2008 bay Arabian mare
type of rescue: Owner Surrender
intake date: 4/23/2019
adoption date: 7/6/202
length of time at SAFE: 1 year, 2 months
Millie and her sire Boss Hoss were surrendered to SAFE after their owner suffered a stroke and could no longer care for them. Millie lived together with her sire for most of her life, but she seems to have avoided pregnancy, probably because of her ability to double-barrel kick. (It should be noted that keeping a mare and stallion together is asking for an unplanned pregnancy, whether the two horses are related to one another or not!) Millie came to SAFE without being halter-broken, and at 11 years of age, she was completely unhandled and untouchable. With time, patience, and kindness, Millie transformed herself into the sweetest, most affectionate little mare. Millie was started under saddle at SAFE in the spring of 2020, and although she made a great start at becoming a riding horse, she seemed to find the initial experience a bit unnerving. With time, we’re sure she would have been fine with being ridden, but before we could get too far, her perfect adopter arrived, looking for a companion horse! Millie is now living happily with her new bestie, Maddy, where all she has to do is live her best life and be a good friend!
Seriously, no one saw this coming! Miss Millie is adopted!
Hollie contacted SAFE looking for a companion for her mare Maddie, who has some hearing loss. Maddie was all alone and needed a friend to help her feel relaxed and content. Millie was perfect! She had proven to SAFE, many times, that she simply loves every horse she has ever met.
Hollie came to meet Millie the weekend we had our friend Joel Conner visiting and helping put the first rides on her. Being an older start and a very sensitive mare, SAFE’s volunteers had spent a lot of time preparing her for her first ride. Joel was amazing with her and it was great for Hollie to see how he supported her through her anxiety. I literally teared up seeing this dear mare who was so afraid of people when we first met, accepting a rider and finding comfort in the experience. But there are some hard truths about an older sensitive mare getting started. We knew that it would take many months of patient consistent training to help her fully turn loose to the experience of being a riding horse. We also knew that Millie has a TON of value just as she is now: a sweet affectionate mare who now turns to her human and seeks comfort when she is anxious. A true transformation, and a testament to the horsemanship foundation she received at SAFE.
Horses don’t have to become riding horses to leave SAFE. Knowing that Millie has the training and is easy to handle protects her future. We also known that she will be cared and loved by Hollie and her family is more than enough. We are so thrilled that Millie and Maddie are fast friends — together they will have a very happy life! We will miss your kind eyes, Millie, and we are better for have known you. Thank you for trusting us to become your friends and allowing us to watch you blossom into the beautiful mare you are today.
Back in March, The Limelight Pet Project featured Millie in a spotlighted video, and we wanted to share the full story of Millie’s transformation, as told by Terry. (You can see the Q13 news segment here.) Lovely little Millie is looking for adopters to show her the next steps in training. If you think you may be a match for her, fill out an application!
thank you to Dirtie Dog Photography for these gorgeous photos!
Thanks to The Limelight Pet Project for featuring Millie!
The Limelight Pet Project is a campaign local to Washington that shines a light on harder to adopt pets and the people who help them. We’re delighted they chose Millie to share this month on Q13 FOX.
Here’s the article and segment on Q13 FOX:
Millie has been doing great! She was worked in the Horsemanship clinic at the beginning of November and was a star. Joel used her in a round pen “join up” demonstration and showed how to help her be more accepting of the rope. Very simply put, he would swing the rope then walk backwards to take off the pressure. When she looked at him, he would stop swinging and release. This way she learned that by joining up and bringing her attention onto the person, the thing that worried her went away. She gained a lot of confidence from this exercise.
During the clinic, Joel also helped us saddle Millie for the first time. The preparation work helped her accept this pretty well, but once the stirrups started moving, they worried her and she tried a few times to kick at them. We helped support her by putting the rope around her to let her get up and going but then help her come back down and not continue to be upset. This worked very well and she got better each day!
There is a ton of things we can get done over the fall and winter to help her preparation for a first ride. She’s made great progress in other areas such as learning to stand tied and coming into a stall at night. Our little frightened mare has already come so far. She is available now as a companion and we hope to make her available as a riding horse next spring.
What a beautiful mare this girl has become. She is gentle, interested, and affectionate with both her new human and horse buddies. While we have many weeks of training ahead before she is ready to adopt, this girl’s future is shining bright.
Here are some lovely photos that our volunteer photographer Alessia Rauseo took recently of Millie:
What a superstar Millie was during the recent Joel Conner Horsemanship Clinic at SAFE! The first day she took the lay of the land. It was her first time in an area with so many other horses and she was interested in meeting them all. She did well focusing on me and listening but there were moments of quiet nickers when a new friend came near. We worked on getting more comfortable with the flag as well as the rope work. She had some BIG changes to standing relaxed as I swung a rope to her side. We also addressed leading off of pressure and Joel broke down a few methods to help her give to the leading rope that were very helpful.
During the clinic, Joel demonstrated how to introduce the trailer to horses. The only other time Millie had been in a trailer was when we moved her to SAFE. That time we just let her follow her friend Hoss into the trailer. This time was a bit different. She is now halter broke and we can teach her to lead in because she wants to and not by force. This short video shows her thinking and working through what is being asked as she learns that the trailer is not a scary place to be but actually a very relaxed and peaceful space.
At the heart of the work that SAFE does is one simple goal: putting a stop to equine suffering. It’s something we have done for every horse we’ve encountered over the years. We’ve removed horses from situations of dire neglect and shown them that there are good people in the world who want only the best for them. And no matter how long our time together ends up being, each horse we save is given the gift of love, care, and peace; a gift that can never be taken from them.
We do everything we can to return our horses to a healthy and comfortable existence once they’re in our care. But when we’re faced with a horse with pain we can’t lessen, we have to make a difficult choice. Boss Hoss and his daughter Millie were rescued by SAFE about six weeks ago. Hoss was a 20 year old stallion, and under normal circumstances, we would have transformed him into a happy gelding as soon as possible. But we decided to hold off on gelding surgery for Hoss until we knew for sure that we were going to be able to save him. Hoss had a condition called Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD), an incurable disease that affects the connective tissues of his limbs. When Hoss walked, his fetlocks (the “ankle” joints) would sink nearly to the ground with each step. Dropped fetlocks were the most noticeable symptom of Hoss’ condition, but we also began to notice that he sometimes had an incredibly difficult time getting back to his feet after laying down. This loss of mobility not only caused Hoss a great deal of physical discomfort, it also likely left him feeling defenseless and vulnerable in the face of danger. In other words, not only was he in pain, his quality of life was being affected by his DSLD. We’d been postponing Hoss’ gelding surgery because we did not want to put him through that procedure at his age if we couldn’t be sure of his basic comfort and soundness. Since there was nothing that could be done for his DSLD, and since it was clearly impacting his comfort and mobility, we decided that the kindest thing was could do for Hoss was to let him go.
Boss Hoss was humanely euthanized on Wednesday, and his passing was as quiet and peaceful as any we’ve ever seen. He left this life knowing that we loved him, and that we valued his comfort and happiness. While we had hoped that we could make him comfortable enough for a few more months or years, we take comfort in knowing that we gave Hoss six weeks of the very best care and kindness at SAFE. Saying goodbye to a sweet and friendly horse like Hoss is painful, but it’s a pain that we have to accept so that he can be free. Hoss runs free now, and he will not be forgotten.
Millie is doing very well. She was able to say goodbye to her sire, and she seemed at peace with his passing. She’s been introduced to a new friend in Amelia, and the two mares are enjoying each other’s company. Millie has made such amazing progress in learning to trust, and we look forward to seeing that work continue.
Now that summer is here, Terry has the opportunity to teach Millie another new skill: getting used to the hose.
Millie has spent a great deal of her life in the company of her sire, Boss Hoss. Terry’s been helping her adjust to an independent life without her parent nearby. These videos are from Day 1 and Day 2 of Millie’s transition to a new life as an individual, learning to enjoy pasture time.
The latest additions to the SAFE herd are a pair of Arab horses who were surrendered to SAFE after their owner suffered a stroke and could no longer care for them. Boss Hoss is a 20 year old pinto Arab stallion, and Millie is his 11 year old daughter. The two are in reasonable shape, but they were living hard prior to their rescue. Hoss is a little thin, and his dropped pasterns are a concern to us. He’s a friendly and curious fellow, and his short mane and tail give him a baby-ish appearance, in spite of his age. Millie lived together with her sire for most of her life, but she seems to have avoided pregnancy, probably because of her ability to double-barrel kick. (It should be noted that keeping a mare and stallion together is asking for an unplanned pregnancy, whether the two horses are related to one another or not!) Millie came to SAFE without being halter-broken, and at 11 years of age, she’s completely unhandled. Her forelock, mane, and tail are packed with burrs, and we’ll have to get her much more comfortable with being handled by humans before we can tackle that particular grooming project. Millie’s made great progress towards being gentled already by Terry, and we have high hopes for this lovely girl.