2018 buckskin Yakama Reservation gelding
Type of Rescue: Animal Control Surrender
Intake Date: 8/4/19
Adoption Date: 11/5/22
Length of Time with SAFE: 3 years 4 months
ADOPTED!! by Ana and Clint
George was a young stallion when we met him back in 2019. He was wild and untouchable, but VERY curious about the new people who kept showing up with food. (Hence the name Curious George) We were instantly charmed by this handsome young man. He was moved to SAFE in preparation for gelding before being adopted, but the adoption fell through and he ended up becoming a SAFE horse.
We transformed him into a happy gelding and started teaching him some basic skills, like wearing a halter and leading. In 2020, George began horsemanship work in preparation for being started under saddle. When it came time for a rider to climb on board, George was extremely well prepared, and starting him as a riding horse was very straight-forward. He is still quite green, but going very well at all three gaits, and ready to be offered for adoption. We were searching for a rider with green horse experience who will continue George’s training to ensure a solid future for this young horse. We brought George to the Buck Brannaman Clinic in Ellensburg in July 2021 and he did great.
We are happy to George has found the perfect home with Ana and Clint on Whidbey Island, where he joins their herd of a mini pony and donkey. Now Geroge is finally the big guy in the herd.
We recently heard from George’s adopter who said:
“George is doing phenomenally. We haven’t had time to hit any “real” trails yet but since the daylight has been sticking around longer in the evenings we have been working on our confidence moving off on solo rides “around the block”… which is a mile combination of gravel, trail and road. He is so proud of himself when he completes something and gets praised. He is also doing really well with obstacles… we open and close our gates coming and going on trail rides and check the mailbox.” The other ponies on the property haven’t bonded with George yet (although they complain when we leave)… they were so used to my gentle old gelding and poor George doesn’t understand why his little buddies don’t like getting nibbled on over the fence.”
George’s adopter says “Finally finished our round pen for George! After five weeks of terrible weather and no riding, I got on him tonight and he was an absolute gem. He was very proud of himself too!”
We are thrilled to announce George is adopted and to an amazing family!
Back in 2019, we were called upon to help find homes for a group of wild, neglected horses, we called the Fall City 40. George was a young stallion when we met him, wild and untouchable, but VERY curious about the new people who kept showing up with food. (Hence the name Curious George) He was moved to SAFE in preparation for gelding before being adopted, but the adoption fell through and he ended up becoming a SAFE horse.
At only a year and a half, the world around him was new. He remained a curious boy and a quick learner as he grew up at SAFE over the next 3 yrs. He learned to be haltered and lead, that a stall can be cozy, not scary, tricks are funny, trails are fun and so are friends. He thrived in our horsemanship program and even went to an offsite Buck Brannaman clinic.
As a young horse, he needed a special adopter with a lot of experience and we are thrilled to say we finally found one! Now George lives on Whidbey Island with Ana (and she’s a vet!), Clint and a tiny herd of a donkey and mini pony which means he’s finally the tallest guy! So far it looks like an amazing life for this curious boy, filled with trail rides and people who love him.
George is more than ready to find his forever home! He is a 4‑year-old Yakima Reservation gelding with a personality that much exceeds his 13.3 hands. Started at the end of 2020, George is going phenomenally under saddle – walk trot lope – with the potential to go far. He would do best in a home with an intermediate rider who will keep him busy. He has trailered off-property for clinics and been on the trails multiple times, handling these experiences like a champ. George is the definition of a goofy gelding and can definitely live up to his curious name on the ground, but stands well for the farrier and ties. The only thing that’s held George back from already being in his forever home is his size – but for the right person, he has the potential to be the perfect horse.
Be sure to visit https://www.safehorses.org/adopt/ if you are interested in taking George home, and check out the videos below to see George in action!
George is one goofball of a gelding. His curious nature got him his name, and he lives up to it every day. But this tendency to dive head first into the world can get him into a bit of trouble, especially by his horse-peers. George isn’t always the most receptive to what his equine friends are telling him — responding to subtlety is not his strong suit. This means that on occasion, George will take things a little too far and get himself into trouble. In the past, we’ve had to separate George from others to keep all parties from getting hurt. But when we got together the Gelding Herd during the summer, we decided that it was time for George to have some buddies again. All of the boys in paddock 17 were so drama-free, hardly a kick or a squeal ever passing between them. We felt that George could benefit from this relaxed group, but also that they would be able to calmly put him in his place if push came to shove. And so far, that is how it has progressed. George starts his day with grass turnout alongside his gelding buddies, which provides them all a neutral space with plenty to eat and a large enough area to run. Then, they make their way to the dry lot, where George can usually be found scrounging for any scraps of their breakfast (because of his sensitivities to bug bites, George spends his nights sleeping in the barn). Any altercations the geldings have had have typically been settled quickly and without too much drama. Check out the video below of George being introduced to all his new paddock mates!
