|SEX: Mare||BREED: Quarab||REGISTERED NAME: none||INTAKE DATE: 1/5/18|
|COLOR: Sorrel||MARKINGS: Blaze, RH sock||For Advanced Handler|
|YOB: 2012||AGE: 9||HEIGHT: 14.2 HH||WEIGHT: 1039 lbs|
|LOCATION: Redmond||ADOPTION FEE: $300||Online Adoption Application|
Teddi and her friend Roscoe were seized by Animal Control and signed over to SAFE. Both horses were malnourished and thin, with severe rainrot. Teddi appears to be an Arab cross, possibly Quarab. Teddi is very sweet, but it’s clear she’s been treated very roughly in the past. She has scarring on her muzzle, and her general demeanor is often a heartbreaking combination of fear and sadness. But she’s a good girl who nickers for her hay, and seems open to reconsidering her views about people. All SAFE horses are adopted with a no-breeding clause, no exceptions.
With kind and patient handling from SAFE Horsemanship volunteers, Teddi is building trust and has come a long way from the frightened and reactionary mare we first met. Unfortunately, she is not a candidate for riding–she has relatively advanced ringbone in her left front pastern joint–so she’s offered as a companion horse at this time.
Her groundwork volunteers report Teddi is sensitive and responsive, and it’s been gratifying to watch her blossom with kind, consistent interactions, including some much-loved neck massages. She is a good companion mare and enjoys the company of any mare or gelding in the herd. We will enjoy watching her grow until she finds her home.
There should come a time in every young horse’s life when the proverbial cord is cut, and access to their mother’s milk is stopped. It’s not as harsh as it sounds: after around 4 months, a foal needs more than just milk to meet its nutritional needs, and as long as they are eating hay and grain, milk just becomes that extra, unneeded slice of cake at the end of their meal: a nice treat, but no longer essential.
In order to wean a horse successfully, they must be separated from their mother (foals, much like human babies, are not easily reasoned with).
You may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but what does Teddi have to do with all that? Well, back when Minnie was weaned at the beginning of the year, it was decided that her first paddock-mate after Checkers, her mom, would be Teddi. And for good reason. A mother in her own right, Teddi’s resume includes years of first-hoof experience bringing up babies, and a patient (but no-nonsense) attitude that is well-suited for teaching young horses good manners. In short, she was the perfect choice for a transitional friend between mom and the big wide world of horses.
In the months she has spent with Minnie, Teddi has proven to be a perfect choice as an “auntie.” The two spent a lovely summer getting daily grass turnout together, and though Minnie’s youthful energy inspired a few romps, any extra running didn’t seem to be to Teddi’s detriment, for now, at the end of the season, Teddi is still quite sound (if you recall, Teddi’s ringbone makes it so that even moderate exercise can exacerbate her condition). Though she still demands to be first to eat (and is not shy to chase Minnie away from the first hay bag filled at feeding times), she is a fair and benevolent presence, and it is not uncommon to see the two munching happily side-by-side after the initial pecking order is established. When they recently moved paddocks, Teddi led the exploration of the new space with Minnie close in tow, and when Teddi decided it was time to christen the ground with a roll, Minnie immediately followed suit. When the weather is poor, the two huddle together beneath the shelter logic, with Minnie oftentimes tucked snugly beside her chestnut friend.
Because of how well Teddi has done with Minnie, it has been decided that she will also be Coco’s “auntie” once Coco is weaned. In preparation, Teddi and Minnie have moved to a paddock adjoining Sundae and Coco so that introductions can be made and the group can get used to living together. So far, things have been going swimmingly. Coco, curious as ever, was a fast friend to her new neighbors — one of whom is just her size! — and Teddi has expressed reciprocal curiosity towards who is soon to become her newest charge. Who knows, by next year, you may hear of Teddi opening up her own daycare. One thing is for sure, we are very grateful for our wise and maternal chestnut mare!
