description: 2007 Cremello Saddlebred cross gelding
type of rescue: King County Animal Control Seizure
intake date: 2/23/2008
adoption date: 7/28/2014
length of time with SAFE: 6 years, 5 months
Sinatra’s Story: Sinatra got his name from his pretty blue eyes, and his larger-than-life personality. As a youngster, Sinatra was badly neglected by his breeder/owner, but from the day he arrived at SAFE, despite his weakened condition, he has always been friendly, engaging, and funny. Sinatra is one of the most social horses you will ever meet, and he is truly a one-of-a-kind character.
SAFE provided 60 days training to start Sinatra under saddle and he was ridden on and off for several years, but he was rarely 100% sound, likely because of the extreme neglect he suffered as a foal. Sinatra was diagnosed with moderate-to-poor proprioception, which meant that he didn’t always know where his feet were. This condition could be controlled to some extent with large doses of Vitamin E, but not to the point where we felt he was safe to be ridden.
Sinatra’s happy ending came after more than 6 years as a SAFE horse, when he and Honeycutt were offered a forever home on a huge farm in Onalaska WA. The two enjoy life as cherished pets.
Honeycutt and Sinatra have settled in to life at Safe Harbor Stables. They reside in the paddock closest to the gate where they can watch people come and go. From the far side of the paddock they can see lots of other horses, and watch our volunteers at work.
When the boys first arrived back at SAFE, they seemed astonished to see other horses again! They are living next door to an old friend named Owen, and all three horses seem to recognize and remember each other from their time in foster together. (Here’s Honeycutt’s take on the Owen situation, written shortly after we rescued the Curly Horse stallion.) Honeycutt remains a little shy, but he’s happy to stand and observe as Sinatra makes friends with everyone who passes by his area. Sinatra is older now, but he’s retained that childlike wonder through which he views the word.
Both horses have been examined by our vet, had their teeth floated, and their hooves trimmed. Sinatra was showing signs of lameness when he arrived, so we’re hoping that we can make him more sound by getting his hooves back in shape. He’s got a pretty big crack on the front of his left fore, but farrier Andrea feels that it will grow out and be gone in other trim or two. Both boys had very nasty thrush, but the treatments we’re doing to rid them of that appear to be working. We did a blood test on Honeycutt to confirm that he does have Cushings as we feared, so he’s been started on a medication called Prascend to help control it. We’ll have to control his diet and watch carefully for signs of founder, but hopefully he’ll be feeling better soon. Honeycutt also has four loose teeth that will need to be pulled. We can’t say for certain if this is just a symptom of aging, but it’s another reminder of why horses need regular dental checkups. And regular appointments with the farrier.
All in all, both Honeycutt and Sinatra are looking and feeling better than when they arrived two weeks ago. Their dreadlocks are gone, and both have enjoyed grooming and braiding sessions with volunteers. They’ve gotten accustomed to hay being delivered several times a day, and they’re getting the hang of those pesky slow feeders. Every day they get a little serving of tasty, tasty grain with their vitamins, and that makes them happy. And they’ve still got each other for company, although once their quarantine period is up, they may start making new friends and learning to be less dependent on one another. We’ll take it slow.
Many people have asked if Honeycutt will resume writing his blog now that he’s back in wi-fi range. He definitely plans to start writing again, once he’s feeling better. He wrote a haiku for his Facebook page shortly after his return that went:
This is a good place
Lovely hays come day and night
But I still feel strange
Here are some photos prior to Honeycutt and Sinatra’s farrier appointment (thank you Kristina Oden!):
When SAFE adopts out a horse, we make it very clear to the new adopter that their relationship with SAFE is just getting started. Most of the people who’ve adopted from us over the last 14 years remain in regular contact with us, whether through site visits, emails/phone calls, or our Alumni Facebook group. And most are more than happy to share updates with us, because they know we still care as much about their horses as they do.
So when an adopter starts refusing site visits…that’s a red flag.
Two of SAFE’s most popular and well-known horses, Honeycutt and Sinatra, were adopted together in 2014. The first few years were great and their adopter was in regular communication with us. Then site visits became difficult to schedule, and their adopter expressed irritation with SAFE for trying. Then they stopped responding to us. We continued to try to reconnect. We finally got through to them earlier this year, and again tried to arrange a visit. The adopter refused, then agreed, then became unavailable, all the while expressing considerable anger toward SAFE. It all came to a head last Sunday, when we told them we were coming down to get the horses. Thankfully, we were able to retrieve them both without incident, and Honeycutt and Sinatra have returned to SAFE.
The two horses had been living rough for some time, receiving minimal care on an irregular basis. They’re in decent weight, but their hooves are in terrible condition from lack of farrier care, and we have to assume that they haven’t seen a vet in some time either. Honeycutt is not completely shed out, which means he may have Cushings.
We’ll have a lot more happy news to share about Honeycutt and Sinatra’s return to SAFE, and how well they are bouncing back, but we’re still feeling a lot of distress as to how this adoption played out. It just shows how vital it is to keep contact with horses even after they go to new homes. But it also shows how hard we will fight to protect our horses, even if things get ugly. Because no horse should ever be forgotten.
Hello to all my friends! I have something wonderful to share with you, but first I have a question to ask: Adoption — do you know this thing? Adoption is when someone says “Oh horse! Please come to my home and live there forever. There will be lovely hays and tasty, tasty grain for you, and also friends and fields and little houses. I am a good peoples and I want you to be my horse!” That is the thing called Adoption, and that is the thing that has happened for me and Sinatra.