These beautiful photos of George, taken by Marika Moffitt, Owner of SoulDog Creative (formerly Dirtie Dog Photography), showcase two versions of George — the spunky, athletic gelding moving out in the roundpen, and the observant, brave fellow ready to adventure out in the world. He sure is one handsome guy, and one who will make someone a very lucky riding companion!
Did you know dewormer is flavored? Apple, usually, though I’m not about to test that personally. Still, flavor or no, there are certain horses who prefer the tube not even enter their sight, thanks very much. George is one such fellow, who recoils at the merest brush of plastic against his lips. If he spoke english, we could enlighten him as to why proper deworming practices are so important, but alas, he cannot comprehend why it is vital to his continued health, only that he doesn’t want anything to do with a tube entering his mouth.
Enter, applesauce. Or carrot baby food, if apple sauce is not one’s preference. We take a clean syringe, filled with either substance, and use it to show horses who are not keen on getting dewormed that sometimes delicious substances can, in fact, be transported via tube.
George took extraordinarily well to the tube training. Once he realized the orange delight within (George is definitely a carrot man), he almost couldn’t get enough of it, and started actually seeking the tube out. To keep him tolerating and even enjoying the act of being dewormed, it will be important to sandwich his actual deworming sessions with the positive experience of getting a little carrot treat before and after. Not everything that comes out of a tube needs to be a big deal!
Though the rehab process can be a slow one, having a horse come out the other side of it good as new is time very well spent. George was very ready to get back into the swing of things – one thing that stall rest does for a horse, a young horse especially, is imbue them with some extra energy. For a boy of only four, George coped with limited movement tremendously well, but once he got the go-ahead to go, he was certainly ready.
After a gradual increase in the intensity of the work he was doing, a plan put in place under the supervision of our vets, George was fully back in the game, and hasn’t looked back since! There is happy ending to this story, which is that this moment in George’s life will be just that, a moment. The days of stall rest and rehab paddocks are in his past, and the future stretches ahead, as long and healthy as George’s legs.
George is officially ready to get back to work. He has been enjoying returning to daily turnout and is beginning saddle time this week! We are excited to once again reopen applications as he progresses to full riding workouts over the next several weeks. This guy needs a job and we are happy to give his mind and body something to do! More to come!
SAFE staff have the always eventful task of walking George during his stall rest. While he is often quiet in his stall, outside of his stall can get more challenging. It is hard to help such a young, playful boy keep all his feet on the ground and not jumping around during his rehab walks. Luckily, we are nearing the end of the stall confinement this month, and will start turning him out in a very small rehab paddock. We can also start saddling him and walking him under saddle. These are big steps for his recovery and we are looking forward to his recheck in early February and getting the clear bill of health to return to work! This boy wants some action!
George is a young and rambunctious gelding. From time to time, he thinks he should show off his smooth moves. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, his less-than-stellar aerobatic performance ended with him slipping and totally biffing it into the dirt. He got up shook it off and looked no worse for the wear. But the next day it was clear he had really hurt himself. There was a small amount of heat and swelling in his right front fetlock area and he was off at the trot. He was put on stall rest and staff began cold hosing him twice a day.
Our vets came out a few days later and confirmed out suspicions. Dr Eric Renner from Rainland Farm Equine Clinic explains:
“George has tendonitis of his superficial digital flexor tendon on the right front leg. The injury is significant enough to benefit from platelet rich plasma (PRP) and Shock-Wave therapy to enhance healing and reduce the risk of re-injury. The injury is located along the back of the fetlock, which at times can result in constriction of the tendon due to the annular ligament that can require surgery. The surgical procedure involves cutting the annular ligament to release constriction of the tendon; similar to carpal canal in humans. Fortunately for George there does not appear to be significant enough constriction with this injury to warrant surgery.”
So starts the fun process of stall rest and rehab for a young four-year-old. Luckily, George is handling the confinement and rehab walks well, apart from a few, quickly managed antics. We will begin the PRP this week followed by a few rounds of Shock-Wave in the weeks to follow. The injury was caught early and we are hopeful for a full recovery. He will have around 6 months of stall rest and begin increased exercise in the spring of 2022. We hope to have him in shape and riding again by next summer at which time he will again be made available for adoption.
