Sound Equine Options

Sound Equine Options is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that provides veterinary-directed programs to measurably reduce the number of suffering and starving horses in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Jun 15, 2016

An Amazing Thing...

Some of the 2016 Companion Adoptions!
Some of the 2016 Companion Adoptions!

A truly amazing thing has happened in this year.  Sound Equine Options (SEO) has already found homes for six pasture companion horses. Six does not sound like that many adoptions does it?  In the grand scheme of things it is not, but to SEO board members and volunteers, one companion home is like hitting the lottery!

Americans love their pets.  42% of households own a dog.  35% of households own a cat.  Unfortunately, the potential number of homes for horses drops to below 1% of US households.  Now, take into account the limited number of potential homes for a horse and add in the fact that 95% of those homes want a horse they can ride. Are you starting to see how wonderful and rare these homes are?  

What is a pasture companion horse?  To SEO, it is a horse that one reason or another should not be ridden. Maybe the horse is comfortable in the pasture but when ridden, becomes painful due to arthritis.  Perhaps it is an elderly horse that has never received any training. Occasionally it is a horse that due to previous harsh treatment by humans, will just never quite be secure enough to be safely ridden.  

Where do these horses come from?  In almost every large group of horses that come to us from law enforcement cases, there will at least be one horse that needs to be a pasture companion.  Often, we do not know until we get the horse healthy and start to evaluate if they have had any training.

One of the more frustrating things we deal with is a constant stream of horse owners asking us to take their older horses on because they can’t ride them anymore. “We just need to find a retirement home, for free”.  After years of faithfully packing their owner around, many of these horses get handed off to the first person that will take them.  Often, that person does not have the knowledge or financial means to properly care for them, and the horse suffers. We have ended up with several of these horses after the new owner is charged with neglect.

The average pasture pet stays in SEO care for 1.5 years before we can find them a home.  During that time they take up finances that could be going to help many other more adoptable horses, but we know they deserve a fair chance.  Many of the elderly pasture pets end up being some of the sweetest horses, with the largest personalities that we work with. Hard to believe they were so easily discarded.

So, it is with heartfelt gratitude that we celebrate the kind and generous people that have opened their homes to these deserving horses. We also want you to know that your donations are what have allowed us to give these horses a fighting chance.

Thank You!

Jan 19, 2016

Thelma & Louise

The girls getting veterinary exams at intake
The girls getting veterinary exams at intake

When a foal is born it is surrounded by excitement and future dreams.  When a horse is old and unable to perform at a certain level, it often becomes someone else’s issue. 

I cannot count the number of times someone has contacted us asking us to take in their older horse that “just needs a year of rehabilitation”, “is the best horse ever but cannot be ridden any longer” or “is trained to the hilt but requires $150 of medication every month”. 

Not only is the “dream” for these horses over, they will be lucky to receive basic care.  After years of doing what humans have asked of them, they often end up starved and forgotten. This is the case with Thelma and Louise.

 Louise was born in 1991 with strong racing quarter horse bloodlines.  Her sire was a grandson of Native Dancer, a famous racehorse.  Her first race was at the tender age of 2 years old.  She went on to race a total of 21 starts.  14 of those in her last year on the track at the age of 4.  Judging by the massive, arthritic chip in her front fetlock she was probably injured. 

Her life as a broodmare had begun.  She sired multiple racehorses over the years when the market was strong.  As time went by her value to her owner declined, and so did her care.  She lived on acres of barren pasture along with up to 60 other horses.  She obviously did not get enough food, has not had farrier care for at least a year and no medication to ease the discomfort of her arthritis caused by racing.

Thelma undoubtedly has a similar story.  She is about 20 years old but we have been unable to found out about her past.  She came from the same racing Quarter Horse farm as Louise.

Over the last few years several of their pasture mates died.  They quietly “disappeared”.  Thankfully law enforcement stepped in and took them out of the situation.  Now what happens?  Who wants 20+ year old mares? 

We cannot take them all, but Thelma and Louise are now safe.  We will give them care and attention over the next few months until they are healthy. Then, if they are comfortable and not in pain, the search for a responsible, loving home will begin. We will check in on them and if something does not work out in that home, they will always return to us.  That is what responsible owners do...

Oct 20, 2015

Tyson's Story

Tyson
Tyson's Journey

We wanted to take a few minutes to thank all of you who donated to Sound Equine Options. Monthly recurring donors are vital to our programs. They make it possible for us to take the time needed to change the lives of horses like Tyson. Without patience and time, his life would have been uncertain at best. Here’s his story.

 SEO was one of three rescues that came together to help with a situation in Powers, Oregon, that had gotten out of hand for a variety of reasons, including divorce, lack of income and reduced physical ability. Fences where down and a herd of horses had basically gone feral. 

Although the horses had food, they were untouchable. They never had farrier or veterinary care. They never had been dewormed or vaccinated. And they were breeding at will. In order to stop the breeding of more unwanted horses, SEO agreed to take one of the stallions.

Because our taming and training program has become well known, SEO was asked to take the strongest and most difficult one. We named him Tyson after he knocked the other stallion unconscious in a fight.

 Tyson came to us 1000 pounds of muscle and fear. He had learned to fight to defend his mares in a herd environment. He had never been touched by a human and has a strong defensive instinct.

After he was gelded, Tyson was brought into the training barn where countless volunteer hours have been spent building his trust and learning what a peaceful life with people can be like. Without training, Tyson would most likely have gone to auction.

Tyson suffered a fractured splint bone from the fight, so we had to progress very slowly with him. He now appears to be sound, and thanks to the SEO volunteers, he is starting to turn the corner to becoming a ridding horse.

Without your generous donations, we would ever have been able to give Tyson this chance.  We cannot thank you enough!  One more horse’s life forever changed.

 

Thank You!

 
   

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