Me and Sinatra have been SAFE horses for a long, long time, and sometimes we thought we would be SAFE horses forever! But one day a nice man named Chris saw my picture on the Interwebs and thought that it would be nice to have a horse like me living on his big farm. He came over to meet me, and right away I liked him very much. Chris was very calm and quiet with me, and when I stood next to him I felt like yawning, and I did yawn many, many times. Chris and Mom talked for a long time about me, and Chris told Mom that he had a big ranch where I could live with acres of room to roam and lots of different animals to be my friends. Mom was very very sad to think about saying “So long” to me, but when she saw the yawning, she understood that Chris was someone who I could be happy with. She did not want to be in the way of me being happy, so she was brave and said that Chris could take me to his ranch and that would be my home for ever.
Now when Chris was meeting me, Mom told Sinatra “Oh Sinatra! You must be a very very good horse and maybe Chris will take you to his farm for ever and ever too.” But Sinatra did not listen to Mom, so instead of being a good horse, he was a very bad horse! He screamed like a goat every time he could not see me, and he banged and banged on the metal gate because he was too far away to be my shadow. He even escaped into the barn and helped himself to some tasty, tasty grain, and made Mom have to pull on him to get him back outside. Sinatra was a very bad horse the day that Chris came to meet me, and when Chris went home, Mom told Sinatra “Oh Sinatra! You will not be going to Chris’ farm with Honeycutt because you could not have been a badder behaved horse today.” Sinatra just said “Shoelace” and went back to being my white shadow.
But then Chris said something that made Mom and all the SAFE peoples cry a little with happiness. He told Mom that he didn’t think it would be right to take me away from Sinatra! He said that he could see that I am Sinatra’s rock, and that Sinatra would be very, very sad if I was to go away. So he said that he wanted to take Sinatra to his farm and that both of us would have a home for ever and ever.
So Mom put us in the moving box and took us to a place called Onalaska which is where our new home with Chris is. Our new home is a giant ranch that is so big that you cannot see all of the ends of it. The ranch is already home to many things called Cattles, and also the ranch is where bales of lovely, lovely hay come from! At first when we came to the ranch, I was quite startled by some very different sights and sounds and smells! There were a bunch of very ugly things in the barn that made scary gobbledy noises…Mom said they were Turkees, do you know those things? Turkees are giant birds that were up to no good, I think! I watched them from my new stall, and although I tried to be very very brave, there was a little quiver in my leg that showed how worried I was about Turkees.
Later when we went to explore the ranch with Mom and Chris and my friend Debi, I saw a giant black thing off in the distance called Bull, do you know THAT thing?! Bull was black and gigantic and when I saw Bull, I turned into a horse statue made of glass! Mom laughed and told me that Bull was very far away and would not hurt me, and eventually I changed back into a horse and then I could walk again.
My new ranch also many things called Cows and another big thing called Pig, and I keep a very close eye on all these things just in case they are up to no good, like Turkees.
Chris is my new Dad and even though it was me who he wanted to be his horse first, he has already formed a very good bond with Sinatra. He says that Sinatra is one of the sweetest and most lovable horses he has ever met! He even calls him a good little horse! Sinatra does like his new home very much, and seems to be calmer and happier than before. I still have to look out for him most of the times, but now he has two friends: me and Chris. Two friends is a very good thing to have.
I miss my old home and my old Mom, but I am very happy to have a home of my own that is forever with my new Dad and my new family. I can’t talk to old Mom as much anymore, but I can feel that she is still there taking care of my friend Jay and feeling love for me and for the Big Baby. She can’t see our bodies but she can still feel our hearts. Old Mom will always be part of my life even if I can’t see her every day. I know she thinks of me often, especially in the morning when she doesn’t hear me nickering like a foghorn for my breakfast. She misses me most of all at those moments. Sometimes I call for her in the morning from my new ranch home, and maybe she hears that in her heart, and gets out of bed to feed breakfast to my friends I left behind. That would be a nice thing, don’t you think?
Here are some pictures for you to see of me and Sinatra at our new home!
Boys will be boys, and these guys play rough…Honeycutt has some scary-looking moves, but he doesn’t actually do anything to hurt Sinatra.
If you follow Honeycutt’s blog, you know that he shares a lot of secrets about horses and their interactions. Today’s update on Sinatra comes straight from the horse’s mouth…
Now if you were to look out and see me, you would see something white right next to me. If you looked again a little while later, you would see the white thing again! The white thing is called Sinatra, do you know that thing? Sinatra is another SAFE horse who lives with me now, and he is always right next to me, being the opposite of my shadow.
Many years ago, Sinatra was something even more terrible than a Pointy Horse: he was a Pointy Foal! Thinking about Pointy Foals makes me want to hang my head all the way down to the ground and sigh. Pointy Foals are the most wrong thing of all. All foals should be round and fuzzy and run in big circles around their round mother. They should not be hungry and cold like Sinatra was. Sinatra is no longer Pointy, thanks to my friends at SAFE, but there is something about Sinatra that is still not quite right. Mom says Sinatra is Special, and I suppose that is why I let him be the opposite of a shadow because normally I am not the sort of horse that tolerates such behavior. Mom says she knew for sure that Sinatra was Special when she saw him eating my lovely hays right out of my lovely hay feeder right next to me! If Jay or the Big Baby tried to eat my hays right next to me, I would tell them to clear off pronto, and they would too! Sinatra just pretends he doesn’t understand and keeps eating the hays…and for some reason I don’t fully understand, I let him do this. Maybe it’s because he was a Pointy Foal, or maybe because he’s Special but whatever the reason, Sinatra is exempt from the normal rules of horses. So he is my white shadow, and I’m okay with that.
