2010 sooty buckskin Morgan mare
Type of Rescue: Animal Control seizure
Intake Date: 12/1/2017
Adoption Date: 10/11/2020
Length of Time at SAFE: 2 years, 11 months
Zoe is adopted!
Zoe and her 6 month old filly were seized by Animal Control when their owner refused to seek treatment for a serious wound on Zoe’s leg. It took more than two months of treatment for the wound to heal, but fortunately it is much better now and does not affect her soundness. Zoe is a lovely bay mare who is very athletic. She was started under saddle while at SAFE and proved to be a fun and safe riding horse.
This stunning 11-year-old Morgan type mare is ready to come home to you! Zoe has been a steady, sound riding horse at SAFE for almost a year now. She is kindhearted and loves going out on trails with other horses or working solo in the arena with her rider. She always comes up to greet us when we visit her field and she’s never a problem for our volunteers to work with.
This is Zoe’s year to find a loving family! Apply now at safehorses.org/adopt and don’t miss your opportunity to develop a wonderful friendship with this sweetheart!
What an amazing year Zoe is having. She had her first rides, 30 days of professional training with Nick Donohue, her first trail rides, and two amazing clinics with Buck Brannaman! She is gentle, endearing, and a solid citizen all around. The two areas we are still working on are tightness when being saddled after time off and acceptance of the snaffle bit in the lope/canter. Other than those two things, Zoe has no issues holding her back from being a great riding partner.
I am always thankful to help a SAFE horse move through the basic foundation riding work to the beginning some of the more advanced movements. Zoe is very willing to learn new lateral movements such as leg yields and haunches in. We are also working on transitions within the paces of gaits, such as extended, working and collected walk and trot. Her lope/canter has really improved over the last months. She has a lovely forward rolling rhythm. Her frame into the soft feel is very light and with the right amount of forward impulsion, she carries her poll nicely and is steady in the bridle.
She is very comfortable now that her front hooves have grown out. I still use trail boots in the arena. An adopter could use these or put front shoes on her. Either way she will do great. We keep her on a daily dose of Equioxx to keep her comfortable and she looks good and feels great to ride. Her gaits are smooth and easy on my sore back. For her trail ride experiences she has been brave and willing. She worked up to being able to cross the bridges in the lead and even helped a more season horse pass a scary stump that was going to eat him!
This year I made it a personal goal to ride with Buck Brannaman at his Ellensburg and Spanaway clinics. I am very thankful SAFE let me take Zoe. While these clinics were a great opportunity for Zoe, I felt that using rescue funds for this was not something I wanted to do. Luckily my husband is very supportive and I was able to cover the costs of these clinics myself. I mention this because I think it is important that our supporters know we all are very mindful of how donations are used. The experience that Zoe had will help her in the future to adjust to new situations and be more connected with her rider. The knowledge I gained will help all the horses I touch at SAFE. Many people in the audience had lovely things to say about Zoe and words of encouragement for me. These clinics are great venues for people to see that SAFE does rescue differently, and that the level of training and education the horses are getting is setting them up for a better life.
After both clinics Zoe’s work was brought up to a new level. While still green and in the first year of her riding work, she is on a great path! She was a star for trailering, preparing and riding in the class. The first days we worked on keeping a connection. I really loved all the life that the presence of the other horses built in her. It was fun to work on directing that in a way that made her softer and more responsive. She is a very cool mare!
Zoe’s ideal adopter at this point would have experience with riding green horses. We have no concerns about her ground manners and she is safe around beginners and kids on the ground. She will need some more experience on the trails, so going out with an experienced trail rider and other good steady horses will make this successful.
Zoe had a lameness exam with Dr. Fleck a few weeks ago. She was positive in flexion tests on the left hind upper limb and had a referred lameness (a gait abnormality that appears as lameness but is a result of pain in another limb) in the right front. It’s likely a mild case of hock arthritis, which isn’t surprising based on the prior injuries she came to us with on that leg. It’s mild enough that we’re not going to jump to hock injections, but she was put on Equioxx for pain management. She can still be ridden as before.
