2003 BLM Mustang mare
Suitability: Companion, For Intermediate Handler
Height: 15.2 hh
Weight: 1150 lbs
Adoption Fee: $300Online Adoption Application
Tanis is a roan, 20 year old BLM Mustang mare who originally came from the Hog Creek Herd in Eastern Oregon. Her adopter bought her for her granddaughter, and before coming to SAFE, she lived on a property for 12 years with little to no handling. When we arrived to pick her up, we found Tanis turned out with a gelding who had a lot of nasal discharge. Both horses were coughing, and were covered in rain rot and lice. We had only planned to be bringing one horse home that day, but we asked the current resident if the gelding could come too and that’s how we ended up with two horses instead of one.
Tanis has turned into a big sweetheart, who has participated in several Joel Conner clinics, learning and perfecting her groundwork. She has overcome her initial nerves, and is now a confident, gentle mare who will make a great companion for someone special.
All SAFE horses are adopted with a no-breeding clause, no exceptions.
The year is moving right along, and so is Tanis, as she continues to build confidence in herself and trust in people. This time last year, only a couple people could catch this mare; fast forward to this moment, and she loves face pets, has found more comfort and curiosity around people and recently realized that she kind of loves a good nose kiss! Tanis’s confidence is showing more and more; from her thoughtful movements, to her relaxed head/neck as she is led around the property, she is truly feeling safe and comfortable in her own skin!
While we continue to work on fine-tuning things like hindquarters, turning loose and changing eyes, we’ve also started to focus on some necessary basics, such as taking medicine (wormer) from a syringe and accepting a needle/vaccine. Overall, we wanted to work on helping Tanis find more comfort with her face/mouth being touched, and all of the many ways that she will need to be handled so she can be given the best care.
Vaccines are still scary for Tanis, as she is unsure about the touch she feels when the vet needs to find a vein, and the stress of knowing the needle is next. We have been spending some time getting Tanis more comfortable with her neck being touched in multiple places with varying pressure. As well as playing with the tip of a finger and a pen to simulate what a needle might feel like. This has been helping Tanis understand that she is going to be just fine, which has increased her confidence while lessening her startle reaction. We still have more work to do on these, but so far Tanis is on the right track to gently accepting the care that she needs.
Life isn’t all work around here! Tanis is loving these longer summer days, spending her time snoozing in the paddock and grazing with her herd on the grass. She has been enjoying her grooming sessions, and the addition of summer braids to keep her neck a little cooler. It’s so exciting to watch the continued transformation of Tanis, she is going to make one lucky family very happy one of these days; she’s got a big heart and a lot of love that she’s just waiting to share with the right person!
Volunteer Meghan N has been spending most of her weekday afternoons with Tanis for almost a year now, and took the time to write a bit about their partnership over the last months:
“Yet again, Tanis impresses us with the huge amount of try she has!
This mare has really come so far since her intake in spring of 2022. Over the winter, we worked hard on everything from hindquarters/front quarters, backing up, changing eyes, and truly feeling of the person she is with. One thing Tanis asks of her person, is that they are gentle and calm, while also having good boundaries and confidence in their ask. She wants to really know that she is safe with you, that you mean what you say; so she can relax and just be a horse.
As Tanis’s hindquarters started improving, almost everything else began to fall a little more in place; and a shift in her confidence, trust and connection with people occurred. Tanis became more curious of other volunteers around the farm (not just those who worked with her). From barn assists fixing her hay box, to folks stopping by the round pen while she was being groomed, her curiosity grew. Then one day, she started accepting face pets from new people who she may have previously shied away from! This was such a turning point for this sweet mare, as she found the confidence in herself to trust more than just a handful of people.
Winter also brought new horse friends into Tanis’s life, as she joined a herd of mares for the first time since coming to SAFE. Currently, there are 5 mares that make up the herd, and Tanis falls somewhere in the middle. She prefers to defer to a lead mare, though making sure she isn’t on the bottom of the pecking order. As Tanis’s skills continue to improve, she has become more and more confident in herself. This has shown in her friendliness when you enter the paddock. Many times she stops and waits for you to halter her, or gently walks up to you to say hello (even if you are coming in for a different horse). Tanis is very food motivated, and sometimes just can’t wait to get back to her friends, so walks to/from her paddock are sometimes slower than usual, as we work on not rushing and staying with me; consistency, time and patience are key here.