In September, George and Terry participated in the riding section of the Joel Conner clinic at SAFE. This was George’s first riding clinic, with 3 hours of riding per day over 3 days, and with eight or nine other horses in the arena with him, which can be very distracting, especially for a young horse. George did very well with it all, and demonstrated a good work ethic with a good expression, and that is what we love to see!
Recently Terry took George on a trail walk in the neighboring park. It was his first time and he did great! George was accompanied by two other mares, Lucca and Aries. He crossed a wooden bridge with no problems and even saw a person on their bike. We think George could be a great trail horse! Check out the video below.
George had his first trip off the SAFE property since his rescue in 2019, as one of five SAFE horses who traveled to Ellensburg for the Buck Brannaman clinic in early July. Buck’s Foundations class is a great experience for a young horse like George, and we’re extremely happy that he was given this opportunity.
George did well on the trailer ride and settled into his paddock at clinic with minimal calling to the other SAFE horses. By the third day of the clinic, he was acting less herd bound than on arrival. Terry worked with George to create more engagement with the hind while backing up, keeping his head down and getting into a smooth 2‑beat backing rhythm. They also did a lot of work getting a steadier rhythm with all four feet reaching equally on hind quarter and front quarter transitions, something George is not yet an expert at, but is steadily improving. On the last day of the class, Terry rode George in the arena with 28 other horses. It was a good opportunity for George to practice staying connected to his rider with lots of potential distractions. George is impressing all of us with his easy-going nature under saddle, and he should be ready to find a new home very soon!
Check out this training video update of Joel Connor working with George. The video was taken during our Joel Connor Clinic in June 2021.
George, Barb and Jill were recently featured by the Limelight Pet Project! Limelight’s mission is to shine a light on harder to adopt pets and tell the stories of the people helping them. These three horses were all started under saddle recently and are very young. They will all need to go to homes with very advanced riders who have experience with green horses.
We know there are homes out there for them, we just have to find them the right person. We’re grateful to the Limelight Pet Project for helping to illuminate their stories. Check out the two videos below!
Here is the full interview.
This video is a short highlight of the three horses at only a minute and a half.
It isn’t often that we get young, unstarted horses at SAFE, but we have four fillies and colts coming two or three within the next year. With the support of Joel Conner, SAFE has a solid, progressive plan to ensure the successful start of our youngsters.
George’s journey toward becoming a riding partner began in June with the first saddling. To prepare for the saddle, I got George into the round pen and freed up his feet by yielding the forequarters and hindquarters, and got the rope around his cinch area. He was nonreactive to the rope, so I started throwing the saddle pad on his back and made sure he was ok being touched in the cinch area. Once that checked out, we had the saddle on. George lined out quickly in the round pen, so we got to work changing eyes. By the end of the week, George was looking more mature, and was moving out easily with the saddle.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll saddle George a couple times a week, and begin working with the tarp and bumping him up to the fence. The goal will be to put the first few rides on him in September, and then turn him out until he turns three and is ready to be started in earnest. George is a sensitive guy, and he could have the tendency to become ornery if mishandled. However, I’m confident that with the start we have planned, he will become a gentle, willing partner.
Back in August, we were called upon to help find homes for a group of wild horses we dubbed the Fall City 40. In the two weeks that we had access to these horses, we placed 14 of them into new homes. We also ended up taking one of the horses into our rescue program. For our protection, we kept quiet about this horse but it’s now possible to share his existence with the world.
George was a young stallion when we met him. He was wild and untouchable, but VERY curious about the new people who kept showing up with food. We were instantly charmed by this handsome young man. He was moved to SAFE in preparation for gelding before being adopted but the adoption fell through and he ended up becoming a SAFE horse. We transformed him into a happy gelding and started teaching him some basic skills, like wearing a halter and leading. He’s also spent a little time getting used to being in a stall, and he now spends his days in the company of two other SAFE geldings, Valor and Anderson.
George seems to love his new life, which isn’t too big a surprise considering he’s fed lovely hay four times a day. The only thing he’s really objected to was being vaccinated, but that’s understandable since he’s never had shots before! He’s learned to stand for the farrier, and he’s quite easy to catch and lead. In short, everything is looking up for good old George!
We estimate George’s age at 18 months, so he’s got some growing up to do before he starts learning advanced horse skills like carrying a rider. But he’s already getting the benefit of horsemanship and groundwork, and he shows a lot of promise. As a SAFE horse, George won’t be offered for adoption until he’s well started, but he’s a good example of what might be able to be expected from the other horses from his herd. Those horses should be available to experienced adopters within the next three weeks. Visit http://mayday.safehorses.org for more information!