breed: 1998 tri color Paint/Arab mare
type of rescue: owner surrender
intake date: 10/16/2011
adoption date: 8/5/2016
length of time with SAFE: 4 years, 9 months
Khianna was surrendered to SAFE by her owner who was facing cancer. Her sire is a chestnut tobiano pinto stallion named VM Shamir, and her dam is a Khemosabi++++ mare named Khortasia. SAFE attempted to train Khianna as a saddle horse, but our trainer at the time reluctantly concluded that her issues–in particular, bolting–were not something that could be resolved in 60–90 days of training. So Khianna was taken out of training and made available for adoption as a pasture pal/companion horse. Khianna found a wonderful home where she lives as the best friend to another mare, and enjoys walks with her new owner.
Stanalee came to meet the SAFE horses in hopes to find a companion for her mare Haley. While she thought they were all lovely, she saw Khianna and it was love at first sight. Stanalee told us she could see many of them joining her family but Khianna needed her the most. Being part of the SAFE program for 5 years, we are all ecstatic that we can finally say Khianna has found her forever home!
Being a sensitive mare, Khinana needed a gentle leader who could give her the confidence, comfort, and peace she requires to feel secure. Stanalee knows that rescue horses need a special love and dedication. Haley too is a rescue horse. They both have a wonderful owner that is giving them the family they deserve.
Khianna and Haley hit it off as friends right away. They are now joined at the hip and are very good friends. Khianna is quite a bit herd bound to Haley but she is gaining trust in her new owner. They are going to start working together on groundwork to help strengthen their bond and communication. Stanalee has a lovely large horse property where the girls live.
Here are some sweet photos from the day we dropped Khianna off and she got to meet Haley:
Here is an update from Khianna’s volunteer trainer and rider Jolene. We are very proud of her progress:
Khianna is slowly transforming into a calm and confident horse. A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to use a tarp to assess Khianna’s progress. I expected a nervous, jumpy horse to react to the crunchy sound and be terrified of its size and appearance. I started by putting it on the ground to walk across. She surprised all of us in the arena that day by not even hesitating to walk onto a loud, bright blue tarp completely calm and unconcerned. Sometimes even more confident horses will give it a wary eye as they approach it. This is incredibly encouraging! Since she did so well, after a couple times across it, I decided to try putting it over her back. Again, she completely surprised me by not being concerned about it at all. She walked around with it touching her flanks, and dragging the ground, and flapping at her legs. Considering where she was several months ago, this progress is enough to get me a little emotional. She will continue to progress and impress everyone!
We had a great time hosting Joel again at Safe Harbor. The horses and volunteers had an amazing weekend and everyone progressed in their feel and training. Here are a few accounts from the volunteer participants about what they learned about the horses they were working with during the clinic:
Jolene D:Khianna- At the time of the clinic Khianna had a total of 4 or 5 rides on her since her return from foster. She was nervous, but did so well! She tries so hard. She is coming along nicely and I believe will develop into an incredible partner for someone.
Sara E: Jewel — Jewel was an all-star for the clinic, Claire has done such a great job with her. She felt flawless going from hind-end to front-end turns. I learned so much while riding her during the clinic. She is going to make someone a really great horse.
Sara E: Khianna — Did ground work with Khianna and at the beginning she was a nervous trotting mess, but Joel came over and helped me get her front feet moving and she calmed right down. She is so loving and tries so hard. Once she figures out you aren’t going to eat her, she just wants to please you and be loved on, I don’t know if I have ever worked with a horse that tries to give you 150% all the time.
Lisa G: Ben- I can’t say enough about how the horsemanship that Joel has helped bring to SAFE amazes me. I had Ben in all 4 sessions, GW and riding, and I was honestly just hoping I could get him to stay focused on me with all of the excitement, maybe get some nice serpentines down in the riding portion, and work on soft feel and stopping/moving forward off of the seat. Well.…. He did all of those things and SO MUCH MORE. Every exercise that Joel moved the participants through, beginning to advanced, Ben tried. And SUCCEEDED, at least on some level. I am so impressed with the effort this big guy puts into everything; as long as he understands that there are no consequences if he doesn’t understand, and he knows that I will wait for him to figure it out, I believe this horse would be willing to try anything under the sun. In the few days since the clinic, Ben had maintained a quiet, willing attitude, with TONS of deep, relaxed sighs, even during the riding work. SO proud of the progress he has made and so grateful that this work was brought to the SAFE horses.