Teddi looks like a horse in her 20s and is only 9 years old. We have recently started Teddi on Nutrina Topline Balancer which contains more protein, but is low in calories. We will see if this helps her develop her topline a little better. We will be checking her progress at 30, 60 and 90 days to see how it’s working.
Sweet, smart Teddi seems to be doing well, despite some complications from her previous surgery. Over the summer, it seemed that her lameness was much worse and noticeable at the walk even. Since then, Teddi has been on “stall rest” in her small paddock and seems to be improving! She doesn’t appear to limping at the walk anymore and loves coming into her cozy stall for the night. We’re hopeful that this recovery will continue!
At Teddi’s most recent post-surgery recheck appointment this month, we were excited to see the results of her rehab process so far. But that excitement turned to disappointment when we saw that she is more lame at the trot now than she was at her previous appointment. That disappointment grew even more when we saw the radiographs on the screen. At some point in the 60 days between rechecks, it appears that Teddi has sustained a small bone fracture underneath one of the screws that’s fusing her pastern joint together. We’ll never know exactly what caused this. She might have gotten a little too frisky in her rehab paddock and come down a little too rough on the hardware. Or maybe this is just one of those potential complications that comes with having a 1,000 pound horse putting pressure on a joint that is not yet stabilized from surgery.
Dr. Fleck has sent the radiographs over to WSU for her surgeon, Dr. Farnsworth, to look at. We won’t know any more until we hear back about his assessment. Until then, Teddi has been put back into a smaller rehab area to prevent her from potentially doing any more damage. We are discouraged but hopeful that this turns out to just be a minor setback in her recovery.
Teddi recently had a recheck exam with Dr. Fleck and it looks as though everything is healing the way it should. Her bones are still healing so she still has a limp if she trots, but that’s to be expected at this point. She has graduated to a slightly larger turnout paddock and is keeping up the daily handwalking routine. Teddi continues to handle this rehab like a pro. We will have another recheck performed in 60 days. We hope to have a better idea at that point of whether we get to call this surgery a success. For right now, what we know is that Teddi is headed in the right direction!
It has now been a month since Teddi had surgery at WSU to fuse her pastern joint. We’re pleased to report that she’s doing great! Everything is going to plan with no complications so far. Her sutures are out and we are no longer needing to bandage her leg. If you asked Teddi, she’d probably tell you she’s rocking this stall rest thing! She’s as calm as can be and doesn’t seem to mind just standing around all day, with the exception of the twice-daily hand walks and a little bit of grazing time on the lead. She’s still a long way from being completely healed, but so far so good!
On June 10th, Teddi loaded like a pro into our horse trailer and went for a smooth 5 hour drive to Washington State University. After months of anticipation and preparation, the day had finally come to have the long-awaited surgery to fuse her pastern joint and eliminate the pain of her arthritis. Scheduling conflicts caused us to have to postpone the surgery, and she has spent the better part of a year on medication to manage the pain while we tried to work it out. The goal is for those pain meds to be a thing of the past once she’s completely healed from the procedure.
We have been so impressed with Teddi during this whole adventure. She hopped off the trailer once we got to Pullman without even having broken a sweat during the long ride. She settled into her stall at the hospital like she was right at home, and she responded to the staff there as though they were old friends.
The surgery itself was fairly straightforward. Teddi now has 3 screws that will permanently stabilize the bones of her pastern joint. Dr. Kyle Heaton, a surgery resident, performed the procedure under the guidance of clinician Dr. Kelly Farnsworth. Their entire team treated Teddi with great care and compassion, and the process couldn’t have gone more smoothly. Teddi will stay at the veterinary teaching hospital a few more days recovering, as they want to be sure that she’s healing as she should and not developing any infection in her joint before sending her home.
