-pitched whinnies and acrobatic feats that come especially easy to young things remain front and center — but there is also Coco: the pony, who has stood to have her feet trimmed and has been haltered to have her mane (no longer just a wisp) brushed. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while Coco will always be our baby, one day soon she will no longer be a baby.
Right around the time of Coco’s 6‑month, Teddi’s Daycare opened its gates to its newest student. It was time for Coco to be weaned.
The process was gradual. On a Tuesday afternoon, Sundae was temporarily relieved of her responsibilities as a mother, which is just a fancy way of saying that we haltered her and let her graze outside of the paddock. Coco was left ‘home alone’ with snacks (a pile of alfalfa) for only about 10 minutes, and still within eyesight of her mother. This experiment with independence went extremely well — when we brought Sundae back, Coco barely lifted her head from her meal. Wednesday we made official introductions between Coco and her neighbors, who had previously only been able to interact through the safety of the fence. Minnie was first up to shake hooves with Coco, and the two broke bread (again, just two piles of alfalfa) without much incident. Minnie showed that she is also still a young creature, performing several floppy displays of dominance in Coco’s general direction, but never with any mal intent. Then, it was Teddi’s turn to meet with Coco.
If you were anticipating anything dramatic, snorts and kicks and stomps, then I’m afraid you will be disappointed. It was a wholly mellow affair — Teddi was drawn immediately in by an unexpected happy hour (that same alfalfa the kids were munching on), and Coco, given free reign of her next door neighbor’s place, was drawn by the thrill of exploration. It was actually quite a few minutes that passed before the two were even properly introduced, and that too was without incident. Coco, who had been accustomed to being a pushy young lady around her mother, was a quick study when it came to taking cues from both Teddi and Minnie — at the slightest tilt of their hindquarters or flattening of their ears, Coco zipped away. The three spent an hour together, and after a fair bit of zooming around their new expanded space (with a highlight being Coco and Minnie using Teddi as a kind of maypole, running circles around her), settled right into what would soon become their herd dynamic.
The next day, Thursday, was when Coco officially flew the coop. Sundae was taken to her child-free paddock, and the panels that once separated Coco from her neighbors were removed. An ubershelter was created, giving all three enough room to comfortably be under cover, and Coco: the weanling, was born.
Since then, the three have settled into an easy routine with each other. They all eat side-by-side like nesting dolls, big to smaller to smallest. Both Minnie and Teddi even allow Coco to scrounge for hay scraps, a true kindness. Coco and Minnie oftentimes kick up their heels together as mother hen Teddi observes from the sidelines, and sightings of Teddi grooming Coco have even been reported. All-in-all, everyone seems quite content with the new living situation, and in the days and weeks to come, we fully expect to see Teddi, Minnie, and Coco grow into a little family.
Can you believe Coco is already 6 months old? It seems like it was just yesterday when we found out our little 25 year old mare, Sundae, wasn’t just a little round, she was pregnant! That little squirt, Coco has been an independent lady from day one, kicking up her heels at her mom and running anywhere her long pony legs could take her. She spent the summer enjoying lush green pastures and sunshine with her mother. Coco loves friends and looked forward to any neighboring horse who was turned out on grass next to her, greeting them as they arrived and running over and calling to them as they left.
Over the last month Bonnie has been working with Coco and here’s what she had to say:
I have been helping Terry with gentling Coco and getting her accustomed to being touched, groomed, and haltered. She’s a very independent little gal, but very sweet and very brave. With some of her new life experiences, it just takes a couple tries before she realizes that everything is fine and it’s actually rather nice to be brushed, for example. She has been an absolute delight from the day she was born, and even as she gets bigger, she is still a complete joy to be around.
In preparation for Coco eventually being weaned, her mother and her were moved next to Teddi and another one year old pony, Minnie, so they could get to know each other through the fence. It has been decided that Teddi will be the Auntie for these youngins, teaching them manners and giving them comfort as they grow up on the farm. We still can’t believe Coco grew up this fast. Take a peek at the video below to see her sprout up over the last few months.
Photos by Kristina Oden
We have a new horse to introduce. She joined our herd Wednesday, April 21st at 10:37pm. Welcome to the world, Coco!
Sundae delivered her filly quickly and easily without a hitch. Less than two minutes passed between the time her water broke and her foal was born. The filly was on her feet within the next hour and nursing about an hour after that. Coco is a strong little filly, and Sundae is such a good mama. The two greeted each other with nickers and whinnies, and Sundae was gently encouraging as Coco struggled to figure out her long legs and then find her way to the milk dispensers. And it all went perfectly.
We are so relieved that everything went so smoothly, and we can’t wait to share Coco’s journey with you. Special thanks to Melinda C for helping us through another successful pregnancy and birth. It was great to have the old gang back together!!
1. Kaye E.
2. Natalie H.
3. Pauline M.
4. C.C. Schott
5. Whitney-Bear B.
6. Julia P.
7. Judi O.
8. Olivia & Emily
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!