Sara S: Khianna- I worked with Khianna for the first time doing GW on Saturday morning, and was so impressed by her “try”. She does get a little nervous about the rope and flag coming at her while moving (though not at all while standing still in the comfort of the “herd” (me)). I particularly enjoyed the backing exercises, and she was so in tune with my feet and body language it felt like we were dancing partners! She is such a sweet girl.
Sara S: Phoenix- I did GW and rode Phoenix on Saturday afternoon. He hadn’t been ridden in weeks, and it was raining on the tin roof, so he was extra “special” to start, but after just a bit of GW he calmed down and started paying attention to me. Riding, he was great. He’s getting very good at backing circles, front and hind yields (he’s so bendy!). Over the few months I’ve been working with Phoenix, I’ve noticed he tries very hard to anticipate what I want (if he’s in the mood), but as soon as I push too hard and/or he doesn’t understand what I’m asking, he shuts down. On Saturday, I didn’t feel him shut down at all which is probably a combination of both of us getting better at this!
And many thanks again to Joel and Terry for putting on such an inspiring clinic!!! I wish I could come out to SAFE every day, but I’m glad to be even a small part of this great community and cherish this opportunity!
Claire C: Mesquite- It was my first official time working with Mesquite, and I think we made some really good changes. He is super sensitive so it was interesting to experiment with him and see how much pressure he needed. I only did the groundwork session with him and it was fun learning to time up with his feet better.
Claire C: Phoenix- For the afternoon session, I rode Phoenix, who I have not done a whole lot with either. He was also good; we worked a lot on more forward motion and keeping him focused on what I was asking. We did lots of bending and yielding, which was so good for him. Overall, he did very well.
Casey A: Stella- I worked with Stella, who is turning out to be a great little horse. We worked on slowing down and developing balance on both the ground and under saddle. We were both so much lighter by the end of Sunday, and I know we got a big change in our partnership. She was so relaxed through the entire clinic, even when horses around her were nervous. She’s also pretty resilient and forgiving of my mistakes. She has taught me so much, and she is going to make someone really lucky!
Erika S: Maggie- I worked with Maggie for all 4 sessions, and she did fantastic! She’s such a smart, willing mare, and we connected early on. One idea that I heard this weekend was that eventually it will feel like your horse is reading your mind… Well, I’m here to tell you that that’s the truth! Maggie remained tuned in for everything we learned about, and worked in sync with me. It honestly helped me more than I think it helped her!
Ann A: Bridgit- Bridgit is a friendly girl and likes getting attention. She is a bit on the lazy side and I had some trouble getting the life up in her while doing circling exercises. She just wanted to come into the center and hang out with me. She made good progress under saddle in the afternoon sessions. She was learning how to pick up a soft feel at the walk by the end of the first day and we had some nice walk/trot transitions. She needs more work backing straight and in a circle both on the ground and under saddle. She also needs more work reaching with her front foot and disengaging her hindquarters under saddle. She felt much more balanced to me than she did when I rode her last summer.
Jane M: Oscar- As a relative novice to practicing Joel’s horsemanship skills, the greatest lesson I took away from GW and riding Oscar during this most recent Joel clinic is the impact GW has on riding. Yielding hindquarters, circling to achieve bend and balance, it all makes such a difference when aboard the horse. I’m able to apply lessons learned under Joel’s guidance to my regular riding lessons. It’s quite remarkable to me, and I look forward to Joel’s next visit and my next “aha” takeaway!
Khianna has shown progress in her training with volunteer Jolene. The two are working diligently and their efforts are paying off. Here is a little about Khianna’s personality from Jolene:
“When Khianna first arrived, she was very fearful of most things; she was so tense and nervous that her skin even had wrinkles. I had gently touched her where a girth would be and it startled her so much that her knees buckled and she almost fell to the ground. It was my first experience with a horse this anxious.
In our training, I find that she is a complex horse who requires a calm and gentle approach as she learns consistent boundaries. Though her confidence is low at times, she is quick to learn. Once she relaxes and has the time to process, she remembers everything and really wants to do what is asked of her.
While I’ve found her sensitivity a little frustrating at times, I choose to view it from the perspective that it will offer a rider a lot once she settles down. I am really looking forward to watching Khianna evolve into a confident and relaxed partner.”
Here are some beautiful photos Jessica took of Lisa and Khianna working together:
“Recently, I started working with Khianna, a sweet, beautiful mare. Though she is a bit wary of new things, and still thinks the flag might eat her, our time working together has helped her feel more secure. It still takes five to ten minutes for her to feel comfortable, but once she’s calm, she connects very well.
Khianna really looks to please and often turns to face me, anticipating her next task. When she’s relaxed, she gives me her forehead for some love and seems genuinely happy.
I put a saddle on her recently and she stayed relaxed until I tightened the girth. Then I got a little sideways eyeball! She was easily led to the mounting block and stood calmly while I used my arms to apply different amounts of weight in the saddle. There was no sign that she needed to be elsewhere and I no longer got the sideways eyeball look!
I’m really excited for the progress we’ve made, especially since it’s been only two weeks! I look forward to continuing our work together.”
We have a wonderful group of volunteer riders at SAFE who not only make my life as the Operations Director easier but also are a vital asset to the horse’s preparation for adoption. The volunteers help with everything from turnout, hand walking injured horses, grooming, tack cleaning, groundwork, riding, taking the horses on the trails, showing and anything else you can think of that the horses need. The volunteer riders work with one of the SAFE horses and myself until they get to know each other. I help guide and oversee the training of the horse and step in if needed but for the most part the volunteer riders are very capable of handling and training the horses they are working.
I thought it would be nice to hear from two of these great volunteers, Ann and Claire, about how their work with Khianna is going so far. Ann is a long time volunteer at SAFE and her quiet and mindful way around the horses is a very good skill to have when working with our rescue horses. Ann took Khianna into the Joel Conner clinic a few weeks ago and here is a little bit about what she has learned about Khianna and what they have been working on so far:
“I had not worked with Khianna before the Joel Conner clinic. I found her to be a sweet, sensitive and beautiful girl. She is a bit wary when I go to catch her but she warms up quickly. She stands well for grooming and seems to enjoy the experience. She especially likes being scratched on her forehead, above her eyes and around her ears. I am able to touch her all over except the inside of her ears.
As I started doing groundwork with Khianna she became anxious and showed a lot of tension in her body. Joel had worked with her in the round pen and we all saw that the skin on her sides was so tight that vertical wrinkles formed that looked like corduroy. We also all noticed that tension affects her digestive system causing her to poop a lot and be gassy. Doing circling exercises in the arena she wanted to trot rather than walk and would shoot past me when asked to go between me and the wall. When standing still she will tolerate a rope thrown over her back and the flag as long as it’s not snapping over her back but she was quite fearful of both the rope and the flag while walking. She was jumpy when other people were using ropes and flags near us as well.
Khianna made good progress from Saturday to Sunday. She was calmer and more focused on Sunday. She was more willing to walk on the circle and accepted the flag better. I still could not throw a rope over her back at the walk. She was tied for the first time on Sunday and did pull back a few times.
Khianna is really a fun horse to do groundwork with because she is so sensitive and responsive. She seems to learn quickly and wants to be a good girl. She will seek comfort from her handler, standing close to you to have her face stroked and cuddled.
Here are some of the things that Khianna needs more work on.
- backing a circle in hand
- disengaging hindquarters in hand
- sending between handler and the wall
- snapping a flag over her back while walking on a circle
- tossing a rope over her back while walking on a circle
- standing tied and moving her hindquarters from one side to the other
- allowing the inside of her ears to be touched
- getting used to chaps with long fringe
- getting used to being sprayed with the hose”
Claire is a young rider and has been helping with a few of the SAFE horses. She has great timing and patience and I knew that she would be a good fit to help train Khianna. Here is what she had to say about her experience working with this sweet mare:
“Kihanna has made a lot of progress in the week and a half since Joel’s clinic. She is extremely sensitive, so most of our sessions consist of exposing her to different things and letting her know that she is ok. When I first started working with her, you could feel so much tension in her from just touching her. She also took a very long time to lick and chew and sucked in her breaths instead of breathing relaxed. She is so much better now and I can tell she is really starting to trust people.