As winter ended and spring emerged, Tanis took part in her 4th Joel Conner Clinic. At the start of the clinic, she was a bit concerned about not being with her herd (mainly the lead mare, Esme). But with the help of Joel, we were able to work together and help Tanis to find her focus on the task at hand. This clinic saw huge changes in Tanis, that really showed in her softer movements, attentiveness, and her calm confident steps. It seemed as though she truly started to feel free in her feet, and everything just became easier (for us both).
Since the clinic, Tanis continues to fine tune her hindquarters. As well, we have been doing some rope work to continue her growth and confidence with changing eyes and to give to pressure. With the warmer weather she has enjoyed dandelion flowers as a special treat, and of course sweet water buckets! Life is pretty good for this amazing mare. Though there is one thing Tanis is still searching for…and that’s a person/family of her very own; to love and care for her, giving her tons of face pets and helping her to live her best life! She’s definitely ready and waiting for you to come meet her and fall in love!”
Meghan N has been working with Tanis over the last several months, participating in two Joel Conner clinics alongside her, and has the following to say about this sweet mare:
“Tanis is a big hearted mare with a whole lotta try! She has been busy since coming to SAFE earlier this year; and this past weekend participated in her third Joel Conner clinic. Leading up to the clinic, Tanis worked so hard with a flag and small tarp, which helped her to move through any fear of the sounds, movement and feel of a rain sheet. For the first time, she was and blanketed, and now it’s just a normal part of her day to have the rain sheet taken on/off!
The clinic was a lot of work, but worth every second! While Tanis would love to snuggle and get lots love and pets, she is finding confidence, peace and freedom within herself as she continues to learn balance and trust in her ability to be free in her feet. This mare really appreciates clear communication and gentle confidence at the end of the lead rope. Tanis worked hard on some braces she held when practicing hind quarters, and is working on a more smooth front quarters. As her feet and hind become more free, she is becoming more confident in her backup. While this clinic had many big moments for us, one that really stood out was how ‘with me’ Tanis wanted to be! She tries hard to feel and be with you, and it really showed as we practiced leading from a walk to trot, with random stopping and backing up, at all speeds.
This mare is so smart, she really wants to learn and enjoys how good it feels to be able to freely move, leaving any fear and doubt she use to hold in her past. By the end of the three day clinic, she was calm, confident and truly with me. She enjoyed lots of extra face pets (her FAVORITE thing), and is now having a well-deserved few days off. Tanis is going to fill some lucky families hearts with so much love and joy; I’m so excited for what her future holds!”
Tanis has turned out to be a sweetheart of a horse! We were a little worried when we got her that she may be pushy or even possibly aggressive since she seemed very treat focused, but so far she hasn’t tried to bite at all and seems content to receive pets and scratches on her terms. I spent quite a while working on the serious dreadlocks in her mane and Tanis was practically asleep by the time I got them all out. She definitely seems happy to be pampered. Tanis is on her way to healthy, but it’ll be a bit of time before she’s there. Her rain rot is almost cleared, her lice is almost gone, and her first dose of dewormer is doing its job. She’s looking better and better every day!
One big last step to help us get her healthy is to get her haltered and gentle. After that, we’ll be able to get her feet trimmed, get her vaccinated, and get her teeth done (though she definitely has no problems eating right now!). Last Friday I was able to get her roped and get a halter on her. She gives pretty easily to pressure and has politely following me around without the halter, so after I got it on, things went pretty smoothly! Getting the nose band up on Tanis’s big nose was a little tricky, but thankfully, as soon as it was on, she looked at me like, “oh that was it? I can do that!”. I’m excited to keep working with her and giving her the TLC she so deserves.
Watch Tanis and Nico when they first arrived at SAFE in the video below.
1. Kate L.
2. Amy Q.
3. Stefan H.
4. Christina W.
5. Judy C.
6. Tori L.
7. Ellen H.
8. Marylou S.
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!