Overall, the recovery process will take several months, and we won’t know for a while whether or not she’ll have a future career as a riding horse. But we are thrilled to have been able to give her this chance at a pain-free life with the help of a world class staff at WSU. An enormous thank you goes out to everyone who made this possible for Teddi: Dr. Farnsworth, Dr. Heaton, Dr. Fleck, the surgery staff and students at WSU, and all of the donors who funded her road to recovery.
Teddi has come so far from the timid, insecure horse we met last year. She handled all of these new experiences with ease and grace, and she’s a true testament to what love and good care can do to turn around the life of a rescue horse!
It was a little more than a year ago that we met Teddi. She came to SAFE as part of a large Animal Control seizure situation involving six neglected horses, and it was clear from the start that Teddi had had a pretty rough go of it. Her eyes were full of sadness. She seemed to believe that no one would ever love her, or treat her with kindness. Thankfully we were able to change Teddi’s mind about people, and with kind and patient handling, she soon realized that she was among friends. She began to come out of her shell, and we were able to get to know the real Teddi.
After a few months in our care, we noticed that Teddi was showing some lameness on her front left leg. We also discovered a suspicious bony lump on her pastern that seemed to be getting larger. Radiographs confirmed the worst: Teddi was suffering from a fairly advanced case of ringbone.
Ringbone is a degenerative osteoarthritic disease in which abnormal bone growth around the pastern or coffin bone joint results in lameness. It’s typically caused by ongoing strain to these crucial weight-bearing joints, but it can also be caused by trauma. Ringbone is more commonly seen in older horses, horses with upright pasterns, or horses that withstand repetitive stress in their legs, like jumpers or barrel racers. Since Teddi is so young, it’s likely that her problems started from some sort of trauma to the joint, such as a fall in the pasture. Sadly, ringbone is incurable, and it’s a condition that grows progressively worse as time goes on.
Teddi is young, and will likely enjoy another 13–18 years of life. So the question becomes, can we provide her with the best chance for a comfortable and pain-free life? Without treatment, eventually the bony growth around her pastern joint would cause the joint to fuse, and the resulting absence of motion can dramatically reduce arthritic pain. In talking with our vets and the vets at WSU, we’ve discovered that it’s possible to speed up that process by surgically fusing the joint. This used to be a fairly complicated process, involving invasive surgery under general anesthesia. However, vets at WSU have begun using a new procedure that is far less risky since it can be done under localized anesthesia with the horse standing. If debriding of the joint is necessary, it’s done via surgical incision so the bones in the joint don’t have to be separated. A plate is then screwed in place to immobilize the joint.
After much thought and consideration, we’ve decided that this surgery is the best option for Teddi. Having a decent quality of life is crucial for any horse, and we would never allow her to suffer pain or constant discomfort. But because she is so young, full of life, and otherwise healthy, we don’t feel that euthanization is the right decision for this mare. The surgery should leave her pain free, and there’s a even a decent chance that she’ll end up serviceably sound enough for a future riding career. She’ll have the procedure at WSU and spend 7–10 days hospitalized there afterwards. When she gets home, she’ll have 4–6 weeks of stall rest. Teddi is a calm and quiet horse, so she’s a good candidate for stall rest and we have lots of volunteers who can take her for walks and hand grazing while she’s in recovery. In another 2–3 months, if all goes well, she’ll be cleared to return to work.
We expect that it will cost about $4,500* for Teddi’s surgery and transportation to/from WSU, so we’re holding a fundraiser in her honor to pay for her surgery. If you would like to contribute to Teddi’s Surgery Fund, you can make a gift to SAFE in her name by donating on our website, our Facebook page, or by mailing a check. Your help is so appreciated. Teddi is a young horse who’s been giving another chance at a better life, and as a friend of SAFE, you’re helping make that possible for her. Her gratitude is boundless, as is ours!