I have not been writing very much poetry lately, and that leaves a hole in my heart where art is supposed to be, so I decide to stand under the big tree and work on a new haiku. Sinatra was there, and he wanted to know what I was doing so I told him that a haiku was a very short poem with a pattern of five hoofbeats then seven hoofbeats and then five more hoofbeats. I wrote a haiku for Sinatra to help him understand:
Sinatra is white
He trails me like a shadow
A shadow that’s white
Sinatra loved the poem and asked me to write another one for him:
My hays are right here
And your hays are over there
But sure, we can share.
Sinatra would have had me writing poems about every single aspect of our lives together, but I told him that he could find great peace and wisdom by writing poems himself. He was very eager to try. His first poem went like this:
Hello! Who are you?
Who are you? What are you doing? Is that a deer? I am hungry!
Very quickly I realized that Sinatra is probably a little Too Special to start by writing haiku. I decided that perhaps he should attempt to write a knock-knock joke instead, do you know that thing? Here is one that is very funny:
Who is there?
Tasty, tasty grain.
Tasty, tasty grain who?
Tasty, tasty grain who I want to eat!!
That is a very funny knock-knock joke. Here is Sinatra’s knock-knock joke:
Knock knock knock knock knock knock knock
(Mom: Sinatra stop kicking the wall!!!!)
Knock knock knock knock who is there? who are you? who am I?
Knock knock knock knock
(Mom: Sinatra, I mean it!)
Sinatra’s knock-knock joke seems to be loosely based on his haiku. It may be a while before Sinatra’s Poem Book comes out.
I was awake, but hadn’t yet gotten out of bed around 7 this morning, when I heard an unusual racket from outside. Something was on my front porch, something bigger than a raccoon, something…white? With hooves? Sinatra, is that you?
You see, Sinatra has learned a new trick in the past 48 hours, and that is that if you stick your head through the fence and just keep moving forward, eventually you end up on the other side. I have lovely vinyl three-rail fencing on my property, and it’s kept the horses safely where they belong until now. But Sinatra figured out how to walk through it — maybe by watching me do it? — and since then, he’s exited the pasture he shares with Honeycutt three times. He did it again sometime between night check and breakfast, and not only did he come up on the porch, he also pulled some things out of the cab of my truck and did some gardening.
Walking through a vinyl rail fence does take a toll on one’s body, so Sinatra has a couple of ugly looking wounds on his neck where he skinned himself…but maybe they just look bad because of the contrast between the red marks and his snowy white coat. When I went to retrieve him and return him to the pasture, he was standing quietly by the barn and he actually looked a little sad. I stood with him for a few minutes, and suddenly realized how badly I have failed this horse.
Sinatra does have it pretty good. He lives in a pasture with his good friend Honeycutt with “lovely hays” delivered three times a day. The two horses keep each other entertained, and there’s always Jay to boss around if Honeycutt isn’t available. There’s shelter from rain and sun, and very little is asked of him. But that’s the problem right there. I don’t do much of anything with Sinatra besides care for him. He’s not currently being ridden, which is one of the reasons he’s in a companion-type foster home, and that is partly because he’s not been sound under saddle for some time now. And I know in my head and my heart that I should be doing ground work with him on a regular basis. I use the standard excuse of being too busy, of not having time. It’s true that I am a pretty busy person. And it was less of an issue when it was just Honeycutt here, because Honeycutt is Mr Perfect when it comes to ground manners. You can leave him sit for weeks on end, and he’ll still perform perfectly when asked to run through a few exercises…or stand for the farrier…or lead to the pasture…or anything, really. But when it came to Sinatra, my excuse was always that I just don’t have time to work with him.
What suddenly struck me as I stood with Sinatra this morning, looking over his scrapes and noticing the strange sadness in his eyes, was that I was wrong: I did have time. Because I’ve been making that time in order to work with Owen. And, in fact, I looked forward to working with Owen. The difference is that working with Owen is rewarding and satisfying, because Owen is smart and respectful and easy. Progress in the form of a single step brings me joy and excitement. And because of this, I work with Owen almost every day. Our sessions are always short — mostly because he is so quick that ending on a good note can sometimes mean being finished before we’ve even gotten started — and it’s true, I look forward to them. I use “Owen-time” as my own “carrot” to get through a busy day. And I am personally committed to helping this horse get a good start in life.
Sinatra, on the other hand? He’s a pain in the rear. He’s mouthy and easy distracted and — let’s be honest — infuriating. I am not a horse trainer by any stretch of the imagination, and I know that I do not have the skills to deal with a horse as “special” as Sinatra. If I’m successful with Owen, it’s because of Owen. He is an amazing animal. Sinatra is no less amazing, but his personality is completely different than Owen’s. So I will cut myself a bit of a break and confess that Sinatra’s behavior can be maddening, and mad is not the way to be around horses. So I don’t work with him on the ground, even though I know that I should. Even though I know that by not doing so, I am failing him.
But he’s been happy here with me and Honeycutt, so it’s hard to even think about taking him away from a situation he enjoys. But I know in my heart that he needs boundaries, he needs a job, he needs to learn better behavior. Fortunately, I also know that SAFE is blessed with a trainer on staff named Terry Phelps who does have the skill and the patience to work with a horse like Sinatra. Maybe when a few more successful adoptions happen for us, we’ll have room at Safe Harbor for Sinatra to return there. We try to reserve the limited space at SHS for new intakes and horses that are being ridden but Terry uses a great deal of ground work training with our horses, and they make remarkable progress in her program.
But the tough question remains: what does the future hold for a horse like Sinatra? Not sound enough for work, but unsuitable for a life of leisure. It’s a question we have to find an answer to. Right now, I have to go make sure Sinatra is still in his pasture.
