1996 Paint gelding
Suitability: Companion, For Novice Handler
Registered Name: Bo T Bo
Height: 15.0 hh
Weight: 1,200 lbs
Adoption Fee: $300
Domino is a registered Paint gelding, who since 2008 had lived an easy life in the backyard of a home in Woodinville. His aging owner was selling half the property in order to stay in their own house and couldn’t keep Domino. He hadn’t seen a vet since his gelding in 2009, but the family kept up on his hoof trims, worming and vaccines. He’s a healthy hunk of a boy, who faced neglect if placed into the wrong hands, due to the owners age and ability to safely rehome. This boy has a TON of life, and is a volunteer favorite here at SAFE. Domino’s best home would be as the constant companion to another gentle mare or gelding that tends to be on the submissive side. After introducing him to a few horses, it is clear that Domino likes to be the leader and as long as the buddy doesn’t mind, they are best of friends. Domino is very friendly and kind, a very nice horse to have around!
While bringing anxious Domino into a stall every year has always been somewhat of a production, because of his friendship with Lacey we discovered last fall, this year coming inside for Domino was no big thing. The two neighbors munch their hay happily side by side, with Domino taking occasional breaks to check that his red-head neighbor is, in fact, still next door, and after their meal time they spend the evening in equal parts napping, bickering, and just hanging out together like an old married couple. A sweeter sight is rare!
If our horses had to pick a favorite season, it would likely be summer. The ground has dried up enough that they can stay outside 24/7 (although there are certainly those who miss a padded stall for nighttime snoozing), and the long and mostly warm days mean plenty of opportunities for naps in the sun. But perhaps the best reason of all is the opening of our grass pastures for a season of grazing. This is the time of year when the horses nicker when you walk by — we can lie to ourselves and say it’s because they’re happy to see us, but really the purpose is a siren song, luring us close with the hope we will lead them out to graze.
We have a limited number of grass turnouts here at SAFE, which means fields are shared amongst our herd (who have all been dewormed before grass turnout starts, not to worry). That also means we’re constantly looking for ways to streamline the turnout process to maximize the amount of time our horses are able to get. Whenever we can turn horses out together, we try to do so.
I’ve already spoken about Domino and Lacey’s special friendship — how Lacey supported Domino during the entire winter while he came into a stall — so when it came time for grass, we thought to ourselves what better time to test out this friendship in a safe space. We would not turn the two of them out together in an area without food, but with grass aplenty, they would have ample space to eat in peace without disturbing the other.
And as things occasionally happen in life, it worked out quite well. Their initial foray onto the field together was met with a singular squeal from Lacey when Domino grazed a bit too close to the sun, but for such a feisty little mare, Lacey didn’t put up much of of any fight whatsoever. Since that first day, the two go on grass together daily, and can often be seen with their heads down not far from each other in companionable snack-time.
Recently, Lacey discovered that the large, overgrown hill in the pasture is actually a most ideal spot for munching, and has been spending her time doing gentle parkour to get the tastiest bites. Domino prefers to keep his feet planted on the flat ground, but is usually never too far from his dun companion.
What has our rodeo king been up to in his spare time? Well, mostly Domino is still just patiently waiting for his person to show up. This sweet old gent is ready for a nice and easy retirement, ideally alongside a pushover gelding or a nice mare he can romance. Domino continues to enjoy his human interactions, loving the time he spends with his groomers. He remains very attached to his fence mate, Lacey, who mostly will give him the time of day.
Recently, we dewormed our entire herd for their routine spring deworming, and Domino was a model citizen for having “apple flavored” ivermectin dispensed into his mouth. He needed a little encouragement to swallow, but what are friends for if not holding your head up?
We love this sweet boy and can’t wait to get him out the door and into your home so you can love him just as much as we do!
Our Domino is a very special boy. His days before he arrived at SAFE were lonely ones, and so now, with so many other horses around and the bustle of daily activity, Domino lives a very different life than he did for many of his years. But that sort of adjustment can be difficult, especially for an older guy. Domino, like many of us, has a hard time with change, and at SAFE where change is all but guaranteed as horses come and go, some days can be more challenging for our sweet man. We do our very best to support him through these triggering scenarios, like when his neighbor changes or when he has to switch paddocks, but for the most part we try to keep his environment as stable as we can.
