2017 Appendix Quarter Horse Gelding
Suitability: Intermediate Rider
Registered Name: Mi Ways Hustling
Height: 14.3 H
Adoption Fee: $2,000 (will increase with training)
Jupiter came under SAFE’s care back in December of 2022 as part of an Animal Control seizure. He lived for the majority of 2023 at a foster location, but came to SAFE at the end of the summer. He was still a stallion then, but was shortly thereafter made into a gelding. Jupiter had been started under saddle in his earlier years, and his restart at SAFE has not been tremendously complicated thus far. So far, he has proven himself as an incredibly good natured guy, and one who is a real pleasure to have in class!
All SAFE horses are adopted with a no-breeding clause, no exceptions.
Jupiter falls under the somewhat rare category of horse we get in at SAFE, which is ‘previously ridden, relatively uncomplicated.’ Don’t get us wrong, there are ways in which Jupiter needs assistance both on the ground and under saddle, and there certainly exists a timeline in which he was not given as much support and therefore did not come along so quickly or so nicely, but Jupiter and SAFE have been a good match.
It is known to us that Jupiter ran barrels in his past, and has in him still the inclination to run a pattern when he gets going. He also has a tendency to be heavy on the forehand, so work is being done to help him set back and use his hind more. But even still, his first rides in the outdoor arena have gone tremendously well. Even without another horse around, his personality is such that he is able to find a lot of support from his rider, and from himself — he definitely leans more towards the confident and self-assured side of the spectrum.
Lexee has been helping him follow a feel, especially when it comes to bringing him down through the gaits. When he first started out, he had a very easy time going fast and gaining speed, but didn’t have as easy a time staying balanced and slowing down. He is making progress in this department, and you can see in the video below how Lexee is able to bring him down off her seat (and how easily he can pet down to a stop, even in a new environment!)
This handsome guy is just about ready to start meeting adopters, and something tells us he won’t be on the shelf for very long!
It seems an inevitability of horses and horse ownership (or stewardship) that there will come a time when your horse suffers from the most base of afflictions: a stomachache. We can talk about how cruel it is that the design of horses is such that their digestive system is a one-way road, no u‑turns allowed. The hard truth is, the issue must pass, or it will arrest them where they stand.
The last thing you want to hear is of a horse down during feeding time. While the sight of a thousand pound animal curled up in their stall or on the soft ground of their paddock is certainly a sweet one during appropriate moments, when it occurs around mealtimes it is only ever anxiety inducing, unintentionally weaponizing the same vulnerability we ooh and aww at during healthier times. Alarm bells ring as our vet’s phone line does the same, and why, tell me, do horses always choose the most inopportune moments to colic?
It was Jupiter who spiked our blood pressure most recently, lying down with hay still bulging in his net. His vitals were within normal range, indicating his pain level wasn’t extreme, but he was clearly uncomfortable. A call to our vets and a dose of banamine later, Jupiter was feeling much improved, scrounging around for hay scraps we might have missed when pulling his hay. It was headed into evening, so we set up our cameras to watch him throughout the night, a baby monitor for our 6‑year-old colicky babe.
He pooped — a great sign, and what our vets were waiting for before easing him back into food. We started with a small soupy mash, gentle on the stomach with the added benefit of additional water intake. But shortly after finishing this snack, he was down again. Not painfully so, no thrashing or rolling, but clearly not feeling so hot.
It is truly a blessing to have Bonnie living on site, for when we noticed this change in Jupiter remotely, she was just a phone call and a quick walk away from being able to check on him. She got him up and got him moving, spending a little time to monitor his symptoms for any negative changes. A sweet water later, and she tucked him back into his stall, where he spent the remainder of the evening quiet.
Our vets, in puzzling out what could be the cause of his upset, requested that we check for sand. The next morning, armed with a plastic baggie, we scooped up some of Jupiter’s manure, of which he had had more overnight. It was soft in consistency, another sign that things were definitely not all right under the hood. Running a sand test is quite simple: breaking up the manure and adding water to create a slurry, allowing the bag (some people use gloves) to hang at an angle so the sand can collect in one place. Density and all that. Sure enough, Jupiter’s test was positive — he ended up with around 1/4″ of sand at the corner of his bagged sample after a brief waiting period.
We have always run sand tests here at SAFE, typically alongside our quarterly (for some) and bi-annual (for everyone) fecals. But after Otto’s sand colic last year, we decided that we needed to buck up our sand treatment in order to prevent situations like his from occurring. Luckily, Otto was able to pass it (and went on to get adopted not too long after!) but law of statistics says that not every horse would be so lucky. Treating more regularly for sand would hopefully help to cut down on colics.
