2014 Azteca/Lusitano Mare

Suitability:  TBD

Color: palomino
Markings: star
Adoption Fee: TBD

Winter came to SAFE as an owner surrender. She had a history of being handled when her people first got her, but a number of years had passed, and she had become reluctant to be caught. As a result, she was behind on vet and farrier care, the latter being the most immediately apparent. In addition, Winter was severely overweight and in need of a diet, something that certainly wasn’t helping the splayed out condition of her hooves.

We plan to get hands on Winter as soon as possible, and given how curious she seems and her past history with being handled, we are hopeful this will happen sooner rather than later. Once she gets the medical attention she needs, we will bring her into the fold of our horsemanship program, and go from there.

All SAFE horses are adopted with a no-breeding clause, no exceptions.

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Taking Care of Winter

Taking Care of Winter 

A little less than two weeks after she arrived at SAFE, Winter met with the vet and the farrier for the first time in years. When we’d first booked the appointments for her, we did so tentatively, unsure if she would be far enough along in her handling to be seen to. But Winter is a tremendously bright mare, and over the course of the week following her arrival, made huge strides. Each day, multiple times a day, Terry would go out to catch her, and each day it became a bit easier. She remains a ways off from being truly halter broke or letting just anyone catch her, but her forward progress has been exponential.


As part of her daily handling, Winter was also learning to take oral meds. Thanks to our good friend applesauce, Winter learned that not everything that comes out of a syringe has to be yucky. With this lesson, we were able to deworm Winter, and, on the vet day in question, help get her in a more relaxed frame of mind with a bit of dorm gel. She was nice and relaxed when the vet truck arrived, and while she was still highly aware of the people around her, she let the vet listen to her heart and give her a once over — not to mention some pets.


She wasn’t quite ready to walk into the barn for her appointment, but thankfully our vets at Rainland are flexible, and were willing to come to her for the float. She sedated well, and with the help of some earplugs and a slow start, we were able to get her teeth back in their best working order. She had developed quite severe sharp points that were causing some ulcerations in her mouth, so with those taken care of now, she is surely feeling a lot better during mealtimes. During this appointment we were also able to vaccinate Winter, draw blood to check her insulin and thyroid levels (both in normal range), and insert a microchip.

But that’s not all – we were also able to coordinate it so that our farrier was able to arrive concurrently with our vet. The two chatted about the best plan for Winter’s hooves, and following the completion of her vet checklist, Winter had her first hoof trim in a long time. Just the fronts for now, as she is still uncertain about being touched anywhere behind her mid-back, but that is where the most work was needed. It will take a while before Winter’s hooves fully come around, but this was a great and very crucial start.



These two routine appointments mark the first of many to come now over the course of Winter’s life. One thing is for sure, the future looks bright for this smart mare!


Winter in the Springtime

Winter in the Springtime 

Winter came to SAFE in the springtime, though a recent onslaught of gloomy, rainy, chill in the forecast does conjure more January than June. That’s Washington for you. But Winter herself isn’t exactly wintry – pairing a horse coat color up with a season would certainly land palomino with summertime, yeah? She is all sandy-coat and bleach-blonde tresses, and even has a little dollop-of-sunscreen star on her forehead.


Winter is approximately ten. When her owner’s first got her, around five years back, she was handled for the vet and the farrier several times. But that handling fell away, and soon enough Winter had learned that being caught was not a mandatory activity if she did not make it one. Any horse owner knows the occasional challenge of going to retrieve your horse from a field, even when it is accustomed to being retrieved. But have a horse who gets away enough times and it becomes an almost impossibility. Winter remained gentle enough to take treats from a hand and follow people in close quarters, but a halter was no longer in the question.


Because of her inability to be caught, Winter was also unable to receive basic care. Notably, her hooves hadn’t seen a farrier’s rasp in some time, and she had developed a pretty severe slipper toe. In addition to her feet, Winter was also in need of a diet. We see a lot of skinny horses come through our gates, but a more rare, but no less worrisome body condition, is the one on the opposite side of the spectrum. On a one to nine scale of body condition scoring, Winter is firmly planted as close to ten as one can get.

So how does an unhalterable mare like Winter get to SAFE in the first place? The first step was building a chute to the trailer and using a line of people as a visual barrier to help guide her in the right direction. Once in the panel chute, we were able to slowly close in the boundaries until it was just a small area between her and the trailer. Then, it was just about waiting for Winter to realize that the direction of the trailer was a peaceful spot, and everywhere else was a little more work. She is a very smart mare, and it did not take her long at all to realize that the easiest option was to get into the trailer, and with just a little bit encouragement in the right direction, she was on.

In the trailer we were able to get a breakaway halter on her, which has put her on a much faster trajectory towards reminding her of her domesticity. We want to get those feet looked at as soon as possible by our vets and farrier, so getting Winter to the point where that is possible is of high priority. But she has already begun to settle in here, showing herself to be an inquisitive lady. Next door to the area where she is living, Sunny and Shasta are her neighbors and friends, our little ambassadors for both horse and human. Winter had goats where she was living, and their passing was just another motivating factor to get her into a place where she could not only get the care she needed, but be around other horses.

Welcome to SAFE, Winter! We sure are happy to have you.

Take a look at the loading process, and Winter’s first steps into her new life at SAFE below.







Winter’s Friends:

1. Bear C.

2. Lance S.

3. Nyla S.

4. Jodi S.

5. ____________________

6. ____________________

7. ____________________

8. ____________________

9. ____________________


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!

Click here to sponsor Winter!