Logistically, this is not always possible. It is yet another reason why we hold out hope for a permanent home to come along for this guy, one where the very nature of the place isn’t built around the coming and going of horses. But until then, we do our best to make things as easy as possible for Domino in tough situations.
Which brings me to my anecdote: Domino does not like coming into a stall. Once he loses sight of his friends, he becomes nervous. With the cold and wet of winter in full swing, we like to bring our horses inside at night to keep them out of the elements, but unfortunately this cannot be explained to Domino.
Last year, it was his friend Mac who got him through his nights in the barn. The two boys would have their adjacent windows opened immediately upon turn in, and Domino would not rest until Mac extended his nose out and showed his paint friend he was just around the corner. Mac’s presence for Domino was an immediate balm, settling him instantly.
But with Mac’s adoption, this year we knew we would have to adjust and find a new solution for Domino.
At first it was Tanis, his large lovely neighbor mare, we hoped would help soothe him. The two had a pair of stalls on the back of the barn where they could see one another – if the other’s head was out. This posed a problem early on, when Tanis would duck inside to eat her hay and Domino, despite his cries, could not coax her out (those first days we had to help her, drawing her head with a treat to say ‘see, Domino? She’s right here!’) And it did work – the two fell into a routine of walking in together and spending the evening with their windows opened. Domino was doing great!
The thing about the stalls on the back of the barn is, they open into our indoor arena. This is a cute feature, because their inside windows allow the horses to hang their heads into the barn to watch their friends at work (we call the Sienna, Declan, Owen side of the barn the peanut gallery for how much time they spend observing the going ons). For Domino, however, this was a worrisome element of his nighttime residence. When the flags started flagging and the horses began running, Domino grew upset. Not to mention the times when his friend, Tanis, disappeared from view momentarily while she went in for her turn in the round pen. Overall, it was not the right place for Domino to feel comfortable, and so another move was in order.
Here’s where the story tapers off into a happy ending: we decided to try Domino in an inside stall next to Lacey, seeing as he has quite the penchant for little red mares, and got to know Lacey over the summer when she was turned out next to him. We brought them both inside together, and when we let Domino into his new stall, making sure his window was open so he could stick his head out and survey the land, he seemed calm. But after he’d finished his grain, he began to grow nervous. Where were the other horses? We opened the windows of his across the way neighbors, Cramer and Otto, but their presence was not near enough to help him.
Then there was Lacey… but to open her window would mean the pair would have full access to each other’s faces. Both Domino and Lacey are bossy, to use one word. Lacey’s unique personality has meant we’ve had to keep her separate from other horses for fear that she will be injurious towards them – she is full Mare. And while Domino has had success in group turnout before, he requires a very specific (re: submissive) personality to be his direct buddy. On paper, it seemed the two of them together would be water and oil.
But a co-ed relationship is different, that’s for sure, and it quickly became apparent when we cracked Lacey’s window open and watched with baited breath the duo’s first interactions that a bossy red mare was exactly what the doctor ordered for Domino. Sure, there were some initial squeals – neither would be who they are without them – but after sharing some mouthfuls of hay, Lady and the Tramp style, it was clear this was something special. The first night they yipped and yelled in intermittent periods, but nothing escalated past vocalizing. And the second night, Domino, who used to call and pace and fret when he couldn’t see his buddy for even a moment, finished his dinner in total silence, and hung his head out of the window with the sleepiest, calmest eyes, waiting for Lacey to finish up so they could nap together. We have never seen Domino more content, inside or out, and Lacey certainly doesn’t seem to be complaining either. And until one of them finds a home outside of SAFE, the two will remain posted up beside one another at night, a special slumber party for two very special horses.
Domino, our regal old gelding, was featured recently on the Limelight Pet Project. As always, they do a wonderful job of showcasing our herd, through their interviews and photo sessions. Here is what they had to say about our sweet guy, Domino:
“Meet Domino. He is a 26-year-old Registered Paint Quarter Horse who is waiting for his forever home with our friends at Save A Forgotten Equine in Redmond.
