1997 black Morgan gelding
type of rescue: Owner surrender
intake date: 10/7/16
adoption date: 3/16/18
length of time with SAFE: 1 years, 5 months
ADOPTED by Helen B of Issaquah WA
Prince is one of five horses surrendered to SAFE after their owner passed away unexpectedly. This handsome black Morgan gelding was reportedly ridden a great deal in his past life, but he came to SAFE showing a lot of uncertainty and herd-bound behavior. He began training with a volunteer rider and made terrific progress, both on the ground and under saddle. He especially seemed to enjoy being out on the trails. Prince was adopted into a family who enjoys trail riding.
SAFE Barn Manager Lori has developed a very close relationship with Prince and worked with him for quite a while to help him prepare for the day he would be adopted. She shared these thoughts with us:
I woke up this morning thinking about Prince and how far he has come. I remembered the first day Joel got on him. He ran and ran forever. Joel was amused at how much he just wanted to run and didn’t want to stop. I then remembered that weekend when I first got on him in Joel’s clinic. He couldn’t stand still. Serious ants in his pants and all he wanted to do was move (run). I had to keep him walking in a circles the entire clinic. Calling and screaming. I thought this horse would never stand still. I witnessed and experienced him sticking to you like glue for security and confidence. He ran people over trying to get to his herd where he felt safe. If you weren’t careful he could have really hurt someone.
Watching him this last Thursday walk slowly and calmly around the arena with a somewhat nervous rider made me realize how far he has come. He was so good with her, as if to know exactly how she was feeling and what she needed. He stood quietly and waited until she was ready. I am so proud of this boy. He has gone from that excited, nervous boy to a well broke trail horse and now even a bit of a babysitter for someone who might have lost her confidence. Which we all can relate to. So this is what I am taking away from my experience with this horse. Something I will always keep close to my heart. So very, very proud of him.
Lori has committed a great deal of time to loving and training Prince while he has been at SAFE. He is doing so well under her supervision and has blossomed into both a confident trail horse but also a calm arena partner. This boy can do it all! Here is what Lori had to say about their work together:
“Prince continues to amaze me. We went today on a ride along with Rosie and the two mini horses. Prince led the way and was the calm cool partner for the other horses on the trail. The trail was flooded and covered with water and downed branches. I ponied Rosie for a bit to allow the other two handlers to tip toe through the water with the minis. Prince was amazing. He had no problem ponying Rosie through the flooded trail and over and through broken branches and logs. Rosie was a champ too. She was calm by Prince’s side. This girl is a lovely walking partner. She was willing to go through and over whatever the trail dished out.
“Once back at SAFE, I took Prince into the arena to check in on his arena work. He was so good. Immediately giving me a soft feel. He now is listening to my feel, transitioning off of my seat. Stopping off of my feel and YES he still has his built in “Whoa”! (All you have to do is say it and he stops in his tracks!) Legs forward is getting a nice back up out of him. So proud of this boy.”
In the year that Prince has been with SAFE, he has grown into one of the barn favorites. This handsome fellow has been developing his arena skills and enjoying trail rides. Prince has a very important job helping the newer SAFE horses walk confidently out on the trails and in the new surroundings. We really aren’t sure why this boy hasn’t been adopted yet! Maybe this new video showing off all Prince’s great attributes will help you see what we do: a steady, confident partner who is longing for a friend enjoy outdoors with him!
Here is what his volunteer rider Lori has to say about what they have been recently up to: “Prince has been doing really well. We have spent a lot of time working on a soft feel in the bit and slowing down. He does this very well at the walk. Walks on a loose rein and relaxed. The trot is what we have been working on. He starts off head up and racing at the trot but settles in and relaxes. We finish with him trotting slow and dropping off with the lighted touch of the reins. He is great on the trails. I take him alone. He calls a bit but is willing to go and whatever I put in front of him. Very proud of this boy.”