Donate via SAFE Website (for “Purpose of Gift” please write “Teddi”)
or mail a check (marked “for Teddi”) to
10407 192nd Ave NE
Redmond WA 98053
* This is an estimate. Any donated funds that are not needed to pay for Teddi’s surgery and transportation will be used for veterinary care for other SAFE horses.
Teddi continues to gentle and get softer with work. The great work Phoebe is doing with her is helping her relax around people and handle more situations. Here is an update from Phoebe on Teddi and her work at the last Joel Conner clinic.
I’m fortunate to be able to work with a horse so sensitive & responsive…it’s real easy to know when I’m doing something right, or wrong. Joel showed me again how to free up her front quarters, and this time I understood completely how, why, and what to look for. Her front feet have been stuck and her go-to has been pull back and rear up, and that has gotten so much better since we started working with her! But now truly she can feel like she can move so she no longer needs that to fall back on. It was heartwarming to see her lick & chew & drop her head once she realized she wasn’t stuck anymore. She & I have lots of work to do so this new way of moving becomes a solid habit.
Teddi is doing great being saddled, I added saddlebags this time, other than the typical “head up, freeze, what the heck is that flapping on me?” reaction, she settled in to them nicely. Joel gets better & more engaging with the watching auditors every clinic he does. Great learning, whether in the clinic or observing.
Below, click to view clinic photos by Jessica Farren:
Teddi has been working on relaxing and gentling with Horsemanship Volunteer Phoebe. We have seen wonderful changes in Teddi over the last few months as she develops more of a bond with Phoebe.
We want to take a quick moment to acknowledge and thank Phoebe for her dedication and help with this sensitive mare. This work is truly at the heart of SAFE’s mission. Even after Teddi’s diagnosis of ring bone, Phoebe has been devoted to helping her learn to be more relaxed and trusting around people. Just because she may not be able to become a riding horse doesn’t mean the horsemanship work stops. Normal day to day interactions with people are just important as being able to sit on a horse and ride. It may not be the most exciting part of working with horses but helping them discover trust in people is essential to their adoptability. People don’t want to open their homes to ill mannered horses. Furthermore, an ungentle horse is more likely to be mistreated or abused. People label them as naughty or troubled when in fact they are most likely afraid and confused. We know that Teddi is a wonderful mare but we also realize that when she came into SAFE she was frightened, reactionary and at times even unsafe or unpredictable to be around. In order for her to find a home she has to have a good relationship with people. She needs to accept simple things like having her feel picked up and getting fly sprayed. This takes a lot of time and patience, especially since her previous encounters with people left her confused and afraid. The work Phoebe is doing with Teddi is not only setting her up for a successful adoption, it is literally helping save her life.
Here is what Phoebe has to say about her recent work with Teddi:
Teddi was almost happy to be worked! Only one flinch from the flag, tense for the spray but lowered her head when asked and relaxed. Took her in the round corral — I haven’t been in there with her because of her ring bone, but I wanted to get her to hook on, building on what had previously been done. After 3 laps each direction at her own pace (some was galloping/bucking), she hooked on. I then put the rope to her opposite side, brought it around her rump, and asked her to turn around with me in her blind spot. She thought about scooting but decided not to, and ended up doing great both sides.
Volunteer rider Phoebe T participated in the Joel Conner clinic with Teddi. Here are her reflections on the clinic and Teddi’s progress:
This is my 4th groundwork clinic, I now feel comfortable asking questions and asking for help. I have realized that much like for the horses, the time between clinics is important for me to ‘soak’ on things heard & seen in prior clinics. It’s part of the growth process for me, and to have a flash of understanding during a clinic is a remarkable thing. My foundation is growing.
My favorite part of the clinic was twofold: Watching Joel groundwork a horse that doesn’t know how to move hie feet, and having volunteers step in at the end & take a turn leading a horse. It was a great clinic, my favorite one yet!