The handsome horse has recently been named King of The Heart of the Horse event at SAFE. And a king he is! Domino is a true gentleman and surveys the property from his paddock. He keeps his eyes on all the other horses to make sure all is well. He does have a favorite though…the Chestnut Mares. He whinnies and nickers at them whenever he gets close to them. What is it about the redheads?
Domino would not say no to a May/December romance with a Chestnut Mare, as long as there was a fence between them. All relationships require proper boundaries.
Domino loves people. He is very affectionate and loves to be groomed. He sees it as a bonding experience with the human.
Domino is an “easy keeper” and is good with other submissive geldings. Although Domino has a lot of personality, he needs routine and structure in his life. He doesn’t do well with change.
He prefers a non confined space, because he is so social. Even in the winter, when he has to be in the barn, he needs to have his head out of his stall so he can see the other horses. He needs a larger space, allowing for movement.
Domino has been retired from riding and his perfect home would have another older companion gelding. He loves spending time outside, especially if he can survey the property and the other horses.”
Check out the great interview Domino was a part of below. Could he be the king of your castle? Put in an application, and come meet him today! He is more than ready for his forever home.
Written by our volunteer, Debbie Meyer.
As you may have heard by now, this year’s Heart of the Horse fundraiser was a huge success, raising an all-time high of $320,000! Most of that money was raised at the Heart of the Horse Barn Party. However, contributing to the overall total was the online Silent Auction which brought in over $18,000 and the results of the volunteers’ Sweethearts of the Rodeo competition for Rodeo Queen, Rodeo King and Rodeo Clown which drove over $48,000, exceeding its goal of $40,000!
While the competition results were announced and a coronation ceremony had for Rodeo Queen SHASTA, Rodeo King DOMINO and Rodeo Clown SPARKY, we wanted to thank everyone who made a donation to the team of their favorite SAFE horse and to those who also asked others to join you in doing the same. In the end, all the money raised by this friendly competition helped all the SAFE horses so everyone won!
However and now that the dust has settled over the Sweethearts of the Rodeo, we thought it would be fun to share some “behind-the-scenes” insight into the category wins …
- Total amount raised $27,000!
- Team Shasta drove $12,350 from 48 donations in a come-from-behind win.
- Team Esme drove $10,325 from 17 donations, graciously accepting 2nd Place after Shasta passionately pointed out in her video, “Esme is the perfect Princess, but I am the better Queen!”
- Team Pepper drove $2,500 from 2 donations.
- Teams Darla, Valentine, Nova, Tanis and Jill drove $1,825 from 23 donations.
- Total amount raised $18, 198!
- Team Domino drove $2,395 from 19 donations and another $1,930 from a Facebook Fundraiser in a neck-to-neck race with Cramer until the end.
- Team Cameron drove $3,750 from 11 donations, sneaking into 2nd Place at the very end.
- Team Cramer drove $3,523 from 46 donations.
- Teams Artie, Owen, Edward and Mac drove $6,600 from 45 donations.
- Total amount raised $2,870!
- Team Sparky drove $1,030 from 19 donations and was the one to beat from the beginning.
- Team Ruckus drove $675 from 5 donations but had already “won” by being adopted into a loving family at the start of the competition!
- Team George drove $465 from 8 donations.
- Teams Sunny D and Otto drove $800 from 8 donations and Sunny assured us he did not mind losing as long as his Mama won Rodeo Queen!
The $$ amounts are certainly impressive, but so are the over 250 individuals and businesses who contributed, many of whom were not even aware of SAFE before your asks. Not only was a lot of money raised, at least one new volunteer also was recruited in the process! So … whether you reached out via social media or the “old-fashioned” way of asking in person or calling/emailing and then following up, as needed … THANK YOU from SAFE management, staff and most importantly … ALL the SAFE horses!
Sara H, who has spent some time with Domino recently, had the following to say about their time together:
I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Domino for three days during the last Joel Conner Clinic in November 2021. It was clear this distinguished gentleman has a few habits, particularly being heavy on the front end while backing up and wanting to cuddle up close with his handler. With generous coaching from Joel, we started seeing progress in Domino respecting my space and doing so with fewer signs of frustration. I’ve been able to work with him on groundwork manners twice a week for a couple of months now, and the changes are clear.