Ginger and lover boy Sinatra are joined at the hip. She was much more relaxed having a buddy in turnout. They were eatting this close the entire time. Two needy horses found each other and I mean both of them! I thought he wouldn’t leave her but SHE was stuck to him like glue! Literally had to walk them into their stalls together! Awe young misguided love lol! @ SAFE
What can we say about Sinatra that hasn’t already been said? He’s lovable, he’s laughable, he’s one of a kind. The Vitamin E supplements he’s been getting continues to help his proprioception issues, and under saddle, he seems to be feeling pretty good. Which for Sinatra means that he’s taking the opportunity to act out a bit in his riding sessions…nothing that Brittney can’t handle, of course. Sinatra may not have a great future ahead of him in the show ring, but he certainly could make someone’s life a whole lot more interesting. If you have room in your heart and your home for a lovable clown, take a look at Sinatra!
Measuring the fence this past weekend, my bright yellow tape measure caught the attention of Sinatra, who left his hay to come over and have a look. Always the social butterfly…
Here are some cute photos that Allison took of Sinatra back in July, being himself at SAFE Harbor Stables.
…when that good thing is photos of Sinatra and Aiden! These two boys are always happy to drop what they’re doing and come say hi. Friendly, outgoing, and oh so funny! Thanks to Alexis for the pics!
Sinatra and Aiden had a lot of fun in the snow. Being young geldings, they tend to play pretty rough but like most horses, it’s all for show — they don’t really want to hurt each other. Here are some photos of the two of them:
Not so good news on Sinatra – Dr. Hannah was able to replicate his lameness after several days of lunging and using nerve blocks localized the issue to both front legs, in the area of the fetlock down. When she blocked out the right, which was the one he was visually limping on, he went lame on the left. She took xrays which did not reveal any issues, so the prognosis is strain to both front deep digital flexor tendons. He will require some rest time and then hopefully can return to work in a few months. Later this week he will be moving to a foster home in Bothell who will manage his rehab and care. Hopefully he will be a great patient!
Bonnie and I visited Sinatra today. Here are some photos and a funny video from the visit.
Sinatra has been lunged the last several days to see if his lameness issue got any worse, and to make it more easy to detect with nerve blocks because it was very mild at best and not sensitive to hoof testers and not positive on a flexion test. So far, he has remained completely sound, so he may be fine. He does have someone interested in him as a possible foster to adopt situation, so cross your fingers!
Our volunteer Sara stopped in and visited Sinatra on Thursday and also got a chance to watch him being ridden in a jumping lesson. He is just as cute a button jumping, and what was on his stall but FOUR BLUE RIBBONS! He won all four of his cross-rails classes at the Gold Creek show! Here are some pictures and a few short video clips, enjoy!
This past Saturday Sinatra attended his first show under saddle at Gold Creek Equestrian Center in Woodinville! Sinatra has been fostered by Sundance Equestrian Center and has been ridden by a teenage girl under the guidance of trainer Katherine Wade-Easley. They started Sinatra over jumps this fall and this was Sinatra’s first under-saddle show and first time jumping a course. He did four cross-rail rounds and went clean in each one, and handled the busy show environment and sloppy footing like a pro! Here’s some video, look at him go!
Update from Sundance Equestian:
The big news this week out at the barn is Sinatra finally has a girth to call his own!! Thanks to a wonderful donation from his friends at SAFE, we were able to buy him a brand new girth. It is a size 38 – and yes, he probably could use a 36 depending on your saddle – but it fits and the saddles stay on and we are excited to actually get to see a person on his back. We’ve put him on the line with the saddle on to make sure it would stay in place (it did!) and yesterday, after a short lunge lesson, Danika stepped up into the irons for the first time. We did a nice lead line lesson with him and he was wonderful, so we are super excited to see what is next for our funny guy. Hopefully we get a chance now to put all those hours of getting him broke on the line to transfer to a happy and calm pony under saddle so he can find a wonderful kid to love him forever – needless to say we are excited to see how the next few weeks go for him!
Update from Sundance Equestrian:
Sinatra has progressed so much on the line! We are so exited about him! He is now able to canter calmly and quietly as well as trot like an old pro -we are all very proud of him and the work the Danika and Chelsea have put into him. With the addition of his new bridle, we were able to add the rig into his routine this week – readjusting him to work with bridle and tack in order to prepare for the day we can hop on for real! Danika is planning on trying to raise some more money in order to purchase a girth to fit her saddle – if anyone has a size 40 that they would like to donate or loan to a good cause, we’d love it!
Update from Sundance Equestrian:
Sinatra has continued to enjoy his time off. He is so quiet you hardly know he is there sometimes and he is just waiting to get his feet trimmed so he is good to go. We are going to test him out on the line again and see if he is feeling 100% again. No new tack on the horizon yet as Danika wasn’t able to show and sell cookies at the horse show but Vera donated a bridle that we are going to try & see if it fits. Fingers crossed as it would be great to get to do something with that little guy! He also manged to tear up his sheet as well (it was just too big & finally got tangled) so he will have to add that to his growing shopping list. But otherwise, he is great – happy and hoping to get noticed out there so someone will give him a permanent home!
Update from Sundance Equestrian:
Sinatra has continued his new life out at the barn, but since he is still without a girth, we have continued to work him on the line. This week he made amazing progress & started to get more comfortable working to the right as well as the left and even some consistent cantering on the line both directions. He has a way to go before he is truly soft & comfortable each way without having a wall to lean on, but we are really excited about his progress. And his ground manners are AMAZING! He is no longer nibbling at us and has really taken to some “in-hand” halter type training – walking, backing, the whole thing -who knows, we may get really fancy & try a pivot next week! 😉 We are also thinking about introducing a bridle into his lunging experience – we just need to get them smaller – he may have a big head, but it is still dainty compared to the critters out here!