At the June Joel Conner clinic, I did groundwork with Teddi. This is the first time we had ever worked together. She is quiet, reserved, sensitive, responsive, wanting to please, and because of her quick responses, she helped me get my angles right when asking her to drift off the unified circle. She was teaching me as much as I was teaching her! She wants to pull back when asked to come forward — I have to ‘open the gate’ by turning my shoulder away so she will move with me. She is getting better and not requiring as much as she learns to trust me more. She is very good about having her feet picked up, and she has an area on her neck where she holds her stress, and she loves having that massaged. It was a pleasure working with her.
Teddi had a visit from the vet last week. She turned up lame on her left front leg, and we noticed a suspicious bony lump on her pastern that has been getting larger over the past few weeks. After a brief lameness exam, Dr. Fleck took some radiographs, and the diagnosis was very clear: Teddi has osteoarthritis in her left front pastern joint, commonly known as ringbone. Hers is a relatively advanced case. Since she is such a young horse, it’s likely that the arthritis initially started from some sort of trauma to the joint, such as a fall in the pasture.
Unfortunately, ringbone is a degenerative condition that has no cure. In advanced cases like Teddi’s there are surgical options to fuse the joint–if you can fuse it and eliminate the motion, you eliminate or decrease the pain. Another ringbone management option that was presented to us is an injection of a polymer hydrogel into the joint space to provide cushion. Since Teddi’s case is pretty advanced, however, it’s not clear how well injections would alleviate her lameness.
Before she turned up lame, Teddi was getting underway with groundwork training in preparation for starting her under saddle. She is a sensitive young lady who needs a quiet, patient hand. There are several other horses at SAFE who are farther along in their training and looking like good riding prospects, so we aren’t rushing any decisions on her treatment right now. Dr. Fleck said that she is pasture sound for now so we don’t need to worry about pain management at this point, as long as she isn’t being worked. There is the potential that we might be able to get help from a veterinary surgeon from Washington State University who is studying a surgical procedure that would fuse her pastern without having to put her under general anesthesia. This would be the best case scenario for Teddi. We’ll know more in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, our pretty redhead is living the good life in the spring sunshine. She’s enjoying getting out on the grass now that our pastures are open for the season, and she and her new turnout buddy Nashville are having fun getting to know each other.
A nice update from volunteer rider Lisa G about Teddi and Roscoe:
Teddi is improving greatly in her groundwork. I slowed down and let go of my timeline expectations for her after the March clinic, and lifting that unconscious pressure has really helped our progress! There were several days that I simply didn’t have time to get into anything too troublesome (and therefore help her out of her trouble spots), so we spent several sessions working on Super Basics: being caught, lowering her head, leading, releasing forward instead of bracing back, and sometimes just getting groomed with extra mane scritches. When I did get back into my scheduling groove and revisit groundwork and the flag, Teddi was much more willing to search for an answer that differed from her “freeze and hope it goes away” and “squirt around sideways as fast as possible!” go-to’s. She is still troubled by the flag but is quick to calm down and move her feet after a couple initial boot-scoots, she is softer and more punctual in giving to lead pressure, and she straight-tied BRILLIANTLY this week! I so love this sweet little mare!!
