Saddlebred Rescue

SBR Blog Date 1-4-14

It sure was cold today but I guess by Chicago standards it was not so bad.  Since our temp was 0 this morning and later warmed up to maybe 20 degrees, I thought we would have no customers out today.  I was wrong.   Jessica K came out with her Dad and Theresa came out with her Mom, Laura.   I have to say those are two dedicated parents.   Jessica started off her day on SBR Muse.  It’s one of the rescues I adopted.  She rode the mare and really got aggressive which showed me she is ready to show.   SBR Party Hat was getting a vet exam about the same time as Jessica was riding Muse because he has a person on the west coast who wants to adopt him.  Since Party Hat was already in the barn and ready to go I asked Jessica to ride him as well.   All I can say was what a great ride they had.  SBR Party Hat has been here since June and he gets work a little each week, but since he is not on a regular schedule his progress has been slower than our show horses that are worked regularly.   This rescue while here at the rehab has been worked by the SBR Trainer Erin M, then Erin G, Joelle and Theresa.   I must say that line up of riders did a fantastic job of teaching Party Hat to canter slow and collected.   Jessica had no problem getting the gelding to canter or canter collected!   I will be sorry to see him leave but of course I am always happy to see the Treasures get their forever homes.   Party Hat will be going to California. For Jessica’s third ride this morning I challenged her with SBR Copper.  Let me say that SBR Copper is very nice to ride BUT Jessica was riding Copper at the same time Theresa was riding one of my show horses Callaway’s Royal Request.    I wanted Jessica to get Copper, the rescue, as showy as Royal so needless to say the dual was on.  It is never easy to take on my riders who have been riding with North Wind for years but Jessica K. stepped Copper up and got the gelding to get rather showy.   SBR Copper is a great horse to teach on but the rider has to step up and think! Oh how I wish Copper would be as good at shows as he is at home. From experience I know he is not.  He is what he is.  After an aggressive ride Jessica rode another SBR Drummer Boy to a very quiet precise ride.  To me that is a feat in itself to be able to gear up one horse and then relax with another.   She rode with a softness that helped the rescue program teach the horse to be happy in the ring.  SBR Drummer Boy is the kindest horse I have been around for a while.  He has a gentle way of being that is easy for me to see and also for all the riders who have ridden him.  They all say they have felt it too.  I am happy to report he is putting on weight nicely and it will not be long before he will be strong enough to have a full ride on him instead of short rides he does now for exercise.  At the end of the day I asked Jessica which horse she liked the best today and her answer surprised me when she said Party Hat.  Why I asked?   Jessica’s answer was, “The last time I rode him he cantered really fast…… today his canter was so comfortable and I was in control!”  YEAH BOY that is what we want to achieve with the Treasures!!!!!!!!!!

Theresa is leaving to go back to school (college) tomorrow but you know what?   People that are real horse people will come out and ride no matter what is going on in their lives.   Theresa rode several of the North Wind horses but I did have her ride a couple of Treasures starting with 2B.  This horse is still on the list for SBR Trainer Erin M and the riders that have ridden with me the longest but this is the first time Theresa got to ride him.  A very up headed horse, 2B always acts like he has people to see and places to go.  This match today with Theresa was a good one.  The gelding was relaxed during his work but stilled remained very showy (which I like) and I could see him showing this show season for someone.  Even though he has been gaited we have been working only in three gaits as I am not sure it is easy for him to rack. Theresa LOVED him (now he has a fan club of Erin G, Joelle and Theresa) and reported to me that he was responsive in the bridle and rose up in small movements with your hands. 2B has become much less worried about working in the ring and seems to love his new work. I am telling you the girls at North Wind are becoming a machine when it comes to working with the Treasures that are more challenging to ride. Great job girls!!!!!!!!

Theresa finished up her day of riding with SBR Jimmy. If anyone has been following Jimmy you will know at the beginning Jimmy was not suited just for any lesson program to use.  I had Theresa work him one summer for North Wind’s program and I adopted him to keep closer tabs on him.   After one summer of work with Theresa I put him in our lesson program and continued to work with him over the winter.  The end result was he won a regional academy finals with one of my students Camryn and this combo tied fourth at the National Academy finals in 2013!! NOT BAD FOR A RESCUE!!  The point is if you give a horse some time and work with them a little you will get something in the end.  Today Jimmy needed a touch up from Theresa so how fitting is it for Jimmy to be Theresa’s final ride at the end of her Winter break!

I learn something every day and this week I learned if people would just give the Treasures (or any horse for that matter) a little time and some patience kind work they can become so much more than anyone ever thought.   Dr. Meanor has always told me just give my horses the time they need to get better and I have to say I have seen changes in some horses that are close to miracles in my mind. This goes for health issues as well as training. The Treasures also have been proving this to people all over the country.  All you need to do is not knock them out when they are down, just bring them in your heart and watch them soar to new heights!!