Sinatra has graduated from training! We are very proud of him! He’s done so amazingly well and really is a success story to be proud of, considering the state he came to us in 2 years ago.
I picked Sinatra up today and brought him back to the farm, but tomorrow he heads out for his next adventure! He will be going to a new foster situation at a hunter/jumper training facility in Woodinville called Sundance Equestrian, where he is going to be the special project of one of the working students. She will be working with him under the instruction of the trainer and doing a training blog on him as well. Sundance is also arranging some special fundraisers just for Sinatra, so stay tuned for some really great updates on how he is doing!
Sinatra is doing great! The trainer reports he is the easiest to start so far. She’s been on him at the walk several times now and he’s just really good. She will trot him tomorrow. She says he might be one we could get away with just 30 days on if he stays doing this well. He gets a little nervous, but no buck, and she says he feels very honest and tries hard to please.
Sinatra trotted under saddle for the first time today! The trainer describes him as “completely unconcerned about having a rider on him” and “a little on the hot side”. She has to watch out for his flying head as he likes to flip his head around and he managed to whack her in the chest with it even as she was leaning back to avoid it. We are convinced that Saddlebreds have some kind of weird double-jointedness going on in their necks, they sure are flexible with them!
Sinatra’s gone to training! He gets to live in a beautiful pasture with another 3 year old — the two of them immediately hit it off and were getting along famously…
He’s done great in his first two days of training! Yesterday they groomed him, bridled him and started teaching him how to lunge. Today he wore a saddle and did more lunging, and he was absolutely unfazed by the saddle. He was so calm that the trainer actually was able to lean over his back and have her helper lead him around. He’s super, super easy and mellow to work with. Afterwards, he got a bath, which he really needed.
The only bad news is that he had to be separated from his pasturemate because the other horse ate Sinatra’s tail. It was already half gone because Lola had been chewing on it before he left, but I guess the other horse mostly finished it off and its about at hock level right now. At least this horse grows hair like no tomorrow so I am sure he will have his tail back soon enough.
Sinatra got his first dental float on Saturday in anticipation of him going into training next weekend. We were a little concerned because his teeth were doing some really weird things – for a while there it looked like he had two rows of teeth in front. I was worried he was going to need some extractions, but fortunately none were necessary. His permanent teeth, rather than coming in behind the baby teeth, came in in front of them on his bottom teeth. The baby teeth did finally fall out on their own but his bottom permanent teeth still sort of overlap the baby teeth next to them, which looks kind of strange but should self correct as his 3 and 4 year incisors come in. His float was fairly routine with just a few sharp points to smooth out, and he does not have any wolf teeth yet (and may not get them). He got his shots too and he is ready to start his next adventure on becoming a productive equine citizen!
Well it looks like Sinatra has grown! We measured him this weekend and he is just a hair over 14h! Yay Sinatra! Here he is after as good of a grooming as you can do for him in the winter. Thank goodness for blankets on white horses!
Sinatra was among several SAFE horses who competed at the 3rd Annual SAFE Benefit Horse Show. He was a superstar at the show, and even won a blue ribbon in the Halter class for the Rescue Horse division.
I talked to our judge, Leslie Killpatrick, over email, and told her how thrilled we were about Sinatra’s placing in the Rescue Halter class, and how much he means to us all. I also sent her a photo of Sinatra after her was rescued so she could see how far he has come. I thought her response was well worth sharing:
Thank you for telling me about Sinatra and sending the photos. He doesn’t even look like the same baby that was rescued. Now that I know more about him, I am totally thrilled that I placed him first!
There was something about the way Sinatra looked at me when he was in the ring when I was judging him! I fell in love with him! He has great potential. So much of what we do as judges is subjective. In a halter class, of course I look for confirmation, and some might argue that there were horses in the halter class that could or should have placed higher than Sinatra. But I also look for the horse that stands there and says to me “I’m it! You can give me the blue! You know you want to!” That’s what Sinatra did – he gave me “the look” and I just melted! There were a lot of horses in that class and I had a hard time placing 2nd – 5th place! I knew Sinatra was my first place horse as soon as I walked up to him and he gave me “the look”! Sinatra placed himself in first place! I just marked in on my judge’s card for him! That’s all!
Here are some photos of Sinatra’s big day.
Sinatra got a beauty treatment today! Allison and I gave him a bath and scrubbed him within an inch of his life. He wasn’t so sure about it at first but then he did great! We gave him a bridle path, combed out his mane and tail, and then took some conformation shots of him. Sinatra has not gotten photographed much because quite frankly he really hasn’t been very photogenic, and is always filthy, and has really gone through some awkward growth stages. But I can now say he is actually getting rather pretty! Take a look at his new glamour shots! These are the best ones.
Sinatra got a visit from SAFE Volunteer Coordinator, Jet, who took these fine photos of our boy on a lovely summer day.
I’m pretty sure Lola was ultimately “in charge” most of the time.
Saturday morning I walked out to find all three of them sleeping, lined up domino style…it was only the older and mature Sinatra who briefly raised a head to make sure horse eating monsters weren’t coming to get them before he gave me that “oh…it’s only you!” and put his head back down.
Lola…kept on Snoring!!
Very funny Sinatra story from the day before yesterday. Sinatra and Benny were doing their “bite each other’s blanket” game and having lots of fun. And then Sinatra reared up and put his front feet over Benny. Benny started to walk off, and Sinatra just walked along with him on his hind legs, going along for the ride just as cool as a cucumber. Benny was also unfazed by his little cremello passenger. They walked about 20 feet like that before Sinatra finally climbed down…it was the funniest thing I have ever seen a horse do! I wish I had my camera!
So maybe that’s why saddling Benny yesterday was no big deal…Sinatra already got him broke to ride!
“Sinatra the Wild White Stallion battles Benedetto for ultimate supremacy of the herd. Who will win? Only one stallion will survive this fierce battle to the death!”
Oh wait, that was something I saw on Discovery channel the other night. My mistake.
Benny wanted a good roll – that’s it. Sinatra bedeviled him – every time Benny got serious about rolling, Sinatra would reach down and nip him.
I found a little blue rubber ball in the pasture today. I picked it up and tossed it at Sinatra. He walked after it, picked it up, and dropped it. I picked it up again and tossed it a little ways from him. He walked after it, picked it up, and dropped it. I picked it up and tossed it again. He walked after it, picked it up, and dropped it.
I think he’s part dog.
The constant buddies, Sinatra and Benedetto (Benny):
Someday soon I will be handsome…
Here is Sinatra modeling his brand new big-boy blanket. Unfortunately, it’s so cold that he is now wearing his wrap-around baby blanket over top, but he wanted you all to see how sharp he looks without it:
Sinatra and Benny have come to Silverdale to live with me for a while.
It’s been a nice warm day, so I decided to spend some time grooming Sinatra. He looked so nice that I decided to try to document it using my iPhone.
these are my favorites:
Sinatra is now available for adoption!
I have some new information on Sinatra from someone who used to work out at Jean’s farm in Monroe. Sinatra is actually older than Phoenix. Sinatra turned a year in around the April/May timeframe, and Phoenix was more like a July/August baby. However, Sinatra’s dam, Sea of Wisdom, was not very tall, not more than 14h, whereas Phoenix’s dam, Olympic Spirit (aka Gypsy, also Willow and Dutchess’s dam), was around 15.2-15.3h. We believe Olympic Spirit to be one of the dead mares in Carnation. Sea of Wisdom however, was never found. Based on what I have been told and the pictures I have seen, she was a sickly skinny mare even in summer and she had chronic diarrhea. Jean apparently weaned Sinatra at a month old and bottle fed him as his dam was doing so poorly and not producing enough milk (whether THIS happened, we will never know, but suffice it to say it wasn’t enough for him). This would explain why Sinatra was the only handled baby of the bunch and wearing a halter.
I have seen a couple of baby photos of Sinatra and if I get permission to post them, I will. He was a pretty pathetic looking baby who did not look healthy right from the start. A far cry from how he looks now!
Update August 15 2008
I have been given permission to post some very special photos of the horses, taken by someone who worked at Jean’s up until December of last year. This person wishes to remain anonymous but you can tell from these photos that they cared for the horses very much, and were horrified at what happened at the farm. Like most of the people who worked for Jean, when they started out there they did not know anything about horses and Jean was their mentor, and it took some time before they became aware or noticed the neglect, because Jean always had excuses. Sinatra’s dam, Sea of Wisdom (Wizzy), was apparantly always thin and had chronic diarrhea, which of course we all know was caused by the massive parasites that were rampant on the property.
Sinatra, on the day he was born:
Included also are a couple of recent photos of Sea of Wisdom, who was thankfully sold by Jean Elledge before the seizure and she survived that fateful winter:
There’s video of the Superstar here:
Sinatra was gelded today! All went well, although his recovery was a little wild. Then he was forced to stand and watch Phoenix have his brain surgery. We tried putting them in separate stalls, but they were having none of it so they are sharing one for now.
July 17 2008
They are both doing well. Phoenix has a bit more swelling than Sinatra (he was a little more endowed as well)
Exercise time is pretty entertaining. Everything they do is done in tandem, usually with Phoenix simultaneously biting on Sinatra’s halter or neck. Every once in a while Sinatra has enough of him and stops suddenly so Phoenix has to let go, and then they settle right back to trotting side by side again.
I’ll try to get some video this week, its too funny not to video.
Sinatra is actually starting to grow into himself and look like a horse. And he can move! When he gets going he is really quite fancy to watch. No action shots today but here are a couple enjoying his HUGE new pasture with Phoenix! LOOK at this! He has straightened out behind! I included a before photo from when he first arrived for comparison.
Phoenix and Sinatra are getting their shots done next week and then they have a date to be gelded on July 14th. After they have recuperated from that they will be ready for adoption.
A few photos of Phoenix and Sinatra enjoying their huge new pasture:
May 21 2008
Not exactly a glamour shot, but here here’s Sinatra and Phoenix – I call this shot “Bonnie’s Groupies.” Sinatra is so laid back compared to Phoenix, who is Bart Simpson personified. Or is that horseified?
June 12 2008
June 16 2008
Some lovely photos of the two boys by Leah Anderson
A gray new day is dawning…. And I’m not done with yesterday yet. But here are some pictures.
Maid duty at SAFE is, well, a little repetitive, so when there’s a chance to accomplish two things at once, like picking Phoenix and Sinatra’s paddock and taking some “after” pictures of them, I seize it.
First things first – the old hay spread around from their “free choice” piles needs to be removed before it smothers the grass. This causes some concern from the boys – why am I taking away perfectly good food?
Having summoned them over, I use the moment to clip up Phoenix. With the two of them being joined at the hip, it is a challenge to get individual pictures. So leadline pictures seem the most likely to succeed.
Besides, I don’t want Phoenix running around. His back leg is wrapped because of some swelling in his hock, which although it does not affect his movement, is an indicator of a probable sprain. The swelling shouldn’t be left uncontrolled, because it can cause tissue damage, but neither should he be standing in a stall – moderate exercise is good.
By now Phoenix is used to the camera – and as his shaggy Yak coat disappears, I think he’ll be seeing it even more. There are limitations, though, on what you can do with a short leadrope and a horse who hasn’t learned any refined cues yet.