Zoe also has a tendency to wear her hooves down pretty short. Our farrier barely has to take any toe off when she trims her every 7 weeks. She has a tendency to be a little foot sore so she’s being ridden in boots and is in boots for turnout whenever she’s out on gravel. Her future adopter could elect to put her in shoes or manage her in boots the way we are currently.
About a month ago, a company that puts on continuing education seminars for veterinarians reached out to us to see if we had any horses they might be able to use for an upcoming course at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital in September. The topics were centered around sports medicine and orthopedics, and they were looking for horses with various levels of lameness issues. We decided to send Renee, who we know has osteoarthritis, Valor, who has a few different lameness issues, and Zoe, who has a mild, intermittent hind end lameness. The horses were hauled in on a Friday morning and got to come home the following night. All three of them got to participate in demonstrations on both Friday and Saturday and they were well-behaved SAFE ambassadors!
The topics that our horses got to participate in were ultrasound of the front and hind limbs, pre-purchase exams, and use of a device called a lameness locator. The lameness locator uses censors that attach to the horse’s poll, hindquarters, and right front leg, and sends information about how the horse is moving to a computer. It assists veterinarians in pinpointing where a lameness is originating from. It’s a newer tool that is incredibly useful, and our vets at Rainland have one.
The benefit for us in taking SAFE horses was not only exposure for SAFE and a new experience for the horses, but we also got feedback on what findings there were on the exams performed by the veterinarians who participated. We didn’t really need feedback on Renee since she already has a diagnosis, but it was interesting to see where Valor was at after several weeks of rehab from his sore back and hind end lameness, and we got some good feedback about Zoe. Valor looked improved from where he had been the last time he had a lameness exam, but still off. Zoe showed a mild lameness in her front feet, and also in her right hind. New knowledge of these issues in Zoe prompted us to schedule a full lameness workup with Dr. Fleck after we got the horses home.
Getting to participate in this course with SAFE horses was a pretty fun opportunity. Zoe, Renee, and Valor deserve a gold star for their participation!
Zoe has been home from training for a few weeks . She has matured so much with her riding and is ready to meet prospective adopters. I have enjoyed getting to ride her and figuring our who will be suitable for her at this point in her education. We have had a few adopters come out to ride her. Unfortunately, she was too green for them to adopt her.
Zoe is accepting a lot more pressure from a rider but it is only successful if the rider is tactful. This is not a mare to go picking fights with. She has a strong sense of right and wrong, so it is important to offer her a fair deal. While she is still a green horse, she needs riders that understand that and don’t add pressure without good releases. I am working to ride her with two reins but she needs to primarily be ridden using one rein and feel to bring her down. The two reins will happen over time and I add this into each of our sessions. She has improved so much from the first time she’d had the bit in her mouth but I feel this will be something she’ll continue to learn to accept as time goes on. Where she gets into trouble is if someone rides her too quickly with both reins to stop, especially if she is offering to go forward and they are nervous of her moving out.
My goal is to give her as much experience and riding time until the right home is found. She is very gentle and a genuinely sweet mare, who really isn’t that complicated. I think the right home will come along fairly quickly. Zoe has an excellent temperament and just needs more miles to be a very easy riding horse!
To give Zoe the best chance at finding a home, we decided to give her a few weeks of professional training with Nick Donohue. This time will allow her a few more life experiences and make her ready for a great home to adopt her. All the updates from Nick have been good. She already had a fairly good foundation but needed to find more acceptance of the leg and bridle. She also needed to find more balance in her hindquarters and become more free in her shoulders.
Zoe also got some time outside, working over bridges and riding past things she had never seen before like a scary children’s jungle gym! Zoe has come a long way from the overreacting nervous mare that we first met. She is going to be a great trail horse and enjoy a life as a easy going partner. She is ready now to start meeting perspective adopters.