But even with the quarterly treatments, we were still seeing positive results. And in this case, positive is a negative. So at the beginning of 2024, we opted to treat our entire herd monthly for sand, a 7‑day course of psyllium pellets added to their daily supplements at the beginning of each month.
Jupiter was on day 2 of his treatment when he colicked. It didn’t quite seem fair, to try to get ahead of the problem and have it happen anyway. But getting ahead of the problem was, in part, what caused it in the first place. But stay with me, this is a good thing. Our vets told us that gastric upset can occur as sand starts moving through the system. Starting Jupiter on his monthly sand-rid could have triggered his minor colic. But while we hate seeing a horse in distress, a minor discomfort is much preferable to a major impaction down the line. In helping him to move the little bit of sand he had, we were able to prevent it from building into something much more severe.
Because he was continuing to pass manure, we kept refeeding him. Typically we refeed with mash, but in the case of sand, our vet recommended hay instead. Forage is perhaps the best way to move sand along, tag-teaming with the psyllium. For several days and nights, we continued to monitor him. There were a few more doses of banamine given when his discomfort returned (never more than that initial display of a quiet mid-meal or post-meal lie down), but he continued to show interest in eating and passed manure on a consistent basis. He got a double dose of psyllium, at least a sweet water a day, and many pets and kisses to speed along the healing process. Our Saturday PM chore team was especially instrumental in that last part — after being pulled from his stall for a little walk after he was showing some signs of upset, the team gathered round him for some pampering and well-wishes. Sure, banamine is great, but nothing beats the power of good old fashioned love!
We treated Jupiter for sand for a little over a week, still getting slight positive results each time we checked. But his most recent test came back negative, leaving him in the clear for the time being! Dealing with a colic is never fun, but there is always relief when you know there to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Jupiter has made a full recovery, and while we hope not to see him in the ‘clinic’ again anytime soon, was the absolute perfect patient!
Getting to know Jupiter has been a pleasurable experience. Beginning his training journey here was not starting from scratch — he had some experience being saddled and ridden in the past — and while that doesn’t always mean that things will be easy (often it means the opposite) it did give us some sort of foundation to build upon.
One of the first things we noticed about Jupiter was that on the ground he was quite ‘dull.’ Think accelerating in a Prius, when the ideal is something more akin to the feather-light gas pedal of a Ferrari. This is remedied by rewarding the try (to continue the metaphor, taking your foot off the gas pedal once the car does accelerate). Oh, if only my Prius could learn how to be more like a sports car! By asking Jupiter to yield his hind in a timely fashion or move up from the walk to the trot, and releasing him once he does so with a good amount of effort, Jupiter learns how to seek that release and becomes quicker to respond to the ask the next time. In the saddle, he has a bit of the opposite problem — he is too keen to move out, but in a mindless way that doesn’t take into consideration what his rider is asking of him. Through patience and continued practice, Jupiter is learning to understand a bit more day by day.
From Lexee N, who has been working and riding Jupiter for the last few months:
“He’s been great to ride. I’m working on having him feel of me and not try to perform a pattern (since he was trained on barrels in the past). He gets confused about the right answer, but he has a ton of try. We’ve been working on a nice slow lope and jog as he has been very rushed. But he is learning what a release means, and understanding there are new answers to the questions being asked of him.
On the ground he can still be pushy, but it’s clear he doesn’t have his heart in it. It will just take some extra time to get him life on the ground but luckily in the saddle he has remained lively.”
Here is a video of one of Jupiter’s more recent rides:
Animal Control seized Jupiter back in December of 2022, but his case was ongoing for so long that we were prevented from talking about him until very recently. He, much like the others who were a part of his seizure, was placed in a foster situation where SAFE supported him from afar. But when his foster reached out to us that she could no longer house him, we made plans to bring him here to the barn.
Jupiter arrived during a clinic weekend, arguably one of the busiest times at SAFE. He was a stallion then, and we braced ourselves for the ensuing drama that his arrival might bring. But as he stepped off the trailer and into the covered roundpen he’d call home for the next little while, he barely made a peep. This trend continued as, throughout the weekend, as horses came and went all around him, he was quiet as a mouse. In fact, we forgot that there was even a new horse on site to begin with, let alone a stallion.
Jupiter continued the trend we had seen this year of kind, easy-going stallions. He was a perfect gentleman for handling, and let us get his hooves trimmed just a few days after his arrival. He was polite on the ground, and decidedly not ‘studdy.’
We set an appointment for his gelding, and when that day arrived, Jupiter went under the needle and knife with the same ease he had thus far done everything else. His gelding was relatively uneventful, and he has since been healing without issue, getting his twice daily forced exercise and moving out like a pro. He was under saddle for a time before he came to SAFE, so as he continues healing, we are excited to get him into the flow of things and see where he is in his training.
1. Elissa T.
2. Christina W.
3. Beth H.
4. Maureen M.
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