When Sinatra’s turn comes and I try to get close on those baby blue eyes…
I risked one shot of that last pose. I don’t want to see whether Phoenix has learned about leading by watching as well – it wouldn’t surprise me! Once unclipped, of course they have to sort out who is REALLY the boss. So much for worrying about Phoenix’s hock.
As I finish up, Val arrives to hose Phoenix and change his bandage. Boy, is she glad to see me there. She’s been doing the bandage change in the stall, with Sinatra there – the only way to keep Phoenix calm. Trouble is, Sinatra thinks he should get some attention too, and tugs on Val’s clothing and has even nipped her derriere. It’s tough to do much to stop that when you are trying to maintain perfect tension on your wrap job.
That is a sign they are growing up fast. Colts in particular like to grab and touch with their mouths – like the rearing, it is practice stallion behavior. While mouthiness is considered a negative in a horse, if you are trying to trick-train it, it can be useful!
Here’s our boy today, he is SUCH a ham but standing still for photos is not really his thing. I know it is hard to tell from these photos, but I actually see signs of a pretty horse emerging under all this hair. Right now though, he is still pretty homely looking:
I went to Jaime’s today to turn the boys out since it looked like we were going to get a break from the rain. It has been SOP to lead them both at the same time, and this has not been a problem, but alas I think those days are coming to an end. No sooner did we get out of the stall all together, then Phoenix began nipping and biting and pushing Sinatra around all the way to the pasture. He was totally into play time before we even made it to the play area. So after doing a few pirouettes of my own to separate them until we got in the gate, I let them go and all I can say is – Mr. Sinatra was looking completely exasperated!
Phoenix is all over him like white on rice. Biting, jumping, pushing – all the games that boys do. Mr. Sinatra did manage to get off one half hearted kick and off to the races they went.
Could this be the very same Phoenix who knocked on death’s door so many times? That had to be lifted so many times from the ground because he could not rise? That became so depressed and cold that we were so afraid he would be still in the morning? We all breathed every breath with him and now he is strong.
He has risen from the ashes.
And soon, he will have to be led all by himself. Thank you God for making him a handful. (And thank you SAFE for saving his life)
Yes, this new game has been going on for the last week or so. The week before that, it was SINATRA doing all the play-instigating and butt-biting (see the video clip I posted on Sinatra’s thread). Now it is the total opposite, and Phoenix is driving Sinatra crazy.
Phoenix also has developed a new trick, which is he stands quietly for me to unsnap his lead, and then tries to BITE me and run away! He’s tried it three or four times now, but I am always faster than he is and my reflexes with nipping horses are fast, so he gets a smack right back on the nose for that little prank! Now I can see the wheels turning when I go to unclip him, trying to decide if its worth trying or not. It is the ONLY time he has tried nipping, but he always does it at the same time. I think its all just him wanting to play and feeling good, but he has to learn good play and not so good play (Sinatra agrees!).
Yesterday I thought Mr. Blue Eyes’ vision might be in real danger…
Turns out it was my diagnostic skills that are in doubt. Not to mention my ability to close stall doors…
So Saturday was Kokomo’s day to scare me, and last night was Sinatra’s. He bolted his grain and within seconds was choking. It was 7:30 when it happened and I knew Hannah was in the middle of putting Cadillac down, but I called to give her a heads up and pulled his food (much to Phoenix’s dismay, who shares a stall with him) and stroked his neck to help get the blockage to pass. Fortunately, he passed it on his own quickly.
Now both Phoenix and Sinatra get their grain tubs complete with several large rocks – a trick I learned a while back to keep horses from bolting their grain.
Sinatra and Phoenix, playing in the snow. Aren’t they adorable??
Here’s a few photos from our snow day on Sunday. The boys (Sinatra and Phoenix, who are now inseperable) went out in the arena for turnout and had some fun! I actually have some video clips of them playing a bit but will have to upload those later. Here are a few pictures:
Phoenix lays down to roll in the snow while Sinatra just wants to taste it:
Well I have yet to see this little attitude of Sinatra’s but maybe that’s because I am the food lady, who knows. He’s an absolute doll and you can’t help but just love him to pieces. Today he got a new waterproof blanket for turnout and I took his old one off and worked on his rainrot, which is almost gone except for right over his spine and his ears. I picked off what I could on his back, he still won’t let you touch the scabs on his ears though. Then I doused him in Microtek and put his blanket back on. He and Phoenix go out every day that it doesn’t rain on the grass and are out all day now. I have finally seen them both run a little and even play, just a little bit. Sinatra is definately much stronger now and it has been at least a week since I have had to help him up. He has lost his wormy belly completely but he actually looks a bit thinner now, but I am sure he in fact has gained weight.
We had a funny moment with Sinatra at this work party this Sunday. Funny ha ha, I mean!
Sinartra and Phoenix were getting a little grazing time in the tiny paddock that fronts Jaime’s stalls. Next to one of the stalls is a bale of alfalfa, and the boys, who have now discovered they LOVE alfalfa, sidled over to it to sneak a few bites while no one was looking. I went over to shoo them away from it, and Sinatra threw a little fit! He stomped his tiny feet, and tried his best to aim a little double barrel kick or two in my direction, before finally scampering off in a huff. Valerie and I couldn’t help but laugh at the little guy, it was so funny. Like watching a hissy fit from the Easter bunny or something. So I guess he’s feeling a little better.
Sinatra is doing very well…much improved. All the horses got wormed yesterday, full dose this time. Both he and Phoenix had a good day yesterday and today, and seem a lot perkier. Crossing fingers this time it stays that way!
Update from Monica Bretherton:
Cute pictures of Sinatra, Phoenix & Kokomo today:
Backstory on the photo op: A canine quintet was putting on a concert – actually, more like a shout-down – and the boys huddled for safety. I dropped the manure fork and ran for the camera… They were already relaxing by the time I got there and soon were scattered over the pasture again.