Here is a short video of Zoe working with Nick in the arena with the tarp. She has come a LONG way from the mare that was scared to see a tarp anywhere near her in the arena.
Terry has been working with Zoe, and Joel Conner rode her several times at the last clinic. Here’s what Terry had to say:
Zoe has steadily been progressing with acceptance of the saddle. She is still tight when it goes on, especially if she has had some time off. Joel rode her a few more times this past clinic. She was much more accepting of the bit than last clinic. He rode her in the large arena with the other horses during the afternoon riding sessions. Helping her navigate through and around the other horses. Overall she did very well. Her expression is improving when asked to make upwards transitions.
We have a few items on our homework list. Her groundwork needs to improve. She has braces in the half circle exercise that if corrected will make her less tight when riding. She has a bit of an issue changing eyes. More rope work and just wearing the saddle a ton more is going to help. We also need to really get the “join up” work cemented. She is still not joining up very quickly or fully turning loose to the process. She is a bit on guard especially when the saddle is on. More miles and time will help along, with consistency in her training. With other horses moving off to adoptions and other volunteers riders helping out, I will be able to commit more time to her.
Zoe is a very gentle mare to handle. Sometimes in our groundwork sessions, she can give a bad expression but is easily changed and she moves off. We need to do more rope work for her hind end. She still tries pulling away when asked to pick her hooves. You can easily correct her with a confident hold but she can improve on this. The scars on her legs show struggles in the past with getting caught with fences and wires. It is important we help her learn to give to pressure on her legs instead of resisting and getting injured.
Zoe is available now for a person with experience starting horses. She is uncomplicated and only requires miles to be a great riding horse. I imagine she will be ready for more of an intermediate rider early December.
Gallery photos (click to view):
Zoe has been doing very well over the last few months. We initially did quite a bit of groundwork, getting her more comfortable with the saddle and eventually a few light rides. She remained tight with the saddle and her very kinked up tail indicated that she needed more time to settle before accepting a rider. The goal when starting our horses is NOT to get on and “ride the buck out of them.” Instead we hope to do enough to support and relax them into acceptance of what is being asked. Sometimes this is not on our timeline: we need to be patient and see them through until they are ready.
At the last Joel Conner clinic in June, we saw a huge amount of changes since the previous clinic. Joel was able to ride her and on the second day Terry was able to get on her without issue. Since then Terry has been working her through a few small issues like acceptance of the bridle. She has been doing great and will be ready to be shown for adoption soon!
Zoe has been with us for a little over a month now, and her leg continues to look better all the time. We are relieved that a laceration that was so ugly to begin with has left her with no permanent lameness. When she originally came to us we were still at the point of cleaning the wound daily with betadine, but Dr. Devine saw her a few weeks ago and said she’s healed enough to where we can discontinue that and just let it keep healing on its own. We monitor it closely, but otherwise now leave it alone, as long as it keeps looking like it’s doing what it should be.
Zoe still has a long way to go before this wound has completely healed. It still has a large scab covering it, but it has improved significantly since she has been in the care of animal control and now here at SAFE.
We have enjoyed getting to know this little mare. She’s spunky and fun, and has been very tolerant of the wound care process.
The newest horses at SAFE are a 6 year old Morgan mare and her 6 month old filly. The pair were seized by Animal Control when their owner refused to seek treatment for a serious wound on Zoe’s leg. It took more than two months of treatment for the wound to heal, but fortunately it is much better now and does not appear to affect her soundness. Zoe is a lovely bay mare who is unstarted under saddle but she’s very athletic, judging by her ability to buck in the roundpen! She also seems to be a quick learner, and she’s very kind & gentle. Her filly is an adorable buckskin with extraordinary eyes. Piper is sweet and cuddly and everyone at the barn is in love with her. She was weaned while in animal control custody so she is kept separately from her mom, and seems quite well adjusted.
Here are some photos of Zoe and Piper from Jessica Farren: