Saddlebred Rescue

Blog Date Entry 1-10-14

Today will be short and sweet.   Party Hat was loaded this morning to go to his new forever home in California. This gelding leaving was bitter sweet really more sweet than bitter.  I will miss him as I liked to challenge some of my riders on him and for some of the riders he was a reward and just plain fun. Safe travels birthday boy!  

Just when I think we can get caught up something else pops up and today it was the new footing for the arena.  Every year I ask for new footing in the arena as my Christmas present and this year I was surprised when I got it again. (not really)   Only a weird horse person would get excited over footing.  As wonderful and needed as the footing is it takes all day to get it in the arena and evenly distributed. This is one reason we do not go on vacation and the horses get worked year round.   I am never behind trying to catch up.

On a different note the way our property is set up I can look out any window in my house and see the Treasures at SBR.   Right now many of the Treasures have new blankets and they look so happy eating their hay and waiting for the evening meal.   The Treasures have many friends at the morning and evening feedings.   Turkey and deer like to come up and eat the grain that the Treasures drop on the ground.  If it continues the turkeys will push the horses away from their dinners, not really just kidding.
Given the challenging weather lately many horse shippers are behind schedule and that means one of our Treasures will be going to its new home a little later than planned.   SBR Co-Star is on the trailer going to Oklahoma and some of the other horses that were supposed to be on that trip got cancelled. Co-Star will have a box stall all the way home. Tomorrow will be a busy day so there will be a lot more for me to write about.

p.s.  Since I wrote this entry Co-Star did make it to his new home safe and sound.


Blog Date Entry 1-9-14

All I can say is heat wave today.  No wind and 18 degrees and I was amazed at how “warm” it felt.  I have been reading  about people saying they felt like it was warm out and I secretly thought they were just saying that but when I was walking to the barn this morning my first thought was “Damn the Facebook people were not kidding .  It does feel warm”.  Today was a series of small things on our schedule that made the day feel like we did not get anything done.  First, we checked the temps on the outside horses.  I can report all were normal.   Next we had to prepare SBR Co Star for his ride home.  He got electro-lites and ulcer guard.   We want him to drink and we want to avoid the risk of ulcers.   It took us 30 minutes to find a blanket in the rescue inventory (not turn out) to fit him as he would be the only one in the trailer until Ohio.  After that we groomed him up so he would look pretty getting on the trailer.  I think Pat took pictures of that event.

Just when I thought we were ready to go back to the daily work a guest trainer came in to look at our western horses.  That visit was planned and I had a good time catching up with Anne.   During that time I put a halt to working Treasures so the ring would be quiet.

We did manage to get Spiffy worked. This horse always makes me glad.   I listened to Greg and give Spiffy a time to learn what every horse at his age should have known.   Spiffy was his usual loving self and worked like he had been ridden everyday this week (which he had not).  I will be making a video of Spiffy turned loose in the arena for the sport horse people to watch as they say that is very important for them to pick out a horse.  I, on the other hand, worry about how a horse thinks and how he learns.    Even a great moving horse with a rotten attitude can make a trainers life really hard. This gelding loves his work, loves people and loves his life.   Considering his condition when he came to the rescue, life for him now is a piece of cake.

In two more days SBR Noel will be on her way home (Forever Home) but for now she is in a stall and gets worked every day.  Noel is a kind happy mare that just likes to do her job.  So far she has been very consistent to work.   I wish I could tell this mare how lucky she is and that the cold weather will be a rare occurrence in a few days.  I wish I could live in the south in the winter.
SBR Sudzy is in a stall so she was on our “to do” list today.  Every time I watch this mare work indoors I am always pleased at how well she stays to the rail and acts like she has worked in the ring every day of her life.  I know she has not!   Sudzy seems to be telling me she wants a great home and is willing to work hard to get a new home.  I will say at this point she does not set her head the greatest but in time I am sure she will be a cutie.   This mare is a point and go kind of horse.   I so wish her ears had not been shaved down to the skin.   Pat is looking into getting some sort of ear mask made that is water proof, and warm so she can be turned out and play.

The Treasures continue to amaze me, creep into my thoughts and my heart.   Most of the rescues we work with have given so much during their lives on the road and after a brush with the risk of slaughter they have more to give and work so hard to learn or remember the ring work that most of them need to do to get a new forever home.   I think about how people might react to drastic changes in their lives and I wonder if people would be as willing to work and change as these horses do.   It speaks volumes about the characteristics of this breed.  I am so lucky to have horses in my life! I am also blessed by these horses for teaching me new things every day.  Some things I learn are huge (how much and how long horses remember things) and some are small (how most horses smell the treats before they taste them).   I feel as long as I can help these horses, they will be helping me become not only a better trainer but a better person.


