Smart Zipleana (AQHA)
April 17, 2006
|Online Adoption Application|
Nashville is an incredibly sweet mare who came to SAFE virtually unhandled. Despite this lack of education and experience, Nashville is taking very well to the introductory work of SAFE’s Horsemanship program! She was recently started under saddle, shows a great willingness to learn, and is excelling quickly! This mare will make an excellently soft and willing riding partner for someone with the proper handling and continued education.
All SAFE horses are adopted with a no‐breeding clause, no exceptions.
Nashville is relatively uncomplicated and needs an intermediate rider or beginner working with a trainer who can offer her a balanced seat, soft hands, and support to help her build strength and find balance under saddle. She is still green in arena work and will need some support through the next stages of her education. In her introductory trail rides, she was steady in the lead or in the rear, brave, and enjoyed being outside.
Nashville shows a great willingness to learn, a keen mind, and a lot of try. She handles very nicely, does well turned out with her small herd, and stands well for the vet and farrier. She is a wonderfully clever girl who we feel will bloom with patience and consistency.
Nashville has always seemed to have some degree of mild hind limb lameness/weakness, but she has been able to handle light riding without issue. Dr. Lewis of Rainland Farm Equine Clinic was recently out at the farm and did a brief lameness exam on her.
Dr. Lewis concluded that Nashville is “serviceably sound for a home with light trail riding and arena work.” This is consistent with what we’ve known from prior exams so there were no surprises on this visit. She suggested that she not be asked to do anything that requires a significant amount of canter work because she has trouble holding her leads in the hind. We have been doing some strengthening exercises under saddle and this problem has actually been improving, but Nashville will still be best suited for an owner who doesn’t wish to do too much cantering. Her hind limb lameness was found to be mild on flexion tests. But Dr. Lewis says that since this has been a chronic issue and the source of pain has been difficult to localize, it is unlikely to fully resolve. Getting a definitive diagnosis would require an extensive lameness exam and is a needle in a haystack situation. If she was having more issues in her current level of work, we would pursue further diagnostics. But for now she is handling light arena work and trails comfortably.
Nashville is a horse that benefits greatly from bodywork, and we recommend that her adopter helps her maintain her current level of comfort with chiropractic treatments and massage. Dr. Meyer of Pilchuck Vet Hospital sees her fairly regularly for chiropractic adjustments, and our barn manager, Lori, does massage work on her. Nashville also really seems to enjoy treatments with our PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field) blanket that was graciously gifted to us by a donor.
Nashville has earned the reputation of being very amiable to new riders and able to be put into a clinic or taken on a trail ride by someone she’s just met. For this past Joel Conner clinic, we were able to let volunteer rider Scott get on her the day before the clinic and easily fit into the class without trouble. LOVE this mare’s willing attitude and it was a treat that she enjoyed working with Scott. We look forward to him continuing to ride.
The week following the clinic Nashville went out on a few trail rides through the park to help the uneasy horses with their first trail rides. She is a steady leader when needed, follows without worry and comforts the uneasy horses with her steady calm presence. She does not become tight or bothered when the others act up or get nervous. She is truly a gem on the trail and READY to find a family looking for a great partner!
Scott shared with us his experience getting to know Nashville:
She went very easily in a unified circle and did great bending and yielding hind quarter and front quarter. Clearly, she has had a lot of work there. When I bent her while mounted, she was very sensitive to bending both left and right. She was very sensitive to yielding her hindquarters. She can get better but I felt she tried and understands what is being asked. I think she can reach more with her hind. She struggled a bit with the front quarter yield but that also may have been me trying to get our time down when I was asking for her to yield her front quarter. We got better between Friday and Sunday.
She seems to be drawn to the gate when in the arena, so I will work on getting her to work when she is at the gate and letting her rest when she goes away from the gate. That seems to affect her anytime we were walking or trotting in a circle. On Friday she was cutting corners, moving off the wall, and not very responsive to my “feel.” I think by Sunday we had an improvement there and she stayed on the wall and yielded to my leg and stayed in the corners on each turn.