Joel worked with her a lot on “squeezing” her between him and the wall, even with someone standing on the outside just holding a flag in the air. He had her just go one step at a time so she could learn to stay with him instead of checking out and running away. I’ve been continuing to do this and it is so much better than it was before. We’ve also worked a lot on changing eyes, which she was really scared of at first but now is much calmer.
I turned her loose in the round pen last weekend and it was so cool to see her relax a bit and be playful! She was running and bucking and releasing tension, which was pretty awesome. I even gave her a bath today and she actually started to enjoy it. This is huge for her because she is still very afraid of anything that touches her. I’ve been doing relatively short sessions with her (20–40 mins) and trying to end them when she is as relaxed as she will get. I really enjoy working with her because she has helped me learn to dial my energy way down so I can meet her where she is at and help her build her confidence.”
I am very grateful for the time and energy these two ladies are giving to the SAFE horses. Their work with Khianna is truly a gift and is helping prepare her to find her forever home. We will continue to work with her at SAFE Harbor and when she is ready, we will send her out to be started under saddle. It is a delight getting to know Khianna and gaining her trust!
photos by Jessica Farren
Yesterday was a marathon day of dental care for the horses at Safe Harbor Stables. Dr McCracken of Rainland Equine did seven floats and some lameness consultations along with them. Here’s a rundown of how each of the horses did:
Annabelle was not terrific about getting injections for her sedation, but considering it’s probably been several years since she’s seen a dentist, her teeth were in reasonably good shape. Some sharp points but nothing significant.
Jewel was a pill for her shots, but her teeth were in great shape. Dr M said that based on her teeth, Jewel is well into her 4th year and could be closer to 5! (For the record, we’re going to leave her at four!). Nothing too conclusive about her thickened left front knee. Dr McCracken said Jewel could have had soft tissue damage at some point and has some arthritis in that knee. It’s unlikely that it’s a bone chip since those generally happen more in the knees with TB race horses, but we might x‑ray at some point to take a look.
Oscar did considerably better for his shots, and his teeth looked good, but he does have some extra large spacing between some of his teeth on one side, which means that food can get trapped there and cause decay. She cleaned it out and said if he is good for us we can help by squirting water into his mouth to help flush his gums and remove anything that gets stuck in there. Dr McCracken also flushed his left eye to see why it is always tearing. There was no clog in his tear duct. She also examined his eye using a little stain to reveal ulcers and scratches, but everything looked normal.
Bridgit was an angel for her shots! Her teeth looked good too. But here’s another surprise: Dr M puts her age closer to 3 years old!! She is still losing baby teeth! Bridgit popped a splint a week or so ago and Dr M advised us to give her another 3–4 weeks off until there is no heat in the area. No that means that Bridgit won’t be at the SAFE Horse Show this year. In fact she may end up going back to foster along with Sophie, which would be awful for her because she’ll have nothing to go all day but graze, snooze, and play in a huge pasture. Poor Bridgit!
Lola we knew would be bad for her sedation, so we did an IM sedation to start and let that soak in, then came back to start the dental. She was still too awake so did have to give her more drugs this time IV and still not great for it. But her teeth were in good shape which made the procedure quick and painless. We will need to work on Lola’s aversion to seeing the veterinarian. She can be very difficult to handle when she sees them coming. Fear based issues can be hard to overcome but it is important we help her through just like any other training issue. Lola has her strong opinion and self preservation and while we love her for it, it’s what makes her our endearing “sass-apolussa mare”, we need to help her stay safe and understand vets are there to help her feel better.
Khianna was good for her shots, but her teeth showed more sharp points than you’d expect to see considering she was floated in January. Dr M suggested that we plan to have her teeth looked at and possibly floated again in 9 months.
Finn also handled his shots like a pro, giving Dr M the chance to do an in-depth evaluation of his jaw, which has had some unusual swelling for about the past month. The swelling has gone down some and she thinks it will just take more time. His teeth are very, very weird with the right top long, right bottom short, left top short and missing some and left bottom extremely long. She took a lot off the tall areas and it took a little work but she did get to a point where there was some contact now on both sides. It is a slow process to correct his teeth and he will continue with the 4–6 month dentals for a few more times. Dr M can only take so much off at a time and keep the tooth alive. He is a very sweet boy even with his funny teeth.
Khianna has spent the past three years or so living the good life at her foster home in Enumclaw. There she shared a five acre field with three other horses and enjoyed the great care provided by Denise M and her family.