Blog Entry Date 1-8-14

Another cold day here in New Jersey but it was warmer than yesterday and every day from now on will be warmer.   Yeah!   The crew at North Wind has the ring back in order and all of the horses at North Wind and all of the inside horses at SBR were worked today.   SBR Broomer left today to go to Millstone Riding Club.   Broomer is on foster until one of the other Treasures is ready to go.   It pays to be Anne and Doug as not only are they close to SBR distance wise, they a close to SBR personally and professionally.   It will be interesting to see how Broomer does.  Will he stay there or will he be readied for a new home in a month or so?  

Erin was busy this morning taking care of the treatments on the Treasures, making sure everyone outside was weathering the cold ok and working the Treasures that are in stalls and could be worked. Usually the guys get the Treasures ready for Erin but since there was so much work to do because of the cold Erin “Pampered” several Treasures herself.   Her reports were as follows on Sudzy and Tardy.
Sudzy is very receptive to learning new things and is such a kind mare it was no wonder her people loved her so much.  The report on Tardy had a different tone.  Tardy appears to be quite fearful of people. For example Erin said when standing cross-tied he stood very still but was shaking from fear it seemed. When Erin said “whoa” to him he stopped and stood locked up and afraid to even breathe.    It took several minutes for this horse to relax and stop worrying about Erin around him.  Of course he was afraid to even look at her hands for treats. I am sure that first thing on our volunteers list will be to get Tardy eating treats and learning people are not so bad. Erin stated Tardy never did anything wrong but he worried the whole time she was around him, add to that he seemed very head shy.  My thought on this is not every person who wants to own a horse should. It will not be long before Tardy will come to love the people at SBR and North Wind.  SBR is also lucky to have such a kind hearted person as trainer for the Treasures.   I also would like to say that while the Treasures are not the most glamorous horses they do fill your heart with joy seeing them respond to training and kindness.  It is funny with the two new horses we got one was loved and cherished and it shows and the other must have lacked kindness in his life.

Speaking of two new horses we received a $1000 donation today with specific instructions to use the money to save horses from slaughter.  I have to say that will kill me to have to buy more Treasures.  NOT!!!!!!  When we place a few more Treasures in new homes I will be out lickety-split to save new ones. Watch for updates on when we will be spending that donation.  (Thank you Julee for helping with this donation.)

Here is an update on Tuck.   Tuck is happy to be in a stall and likes his treatments for his cut. Tuck is being a good boy and leaving his bandages on. He is however looking forward to Brianne coming out to give him his “Brianne” pampering!


SBR Blog Date 1-7-14

The cold weather caused us to do a switch in our normal Tuesday routine. The very first thing this morning I received a phone call from Erin informing me of a rescue that had a cut on his leg. Erin had taken a picture with her cell phone and sent it to our vet and we were told that the area injured was very hard to stitch and if he could get them in the stitches more than likely would not hold. Erin cleaned up the wound which we determined was from ice or frozen ground and then the real problem came to light. Where to put him as all of the rescue stalls are full? The stalls should not be full but the two rescues we picked up yesterday and one of the New Year’s Treasures have shaved ears. In this winter cold the three horses HAVE to be in stalls. With some creative turnout schedules we came up with a stall for Tuck the Treasure that injured his leg. It is nice to have Erin as Trainer at SBR as she is also a nurse and really gets the whole treatment side of SBR. Good for the Treasures good for SBR.

As many of you know Pat and I headed to the sale and picked up two new horses. The sale was VERY light and it did not appear to have any Saddlebreds, that is a good thing. The new horses we picked up both had their ears shaved. That makes me wonder if anyone gets more money at a sale for a used up Amish horse with trimmed ears? I would guess not, but you would think someone MIGHT NOTICE it is winter and it is *^%$^& cold outside!  I guess these two horses (now Treasures) were lucky it was SBR getting them or at least their ears were lucky. Tuesday is usually the “Test the New Rescue Day” but with the cold and frozen ring I was not sure we would get to that…….. but we did!