Never a Dull Moment Blog Entry 1-3-14

There is never a dull moment at SBR, part of that is the fact that we deal with horses and as everyone knows animals keep you hopping. The second reason is we also deal with all kinds of people from all over the US. The people who know me (Nealia) and really know how I care for horses YOU know that the rescues are treated the same as any other horse we have at North Wind. However there are people who think they know better than anyone else.

Several months ago a person came out to try rescues. This person put on an application excellent rider, had experience with horses and owned their own place. First of all we found out that this person was not a vet but only called the vet out when something needed to be put down. In other words shots were given to horses by a non vet and apparently none of their horses were ever lame or had injuries. (red flag in my book) The surprise came when this person came out to ride and “test out the horses” We always have every person ride our most beginner horse to access the riding skills as we found out a long time ago what we think are good riders may not be the same as how other people really ride. I watch how they get on, how they hold their reins and if they can ask a horse to move forward and control the horse with any skills and can they stop the horse. It is from there Erin and I decided what horses may be suitable for that rider. Picture this, the rider starts to get on our wonderful Brandy (who is 26 years old) never picks up the reins, plops down on the saddle and before Erin or I can say a word kicks the horse in ribs and off they, goes hands in the air, heals in the horse, NO guiding what so ever and by now Brandy is cantering very quickly through the middle of the ring and nowhere close to the rail. I thought Brandy’s eyes were going to pop out of his head and I know I saw the horse look at me and mouth the words “help me”. Thank God Brandy is a saint as most other horses may not have been as kind and forgiving as Brandy was. (another red flag) I also found out that this person had never had any kind of lesson at all on or about horses, but that was OK, in this persons opinion mind knowing all about cattle was the same as knowledge about horses.

Needless to say Erin and I were sure that no horse we had would tolerate a rider such as this so we only had a couple of horses we were willing to try. Well fast forward, one horse tolerated this rider fairly well much to my surprise and for this story I will call her Jewel. Jewel did not seem to get upset with the heavy hand rider or the hard pulls on her mouth, she just tuned out the heals in her side and did not run wildly around the arena. That day Jewel was a saint in my eyes and Erin’s.  My suggestion of lessons fell on a surprised look and deaf ears. (red flag # 3) Erin and I had no words to describe how we felt about Jewel going to that home. A few days later we received a phone call telling us this party did not want to sign an adoption contract as “the contract was not in their favor”, Erin told the person the adoption contact was in the horses’ favor and we would not allow any horse to go to a new home without a signed contract. In our minds the problem was solved.

Fast forward a few months the same people let us they want Jewel and they will sign an adoption contract BUT they were going on vacation and had no one to watch the animals (Big red flag) so they wanted to wait a month or so but did not want to pay board on the horse at all while they were on vacation.  About one month later Erin received and email telling us that their farrier told them that “Saddle Breeds were not quiet and would not be good for them”. That was it for me this for me these people wanted a Saddlebred, followed us on the internet, emailed us, talked about our horses for months and did not even know the breed is SADDLEBRED not Saddle Breeds. My comment to Erin was “That’s IT!!  NONE of SBR horses will go to those people”

Today it is cold, we had blowing snow and wind chills below zero so Erin and I are worried about the horses that are outside, even though they have blankets and sheds. I ask Erin to have the men bring in EVERY single horse take it’s temperature, remove the blankets, groom the horses and if any one of the Treasures look stressed to put them in a stall. This is an all day job and not an easy one but we do whatever we need to do to keep the horses happy and healthy. Erin has received and email from our old friend wanting to BUY Jewel since she was old and no one wanted her, I told Erin what to put in the email back but what I said was a non “filtered” version, and Erin sent them a “Filtered” email telling them we do NOT sell any rescues, and this rescue (Jewel) had a home at SBR for life if necessary. We thought that would be the end of this conversation but NO!! This person writes back and tells us what a shame this horse has to live at SBR when if we would sell her (with no strings attached) she could have a wonderful life (I highly doubt that).

Well here is what I have to say about that. Jewel has learned so much, has always been a great, willing horse, Jewel is the best trail horse and while she may not be as pretty as some, this mare will only go to the BEST HOME available and that is not you my friend, you are now on our “do not” adopt to list.

Jewel as most of you have figured out is not this mare’s real name but I may change it to Jewel as she is THE Jewel of Saddlebred Rescue.


Rescue Riders Blog Entry 1-2-2014

The rehab at SBR got off to a good start with two extra volunteers to help today. Joelle B. came out on her last day before heading back to Vet school in St. Kits.  Erin G. was also able to come out quite frequently as she is also in college and on a winter break. Both girls are very capable riders and really help our SBR Trainer Erin Mc. with the horses that need more work. I have about four riders that are good enough to assist in the training type of work needed on some of our Treasures.