Domino is more understanding of what I ask of him, and his expression continues to soften with forward ears, a relaxed neck, and soft eyes. He is confident and gaining proficiency in yielding his hindquarters with ease and has made progress with his front quarters, but due to being heavy on his front, we still have a bit of challenge in connecting these movements smoothly and easily. The pieces are there and I’m confident that he’ll have this mastered soon. We’re also working on moving along the panels with a hindquarter yield to return to me and lifting his front legs while backing in circles. He’s also becoming more comfortable when pulled away from his BFF Mac for our sessions, and calms down much more quickly than he did in the beginning of our post-Clinic work. I am so looking forward to working with Domino again in the June 2022 Joel Conner Clinic at SAFE, and it’s obvious he’ll make a wonderful gentleman companion for some lucky family (and gelding friend, of course).
Our friends at the Limelight pet project stopped by last month to visit with Domino and Mac and learn a bit more about these two gentlemen! Their spotlight really highlighted the boys’ distinct personalities. Check out the video interview below!
What a sweet boy Domino is! He has been a gentleman for everything we have asked of him at SAFE. His only troubled spot is that he is very herd bound to his paddock friends, and calls continuously to them until they return to be with him in the paddock. Even if he is calling out for his buddy, Domino remains mindful of the people around him and does not become ill-mannered. He and Mac are the best of friends. When brought into their stalls at night, Domino demands that his window be opened immediately to see his friend in the stall next door. It is actually very sweet, even if it is a bit noisy when Mac is getting some one-on-one time with volunteers in the arena. It is endearing that Domino wants to keep an eye on his buddy. Coming from a home where he was the only horse for many years, it must be very comforting to him to have such a good friend at SAFE.
Domino’s best home would be as the constant companion to another gentle mare or gelding that tends to be on the submissive side in a herd dynamic. After introducing him to a few horses, it is clear that Domino likes to be the leader and as long as the buddy doesn’t mind, they are best of friends.
When many imagine an active horse, they envision great feats of athleticism: horses cavorting around courses and launching themselves over jumps taller than children, horses dancing around arenas with grace and finesse, horses racing around barrels with speeds reaching mach 1. They might not picture a horse on a leisurely stroll, with no saddle, bridle, or rider, merely a human friend to walk side-by-side with.
But this very image is the reality for some of our horses here at SAFE, who have been enjoying guided tours around the property. The idea was born from a need for our horses to stay active, especially as we head into the cold rainy season. It also provides an opportunity for interested volunteers to practice their leading and handling skills.
Spearheading the program are Mac, Domino, and Cameron. It just happens that the three are gentlemen of a certain age, which makes them the ideal candidates for some gentle walking. Keeping horses, especially older ones, mobile by hand walking them helps ensure they retain muscle without putting them through strenuous exercise. It also provides a little break in the routine of their days, and the three do seem to enjoy their outings.
Cameron is quite the gentleman when it comes to being haltered, lowering his head and doing his very best to help guide his own nose into the halter. It’s pretty apparent that this is not his first (or second, or third..) rodeo. For an older guy, he is still quite forward at the walk, but this is really his only vice, if you can even call it that. There is a focused determination to his strides, and it really feels like he is taking it all in, but never in a nervous way, merely an interested one. On occasion he will try to dive for a bite of grass or a bit of dropped hay, and while this is quite a mischievous move, it’s one that speaks to how chipper he’s feeling. Gone is the thin shell of a horse who arrived, replaced with a robust (and much more filled-out) gelding. Occasionally, a stop on Cameron’s walks involves a trip to the round pen, where his blanket is removed and he is turned loose for a period. Within seconds of being released, he goes down for a roll, and occasionally even kicks up his heels, running and bucking around like a colt. But when it is time to come in, he is always easy to catch back up, and stands patiently as he is re-dressed in his blanket. The only time he ever shows impatience is when there is food waiting for him, but even then he merely expresses his impatience with a slight tug towards his dish — excuse me human, I believe my lunch is here.
