2003 grey Arabian gelding
Type of Rescue: Animal Control
Intake Date: 8/4/2022
Adoption Date: 11/16/2022
Length of Time with SAFE: 3 months
ADOPTED!! by Carla
Sebastian is a 20 yr old Arabian gelding who was found abandoned at the Tree Farm. Snohomish County Animal Control posted publicly looking for their owner. No one came forward and no brands where found, so they were released to SAFE for rehabilitation.
It wasn’t long before we introduced Sebastian to a herd mate, Camille, and the two became best paddock buddies. Both needed several mashes a day and were able to free feed on hay so the match seemed perfect. They two seemed to enjoy each other’s company and were always never far from each other.
We are so happy when Carla came to meet Camille, she decided immediately that Sebastian could come home too. Now these two live happily ever after with s few donkeys and a couple of our alumni, Renee and Angel.
It’s not often we get the privilege of adopting two of our horses together to the same home, so when we do, it sends “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” throughout our community. Though Camille and Sebastian were only at SAFE a short while and their friendship was still so new, the volunteers and staff enjoyed seeing the two spend time together in their new besties paddock. Whether it was spending time simply standing next to one another or very politely eating their own mash meals 3 times a day, the two seemed very content and happy to be in each other’s presence.
Sebastian came to SAFE in August with another mare, Bijou, after the two were found abandoned at the Tree Farm in Arlington. Snohomish County Animal Control posted publicly searching for their home, but after no one came forward, they were released to us. Upon arrival, Sebastian was underweight, with swollen legs and sheath and we were worried about his long term health. Luckily, after multiple tests over the course of his time with us, nothing came up alarming. His sweet nature allowed us to offer our volunteers the chance to walk him around the property for very slow, ‘stop and smell the roses’ kind of exercise and daily enrichment. He enjoyed daily turnout with his former buddy, Bijou, and you would often find him laying down resting in the sun, instead of gobbling up every grass morsel, but he seemed happier just to be with another horse.
Camille arrived with a very sad history. Her owner was literally working her to death when Pierce County Animal Control stepped in and seized her. Covered in horrific wounds, and extremely underweight, she spent two months recovering with a lovely foster family, helping her heal and gain about 300 lbs! She was a very gentle mare, but on arrival was closed off and not interested in much at all. Everyone was worried, but after a week or so a brightness returned to her eyes and you would often find her in her shelter looking forward to her meal delivery service several times a day. At the end of summer, when we had to close off a portion of her paddock due to the rainy mud season and we needed to find this big lady more space. Luckily we had sweet Sebastian to introduce and that’s where the story starts to get even better.
Their amazing adopter, Carla, is not new to SAFE at all. In fact she adopted two bonded retired mares, Angel and Renee in October 2020. Carla’s property is full of senior horses and mules living out the rest of their days surrounded with friends on rolling hills, not being asked of anything except to enjoy the sunshine on their back, the crunch of grass and the companionship of each other.
After a casual conversation with our shared farrier, Daphne Jones and Carla recently losing her draft mare, this perfect match started to unfold. Carla shared that on a recent walk she had the thought if a draft horse was given to her, she would take it. She came home, pulled up our website and there was Camille. After talking with Daphne, she reached out to meet her and instantly fell in love. With tons of experience we couldn’t have dreamt of a better home for big girl. To our delight, when Carla met Sebastian, and without a blink of an eye, said “He can come home too!”
The two arrived to their final home on a gorgeous day the week before Thanksgiving. Both slowly took in their surroundings, Camille leading the way with Sebastian as her little mini me shadow. The next morning Carla caught the two napping next to each other in the sun. Shortly after, Sebastian had a roll and Camille trotted around bucking and leaping! After having such sad stories upon their arrival to SAFE, it makes our hearts melt seeing what a wonderful life the two of them will now have together. Thank you, Carla, for bringing these two into your herd and thank you, Daphne, for spreading the word about our sweet horses.