From the past few months, we have had glue on shoe on Prince to help him grow more sole and improve his soundness. Last week our farrier Daphne came and looked at his hoof health and said that we could once again try him without shoes. He was sound and his hooves are looking great. Lori will continue to ride him and get him out on the trails as much as possible. Hopefully his right match comes along soon and this fun boy can have a family of his own. He is ready to be a carefree trail horse!
Lori had this to say about Prince in the recent Joel Conner clinic:
I took Prince into the afternoon riding portion of the clinic. Once again, so proud of this boy. He has been on a light duty workout and he did everything that was asked if him. We stuck to the walk and trot only. He preformed his yielding of the hindquarters and forequarters like a pro. We worked on getting a soft feel and for once it didn’t seem like a struggle. He gave nicely to my hands and would go around holding his head position. What a good boy.
I entered Prince into the riding portion of the Joel Conner clinic on March 18th and 19th. Prince is new to some of the tasks that were asked of him. He performed the yielding the hindquarters and forequarters under saddle extremely well. We worked on getting him to feel me through my seat. Asking him to slow and pick up speed through my feel. This is something new to him and we will continue to work on. Prince would try to pay attention and learn this new skill. He just needs more practice but I have no doubt that he will master this soon. We worked on exercises of getting close to other horses both front and hind ends. This is no problem for Prince. He is very comfortable in close quarters with other horses. We worked on getting a soft feel through the bit. Prince is usually very good at this and we will continue to work on this skill. Prince has plenty of go when asked. One thing we will be working on is slowing his gaits down to a comfortable and relaxing speed. Using the one rein stop to achieve this proved to work well for him. I have never felt that Prince would run off. I just want him to slow and relax. Prince has a very enjoyable and smooth lope. He tries hard and has a very pleasant attitude when working with him. Never has he shown any sour behavior. He is very kind and sweet. He will make someone a wonderful trail riding partner.
SAFE’s volunteer riders and their horses spent last weekend working with Joel Conner. Here’s a report from Lori about her sessions with Prince:
Prince and I entered the Saturday groundwork class. Prince started out being extremely herd bound and more focused on his buddies rather then on the tasks at hand. He would try to push over you instead of moving away. He was pretty worked up and a bit stressed. Prince has a great heart. He did not know about personal space and how to keep a safe distance. After working a while with Joel he started to get these manners down. The more we worked on the method the less he was looking to his buddies and the more he was looking to me for security and guidance. He soon learned how to yield his hind quarters and forequarters. He learned how to move out of my space when I would approach. Prince also learned quickly how to give when I would pick up on the lead to bend him. Bending to the right is his tightest side.
The afternoon we entered the riding portion of the clinic. Prince is more comfortable with you on top then on the ground. I spent a great deal of time bending him from side to side. He would relax for a bit and then have to move again making me put him into another bend until he would stand and relax. He was able to yield both his hind quarters and forequarters. I worked on getting a soft feel off the bit and teaching him to drop off. He excelled at this. I chose to keep him at the walk this afternoon since he was so eager to move. Teaching him to relax and be quiet was my focus.
Sunday morning we participated in the second half of the ground work. Prince was so much better this morning. Much quieter and moved out of my space with more enthusiasm. Only needed a few corrections to remind him not to crowd my space. His backing with the halter got to barely touching him with a finger and he was matching my speed when leading and stopping. Much improved. What a nice boy he is becoming with his new found manners.
More photos of Prince at the clinic:
Prince, Rico, Vida, Rosie, and Ruckus were surrendered to SAFE after their owner passed away unexpectedly from cancer. The five horses were transported without incident to a SAFE foster home, where they will remain until their quarantine period is over. We’ve been told that the four full-sized horses are well started under saddle and some are very easy to ride. They all seem to be very well mannered and reasonably healthy. The five together make up a lovely little herd, and we’ve really enjoyed watching them interact with each other.