Karma

description: 2006 grey Arab mare
type of rescue: Pierce County Animal Control seizure
intake date: 7/3/2014
adoption date: 4/24/2016
length of time with SAFE: 1 year, 9 months

ADOPTED!!!

Karma is one of three horses seized by Pierce County Animal Control as part of a cruelty case in which she was starved, neglected, and presumably ill treated. It took some time for Karma to regain her health and her weight, but with proper care, she made a full recovery. Terry spent a lot of time working with Karma on the ground and at liberty, and managed to establish a great deal of trust and friendly rapport with this sweet mare. Karma was adopted in June 2016 and is now living a wonderful life on a farm with plenty of room to roam and lots of friends to enjoy.

Adoption Announcement: Karma!

Karma with new owners Sarah & Steve

Karma with new owners Sarah & Steve

We’ve had a whirlwind of adoption announcements to share with you this past month. They’re all special…but this one is especially special. Karma has been adopted.

From the moment we laid eyes on Karma, we knew that this troubled mare truly needed our help. Her past had left her with many scars, both physical and emotional, and she would need a lot of time and patience to learn to trust humans again. Along the way, Karma taught us more than we could ever have imagined about trust and quiet communication. She showed us just how centered and quiet she needed us to be when working around her. And she proved to us that she had a tremendous amount of forgiveness in her heart. With the help of her favorite veterinarian Dr. Fleck, and the many volunteers who cared for her, Karma was transformed. She was finally ready to open her heart to a new life and a new home.

Just over a month ago, Sarah and Steve came to Safe Harbor to meet Karma. They had lost a horse that had been part of their family for years, and ready to try to fill the void she’d left behind. Something about Karma spoke to them, and upon meeting her, they immediately felt a connection to her. Steve and Sarah looked to us to be stellar candidates to adopt from SAFE: they have a beautiful property with plenty of room for horses, and they are clearly devoted to the ones they already have. But ultimately, the decision belonged to Karma. It was her soft eyes, and her calm contentedness that told us that this was a match worth exploring. When Sarah told us they would like to bring her home and introduce her to their horses, we were overjoyed

Karma has spent the last month on trial with her adopters and all reports during the trial were glowing! Karma has been relaxing into her new life and routine. We are pleased to make this adoption final and report that our sweet friend has found a forever family to call her own! Sarah had a few words to share about how Karma is doing at home:

Miss Karma, as we refer to her, is settling in wonderfully and doing quite well. When she first came she was very in tune as to where the other horses were and made sure she was close. Now she is comfortable enough to stay behind when we retrieve them from the lush pasture, forcing us to go get her specifically. She greets us with a nicker and follows Steve away from the other horses to get scratches and attention. She really likes Steve and the feeling is mutual, as he will go out of his way to love on her. It is too cute; of course I have to razz him about another female vying for his affections! — Sarah

Health Update: Karma

KarmaKarma’s rehab has been going well. She is progressing with her trot work and the transition to having a rider was uneventful.  She has been easy to handle in every way.  

Karma is available for an adopter who is willing to carry on with her rehab plan. We are very hopeful for a full recovery.

Karma: Health Update

Karma after her bath.

Karma after her bath.

We got some exciting news from Dr. Fleck on Karma’s recheck ultrasound. The check ligament is laying down new tissue and healing well! Part of the rehab for this injury will be to begin to “load the leg” by slowly increasing Karma’s work. We’ll begin by adding 5 minutes of trot to her 30 minutes of walk over the next 10 days. Then we’ll add 5 more minutes of trot each week until we reach 25 minutes of trot. At that time, if all is going well, we can add in some canter, then circles and eventually return to full work. We will start the trot in hand for the first few times and then add the weight of a rider, first at the walk then at the trot. Karma has just been a star during her time off and we are looking forward to a full recovery over the next few months. Her disposition has remained genuinely sweet and endearing to all she meets. Dr. Fleck thinks she is a peach!

Health Update: Karma

Karma Selfie!

Karma Selfie!

