Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Silkie's Money, aka Jake

Racing season is over and pastures are slowing down.  Unfortunately, the financial reality of horseracing hits about this time, so I would like to talk to you about Jake.

Jake is an absolute sweetheart, but his owners do not have enough stalls in their barn to keep him, now that his racing career is over. The reality is, for every owner in this situation, that no matter how much you love the horse, if you have nowhere to put him, you have to let him go.  I won't stay up on the soapbox very long, but we really do have an amazing overlooked resource here on the Island with the ex rachorses--they trailer, stand for the farrier, let themselves be caught, don't mind the vet, great ground manners--half your training is done for you!

Look at that face and tell me that he isn't a horse that is interested in EVERYTHING!  Does he not look like he's just waiting for someone to announce the Adventure of the Day?  At 10 years old, he still has many years left in him and has outgrown most of the young horse silliness that you see up until about this age (for those who haven`t had much to do with young horses, try thinking of little boys in the 6-9 year old age range...it's a pretty accurate comparison! :D)

Not only is he older and more sensible, but he`s HOT!  I mean, smokin'!  Look at that shoulder, the extension, the flow of the back into the hindquarters (why do I have a sudden urge to go watch Pirates of the Caribbean?)  What a lovely competition horse he will make for someone.  What an even lovelier friend and best bud he will make too.

If someone steps up and takes him home before October 15.  Because that is the date of the next sale, when his owners will be forced to send him along, because they don't have the space to keep him.  Sadie's Place is full at the moment, we have no stalls for him.  Is there anyone out there who could open up a corner of their barn for this darling young fellow?

I have to go hug my ponies.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hello, Goodbye and everything in between

Well, it's been an eventful summer here at Sadie's Place.  Now, summers are always a little crazy here on PEI, but this summer was really nuts.  I, your faithful webmaster, was off junketing around Quebec for all of July, home for a wedding, then off to Nova Scotia for a week right after.  Jana, our executive director, was inundated with camps, lessons and training (as well as numerous baby horses!  Woohoo!  LOOOOVVVE babies!)  And our ever faithful, ever patient and (thankfully!) half a bubble off plumb foster families were busy playing musical horses.  Why?  Well, here's why!!!!

ADOPTIONS!!!!!!  And new horses! Yay, team!

First off, Bandit has gone to his forever home in Emerald.  Here's a picture of him with his new mom, Courtney.  (His new dad is too camera shy.  But, we'll get you one of these days, Scott!)  If she looks familiar, it's probably because she's a part of Fiddler's Sons and has just put out her own cookbook!  Go Courtney!

Doesn't he look happy? 

Here he is doing his new job....

Grazing in the field...

And, darn it, he still looks like the equine version of Antonio Banderas!

I love happy endings.  And he certainly looks happy.  Scott says they are riding him a couple of times a week and he is going to the trainer in November to learn a bit more about being a saddle horse.  He's apparently become even more cuddly since his adoption and can't wait to see his adoptive parents every day.  Congratulations, Courtney and Scott, he's a very lucky horse and you are very lucky horse parents.  We miss him here.

Our newest arrival is Admiral, a tall gray standardbred gelding whose owners decided to retired him after a mild bowed tendon, rather than risk his legs to another injury.  He's just striking, a lovely dark gray, with that amazing personality we have come to associate with the Standarbred breed.

Here he is in the field at his foster home with, is that Tigger, Jesse?  Regardless, you can see how well put together he is.  Here are some more pictures of him under saddle with the lady (Verna) who is currently working with him.

Pretty relaxed about the whole thing, isn't he? 
This is Verna. We are so happy to have her working with us!  I'd like to just quote her last email, rather than trying to explain things myself, because I really couldn't describe him any better than she has.

Hey Jana, just an update on Admiral! I'm so excited....I put a saddle on him for the very first time today and he was a superstar! I hadn't planned to do it till later in the week! I gave him yesterday off cause I have lunged him for five days straight the last two with side reins and with not having done too much in awhile thought he may need a day off hehe!

So today I lunged him to warm him up (a little both ways), then hooked up the side reins (even had them shorter by one hole) lunged him for about 20Mins on each side and he was brilliant as usual! So I decided to try a saddle on him, he sure gave it a good looking at as I let him sniff it, took off the surcingle and side reins and put it on! I first walked him around with it on then I tried lunging him, he scooted at first but never threatened to buck at all! You could tell he was very aware of the saddle but very sesnsible about it and trotted along nicely......I only lunged him about 10 mins on both sides with the saddle and he did awesome.......so very proud of my man!