March 9 2008
Sinatra is doing much better today and spent much more of his time up and eating instead of lying down and worrying me. The extra blanket is keeping him nice and warm and we have heat lamps as a backup if needed. He’s just so much scrawnier and weaker than Kokomo..much like little Phoenix is, he is not bouncing back as quickly.
March 10 2008
Up and a bit brighter today, but still running a very low temp. Heat lamps have been installed in both his and Phoenix’s stalls and Hannah took bloodwork on both of them today as well. Phoenix was having a harder time today and had to be helped to his feet a couple of times today.
March 11 2008 12:18pm
Sinatra’s bloodwork came back and his protein was within normal but he is dehydrated. This morning he was down again and I tried several times to help him to his feet but couldn’t get him up, so Valerie is on her way to help. I am very worried about him.
March 11 2008 12:54pm
Ok, he’s up. Many thanks to Valerie for rushing over to help me get him up, he was just too heavy for me to lift by myself. His temp was low again – 97.5. He’s now in with Phoenix with all the heat lamps on both of them, and has some electrolytes in him to help get him drinking. It doesn’t help that its a windy cold day today, and usually the wind comes from the east and the stalls block it but it is coming from the west and blowing right in the stalls.
March 12 2008
Sinatra got a little massage today from Janice who stopped by to help out, to help increase circulation in his extremeties, and she said he seemed to enjoy it. Both he and Phoenix were down for the 10:30 feeding, but Phoenix got up and Sinatra stayed down. I gave him his ulcer meds and electrolytes lying down and let him stay down because he had been up all day, and needed a rest, and he was lying near the heat lamps and seemed warm enough.
Sinatra’s trimming..his feet were the worst of all the babies. Photos in album include before and after photos. You can see an old, grown out abcess in one foot. Also a few photos of Kokomo and Sinatra taking a nap after their trims.
Sinatra is still a bit weak and tonight was lying down and had trouble getting up again. His tummy was a bit rumbly too, so he might have been having a mild gas colic. Once he was up though he seemed ok. I wish these boys were just a bit stronger, they still worry me!
Mar 7 2008
Everyone is doing well today, except little Sinatra. This morning he was down again and not wanting to get up, so Dr. Hannah came out and checked on him. He had good gut sounds and was not colicky, but his body temperature was dangerously low – only 95 degrees. So Lily donated her blanket to the cause and now he has two thick blankets on to try and keep him warm. I went to the feed store today and picked up a new blanket for Lily.
Sinatra was wormed yesterday and has the runs and is a bit less than his usual chipper self. Other than that though he is doing well – I think they all want to have more outside time and get out of the stall, but we have to ease them onto grass slowly.
I am here to tell you that everything you’ve heard about Sinatra is true. He is the friendly, most social, most outgoing little horse I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He is much smaller than his stall mate Kokomo and their neighbor Phoenix, but that does not stop him from being the bravest, boldest and most charismatic of the bunch. He loves to visit over his stall door… and he always needs to be in the center of whatever is going on at the time.
My exposure to foals has been extremely limited, so you have to excuse me because I am completely ga-ga over these little guys. But he is SOOOOOOOOO CUUUUUUUUTE! He has this little tiny muzzle covered in white velvet and he’s always sticking it everywhere…into your face, into your hands, into your pockets. He’s got tiny little hooves, and a short little tail, and cute fuzzy ears, and he even smells like a baby!!!!!!!!! He has big blue eyes, and gorgeous white fur, and he wears the cutest little foal blanket and it is just too much to bear.
Okay, now that that is out of my system…….
Sinatra gave us a scare yesterday. The weather was so nice yesterday that I let them out for a couple of hours of grass time, and I think it was a little too long for Sinatra, who may not have been used to having any grass at all. He had a mild gas colic last night and gave us quite a scare. He had a little banamine though and perked right up, and I checked on him a couple of times in the night and he was just fine. This morning he was his usual perky self and begging for food and attention. Phew!
Mar 1 2008
Sinatra did great all day. No setbacks, he is back to being his usual, perky self! I will have to take a picture of him tomorrow wearing his brand new plaid blanket, donated by Janice Van Dyke. He looks just wonderful!
Sinatra is SUCH a social butterfly. He is truly a doll of a little boy, so curious and happy and unafraid of people. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM!
Sinatra (so named because of his beautiful blue eyes) is one of 10 horses seized from a Carnation farm on February 23. 2008. This little colt has a Body Condition Score of 1.5 on a scale of 1-9. Sinatra was living in a pen about 12×36 with another colt, Kokomo, which was full of dead blackberry bushes and debris, including wood will nails protruding. There was no food other than the blackberry bushes in the pen and no hay anywhere on the property. Not 15 feet from their pen was a dead mare, her body bloated and partially eaten by coyotes, perhaps the mother of Sinatra or Kokomo. Sinatra was wearing a halter and was thankfully, once we brought in some hay, easy to catch and load into the trailer.
Sinatra was also suffering from severe parasite infestation, rain rot, and his feet did not appear to have ever been trimmed. The lack of hoof care and severe malnutrition caused Sinatra to be quite severely cow-hocked, although we were hopeful that much of this will resolve as he recovers. His appearance was deceptive due to his thick fuzzy winter coat and his extremely distended belly from the internal parasites, but when you touched this baby you could feel nothing on him but skin and bones. Sinatra captured our hearts with his affectionate and boisterous personality. Despite his hardships, he loved people and attention and was always waiting at the stall door for more attention from his rescuers. We did have some concerns with Sinatra as his body temparature was low his first day with us, but he seemed to be doing better and his energy level and appetite were good.