Dr. Fleck rechecks Karma's CL injury

Dr. Fleck rechecks Karma’s CL injury

Karma seen today for 1 month check with Dr Fleck to re‐ultrasound her check ligament. The healing has started well and the ultrasound looks good, she is filling in the tear but it is not completely healed yet. Dr Fleck said she can go out in her in and out run if she stays quiet. We will continue to hand walk her at least once a day for 30 mins. We will recheck again in 4 weeks to get the all clear for trot work. I am very encouraged by the visit today and we will continue help her through this recovery. She continues to be a start patient!

Rehab plan for Karma

Early last month, our sweet Karma came up lame on the left front leg. She was diagnosed with a check ligament lesion and a cyst in her splint bone. The bone cyst carried a prognosis of lifelong lameness if left untreated. Due to her young age and promising future as a riding horse, we decided to pursue shockwave treatment and also an injection of platelet rich plasma to aid in healing.

Heather walking Karma for her rehab.

Heather walking Karma for her rehab.

After several weeks of cold hosing and wrapping, Karma is now down to just stall rest and twice daily handwalking. We were giving her access to a paddock, but after a recheck, Dr. Fleck recommended she be strictly confined to a stall when not being walked. She has completed the PRP and 3 shockwave treatments. Dr. Fleck says that she is a wonderful patient. SAFE is very grateful to have such a wonderful team at Rainland Farm Equine Clinic to help us provide the best care possible for our horses. The next steps will be a re‐ultrosound and then a few months of rehab riding bringing her back to full work. While she still has a way to go, her pleasant attitude is making this rehab look easy and we are feeling very optimistic about her recovery.

Training Update: Karma

karma_05_09_2015_112It has been a few weeks of firsts for Karma: her first time jumping all the way into the trailer, her first trail ride as a SAFE horse, and her very first show!

Trailer loading has been a challenge for Karma since the day we picked her up but we have had an amazing break through with it. She now will jump in without any hesitation or stress! She actually is quite content and happy inside the trailer. We’re still working on getting out slowly. She’s good about stepping out on her hind legs but she then likes to jump with both fronts at the same time. But we’ll get there The progress she’s made since coming to SAFE is outstanding!

Karma had a little setback that slowed down her training for a bit. She was turned out with Nala and the two of them got upset about another horse loading into a trailer so they started running around. Karma slipped and landed hard on her side. She ended up with a large swelling the size of a softball on her gluteus medius and a smaller one the size of a baseball at the top of the semitendinosus muscle that runs along the back of her leg. We did light hand walking as the swelling subsided. It took almost a month for the larger swellings to come down. We also used arnica gel and very light massage to help move the fluid from the area. She was a very good girl for all of this, and her injuries never seemed to cause her any pain or discomfort.

Now back to full work, Karma is doing well at the walk and the trot and she’s learning to relax in the canter too. We have introduced a few volunteer riders to her training schedule and she is responding well to them. They too can ask her to get in and out of the trailer and she will go in willingly for them!

karma_05_09_2015_113Her first trail ride and schooling show was a great success! She was easy to manage on the trails with only the smallest bit of hesitation when approaching new things. Volunteer rider, Casey, took great care of Karma throughout the Hollywood Hills Schooling Show. I did a little bit of groundwork with her and Casey to start the day and then Casey helped support her through exercises to regain focus and get her to a place of peace. Through the day, Karma had some nice relaxation and we look forward to taking her to a few more throughout the summer, especially the SAFE Horse Show coming up August 1–2!

Hollywood Hills Schooling Show — May 2, 2015

Nala, Misty, and Karma competed at the Hollywood Hills English/Western Schooling show this weekend, and all three girls were amazing!

Nala won the English Walk/Trot Reserve High Point for our age division at her very first show!! She earned that award with a first place ribbon and a few seconds! Nala ended her day by placing 7th out of 15 horses in the Western Pleasure class in the afternoon. At the end of the day, everyone agreed that this little mare would make a perfect 4‐H horse for someone special! She really made us proud.

Misty and Karma did great too. Karma had a lot of deal with at her first show but she learned to relax, which is very positive. Casey did a perfect job supporting her and helping her find peace. Misty was a tough cookie today but Ardelle did a beautiful job with her and the two did some lovely work together.

The people at the Hollywood Hills Saddle Club were SO nice, and they made lots of announcements to the crowd about the SAFE horses, letting everyone know that the three girls were available for adoption! All and all, it was an amazing day.