So I will lunge him with the saddle for a couple days then try putting some weight in the stirrups as soon as I feel he is ready........he trusts so readily and I do not want to lose that trust, so I like taking it one step at a time with him till he knows exactly what I want of him! He looks awesome under saddle, had to take pics after he was lunged of his first day with a saddle on!

I rest my case.  Oh, and I only feel it fair to warn you, that it sounds just a little bit like Verna may be thinking of adopting him herself, so if you are interested in this gorgeous guy, you may need to move quick.  I don't think he's going to last long at all.

What else is going on?  Well, there has been interest in Devil and Yankee, but no definite offers yet, so if you would like to meet one of these boys, let us know and we'll set you up on a date. (The matchmaking mommas, that's us!)  Chance has developed a layer of something that can only be called flab over his ribs and his grain has been pretty much eliminated until the cold weather rolls in.  Wyatt had his feet done and the crooked one looks so much more promising than before.  Apple has changed foster homes and is keeping another older mare company. 

And that's it for today.  Time to go out and move the fence, hang out some laundry and head into town for some back to school stuff. Enjoy the last days of summer and don't forget to hug your horses!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chance in June

It's been a little crazy here lately--I'll get to that in another blog.  But, I thought people might like to get a peek at Chance, now that his winter coat has FINALLY shed out.  Sheesh, that took a while!

Looks a bit better than before, doesn't he?  Here's another picture:

And, for a closeup of that lovely bum he has now....

Still a little ways to go on his back, and, to be honest, he may never get it back.  It's amazing he's built so much muscle back up the time between the middle of October and now.

He's a pretty cute guy.  If you know someone who needs a companion horse, he's pretty much bottom of the pecking order.  He adores apples, but really couldn't care less about carrots.  Fresh grass is his absolute favourite.  He gets along really well with our other little pony, who bosses him around, despite being only 2/3 his size.
Here's a video of him, in our little grass run that day:

Please consider taking on this old guy.  I can't say yet if he is rideable--I'm away until the end of July, but will try to get in a few rides when I get back.  He has been out walking along the road and he's, so far, been very quiet.  In fact, he really seems to like that sort of thing.

Well, enjoy the summer riding weather, when it's not raining.  Think of it as an extra rinse after you shampoo your horse to get the mud off.  Right?  Riiiigght...

And, don't forget to hug your horses!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

All the news that's fit to blog!

Wow, has it really been that long since I last blogged? I can't believe just how busy it has been. Horses in, horses out and lots of news, both good and bad.

First off, it looks like Bandit is going to have a new home. We just received his paperwork and all that is left is the site visit. This is just such good news, because he really has been overlooked by a lot of people. Here are some recent pictures of him at his current foster home.

Big hug.

Getting kid handled.

Snugglin'.  (Or at least permitting himself to be snuggled.  He really is much too dignified to suggest the idea.)

And, finally, a bit of peace to fill his belly, after a hard afternoon of being spoiled.  Tough life, boys.

Tilly has moved again.  He is officially in foster, but, if he works out, he may be adopted straight out, which would be nice for him.  Here's a couple of pictures.

In their last email, his new foster family stated that he seemed very kind and gentle, and was especially patient with children and timid adults.  This is a recurring theme with him--people are amazed at just how kind he is.  He is not yet in adoption pending so, if you are interested in a kind, versatile horse, old enough to have grown out of the silliness you often see in young horses (and people!), please contact us.  He's too sweet a guy to languish in foster--if I wasn't full up, I would be looking at him for my own personal mount, regardless of my short legs.  I can stretch.  I think.  Anyone know of a good yoga class?

Now, on to the bad news.  We've determined that Apple's knees are very arthritic, so she will never be suitable as a riding horse, only as a companion horse.  However, she is BEAUTIFUL and if you have a single horse that needs a companion, she would be ideal.  Bottom of the pecking order and just as cute as a button.  See her most recent pictures here.

Cute, cute, cute

Doesn't it just make you want to say 'awwwww'?

The news about Wyatt's ankle keeps getting less optimistic and treatment options are getting both more expensive and less likely to help.  We are right now trying to determine his quality of life and pain level, so we can figure out how much support he will need to have a decent quality of life.  I don't have pictures of his ankle--I should get some someday, to give an idea what we are up against.  It's a shame, because it could have been corrected right after he was born, but now the ankle has grown and damaged itself more.  Only time will tell.

Admiral has arrived at his foster home (Apple's old digs) and we'll soon have a post on him.  As well, we have an older pony on our courtesy page, if anyone is looking for a companion horse or a leadline pony, please check him out.

