|SEX: Gelding||BREED: Quarter Horse type||REGISTERED NAME: unknown|
|COLOR: Dark Bay||MARKINGS: Star|
|YOB: 2004||AGE: 14||HEIGHT: 15||WEIGHT: 1064|
|LOCATION: Redmond||ADOPTION FEE: TBD||Online Adoption Application|
Justin and his herdmates were seized by Animal Control after being starved and neglected by their owner. Justin and two fillies, Fancy and Glory, were signed over to SAFE on March 13, 2018. They came from the same place as Roscoe and Teddi, who were also taken away from their owner by animal control. Justin bounced back well from his neglect. He was reunited with his good friend Roscoe, and the two spend happy days in the pasture together, side by side. We are proceeding with extreme caution with this horse. Animal control told us that there were rumors that he was ridden in his previous life and that he flipped over on his rider. We have no reason to think this is true and he has shown no behavior to indicate he’s a flipper, but we are being very careful with Justin nonetheless. He is slated to go to training in early Fall.
Preparing Justin for a rider has been a fun and rewarding process. This gelding’s sweet disposition continues to shine through. He is a willing horse with a lot of try. The more we work him, the more we fall in love with his kind eyes. We hope to ride him in the near future, but we are letting him lead the way. He doesn’t have to prove anything to us. As an older restart with a troubled past, restarting as a riding horse can prove difficult. We are chipping away at his hesitations and he continues to relax. The goal of the ground work is to prepare him for what the rider will ask.
Another part of his training is for us to put him “in a bind” so we can show him that no one will hurt him. It’s not about desensitizing him, but rather teaching him he doesn’t have to overreact in stressful situations. We will never ask him to do anything he is not able to do. This horsemanship work helps troubled horses like Justin realize they can calm down after having been wound up. In the face of future stress he can draw from these good experiences and remember we always take care of him. Justin naturally likes people and will make someone an endearing partner, either as a riding horse or as a companion, that remains for him to tell us.
Justin is doing very well in preparation to become a riding horse. We have spent a great deal of time strengthening him and getting him balanced to hold the weight of a rider. He initially had trouble transferring his weight off of his forehand and over his hocks. He would get stuck with his front feet when asked to yield in the front or when backing up. This “vapor lock” would panic him and cause him to be unsettled and even a bit explosive. But over time and with the use of groundwork Justin has been able to get free in his feet and gain balance and not feel trapped. He knows now that he has options to move and with that freedom he feel relaxed and peaceful with his handlers.
He was very “girthy” when we started saddling him. He would turn and try to bite us or move around trying to escape the saddling. At first we allowed him to have some movement in his feet and went with him as to not make him feel trapped by the experience. Over time this helped relax him, but the biting was still there. To help correct this, we took things very slow. Working with just our hands around the cinch areas, placing the pad off and on, and finally adding the saddle. It took time and patience but things have greatly improved. He still needs some correction not to bite when we start saddling but he’s getting better. This is something that will continue to be watched and worked on. All we can do is to continue to offer good experiences that reward try and are fair and kind to him. The changes we have already seen over the last few months is evidence that Horsemanship works and positive change is possible with time and patience.
We are planning on getting Justin backed in the next month. We have done an extensive amount of groundwork to give him new healthy experiences with people. In order to help him through this trouble, we have “put him in a bind” to expose the points where he may attempt to get stuck and try to flip. Other than being completely stuck in the front end he did not ever take it to the extreme of rearing or flipping. We always had a door open for him to comfortably move into so he has felt safe enough to get through troubled spots. He is very healthy now and you can visibly see him rock his weigh onto his hind and free up his front quarters to turn around. He is relaxed and calm when bumped up to the panels with someone sitting above him. He does not overreact to the flag and is getting better about the rope being swung around him and over his body. We will keep you posted when he heads off to training and how that next chapter unfolds.
Our three newest gentlemen had their first visit from the vet recently. All of them have unknown histories of veterinary care. It’s likely that Justin and Bowie have at least had dental work at some point in their past, but it’s quite possible that Orion has never had his teeth examined by a vet until recently when he had surgery to remove the fractured teeth. All three geldings had very sharp points in their mouths and were overdue for dentals. Sharp points can cause ulceration to a horse’s cheeks and tongue, making for a very painful situation. All horses that come to SAFE have dental work at least annually to prevent this and other dental problems from occurring.
Bowie, Orion, and Justin all got an A+ on their manners with the vet. We had no issues with needles, and the appointment went smoothly. They’re good boys!
Justin, Glory, and Fancy were seized from their owner by Animal Control due to starvation and neglect. A few months earlier, Animal Control seized Roscoe and Teddi from the same person. The three are regaining the weight they lost, and are being treated for rain rot and other skin problems. Justin is 14 years old and may have been started under saddle already, but we’ll be handling him like an unstarted horse and starting his training from scratch. Glory and Fancy are both about two and a half years old. All three horses are in poor condition, but they’re all very cute and we look forward to getting to know them better.
1. Gwen B.
2. Jane M.
3. Cheryl C.
4. Lindsay R.
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!