Roscoe: The first few times I rode Roscoe in the arena a couple weeks after he was re-started in the March clinic, this guy was GA-LUED to the gate. I mean, I would ask him to walk forward on a right track, bend in a one-rein stop, and he would hold a 90° bend to the right while falling sideways to the left, toward the gate. There were a couple of times that I fully expected us to crash and burn… and this was at the WALK! Ride #1 we got a quarter of the arena length away, stood quietly, and called it a day. After that, I basically offered him this choice: “you can face or move toward the gate if you insist, but you’re going to have to WORK… or you can face AWAY from the gate and get a break.” MOVING away from the gate got a break and pets and praise. He caught on quick! He still tends to bow toward the center when we are moving away from the gate, but now I offer him a lively inside leg backed by an outside rein, and if he still blows through my aids (less and less!), we get to WORK!! We are working on soft feel at the stop and walk, and he is getting more and more responsive to my seat, requiring less leg all the time. It’s like once he figured out that first step away from the gate on day one was ALL I WANTED on day one, he’s been more and more willing to try. Roscoe was SO bull-headed at first, I really didn’t think he’d be so willing to change so fast after however-many-years of having to push through everyone and everything to protect himself. I am SO IMPRESSED by this big guy’s heart! 😊❤
Volunteer rider Lisa G has been working with Roscoe and Teddi on the ground, preparing them for Joel Conner’s visit on March 15. Lisa is using the flag and the coiled rope to help them get more comfortable being touched and moved about. Here are her reports on their progress:
Roscoe and Teddi both did great this morning! Got the coils all over Roscoe, he was a little nervous at first, but settled right down. threw an open loop over his back, and only had one butt-tuck-Boot-Scootin-Boogie moment when the end went under his belly and wrapped in between his back legs… But he settled down through that too, and the next few times it happened, it was totally fine. I’ll work more on those and getting it around his girth area on Monday. Teddi got settled to be able to do lots of C shapes with brushes of the flag and lots of hindquarter yield with the flag nonchalantly coming into the shoulder and back out. With the CRAZY wind, they both worked in the covered arena and did well in the new space. Good ponies!
Another great day with these two! Got the rope all over Roscoe, backed him into the loop, was fine with it around his girth area and flanks. Even moved his front across with the loop around his girth! Only had one little moment of squirting forward, when I dropped the rope off of his rump for the first time, and it was around his hocks. Each time after that he was fine. Still a little uncertain about the coils on his bum, but settles into it just fine. Teddi did great with the flag, still started with it way far away, then coming into her shoulder, then c Shape/ squeeze exercise… But ended the day with several circles and hindquarter yields with the flag coming in nonchalantly to touch her shoulder and back. Lots and lots of licks and chews!
Roscoe: saddled last night in the indoor, worked on the line, did fine. Turned him loose (saddled) in the round pen today, worked until he moved off calmly and kept him moving through his, “we’re done, mmmm-kay?!” turn-in moments until he was listening to my feel. Almost fell on his face a couple of times, picking up the trot.… but not his feet!! … and tripping himself LOL! He obviously needs lots of balance and hind end strengthening work. Other than that, he did great… He did knock me over when I was grooming him, brushing his front leg. Something spooked him, and he shouldered me over, then immediately jumped back away from me. Totally not his fault, not my fault, just a freak thing… But we do need to work on him keeping out of our space, on the line and when he is coming into the center at Liberty. He’s a creeper! 😝😂❤
Teddi is coming along great! Loads loads better with the flag, can’t wait to hear what you think when you work her tomorrow. Today got to a point where she was doing C shapes, accepting the flag flipping over her back at the withers, coming into the shoulders, brushing over her bum, and coming into the chest, all calmly– including changing eyes and moving her front across. We got going calmly both ways a couple of times and I stopped. I really really like this little mare! 🤓
After 15 days at SAFE, here is Miss Teddi. Photos by Jessica Farren
Teddi and Roscoe arrived at SAFE in mid January, after being in Animal Control custody for three weeks. When they came to SAFE, we were asked by Animal Control to keep quiet about them because of the legal case against their former owner. Both horses were quarantined here for three weeks to protect them as well as the other horses here at SAFE. They were treated for rain rot, dusted for lice, fecal tested, and examined by our vet. When they arrived, Roscoe in particular was still very thin, but they are bouncing back with a steady diet of hay, grain, and supplements. Here are the pictures taken not long after their arrival at SAFE:
1. Donna C.
2. Craig C.
3. Shannon N.
4. Susanne M.
5. Nancy P.
6. Keith D.
7. Lisa M.
8. Makayla C.
9. Gabrielle L.
10. Jeannie S.
11. Sherri D.
12. Virginia M.
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!