Joelle worked, 2B and loved the horse and his go forward attitude. While he has a gaited canter Joelle found it very manageable. With Joelle as the pilot I could see this horse in the show ring and doing well. The next horse on her list was Party Hat (which rumor has it he may have a home).  After watching Joelle ride this darling horse I have decided he needs to be in our lesson program this winter. I must say Party Hat’s canter has improved so much. Noel was next up for Joelle and since the abscess opened up in her hoof Noel has been very showy and cute. This black mare will be going to GA soon and have her own girl to love her. I will miss Joelle while she is away at school but I know before long she will be a top notch Vet.

Erin G has been out almost every day since her winter break and I like to put her on some of the game horses as her horse has a big motor. One of Erin G's favs is Kitty.  Kitty could be a clone of Erin G’s mare Angel so it is a great fit for Erin. Kitty had a great day today and even surprised Erin Mc on how well Kitty is cantering. (I like to surprise Erin Mc with horses that we have been working on that she has not seen us work lately). Erin G and Kitty cantered around both ways semi relaxed and not switching leads! This pair was even able to pass other horses around the arena. Today gave me hope that Kitty will find her forever home. Next on Erin G’s list was Jemma.  Jemma is a kind mare that always does her job and always tries to please her rider. Why Jemma is still her is beyond me but I like teaching on her, and I know she may not be the showiest horse but her heart is pure gold. Jemma does three gaits well and trail rides the best (we did not trail ride today). Last  but not least Erin G rode Broomer.  Broomer is a kind horse that just needs a little work to be a wonderful academy horse. This gelding is necky and wears his head well and is tall enough to carry a taller rider. Erin G worked on basics today such as traveling straight, going into corners and not wandering. Broomer is getting better and better at cantering with every ride. He was never bad but now he is better.

That was all I have to report on the Treasures today so stay tuned until tomorrow. I will have more to share.


Blog Entry for 12/30/13

Today is my day off, what that means is if I go to the sale to get rescues it is today, if we go to an Amish family farm it is today. If I do not “do anything rescue” I do not do anything at all. I need this time to let my brain slow down. Today started out that to be a quiet brain day, but around 10:30 am we got a call that one of the rescue’s rides (trailer) was here and the horse was not loading. Around here (North Wind or Saddlebred Rescue) the buck stops with me, cannot get a horse caught, then I have to, horse will not load, tag it is me again. What that really means is I am more stubborn than anyone else around these parts. I got dressed and headed to the village and what I saw was our very large rescue Eiffel Tower not wanting to go into a large two horse trailer. If I were him I might have offered to pull it to get to his new forever home but of course horses cannot reason that stuff out. Eiffel was sure he would not fit in the trailer. I know he hauls as he loaded in my trailer from the sale to come to SBR, so I start out doing my thing. No magic, just a training technique added with patience. After a few moments I was not sure that this horse would load in this trailer so I had Jason get my truck and hook it to my trailer for plan B. Plan B is since the horse was going to Connecticut I would haul it. This would not be my favorite thing to do but I do not want to disappoint anyone so it would have to be done. I REALLY did not want to spend my day driving, so the stubborn side in me took over. Needless to say in less than 30 minutes the big boy was safely the two horse trailer and ready to go to his new home. The next time he needs to load he should be easier.

As I sit and think about today I am glad that I was able to work with Eiffel and have him load in a calm manner and be able to go to his new home. Besides that good news Noel got a new home today and will be leaving to Ga. AND have her own girl to love her! Today even though did not go as planned turned out to be a good day for Saddlebred Rescue. PS my trailer is hooked up and ready to go………….hhhmmm I wonder if that means new rescues coming to SBR in the near future?


Animals in Need

Copied from Facebook post dated December 9, 2013
I cannot tell you how much it hurts to see videos of all of the animals that need help and that includes the ones at SBR. It makes my heart ache at the thought of horses (and other animals) in need and there is so little I can do. Everyone at SBR does everything they can but I want to do more. I am begging everyone who has horses, shows horses or just likes horses to help SBR place, provide for the ones we have and donate so we can do MORE. I can only imagine what it is like to be hungry, thin and be in this cold wet weather. How many horses are needing help and I cannot go get them or help them. SBR has put together a system that is not negative towards breeders, trainers, owners or Amish. I know that there are a lot of people out there that do not know what is adequate care for horses is but the way to help the horses is not through negative bashing, it is through education. I also feel strongly about doing evaluations on the horses so they can be placed in the right home for each horse. PLEASE, PLEASE help us do more. It will make you feel better knowing you have done something positive and I will make a whole lot of horses have better lives. Please share and ask your friends and family do something for those in need and for those who need to have someone buy them and put them on their way to a new pain free life. Nealia

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