BIG THANK YOU to Heather, Casey, Ardelle, Lisa, Sara, Jessica, and Erika for helping prep for the show and bring the horses looking all fancy today for everyone to see.

Here are just a few photos from the day, we hope to add more soon!

March training update: Karma

Karma_clinic_02_15_2015_01I cannot lie, this horse is my favorite to ride and work with at Safe Harbor. She is very smart, sensitive and loyal. We continue to progress every week with more consistent riding, light aids and very soft contact in her mouth. We have restarted Karma using the style of groundwork and riding taught by Buck Brannaman and I can in all honesty say this was a perfect way to help this very abused and afraid horse find peace and happiness as a riding partner. She is really good at the work too! At the Michael Sparling clinic, Karma participated in both the groundwork and riding workshops with SAFE Volunteers and on Monday she was used in the groundwork session with a SAFE supporter who did not have her own horse to bring to the clinic but wanted to participate. I can’t begin to express how impressed I was with Karma! She was handled by 3 different people throughout the clinic, one of them being a complete stranger until the morning of the clinic, and she participated like a pro.

Here is what Sydney had to say about working with Karma in the Michael Sparling Clinic: “Every time Michael visits I learn something new, or an improved way to carry out a specific task. His most recent trip was the first time I got to work with horses other than my own in quite a while. SAFE horses Ben and Karma both reinforced the fact that all horses seek is peace. Ben is quite an interesting horse—at times calm and friendly, but can also be unconfident and unaware of his surroundings. Working with Ben, I learned to give him space, and reward him for any hint of connection. Ben is so keen on doing what I ask, that I had to be careful to reward him, because if I missed a chance, he would lose his try. By the end of the workshop, Ben improved on using his body properly, allowing him to relax and connect even more.

Karma_clinic_02_15_2015_02Working with Karma was a similar story, however I found Karma less motivated to connect with me, and more concerned about her own survival. I learned how to show her where the peace was: with me, doing what I asked. I had a really great time with Karma. The united circles really helped her to connect and relax. When it came to riding, Karma is very sensitive, but also very unbalanced. I learned that to help her balance, connecting my inside leg to her inside hind would help her balance and get herself straight. Connecting the reins to her feet, also helps her to balance and relax as well, but I had to be careful that it didn’t put her out of balance, which is when connecting the hind foot helped a lot. As she improved her balance, she also became more relaxed and willing. Finally with Karma, practicing soft feel with her really helps her to relax. It’s a really easy way to help her feel at peace and that she’s done a good job. By the end of the workshop her head came down and we had a responsive balanced walk.

Overall, working with Ben and Karma at Michael’s clinics taught me patience, but also gave me some key insights on helping these horses find peace.”

Great progress this month for Karma

Karma is a ton of fun to ride and work! She is going very nicely for all that is being asked of her and making progress every day. She is feeling more balanced in herself and starting to hold a little more self‐carriage. Her back and neck are starting to fill in with lovely topline muscle. We will be putting front shoes on her in hope that this can help correct some of her club foot balance issues. Karma was introduced to a volunteer rider this month and it went very well. She has a strong “one person” trust so it took just a little time for her to feel comfortable with the new handler but all went very well. We are very excited to see where her future lies. She is going to make someone a lovely partner.

Karma Liberty Work video

Karma and Terry have been working together at liberty since Karma’s rescue. If you recall, when she came to SAFE, Karma didn’t want to have much of anything to go with anybody. Working with her at liberty, Terry has established a beautiful bond with Karma and is showing her that a good relationship with humans is possible for her. As trainer Laura M put it so well, “Those two have a really great bond…it’s so good for Karma to finally have a trustworthy human who will re‐introduce her to the world in a kind and patient way. She’s a great horse!”