I felt great being able to get Nashville into a soft feel at the walk, trot, and lope. I had to work at my release and need to improve there. When asked, she goes to a trot and lopes easily. At times she can be “dull” so I will work at getting her more responsive to my “feel” so she goes easily. I also noticed that when she was working in the arena her disposition changed. She was listening to me. At times I messed up and asked too much or did not give to her and then she got braced, but that was my fault. I’ll keep working at that. Overall, a great three‐day clinic for us!
I worked with Nashville for all 3 days of this recent Joel Conner clinic. Every time I ride this horse I like her more and more! During the groundwork portion I focused on getting her to have a better expression. She often pins her ears when asked to do something and Joel helped me work on my energy level and timing to get a change in her. By the end of the session she had a much more pleasant expression and I felt like we made good progress.
Since the last clinic, Nashville and I have been working on getting her to be more punctual. She is now more responsive to my seat for upward transitions, but we still had a little more work to do in this area. I have been simultaneously working on getting a more pleasant expression under saddle. This is a balance for me between getting more “go” while also keeping her relatively content about doing it. Going forward I’ll be working to fine tune upward and downward transitions; more energy going upward into the trot and lope, coming back down after a few good strides, and maintaining punctuality with both.
Every time I participate in a clinic I get more and more insight into how I can improve my horsemanship. Nashville has been a fun partner to experience this with.
Below, photos of volunteer Phoebe riding Nashville:
Nashville and I participated in all three of the riding sessions in this month’s Joel Conner clinic. I’ve been working with her for about 2 months and have really enjoyed getting to know her. It was great to get to take part in the clinic with her and develop new goals in our work together.
Nashville is a sweet, level‐headed mare. One of my main areas of focus now is getting her to be more punctual in response to my requests for upward transitions, as her demeanor is more low than high energy. Joel helped me in working with picking up her energy under saddle and getting her to be more timely when I ask her to pick up a gait. She picks up a soft feel well and is very responsive to seat and rein aids, and also to leg aids for lateral movement. She does well under a rider with quiet hands. Forward momentum is her (or rather, my) biggest struggle, although once she’s in a gait it’s relatively easy to keep her there.
Since taking her on, Nashville and I have been working on increasing muscle and balance. I want to improve her balance in general as she’s still learning how to properly use her body under saddle, but also to help rectify the problem of swapping leads behind at the lope. We’ve been backing circles both in hand and under saddle, riding figure eights and serpentines, doing hindquarters/front quarters exercises, walking hills on the property, and utilizing trot poles. She still swaps leads when on a smaller circle such as in the round pen or when bending to a stop, but during the clinic she held her leads all the way around the arena. I counted that as a minor victory. Now she and I just need to incorporate more focus on transitions during our rides together. I’m excited to get to work!
Nashville has been going really well under saddle, and yesterday she went out for her first ever trail ride! She was a little unsure in the beginning but quickly settled with her friend Roscoe out front and Bowie bringing up the rear. We tried her in the lead and also in the rear of the group and she was content in all three positions. Going uphill was a little hard for her because she is out of shape, but we will be working on that over the coming weeks. She was sure‐footed over logs, had no trouble crossing bridges over running water, couldn’t care less about the bicyclist who passed us, and barely gave the two Jack Russell terriers the time of day.
We will continue to get Nashville more miles out on the trails. She’s turning out to be a nice, solid‐minded Quarter Horse!
Nashville and her volunteer rider Casey A took part in the last Joel Conner clinic. Here’s what Casey had to say about the progress that Nashville is making:
Nashville did very well during the riding portion of the Joel Conner clinic. At the last clinic, she was very concerned about the close proximity of other horses, though she was safe and reasonable with all of the energy. During this clinic, she demonstrated marked improvement with her comfort being near other horses, as she was much more willing to move forward with energy and feel. She now moves consistently on a soft feel at the walk and trot, transitions up and down all gaits off of the rider’s feel, and she is more balanced with the hind quarters/fore quarters exercise. However, she continues to swap hind lead at the canter. We will continue to work on strength building exercises, and we’re hoping to get her out on the trails soon!