Khianna came to SAFE as an 13 year old, and we were told that she’d been ridden in her previous home, but it had been quite some time since anyone had been on her back. So she was sent off to be restarted under saddle in 2012. She had some issues that came up in training, most alarmingly a tendency to bolt under saddle, and our trainer at the time felt that it would take far more than the usual 60–90 days to safely resolve the issue. So Khianna was declared a companion horse, suitable to a life spent looking pretty in a pasture, something she clearly was qualified for.
Fast forward three years. The training program at SAFE has grown and expanded to include more options for the horses in our care than just dressage. Natural horsemanship, specifically the methods taught by Buck Brannaman, have proved to be extremely beneficial to our rescued equines. We’re also now sending horses out to trainers like Joel Conner and Matt Olson who are starting and restarting horses for us with great results. So the decision was made to call Khianna home so we can get acquainted with her once again and assess her for the possibility of going back into training.
Khianna arrived at Safe Harbor today looking and feeling terrific. She’s got some adjusting to do as this was a pretty big lifestyle change for her, but she’s settling in fine so far. No doubt you’ll be seeing photos of her on SAFE’s Tumblr feed in the next few days doing ground work with our volunteer riders! In the meantime, here’s Khianna today, looking good! Supreme thank yous to the Murray family for taking such spectacular care of her for such a long time!!
It’s been a while since we’ve updated everyone on Khianna. If you recall, Khianna “flunked out” of training after our trainer advised us that she would need extensive one-on-one work after she displayed a tendency to bolt under saddle. She went to a foster home for a period of time with the hopes of being adopted as a pasture pet, but she proved too unpredictable for that situation, so she ended up going back to her old foster home in Enumclaw to live in a pasture situation with other horses.
Jet had the chance to visit with Khianna last week and reports that she is looking absolutely gorgeous and happy in her foster home. Khianna developed a strange lump on her lip, so Dr DeWard came out to have a look at it, and determined that it was an abscess which probably developed around a small puncture wound. The abscess was lanced and drained to remove the pus. The wound bled for quite a while as the vet and his helpers took turns applying pressure to the site. With daily rinsing, it should be cleaned out completely and healed in a matter of days.
Here are some photos that Jet took during her visit. Doesn’t Khianna look pretty?
Khianna now lives on a 5 acre property in Woodinville with two minies named Dazzle before Dawn and Bugs Bunny. The three horse share a barn. After walking into her stall Khianna won’t begin eating until the minis are in their stalls eating; that is true friendship! Her foster parents love her trusting nature and sweet curiosity and have decided to adopt her on Valentine’s Day. She is working on her ground manners and is very quick to respond to lessons (and carrots). Her foster mom writes, “She is a lovely horse and we are so glad to have her on our property. I go down to the barn before bed to say goodnight and throw a little hay and when it isn’t raining we stand together in her sacrifice area looking at the stars. Thank you, SAFE!”
The past several months have been a journey for Khianna. She went into training last June to be restarted under saddle, but unfortunately, she had some issues with bolting. Andrea put a lot of time into trying to work through these issues, and felt that Khianna’s bolting was a fear-based response that was developing into a learned behavior. She tried a number of different training methods with her, including ground driving. After 60 days of training, Khianna had shown a lot of improvement, but we felt she wasn’t quite ready to be offered for adoption as a rideable horse.
But the stars aligned for Miss Khianna when a new friend came along…looking for a horse to join her family at her lovely Woodinville farm. Khianna moved to her new foster home this past Saturday, and her new foster mom Kitti had this happy update to share:
I spent most of the day visible to her from the pastures or sitting inside her sacrifice area reading a book pretending not to pay any attn to her. About 4:00 I asked her if she wanted to go eat some grass which required putting on her halter. Not so interested but then.…o..k..a..y. Went out to eat grass and took off the lead rope. Stayed there with her for 50 mins while she ate; the minis were on the other side of the fence eating and Bugsy was talking with her. At one point I was going to leave the pasture to get a pooper scooper leaving Speedy in the pasture with her. She didn’t think that was a great idea and tried to follow me out. So I stayed. When it was time to leave she certainly wasn’t enthused but let me gently come up to her and reattach the lead rope and go down to her sacrifice area and stall. Carrots followed.
Tonight she ran in when I called her for dinner; she thinks carrots and apples are the coolest things ever. She is so excited I am reminded not to hand feed and am putting them on her hay. She forages right through the flake to get them all.
I think her willingness to reengage after 26 hours is remarkable. She is a sweetheart. More to follow.
Here are some photos of Khianna meeting her new friends at her new home:
Khianna had her annual check up and was a very good patient. During her dental float Dr. DeWard confirmed the poor mouth conformation but noted that the last float did a good job in helping the issues he would have expected to see. He suggests a visual check in 6 months but expects her to go 12–18 months before her next float. During her exam he noted an 8mm inclusion on her left eye about the width of a hair. There was no sign of trauma, infection or pain but he did apply a stain and it did take the stain. While he wouldn’t expect a simple inclusion to take the stain it still shows no sign of an actual injury & since it doesn’t appear to affect her vision or cause pain we’re going to note & monitor it going forward. Khianna has also had some ongoing weepyness in her right eye so he stained that one as well for good measure. Nothing of concern was noted. The stain didn’t appear to be draining through the nasal passages so he decided to flush them and the left eye flushed fine but he discovered that the right side “does not appear to flush/communicate with the eye”, indicating a blockage. It could be fixed surgically but since there’s no comfort or health issues for the eye so surgery would be considered cosmetic.
Khianna appears to be in good weight & has a really lovely coat to show off her pinto patterns. She is in need of some conditioning, however. She exhibits a flaring at the elbow at rest which could just be lack of muscle development/tone in the shoulders and forearms. She also has a slight dropped appearance to her fetlocks but there is no suspensory pain, heat or swelling so we will monitor her as she heads into saddle training next week. Consistent work and conditioning should help her quite a bit.
Her ground training has really paid off. She was very easy to catch and handle and while understandably cautious around all the new equipment, she took direction well and was a doll to stand and take her injections. She really wants to connect and please and someday someone is going to get a really amazing little horse to build a close relationship with.
Khianna has been a busy girl lately! She’s spent the last month at Horsepitality Too! getting some extra handling and attention from Chrissy Lynch and some of her riding students. She’s now moving down the road to her new foster home at Third Watch Farm. Chrissy & I stopped in this evening to check in on her and she’s having some herd bound issues when their other horse, Fiona, walks into her stall in the barn but Khianna calms quickly when she walks back out. Tomorrow they’ll be turned out in adjoining pastures and at night in adjoining stalls. Today they have her in the round pend outside Fiona’s run while they replace some floor mats in Khianna’s new run.
Thank you to Alexis for these lovely photos! She’s done such a great job capturing the beauty of these two mares!
Khianna is one of a group of horses belonging to a woman who is battling cancer. When she realized that her strength would soon be fading and her finances depleted, she contacted SAFE for help. We listed the horses under our SAFE-Assisted Placement program, and together with Sound Equine Option of Oregon, we provided her horses with shots and dental care.
We were very excited when Khianna was placed, but we were in the middle of plans to bring two more of these horses up to SAFE when we got word from the adopter that he would not be keeping Khianna. Although the adoption was barely more than three weeks along, Khianna was not getting along with the man’s other horse and had kicked the horse. In Khianna’s best interest, we took her back, and she was delivered to SAFE this past weekend.
Khianna needs a lot of handling, and that’s what she’ll get now that she’s a resident at SAFE. We’ll be evaluating her under saddle and hopefully we can get her into a regular work schedule too. We are confident that this mare can be turned around with time and lots of attention. We’ll keep you posted on her progress.
Here are some photos taken after she arrived at SAFE:
Update from Jeanette who, with help from our friends at Sound Equine Options, went down and helped the owner of the horses in Castle Rock get the horses up to date on all their routine care:
Khianna — Kianna was initially very sweet. She did seem to get a bit more agitated when Blu did but certainly not to the extreme that he did. We were able to halter her before the mild sedative was given.
Her dental was not as good. She had steps in her bite & hooks as well as ulceration to the inside of her mouth. Her bite was evened out as much as possible but the vet recommends keeping her on a yearly float cycle due to the stepping. This looks like it will be an ongoing issue. Her feet appear to be healthy but look like they are in need of a trim again soon.
All 3 mares have wearing on the front of the lower teeth. Vet says it’s from overgrazing short grass. It does not appear to interfere with digestion or overall tooth health but indicates they may have had too much pasture time.