Devil, the tall, dark and handsome guy, is still looking for a home.  Give him a donut and he's yours forever.  Jane, too, is looking for someone to take her home.  She's a pretty horse, already trained to saddle, just a bit rusty and used to getting her own way. 

Updates soon on Chance, as well, who has slicked up lovely and shiny.  Like most boys, though, he'd rather be dirty than clean.  What is it with you guys and dirt?

Looking ahead to fall, we already know that we are going to be 3 foster homes short for the winter, as we are losing some of our fosters temporarily.  If you have space and a bit of time, please consider fostering a needy horse. It really is a good feeling and you get to 'dip your toes in the water' a bit if you are considering getting into or getting back into horses. Our support network is great, and remember, Sadie's Place will pay for vet bills, farrier costs and worming directly, so it is somewhat less risky than outright buying yourself a horse.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.  You know you really need a horse, to save you mowing the lawn.  Just think of all the extra hammock time you would have, if you had a horse to mow your lawn.  And remember how the girls ooh and ahh over the cowboys in the movies. Just a suggestion. No pressure.  Hint, hint. 

Don't forget to hug your horses! 

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Well, it's Chance's 5 month anniversary and we have NAKED PONY PICTURES!  Just a quick review: here's what he looked like on October 14, 2009, the day after he was dropped off to us.
If you're looking for a skeletal anatomy lesson, these picture are a pretty decent educational tool. 
Here's what a horse like this can look like, with some very simple treatment:

Big change, huh?  And how simple was the treatment?  This simple:  we fed him food he could eat.  Lots of it.  You don't want to know what his feed bill was, but imagine all the food he would have eaten over the course of a year or two, and then imagine paying for it over the space of 5 months.  Whew!

Still not full weight, but maybe a 3.5 on the scale?  And pretty happy too.  Mostly he just walks around, but he's been seen trotting, cantering and bucking, as well, so everything seems to be all right.  His manure has never come completely back to normal, but we're hoping to see firmer poo once we ease him back down off the high carb feeds.  At his highest, during the coldest part of the winter, he was eating 3 litres of beet pulp, soaked, 20 cups of 16% protein mare and foal and 3 cups of roasted soybeans a day.  Plus, all the best grass hay he could tuck into himself.  He's being weaned off the mare and foal and is now down to about 15 cups per day--still a lot of sugar, but getting there.

Haha, checking to see if the door to the feed room is open!  Little monkey!  It's like living with two cat burglers--everything has to be locked up like Fort Knox.  Actually, I think Fort Knox could learn a thing or two from trying to keep ponies from breaking into the feed room.  You don't even want to know how many times we've repaired/replaced the stall door, to keep Penny from stealing Chance's feed.

So, as he feels better, we get a better sense of his personality.  One, he likes to be outside.  In fact, given the choice, he would rather eat outside than in.  He is nervous of getting caught and when you are holding him, he is very tense.  You have to stay really calm with him.  At the same time, he is very nonchalant about people working around him, cleaning the stall or whatever.  We do give him handfuls of grain sometimes and I have found him very well mannered about that as well--he does dive at it rather like a stooping falcon, but I have never once felt the least bit of concern that I was going to get...ummm, nibbled?....where I am very careful around Penny, because she is not always that careful to make sure that what she is eating is food.  Grain is definitely his favourite treat.  He can be pushy and will rush right past you if you aren`t firm, but you can stop him with an arm in front of his chest. He doesn't care for being groomed, but will stand reasonably quietly for it.  It's obvious that he is tense while you are doing it, so we try to groom while he is eating.  His biggest trick is that, whatever you try to do with him, he will try to spin or run away from it, but gives in with fairly good grace once he knows that you mean business. 
His back still hasn't filled in, but we are starting to look for a western saddle and a good heavy pad to put on him, so we can try him under saddle when he is ready. His legs are really good and he still has lots of energy, so, barring unforseen circumstances, he's probably got another 7-10 years of riding left in him.
Wonder what he'd do if we tried running a barrel pattern with him?  *Giggle* We may create a monster...
Well, happy weekend and don't forget to hug your horses (if only to stay warm!)

Monday, March 15, 2010


Wow, 2 months since our last entry.  Part of that was midwinter blahs, part of that was just startups for a number of different things we hope to have going on this year.  So, a quick update on everyone and everything, who's where and what they're doing.