Lovely Karma

Here are some recent photos of our girl Karma, who continues to make phenomenal progress in partnership with Terry. In the under saddle photos you might notice that there is some string tied around Karma’s nose…Terry explains, “That string holds the bit up in Karma’s mouth. Karma was extremely abused before coming to SAFE. She has many issues and she still carries a lot of her stress in her mouth. So instead of pulling the bit extremely high on the sides of her mouth causing pressure, a string is used to hold the bit up with the brow band. It’s not tight or uncomfortable and doesn’t cause her any pain. Lifting the bit up keeps Karma from flipping her tongue over the bit. By not over‐tightening the cheek pieces, the bridle sits comfortably without putting pressure on her mouth. I’ve only been on her a handful of times but she is already relaxing her tongue. Eventually she may have to go in a bitless bridle but part of our job is to see if this can be fixed and assess her as a safe riding partner.”

 

if you don’t like the weather in Seattle…

…wait 10 minutes and something different will come along. Luckily the SAFE horses are friends in rain or shine!

First ride for Karma, and more great news!

Karma is Huggable!

Karma is Huggable!

I have to say this little grey mare has my heart right now! She is making great strides in her rehabilitation and there is a lot of hope for the sweet side of this mare breaking through. She was very cautious when she first came to Safe Harbor and we made sure to take things very slow and at a calm easy pace. At about week 3 of liberty and ground work, she’s really made the transition to trust and bonding with her handler. After our working sessions, it’s as if she’s glued my side! She’ll look at me with intense eyes asking what I want from her next. I felt comfortable enough to get on her last week and start walking around the arena with a ground person. She had some worry at first but relaxed and soon was licking, chewing, and giving lots and lots of snorts; all of which are great signs that’s she’s accepting the work and her rider.

Karma’s feet made a big transformation this month. This was her third trim with our farrier J Young and during this session she let go of a lot of pain and discomfort. During the trim session she nearly fell asleep in my arms and by the end she was yawning, snorting, and relaxing as if she just had the best body work session of her life. I am very thankful for J’s kindness towards our SAFE horses and his gift for helping them out of pain and on the road to recovery. In the week following this trim, her movement was much improved with less jarring of her hind legs. We still have work to do and her feet will take more time to improve but it is always nice to have these milestones along the way.

Looking good!

Looking good!

We continue to slowly reintroduce the trailer as a happy place that she gets to approach and find low stress and comfort. This is difficult for her because she carries many bad memories about horses trailers, but over time she will find it isn’t such a horrible thing. Already she’ll approach the trailer and walk up to the edge without anxiety like before. As other parts of her training come along, the trailer loading work will also become a nonissue.

Karma teaches newcomers about SAFE!

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SAFE held a Friend‐Raiser last weekend and invited volunteers to bring their friends to learn more about the rescue. Terry and a few of the horses put on a neat demonstration for our guests. Karma was a big part of the festivities, demonstrating what she’s learned about liberty work since coming to SAFE and also helping out by drawing the door prize winner! She’s a good girl!

Instant Karma

karma_09_07_2014_01Since coming to Safe Harbor, Karma has gone through some very positive transformations. It took her a little while to relax and settle in, but with the help of Terry and her volunteers, she’s making great progress. For example, she initially was very reluctant to spend any time at all in her stall, and had to be fed outside in her run. SAFE volunteer Robin spent several hours over the course of a couple days just hanging out with her in her stall, and now Karma seems much more comfortable being indoors. Terry also reports that while Karma was shy and standoffish when she first arrived, she’ll now willingly follow Terry around in the arena with bright curiosity and a genuine desire to interact. The two have been doing a lot of liberty work together, and it’s done a lot for Karma’s confidence.

In working closely with Karma, Terry has come to believe that she was treated pretty roughly in her former home, which makes us all the more happy that Pierce County Animal Control removed her from that environment. Fortunately Karma is responding very well to the positive treatment she is receiving at SAFE, and Terry will continue working with her in hand and at liberty to strengthen their relationship and fine tune their ability to communicate with each other, before she makes any attempt to start riding her. Karma’s feet are still causing her discomfort — she has some deep cracks along her heel bulbs due to lack of hoof care — but we’re doing all that we can to make that better for her.

Karma has also made great progress with interacting with other horses. For a while, we couldn’t really turn her out in the grass paddocks because she would scream and run the fences. But recently she’s been a lot calmer, and when Terry turned her out in a paddock next to Chip, she remained calm and was able to enjoy being out on the grass. She’s also been learning to accept being sprayed with a hose, and she’s started trailer loading training. Trailering has been a big problem for Karma, and her reluctance to load has caused her to injure herself more than once, so it’s a very good thing that she’s able to re‐learn trailering in baby steps. For now, Terry is just asking her to approach the trailer and stand quietly, and she’s doing well with that.

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karma_09_07_2014_02

A Good Karma Update

Karma had permission to leave the hospital a few weeks ago, but we had no room for her at Safe Harbor, all the stalls were full! We finally were able to move Oscar into foster with our dear friend Helga Roberts at Dutch Mills Farm, so that meant that Karma could finally join us in Woodinville.

The next hurdle to getting Karma home was getting her into a trailer! She was difficult to load when we picked her up from PCAC, but with some patient ground work, Terry was able to accomplish the task in just about half an hour. But it was a much healthier and stronger Karma who was coming home from the hospital, and she proved to be quite the challenge to load. Fortunately it did happen…eventually… and Karma was able to be moved. She’ll be getting a full education now that she’s in Terry’s hands, and before long she’ll be loading in and out like a pro.

Terry got started right away with liberty work for Karma, and she’s doing really well with it. Two days after her arrival, she joined Terry in the arena to demonstrate what she’d learned for a group of local business owners who were on hand for an after‐work event at Safe Harbor. Terry reports that Karma is quickly finding comfort in their relationship and that she knickers at her when she comes into her stall. She is still unsure but they are working on a lot of trust rebuilding. Once she knows that Terry is safe and won’t put her in danger, she’s going to be easy to get through training. She has a kind eye and is very happy when she is being loved on.

Karma prefers being outside so we make it easy on her and give her breakfast in bed!

Catching up with Karma

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The new girl, Karma, was taken straight to NWESC after we picked her up from Pierce County Animal Control. We were concerned about some edema on her chest and belly, as well as the slightly snotty nose she was exhibiting. Since NWESC is better set up to quarantine a horse, we thought it best to send her straight there initially rather than risking the health of any of the horses at Safe Harbor.

Karma’s snotty nose developed into a full fledged cough, but tests showed that she was battling a non‐contagious infection, and she was treated with SVMs to get it under control. She also had a mild colic episode a few days after her arrival, but thankfully she was under De Hannah’s care and the issue resolved itself quickly. Karma also has some swelling on the bridge of her nose, which likely happened when she was being transported away from her former home. PCAC informed us that she was very difficult to load and fractious in the trailer during that first ride, and she may have banged her head in the process. (Note: she was a bit difficult to load for us as well when we took her home, but not too bad, and she rode in the trailer without incident. A few training sessions with Terry and Karma will be loading in and out of the trailer like a pro.)

In the last four weeks, Karma has gained some significant weight and is looking much better! We are ready to bring her to Safe Harbor as soon as we have a stall available for her — many more updates and photos will follow once she is “home”!

New photos of Karma

karma_07_30_2014_02

karma_07_30_2014_01

The new girl, Karma, was taken straight to NWESC after we picked her up from Pierce County Animal Control. We were concerned about some edema on her chest and belly, as well as the slightly snotty nose she was exhibiting. Since NWESC is better set up to quarantine a horse, we thought it best to send her straight there initially rather than risking the health of any of the horses at Safe Harbor.

Karma’s snotty nose developed into a full fledged cough, but tests showed that she was battling a non‐contagious infection, and she was treated with SVMs to get it under control. She also had a mild colic episode a few days after her arrival, but thankfully she was under De Hannah’s care and the issue resolved itself quickly. Karma also has some swelling on the bridge of her nose, which likely happened when she was being transported away from her former home. PCAC informed us that she was very difficult to load and fractious in the trailer during that first ride, and she may have banged her head in the process. (Note: she was a bit difficult to load for us as well when we took her home, but not too bad, and she rode in the trailer without incident. A few training sessions with Terry and Karma will be loading in and out of the trailer like a pro.)

In the last four weeks, Karma has gained some significant weight and is looking much better! We are ready to bring her to Safe Harbor as soon as we have a stall available for her — many more updates and photos will follow once she is “home”!

Karma Intake Photos

Photos taken of Karma on July 3rd, the day she was signed over to SAFE: