breed: tri-colored Arab cross, born 1998
type of rescue: Owner surrender
intake date: 10/25/2011
adoption date: 10/27/2013
length of time with SAFE: 2 years
Miah was rescued by her previous owner from a situation of extreme neglect in 2006. She was pregnant when she was rescued, and severely infested with worms. Although she regained her health, the effects of her neglect linger to this day and she must be carefully monitored for worms and weight loss. When Miah’s owner was diagnosed with cancer, SAFE attempted to place her through the SAFE-Assist Program. In October 2011, Miah became a SAFE horse and was moved from her home in Castle Rock to SAFE. Miah received 60 days professional dressage training, followed by regular work with both a professional and an amateur rider at SAFE. She was adopted two years after her arrival at SAFE.
After seven years of serious backcountry trail riding with Miah, her adopter was forced to rehome her in due to downsizing in September 2020, and in October 2020, she landed safely with a new family.
Here’s a great update from Miah’s adopter, Heather!
Hi everyone, happy spring, Finally!
Miah has been with me now for about 6 months. We did little during the winter except survive, although that time was well spent, Miah is home and I think she knows that. I was able to take her out in April when we had a few good weather days that just happened to coincide with my days off and was quite surprised, she was a willing trail partner with no fuss or issues. She was a lot calmer and just seemed to be more comfortable with life and her surroundings.
This last Thursday we loaded the camper, the horse trailer, all the horses and went to Sahara Creek Campground near Elbe for 4 days and 3 nights. If you are not familiar with the horse camp or the trails here is a link: http://trailmeister.com/elbe-hills-sahara-creek-campground-wa/ I have also attached a terrain map. The camp ground is well maintained with high-lines, water, and toilets. I had worked with Miah at home on a high-line so was confident she would be ok. She did great, no issues on the high-line; training goal number 1‑pass. After camp was set up we saddled up and went for our first ride on the Nicholson Horse Trail. We decided to do the shorter Does Crossing loop since the elevation change from Lower Elk Spur to Upper Elk Spur can be significant especially for horses that are not yet in shape.
Miah’s first challenge was a bridge, she only hesitated a little but followed Gus across with no problem. The next challenge was the Steps, this is the first climb and is a steep zig-zag with water bar steps, she took the climb like a champ, next was the gun fire from the rock quarry above the trail system, not a flinch out of her. The next challenge was a creek with boardwalk step-downs to the creek. Here we had some issues since Gus decided He didn’t want to go down the boardwalk to cross the creek. I asked Miah to take the lead, she went down the first two step-downs ok, then started having second thoughts. About half way down she stopped, gentle encouragement was not working and she seemed to be escalating. The footing situation is not one you want a horse getting nervous and dancing around on so I got off and started leading her. I had to get my feet wet crossing the creek but she followed me across. Gus on the other had was not having anything to do with it until he thought Miah was going to leave him, amazing how fast and willing he was crossing the creek then! The rest of the ride was uphill, downhill, beautiful terrain and trails, some logs and roots to step over, step downs and another bridge. Miah’s attitude and willingness was admirable. She finished that ride in good shape with no soreness at all.
The next two days was more of the same but in different configurations, directions, levels of difficulty, and challenges. There are two creeks on Lower Elk Spur that are close to each other, these happen to be year-long creeks and this time of year they are roaring loud with snow melt run-off. Now even though these creeks are not very wide, they seem to be the most horse eatin’est creeks ever to be presented to our dainty little mare! It took a little time but she went across without my feet getting wet, a definate plus! Miah rode three days in a row, climbed a lot of hills, rode in the rain, stood on a high-line for three nights all without a serious bout of fear or unwillingness (she didn’t even snort!). I checked her after every ride and she was not sore or lame. She passed all the challenges presented to her this week with flying colors. Ms Miah is officially a trail horse! Now time and miles will get her strong and the more she encounters the more confidence she will have.
We’ve been waiting with growing eagerness to share some fantastic news with you, but being a superstitious bunch, we didn’t want to jinx it until we knew for sure. Miah has been out on trial, pending adoption, for the past month with a wonderful horsewoman named Heather who’s been looking for another trail horse to add to her herd. Now when Heather says she’s looking for a trail horse, she means long distance, creek fording, packing, camping, serious Trail Riding!!! So Miah needed to demonstrate during her trial that she was the sort of horse who would enjoy the wilderness and the adventure of real mountain-type trail riding. We are absolutely thrilled that Miah proved herself up to the challenge, and her adoption is final!!!!
Heather has been keeping us up to date on Miah’s progress, and her updates have been delightful for us to read. We could not be prouder of our little Mamma Miah! Here’s what she’s been up to since leaving SAFE Harbor a month ago:
We went riding this weekend a little farther out and longer than what we have been doing. We also changed the route. I put Miah in the lead for all the new trails, I even asked her to take the lead down a single track trail that is through brush and a real tight fit, the kicker is in the middle of the trail there is a creek which at this time of year is about stirrup deep, she went through with only a slight hesitation. The other two horses with us are not water lovers either but since she went through, they went through without a fuss. The poor dog dang near froze since he had to practically swim across!
Miah now has all the required trail tack attached (breast collar, crupper, and flank cinch) the only thing left to add is saddle bags and water canteens. If I get home in time this afternoon I may task her to go out by herself, I think she is ready to try that…if it doesn’t happen today it will happen this holiday weekend.
My niece, Lindsay, has been helping me with the horses and with Miah’s care. I let her ride Miah Sunday and she told me “we have a problem…I am falling in love with Miah” the end result…Miah has a potential owner if anything happens to me and I can no longer ride. You could call Lindsay my heir since I have no children, she is a very detailed (almost nit-noid) responsible horse owner as well as a qualified barefoot trimmer.
SAFE Adoption Manager Sara Hall said it best: “This update actually made a little misty-eyed. I just love the visual of Miah bravely wading through a stirrup-deep river. I wonder what she thinks of this new life that is so different from everything that came before!”
We have been through a lot with Miah, so seeing her end up in such a great place is a cause for celebration. We want to thank three people who were key to Miah’s transformation from a wild little mare to the horse she is today. Andrea Lucianna, who re-started Miah under saddle, taught her to be safely ridden, and to everyone’s surprise, Miah proved to be a quick learner and did very well in training. We were all blown away when we saw the first videos of Miah under saddle, because this tiny mare had a gigantic trot! Miah graduated from training and returned to SAFE Harbor, where Brittney Stewart took over the reins. Brittney and Miah worked hard together, and Brittany quickly found herself admiring Miah’s spirit and bravery, and laughing at her tendency to snort at anything she found troubling. Brittney later handed the responsibility of riding Miah to volunteer rider, Casey A, and the two of them became a lovely team, competing in dressage at the SAFE Benefit Show in August. We are so grateful to Andrea and Brittney and Casey for helping Miah along and getting her to a point where she could be so successful in a new home. She’s a lucky girl, and we can’t wait for more updates about her adventures with Heather!
Naturally, as an Arab mare, you may guess she has some spunk to her stride…some of which can be accounted for her getting to know a new rider. I have been working with her on establishing a nice rhythm and relaxation. Miah has softened into some very nice moments and has smooth strides as she stretches without difficulty over her top line. She is easy to move forward, stop and change directions. I rode her Monday after 3 days off and she was great. While more consistent rides will help her establish better balance and stamina, her head was in it and we didn’t have any issues due to the long weekend.
Miah competed in Dressage at the 2013 SAFE show with her volunteer rider, Casey Anderson. They made a lovely pair!
Photos taken by Bobbie Climer:
We had a great time at last Sunday’s Open House with lots of folks stopping by to meet the horses and enjoy a grilled hot dog or two. SAFE supporter Margaret C took these gorgeous photographs and was kind enough to share them with us.
Miah took a big step today with her first ever trail ride as a SAFE horse — possibly the first of her life — and she did great!! It’s only just recently that she’s gotten to a point where she was ready to hit the trails, and she was a very good girl. To be fair, she did snort for the entire two hour trip, but she was also very brave, crossing bridges and dealing with a lot of new stimulation. The only thing that bothered her were the bicycles, but by the end of the ride, she was even dealing with them with bravery. Brittney, who loves riding at the Redmond Watershed, was really impressed with the kindess of the people that they encountered out on the trails, especially the bike rider who took time to assure Miah that he was not a predator.
Brittney rode Kat, who had a good day on the trails, and Miah was ridden by her regular volunteer rider, Casey. Brittney tells us that Casey and Miah are doing great together, and that Casey has been pretty successful in getting Miah to relax and listen under saddle. So thank you, Casey, for putting in time to help Miah along! We really appreciate the work that you’re doing with her!!
Here’s video from today’s ride:
Miah had a great ride today with SAFE trainer Brittney Stewart. This video was taken after she’d been ridden for about 35 minutes so she’s a little bit tired but still going nicely!
Thank you to Alexis for these lovely photos! She’s done such a great job capturing the beauty of these two mares!
In late October 2011, Miah and her herd mates Shiloh and Khianna, arrived at the SAFE farm. SAFE had tried for several months to place these mares for their owner through our SAFE-Assisted Placement program but without any luck, mostly because these horses had not received much handling due to their owner’s illness. Therefore, once we had space available for them, we sent some brave volunteers down to Castle Rock to pick them up and bring them to Monroe.
Miah is a skittish mare, who is benefiting greatly from the handling she is now receiving at SAFE. Although she has been ridden in the past, she is very much in need of training to teach her to be a safe, rideable horse. For now, though, we are working to get her more comfortable being handled and teaching her ground manners.
Here are some pictures of pretty Miah frolicking in the snow:
Here are a couple of photos taken by Chelsey on the day that Miah and Shiloh arrived at SAFE. They’ve just come off of a long trailer ride from Castle Rock, and they are still taking in their somewhat scary new surroundings. Here they look in horror upon the neighbor’s cows!
Miah is Shiloh’s dam, but as you can see from these pictures, mom is a lot shorter than daughter ended up being!
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:
Miah — Owners state she has Khemosabi lines in her breeding. She was nice but took a little warming up to get her engaged. She allowed me to groom her in the initial group stall setting but we segregated her & Khianna in an adjacent stall once they were lightly sedated. Blue could see them but was not in the way of us handling them.
Vet says that she may have mild allegies, noting some crustiness discharge around her eyes, her rubbed out mane suspecting and itchy coat. They flushed her nasal passage in hopes of relieving some of the buildup in her ducts. The RIGHT duct was easy to flush but the left one was more difficult possibly indicating that it was more congested. Vet recommends flushing with every float or sedation.
She also has good mouth conformation & good feet (it was apparent that she passed on those good traits to her daughter, Shiloh)
Also recommended adding Oil to her diet: starting with a Tablespoon and working up gradually to 1/4 cup & having teeth checked annually but probably won’t need floats every year.
SAFE is assisting in the placement of three horses located in Castle Rock WA. These horses are owned by a woman who has been recently diagnosed with cancer who will be starting chemotherapy and radiation therapy later this month. Because of this, her ability to care for these horses will be increasingly limited, and rather than let any harm befall her animals, she has asked for SAFE’s assistance in finding them new homes. Their future well-being means everything to her, and she chose SAFE because of our rigorous screening process for adopters and our commitment to following up on horses we adopt.
These horses all have a great deal of potential for anyone looking for good, young prospects. We could use your help to spread the word about them, and hopefully we will be able to help ease this person’s burden as she faces her battle with cancer.
Click below to visit each horse’s thread and learn more about them.
UPDATE: We’ve had to make the difficult decision to remove Blu from our placement program. Blu has been having some serious behavioral issues that make it unsafe for us to adopt him out at this time. Unfortunately, his owner’s health issues have prevented her from handling him very much and he’s become herdbound, difficult to catch, and dangerous. Until those issues can be addressed, we can’t offer him for adoption.
Buns has also been removed from the placement program but for a happier reason: her owner has decided to keep her. Buns has been with her since birth and she does not want to part with her. If SAFE is able to find new homes for Khianna, Miah and Shiloh, she should be able to manage her remaining herd with assistance from friends and neighbors.