First of all, the website.  We've changed a few things around and renamed some others.  The adoption page is now call Sadie's Horses.  We've added a courtesy listings page, as well.  Because we get more requests to find homes for horses than we have foster homes, we decided to add this page, so that people can see what horses are still waiting for foster.  Horses can be obtained directly from the owner on this page--Sadie's Place makes no guarantees to either the horse owner or the purchaser/adopter as to the personality, fitness or suitability of the animal, or of the facility it will be living in after transfer of ownership.  That being said, you also don't have to go through our inspection process, if you obtain your horse through that page. This is a good option for both the horse owner and the person wanting a horse--the horse owner knows that people looking at our website are already predisposed to a 'rescue' horse, the person wanting a horse may be able to obtain the horse for much less than our usual adoption fees.

As well, we are in the process of setting up a page where you can personally sponsor a horse that tugs on your heartstrings.  Some of this money goes towards training, an emergency medical fund (the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare fund covers regular visits, but as we know from Chance, emergencies do happen), equipment, extra feed if the horse needs more than the usual and any rehabilitative farrier or veterinary work. 

Now, on to the horses:
Tilly--still in Mayfield, hanging with Wyatt. Had another chat with his former owner, who says he stopped racing because of a bowed tendon and that his best time was 1:56.  He's still absolutely adorable and, if I had room for another, you'd all be cryin' in yer corn flakes, 'cause he'd be MINE! For someone who wants an all around horse who will give his all to whatever you ask of him, he really is a good choice.  I just can't say enough good things about him.

Wyatt--growing, playing, manipulating his foster mom and dad into feeding him carrots every time they go by.   Hmmm, who's supposed to be training who? Wyatt is going to have his fetlock assessed by a vet soon, to see if corrective shoeing or some other treatment will help. We'll keep you updated on his prognosis.

Bandit--scheduled to go for saddle training on April 1.  Since he's already had a saddle on, this should be old hat for him.  He's really settled down and has gotten a lot more cuddly.  Better snap him up, because he is going to make someone a right fine riding horse this summer.  Here's a photo of him from the winter--isn't that adorable?
He loves to come up to the fence and just visit with you.  And, I can tell you, from personal experience, I have grabbed his head and done the "Oh, what a cute little pookey poo!" thing to him, and he didn't even twitch.  Probably thought I should get back on my meds, but was very tolerant of my bizarre behaviour.

Apple--still the diva, but is very good at training humans.  We're trying to get her into a clinic in Nova Scotia to help with some of her socialization issues.  She's discovered alfalfa cubes, which are rapidly becoming an obsession for her.

Yankee--BORED!!!!Someone come ride me!!!!! Please!!!!!  I'm bored!!!!  Yankee is still classy looking, even with his now rather ratty winter coat, but he really needs a job.  He's too young and has too much life left in him to sit and get flabby in the field.  If you are looking for a young prospect with a good attitude and lots of get up and go, you should come visit him.

Duncan--gone to his new home!  Congratulations, Brian, Chantal and Anna!  He's finished his month of saddle training and has upped stakes to his new digs.  Here's a picture of him inside the arena at his new home.  Way to go Duncan!

Isn't that a happy looking boy?

Chance--gaining weight, looking a lot better.  The difference in him is really what inspired the name of this entry. We'll get his 5 month anniversary blog up a day or two.  Gotta get the pedicurist out first and it's going to take more than a couple of days to deal with that dandruff...but, boy, what a personality, when he starts to relax! Unfortunately, he still thinks everyone is out to get him, but he is getting better.  He reached out to sniff my had the other day, all his own, which I'm taking as a promising sign.  Ultimately, it would be nice to have him come to be caught and to be able to relax when you are touching him.  Work to do still...

That's it for today.  Hope you are all enjoying your sunshiney week of March Break, here on the Island.  And, hopefully you all remembered to eat some pie on Sunday, in honour of Pi day. (You know, 3rd month, 14th day, 3.14, circumference of circle?  OK, who booed?  That wasn't very nice at all.  Me, I'll take any excuse to eat pie.  Or cake.  Or cheesecake. )

Don't forget to hug your horses!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells...

Tilly pulls a sleigh!

Isn't he just the cutest thing?  Look at him, all happy and walking along in front of that sleigh.  He is, hands down, the most versatile guy.  Just happy to have a job and be doing something, and he'll try anything and do his best to please you. These pictures are so much more indicative of his friendly charm than the ones we had earlier.

I am convinced that, in this picture, he's saying, "Hop in, we'll go for a spin around the field!  It'll be fun!"  How wonderful, to have such a versatile horse around, and one with such a stellar personality.  You can really see how elegant he is in this picture and how interested he is in people and what's going on around him.  Whoever takes him home will be a very, very lucky person.  He is coming back very soon from his 30 days of training and we hope to see him find the forever loving home that a horse of his caliber deserves.

Don't forget to hug your horses today!