Here is the scoop on the newbies. The first horse we picked up was a black reg. mare that is 12ish. Before I go any further I want to say how small the world is. This mare is a daughter of a mare I used to train in Illinois. I was shocked to see that but I was not surprised when this newbie thought so well and was easy to deal with. I did not however think she would ride very well as she appeared to have been in the Amish world her whole life. This mare came with a note and Pat contacted the people and they were thrilled this mare ended up with us and not the butcher.    I can imagine how hard it is to not have the room to keep every horse but also need to have a horse that can do the trips. In my world that would be like having a truck that I could not drive out of my driveway.  Many of the Amish people do not live on huge farms so it would be impossible to keep every horse they had in their lives.  It is good that there are places like SBR to give these horses a chance at a new life. The black mare surprised me big time when she stayed to the rail and did three gaits.  The Amish family called her Sudzy so since we have not had a Sudzy before we kept that name.    Sudzy does need a little work on her canter cues and collection but her canter was smooth and not too fast.    The second horse we picked up was an old gelding around 16ish by his teeth. This gelding scored high on his ground manners as did Sudzy but under saddle he was very slow.  I am going to have the vet do blood work on him to make sure he is not low Thyro, or low RBC. It could be he was just timid in the ring and he may step it up more after he has been here a while. Erin named him Tardy and even though he was not fast he did do three gaits.  Erin and I were both happy with the new TREASURES!  Other than being cold all is good at SBR.


SBR Blog Date 1-5-14

This will be my weekend wrap-up!   How many people would get out in this cold, brave the weather and help ride the Treasures at SBR? Well I will tell you HORSE CRAZY people.   We will start with Brianne who was the first in the door this morning.   She has enough volunteer time under her belt that she is more than capable of going out to one of the pastures and getting the Treasure she is going to pamper next. Brianne has her own string of special horses. The first Treasure Brianne brought in is her Mom’s favorite Freckles. (Get better Marybeth!). Freckles is an older horse that has bounced around a bit from one forever home to the next. None of it was his fault. Freckles is always a perfect gentleman on the crossties and loves the attention he gets from Brianne and her Mom Marybeth.  Brianne has been working on getting Freckles relaxed while being mounted, even though he stands he thinks he needs to walk off as soon as the ride achieves touchdown in the saddle. This does not bother the people at SBR but many perspective forever homes want and need a horse to stand still for a certain amount of time after the rider has mounted. Freckles is improving but Brianne continues to work towards perfect. I noticed after her ride Brianne always reaches down and hugs the horse and the way she does it is as if each horse that she rides is her favorite. The next horse on her list was Mr. D. He has improved so much in is ground manners and has stopped being a bit too pushy. I commented to Brianne how nice his head set was improving and she looked at me with her calm look and said “I know I have been working on that.” Am I watching another horse trainer in the making? The odd thing about Mr. D is when we first got him his tail had little to no movement and today I noticed he was lifting it and it appeared to be normal. Make a mental note “ask vet to look at it”. Brianne’s last horse for the day was Tuck. I was afraid Tuck would be a horse that was not going to get better with his lameness but I was wrong. YEAH!!!! I saw Brianne work on him for a beginner rider, by swinging her arms around, then patting him and then doing other exercises that an instructor might have a new student do. WOW! I thought I had asked Brianne to do that just one time and without asking her she continued working with Tuck on these exercises with positive results.  Not many riders of Brianne’s age would be helping us work the Treasures instead of just riding them.

Erin G. was also a surprise today showing up on a very cold day with ice in the forecast but she was at the barn bright and early. The first horse on Erin’s list was 2B, who is by now a favorite with my more experienced riders. Because it was so cold we did not work the Treasures that live outside very long as I did not want them to get wet and chill in any way when they were turned back out. 2B continues to impress me as do my riders. I have to say he is very showy and well mannered. I will be getting a new video soon to post.   Erin G loves the gamer horses and she really does a nice job getting them comfortable and relaxed.  Kitty is another one of Erin’s favs so that Treasure was next on her list. Kitty was also worked lightly but is really getting happy with her work and relaxing. Erin has been able to get her cantering fairly collected and no more switching leads. Kitty is so fat she will need to be saved from the rescue, but it does make her comfy to ride. The last horse on Erin’s list was Jemma. This has become a popular horse around North Wind students so it was no surprise when Erin went out and brought her in. I overheard one of my younger students tell her Mom that she loved it when I gave her a lesson on Jemma.   She hoped she could have another lesson on her soon. It makes me really happy to see the progress not only of our Treasures but also with my students as I know these horses teach all my riders how to be a well-rounded horseperson.   Jemma did not disappoint. I have decided she is happier with shoes on so this week she will get her shoes back on as our farrier comes in early this week. We try and keep expenses down by allowing the Treasures to go barefoot but sometimes when the ground is frozen we have to bite the big one and spend the money. We do give each horse the farrier work it needs. It takes a lot of work to tailor a program for each horse that is special to each Treasures need but because we have a great barn staff and wonderful volunteers we have been able to get the job done.

Until next week on Tuesday. Monday is our only day off and we regularly go to the auction in New Holland on Monday’s. Signing out.


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