2005 bay Thoroughbred Cross gelding
Type of Rescue: Animal Control Surrender
Intake Date: 1/27/21
Adoption Date: 6/17/22
Length of Time with SAFE: 1 year and 6 months
ADOPTED!! by Jerre
Jerre came to SAFE looking for a companion horse for one of her riding mares. She needed a horse who could keep her mare company, but get upset when she went out riding and took their buddy away. Mac needed a special home that understood his fear and troubles and had the skills and willingness to work through it. Mac can get startled and back up in a panic, so we are looking for a home with enough horse experience to help this sweet boy when he gets uncomfortable. Someone who understands the support Mac needs and will love him just the way he is. So when the two met and hit it off we were thrilled!
Mac and another horse were seized from the owner by Animal Control due to extreme neglect. The pair spent a few months in custody before Mac was released to SAFE. We were told he was an experienced trail horse, but after some time evaluating if he would be a good riding horse, we decided to retire him to the good life and offer him as a companion. He has a little arthritis in his right hind, so movement in turnout or on grass is helpful. He now gets to share a large pasture with friends and can finally be at peace in his new forever home thanks to Jerre.
Mac is Adopted!
Mac headed to his new forever home in mid June. This confident gelding followed our staff right up onto Jerre’s beautiful trailer. He was great on the ride home and was slowly integrated with his new four legged girlfriends. Which was a perfectly drama free introduction! His new person, Jerre, has done a wonderful job with him and has a great feel. She understands his troubled areas and has a plan for helping through any issues. Mac has some trouble backing up and occasionally flipping himself when he feels panicked. This meant we had to find the perfect home and we are over the moon when we met Jerre.
Mac and Domino in the Limelight
Our friends at the Limelight pet project stopped by last month to visit with Domino and Mac and learn a bit more about these two gentlemen! Their spotlight really highlighted the boys’ distinct personalities. Check out the video interview below!
Mac In Search of a Perfect Home
Terry had this to say our big Mac:
“I think a lot about what Mac’s perfect home would be. It is hard to find because the person handling has to have good horse sense. They need to understand good timing for pressure and release. Too much pressure without a timely release and he would easily scramble backwards and sit down or flip backwards. Our great horsemanship volunteer and friend, Lexee, has dedicated a ton of time helping him with this issue and has made terrific changes. That said, in the wrong hands, he will go right back to the troubled spot. When he moves to a new home, he will need support in the transition and will need to experience everything again with his new owner. They will have to know how to work through it with him or there will be a big wreck. This is by no means impossible but very difficult. Most adopters are looking for an easy to get along with horse. Those that have horses like Mac understand their horse’s behavior and manage it. No one goes out looking for a horse with trouble. So, the question is how does SAFE help Mac find a home willing to take him in and love him “just the way he is”, understanding that he is frightened and needs support to successfully manage things that upset him?
We are honest about everything we experience with our horses and (maybe to a fault) lay out all the good and bad for adopters to hear. There are some truly amazing things about Mac that hopefully will help him find a home. He is easy to be around, submissive and never fights with others, he is not herd bound, he walks pleasantly to and from turnout, and he has no health or medical issues that are difficult to manage. He requires extra senior feed in the winter months and has a normal amount of age-related arthritis to monitor as he continues to age. One of the best things about Mac: his heart. He is a very dear gelding that wants to connect and feel peace with those around him. You can see this in his soft expression and clearly enjoys one on one time with people he trusts.
Mac has a few volunteer buddies now who spend time with him and Domino. Giving them extra TCL, grooming and attention. He has been wonderful for them and they are enjoying spending time with him. When the right home presents itself, Mac is ready. Until then, he is very much loved and enjoyed here at SAFE.”
Taking A Walk On The (not so wild) Side
When many imagine an active horse, they envision great feats of athleticism: horses cavorting around courses and launching themselves over jumps taller than children, horses dancing around arenas with grace and finesse, horses racing around barrels with speeds reaching mach 1. They might not picture a horse on a leisurely stroll, with no saddle, bridle, or rider, merely a human friend to walk side-by-side with.
But this very image is the reality for some of our horses here at SAFE, who have been enjoying guided tours around the property. The idea was born from a need for our horses to stay active, especially as we head into the cold rainy season. It also provides an opportunity for interested volunteers to practice their leading and handling skills.
Spearheading the program are Mac, Domino, and Cameron. It just happens that the three are gentlemen of a certain age, which makes them the ideal candidates for some gentle walking. Keeping horses, especially older ones, mobile by hand walking them helps ensure they retain muscle without putting them through strenuous exercise. It also provides a little break in the routine of their days, and the three do seem to enjoy their outings.