Camille and Sebastian could be styled as storybook characters in the furry flesh. Two older horses, brought together by virtue of poor circumstance, united under shared healing. She, an ex-carriage horse, standing at a cool 18 hands, a true gentle giant. He, whose past is entirely unknown to us, but whose last experience with humans before he arrived here was watching them leave him behind, stands a much smaller 14 hands, but no less sweet.
They first met via a shared fence line, though neither is predisposed to the dramatic, and they hardly seemed interested in the other. However, when we moved Sebastian away, it was clearly upsetting Camille, who kept a close eye on her little friend. But she shouldn’t have worried – Sebastian was only moving towards her, the two to become pasture mates.
Their introduction was completely uneventful — and I know I’ve said that before, but this time was the very definition of the word. We let them sniff noses on the halter rope first, and neither one seemed particularly interested in the other. When we let them off the leads, they calmly went about their separate (but loosely linked) ways. Sebastian went for a walk about, and Camille followed behind at a respectful distance, like a watchful older sibling with none of the associated rivalry.
The two were instant companions, and within the hour were peacefully sharing a meal time, going so far as to take bites out of each other’s grain pans. The next morning, Camille enjoyed a nap under the tree with Sebastian standing guard a few feet away. And then, not a day later, we caught the sweetest scene — Camille watching over Sebastian from under the cover of the shelter as he slept.
As herd animals, horses feel most comfortable when with a companion or two. There is safety in numbers, after all. Though they will sleep standing up, horses need REM sleep, which they can only get lying down. They don’t need much, but it is an important little bit. If a horse does not feel safe in its environment, the chances of them lying down and being able to relax fully decrease substantially. This is why it’s so important that we try to group horses up, so that they have a herd, or at least a buddy, to watch over them while they sleep.
Sebastian and Camille are not only each other’s buddies, but are each other’s protectors. Watching these two become such fast friends has been a complete boost of serotonin for us as we head into the rainy winter months, and we are kept warm with the thought that the two of them can find such comfort in one another.
Sebastian arrived at SAFE a little over a month ago, and already looks like a different horse. He has put on a substantial amount of weight, and while he still has a bit to gain to obtain optimal rotundness, he is certainly looking more like a horse should. His early blood work results came back with unhealthy liver levels — a frequent reality for older, malnourished horses. Since he has been in our care, we have been supplementing his feed with milk thistle, an herb proven to help bolster liver function, and hope to see improvement when we retest his blood in the coming weeks. When he arrived, he was quite swollen, and we have seen improvement on this front as well.
Sebastian’s time at SAFE has been quite eventful thus far. He saw the farrier here for the first time (likely not the first time he’s ever seen a farrier, but he will require a bit reacquainting before he is entirely comfortable with the process). He will soon be added to our grooming program, where the list of volunteers assigned to brush and love on sweet old Sebastian will grow. Already, he has quite a few fans of his gentle nature — he is most certainly an easy horse to spend time with. He gets regular grass time alongside his friend Bijou, the two typically enjoying a roll in unison before getting to work munching.
While he is not quite out of the medical woods yet, we are looking forward to continuing to nurse this old guy to health and give him the loving retirement he deserves.
Sebastian and Bijou were found abandoned at the Tree Farm in Arlington. Snohomish County Animal Control posted publicly searching for their home, but after no one came forward, they were released to SAFE. Bijou is a 10 year old Quarter Horse mare who is very sweet and may have been a riding horse in her past. Her hooves are very flat and we hope to schedule a visit with the farrier soon to fit her for shoes.
Our newest senior gelding, Sebastian, is a 20 year old flea bitten grey Arabian who has some medical concerns. His legs and sheath are swollen and we are waiting to hear back on bloodwork from our vet to determine the best medical plan going forward. Right now, the two are in separate paddocks next to each other, but are most often are found standing right next to each other in their shelter keeping an eye on one another. Recently our staff gave them both a bath and they were perfect angels for it. We look forward to learning more about their individual personalities as we bring them back to health.