Domino is always waiting at the gate when you walk up, his velveteen head just begging for a pet. While he does make a slight beeline towards the barn as he comes down the hill (a man on a bit of a mission towards food), he is rather easily course corrected. He is a very pleasant walking companion, and will even allow you to lead him over the little pallet bridge we have set up in the outdoor arena. He definitely prefers a leisurely pace, but is a responsive participant, and is a friend to all who meet him.
Mac’s leg is healing nicely, and certainly not preventing him from enjoying the (sometimes) beautiful outdoors. Because of his pull back risk, he is a staff only horse to lead, which means that Mac and I have spent a lot of time together walking alongside his buddy Domino. Mac is a wonderful walking companion, always very responsive to what I’m asking of him, and quite good at acting as a model for demonstrating.
With fall in full force now, the weather lives in a state of constant unpredictability, but these three boys take it all in stride. Wind, rain, sun — they remain unfazed. They really are the very definition of a pleasure to have in class.
Domino is a very healthy senior horse! He has good teeth and does well on grass and hay with the normal vitamin supplement used for SAFE horses. For paddock buddies, he does best paired with a submissive gelding. He forms a strong connection with mares, to the point of being herd bound. He demonstrates some separation anxiety but manages with the support of the person working with him. His trainer is working on getting him to stand tied for grooming. Domino is tender footed on gravel. He doesn’t need shoes, but does need his living space to be off gravel.
In his groundwork sessions, Domino has been making fantastic progress with his balance. When he came to SAFE, he couldn’t back up without sticking his front legs out straight and dragging them, almost laying on his belly, as he tried to move back. Now he’s able to lift his front feet and back several steps before reverting to his old ways. By helping him balance his hindquarters, move his front quarters over and set himself back to pivot on a hind foot, he’s been able to indirectly work on his back up. Backing in circles has also been helpful in slowly moving his feet in a way in which he can’t get bogged down and peg-legged. His trainer is proud of Domino’s progress in the September Joel Conner clinic. Domino is the sweetest old man who has a remarkably soft feel and tries so hard to please. He also loves cuddles and kisses after he does a good job.
Domino arrived at SAFE after living alone for a few years. His happy nickers on his arrival made it clear he was glad to be around other horses. He is a sweet 25-year-old gelding whose future will be that of a companion or perhaps a lead line horse walking on trails. He enjoys human contact, and is quick to approach the fence if he sees staff or volunteers coming to visit him.
Domino has two horse neighbors, Owen and Lacey, who live on either side of him in adjacent paddocks. You can often see Lacey and him hanging out next to each other. Some mornings, Owen is seen with white hair all over him, so we are guessing even Owen gets over-the-fence grooming sessions from Domino.
Each day, Domino gets turned out on grass for 3 hours with his bestie, Mac. Mac always greets Domino at the fence as though they haven’t seen each other for quite some time. Once it’s time to come off grass, Domino likes to call to Mac and also greet the ladies in their paddocks as he passes by. He sure loves his friends and will make a wonderful addition to a lucky family.
Domino arrived last Thursday and unloaded from the trailer like a champ. He checked out his surroundings as Terry led him across the property to our quarantine paddock. These paddocks are purposely away from the rest of the herd, but it seemed lonely to be so far away from any other horses. Luckily, our staff had set up his paddock so we could give him a friend. They would still have enough space, so they couldn’t touch noses just yet. We brought over another new herd member, Ajax, who seems to be a social butterfly. He easily gets attached to his neighbors and becomes upset when we move them. Ajax seemed like a perfect fit to help the new guy settle into his new life at SAFE.
Domino is a 25 year old gelding, who since 2008, has lived an easy life in the backyard of a home in Woodinville. His aging owner was selling half the property in order cover expenses and stay in their own house. Domino hasn’t seen a vet since his gelding in 2009, but the family kept up on his hoof trims, worming and vaccines. He’s a healthy hunk of a boy, who faced neglect if placed into the wrong hands, due to the owners age and ability to safely rehome. This boy has a TON of life left, and possibly a few trails to burn too! We will see over time with our training.
Today, we turned out Domino and Ajax together on grass. The two are now acting like lifelong buds. Following each other around the grassy field and even kicking up their heels!
1. Jill M.
2. Brandee W.
3. Gretchen R.
4. Meghan M.
5. Kim D.
6. Margaret L.
7. Neeva V.
8. Bruce D.
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!