Cameron is quite the gentleman when it comes to being haltered, lowering his head and doing his very best to help guide his own nose into the halter. It’s pretty apparent that this is not his first (or second, or third..) rodeo. For an older guy, he is still quite forward at the walk, but this is really his only vice, if you can even call it that. There is a focused determination to his strides, and it really feels like he is taking it all in, but never in a nervous way, merely an interested one. On occasion he will try to dive for a bite of grass or a bit of dropped hay, and while this is quite a mischievous move, it’s one that speaks to how chipper he’s feeling. Gone is the thin shell of a horse who arrived, replaced with a robust (and much more filled-out) gelding. Occasionally, a stop on Cameron’s walks involves a trip to the round pen, where his blanket is removed and he is turned loose for a period. Within seconds of being released, he goes down for a roll, and occasionally even kicks up his heels, running and bucking around like a colt. But when it is time to come in, he is always easy to catch back up, and stands patiently as he is re-dressed in his blanket. The only time he ever shows impatience is when there is food waiting for him, but even then he merely expresses his impatience with a slight tug towards his dish — excuse me human, I believe my lunch is here.
Domino is always waiting at the gate when you walk up, his velveteen head just begging for a pet. While he does make a slight beeline towards the barn as he comes down the hill (a man on a bit of a mission towards food), he is rather easily course corrected. He is a very pleasant walking companion, and will even allow you to lead him over the little pallet bridge we have set up in the outdoor arena. He definitely prefers a leisurely pace, but is a responsive participant, and is a friend to all who meet him.
Mac’s leg is healing nicely, and certainly not preventing him from enjoying the (sometimes) beautiful outdoors. Because of his pull back risk, he is a staff only horse to lead, which means that Mac and I have spent a lot of time together walking alongside his buddy Domino. Mac is a wonderful walking companion, always very responsive to what I’m asking of him, and quite good at acting as a model for demonstrating.
With fall in full force now, the weather lives in a state of constant unpredictability, but these three boys take it all in stride. Wind, rain, sun — they remain unfazed. They really are the very definition of a pleasure to have in class.
Mac’s leg wound is slowly healing, but still requires bandaging and medication. Groundwork is helping him not being so upset with little things. He’s a worrier, and tends to get a little nervous about things like being fly sprayed or gently hosed off. He is good for the farrier, but needs a slow approach for vaccinations. He still doesn’t like pressure on his poll so we’re working on that so that he’ll be more comfortable with haltering. He is also something of a comedian and makes funny faces and lip gestures.
Mac demonstrates significant pull back (resistance) on the lead when he gets nervous and can flip backwards. This is what caused Mac’s injury. It’s a serious danger both for Mac and for any future rider. We’re working to help Mac find the mental tools he needs so that backing up in a panic is not his first response when he gets nervous. Mac’s future adopter will need to be able to help him move forward with free feet, which will help boost his confidence.
Mac Is Out Of The Barn
Mac just got the okay from the vet to come off of stall rest and move around some more! After 9 weeks, he has graduated from living in a stall 24/7 to getting a little sunshine in one of our rehab paddocks. Just like a lot of horses, Mac is a social guy and is happy to be outside of the barn surrounded by more friends as he goes about his day.
He even got to stretch his legs with a brand new friend, Domino, for a little grass time. The two hit it off right away and Domino was upset when their time was over too quickly and called to him from his paddock across the property. Don’t worry, the two will have more time to hang out as we slowly increase their grass time over the next couple weeks. The future is looking up for our big Mac.
Our Patient Mac
Mac has been on stall rest for 5 weeks now. He has become so patient with the bandage changes that he doesn’t need any sedation. The vet has changed his bandage about 8 or more times and now the staff can change the wrap every 3 days and the vet will come check it every 10 days. The wound looks good, but we are watching for more granulation in the center. The outside of the wound has a nice white line which is a sign that new tissue is forming and the wound is closing. All in all, Mac has been a very patient, patient. Check out the video of Mac enjoying a treat ball gifted to him by a kind donor.
Update on Mac’s Injury
Mac’s bandage was changed on Monday and it looks good! The wound is starting to fill in and we will be starting him on oral antibiotics this week. He isn’t the best for worming, so we will see if he will eat it with a little grain. If not, we will try a feeding syringe. Our backup plan is to have our vet come out to give him a shot of Exceed, but if we can avoid that, it will cut down on Mac’s considerable vet expenses.. He has another bandage change scheduled in 5 days. Once the wound has filled to a flat surface, we will change the bandage ourselves.
For now, Mac is on stall rest. He misses being next to his buddies when all the horses leave the barn in the morning. To keep him company, we’ve created a small little pen outside his barn door window. Sunny and Shasta keep him company during the day in the hopes he won’t pace in his stall as much. It seems to be helping. He takes a bite of hay, peeks out to check on them, and drops a little hay on the ground for them. It’s mutually beneficial. Sunny and Shasta get a little extra hay from the sky and Mac has some friends.
Mac is on the Injured List
Sadly, Mac had a bit of an accident yesterday during turn in. He got bothered just outside the barn door, scrambled backwards, and fell onto a ceramic planter. He suffered two sizable lacerations on his left hind gaskin that needed emergency vet care immediately. Luckily Rainland Farm Equine’s Dr. Lewis was quick to arrive to his aid. She was able to clean and suture the top laceration but the bottom was too close to the hock joint and has too much movement for it to be closed from the outside. It was cleaned and packed. Mac’s entire leg is wrapped to help stabilize the injury site and hopefully allow for it to heal. He is on antibiotics and stall rest for the foreseeable future. Dr Lewis will be back out Wednesday to evaluate the healing and re-wrap his leg.
So far, on day 1 of stall rest, Mac has been a very good boy. He looks longingly out the window at the horses in turnout but he’s staying quiet and doesn’t seem upset. We hope for an uncomplicated healing time for this sweet boy. Accidents happen, but it is no fun when our friend is in pain. Luckily, we have some amazing staff ready to get him the help he needed and he should make a full recovery. Until he is 100% healed, we are taking him off the available list for adoption. Once he is back to work, we will get back to work to find him a home as a light riding horse and offer him for adoption again.
Mac’s Lameness Exam
During a recent veterinary exam, Mac flexed positive in both his right hind fetlock and upper limb. He improved on soft arena ground but the test on hard ground showed pain. To rule out any major issues, we decided to take radiographs of his right fetlock which showed the more significant response on the flexion test. Thankfully, the x‑rays showed nothing significant. The question then remains, what is causing the discomfort in that hind? With clean x‑rays, we considered the possibility of a soft tissue injury. However, with no palpation sensitivity for the suspensory ligament, we could rule that out. But it’s much harder to palpate the sesamoid ligament so that would require an ultrasound to see if this is the cause of his discomfort.
We know that Mac is no spring chicken! Our goal is to see if he can comfortably be a light walk/trot senior riding horse, a buddy for long flat trail walks, and a great companion for other horses. In an effort to see if this is possible or if he should be retired from riding, we have decided to see how he does on a daily dose of Equioxx. We plan to monitor his comfort over the next month, build his riding top-line and revisit with our vet in an evaluation after that time.
We have to add that Mac was a real champ for his exam! He put up with us flexing and trotting him around the parking lot while staying cool as a seasoned gentleman. Makes our lives so much easier to have a sweet boy to handle!
Mac’s First Couple Months
Mac has only been at SAFE for about two months. He is a sensitive boy with sweet eyes. So far, we are working on getting Mac conditioned and building more muscles. He is learning that moving forward is the answer. He braces when he is asked to go back and is head shy at the poll. For this reason we do not think he should be tied up. Mac is very sound and even though he has a little sway back, we are hopeful we can build muscle to his topline. He did really well when we turned him out with one of our other geldings. Check out the video below.
Here’s a look at the third time we put a saddle on Mac.
Here is a video of Terry working with Mac in the round pen at SAFE. She is teaching Mac to be comfortable with the rope being thrown at him. This will help him learn that not everything she does is asking him to do something or react. When Terry is swinging or tossing the rope towards Mac, she is not using her energy to request more of him. This helps when it is time to ride Mac. He won’t be as worried about reacting to moving objects or things touching him while he is being ridden and can focus on her.
Mac and another gelding were seized by Animal Control due to severe neglect. We are told that Mac was almost as thin as Anakin was when he was picked up. He spent several months in Animal Control custody before being signed over to SAFE. We’re told that Mac is an experienced trails horse, and if that is indeed true, we should have no trouble finding a good home for this sweet old fella. Mac still has a few pounds to gain, but once he’s healthy and out of quarantine, he’ll join our Horsemanship program and we’ll find out what he knows!
Mac’s friend is being taken on by Cowgirl Spirit Rescue Ranch, where he will get the care and retraining he needs to find a new home.