SAFE Volunteer Rider Casey A has been working with Nashville and rode her in the riding sessions of last weekend’s Joel Conner clinic. Here’s what she had to say about it:
I rode Nashville in the riding portion of the clinic all three days. Joel put the first couple of rides on her about a month ago, and we’ve had about 15 rides since. She is so soft and responsive, and she learns really quickly. She moves up and down all three gaits through a feel, so this weekend I started to pick up a soft feel, halt, and back up. She was initially really concerned about being in close proximity to other horses in the clinic, but that significantly improved by the end of the third day. She does have trouble holding her leads at the canter in the hind, but as she develops strength and balance, I think this will improve. She is a very sensitive mare who requires clarity and fairness from her rider. If she feels stuck in her feet she gets very defensive, so we’ve been doing a lot of ground work to help free her up. Today we went for a walk around the property, and she did great!
Last September we noticed that Nashville appeared lame during her groundwork sessions. Cantering seemed problematic for her and she had a tough time keeping her leads and not “bunny hopping.” It was concerning considering her son, Valor, had just had surgery to fix his locking stifles.
A lameness evaluation was performed by Dr. Renner from Rainland. On exam the pain seemed to be originating more from her lumbar area, but it was difficult to pinpoint and therefore difficult to diagnose. He recommended we do a bute trial to see if pain medication would make her sound again. The answer we would get from that trial would give us information about which diagnostic route to proceed with.
A bute trial was performed in October and Nashville seemed greatly improved with the anti‐inflammatory medication on board. Using grant money from Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital, we had Dr. Devine perform a recheck on her. She came to a similar conclusion—it seemed to be originating from the lumbar/sacral area and we were looking at a needle‐in‐a‐haystack kind of situation.
At that point we had some decisions to make. We could have a bone scan performed to get a better idea of where the pain was originating, we could begin doing diagnostic nerve blocks, or we could give her some time off and see if she showed any improvement. There were a lot of aspects to think about regarding that decision. The biggest obstacles were the fact that Nashville hadn’t had much prior handling and would not have been gentle enough for nerve blocks, and also that she had never been started under saddle. Spending large sums of money doing diagnostic procedures on a horse that may never be a riding horse is not the best use of funds. We opted to start with the easiest and least expensive route and give her time off, along with some chiropractic adjustments performed by Dr. Meyer of Pilchuck.
Dr. Devine came out last December to evaluate her again, and her lameness seemed improved. She gave us the OK to put her back to work, and we will reassess her lameness again if it reappears. Today Nashville is doing well. There are still some minor concerns and she is not 100%,but the work she’s doing now does not seem to cause her any discomfort. We will continue to get her gentler and started as a riding horse so we can better evaluate any lameness if it returns.
Farrier Daphne Jones came out today to work on the badly neglected hooves of our new horses. She was able to trim all of them, except for Angel, who was very reluctant to have her hind feet handled. Daphne worked with her to get her more accustomed to having her hinds picked up, and will be back out very soon to attempt another trim. The good news is that as bad as their feet looked when we picked them up, Daphne was able to make everyone’s hooves look relatively normal again. With proper hoof care, these horses should remain sound.
Poor Nashville and Angel had tails that resembled baseball bats!! With a lot of patience (and a fair amount of Tail & Mane Detangler) we were able to save a lot of Nashville’s tail. The matted clump that was Angel’s tail was cut out.
SAFE has recently taken in 6 new horses. They were surrendered to us by their owner, who was no longer able to care for them, due to physical and financial set backs. The horses were all in decent weight, but had not received farrier or dental care in many years. Most had extremely overgrown feet, causing lameness and discomfort. Two other horses belonging to the same owner were humanely euthanized due to pain and old age.
Our decision to take these horses was based on several factors. We felt that without our intervention, the horses would continue to suffer, and were likely to become thin once winter set in. We also have reason to believe that there was a genuine risk that one or all of the mares would be impregnated, either accidentally or intentionally.
The six horses now reside at Safe Harbor in Redmond. Valor is stalled at night and spends his days in a private paddock. The other five are living together in a small pasture where they can be safely quarantined from the rest of the herd.
3 year old QH stallion, now a gelding
11 year old QH mare
dam of Valor
27 year old QH mare
dam of Cosmo
13 year old QH gelding
son of Angel
|CJ (Calamity Jane)
17 year old QH mare
19 year old QH mare
1. Lillian H.
2. Debra F.
Every horse deserves at least ten friends! Even a small monthly donation can make a difference. Plus, SAFE horse sponsors receive discounts at local businesses through the SAFEkeepers program!