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.
Sep 15, 2016

2016 Lucky 7 Training Challenge

Rudy & Rachel Jerome
Rudy & Rachel Jerome

SEO’s second annual Lucky 7 Training Challenge was a great success! Congratulations to Rachel Jerome and Rudy, for winning grand champion! The auction was a nail-biter again this year, with Rudy, Freya and Hayden all getting great adopted homes! Thank you to all our trainers, volunteers, adopters and spectators for helping make this adoption event possible.

Sarahlynn Miracle and Carlos won reserve champion. Carlos was not put in the auction after recent x-rays showed that, while greatly improved, his OCD lesion is still there, and will prevent him from competing in rigorous disciplines such as endurance or jumping. He was, however, cleared for dressage and will be going home with Sarahlynn.    

Quest, Jazz and Addie are still available for adoption as riding horses. Quincy is available for adoption as a pasture pet due to lameness issues. Please contact SEO's adoption chair Kelly atkelly@soundequineoptions.org if you are interested in adoption.

Carlos & Sarahlynn Miracle
Carlos & Sarahlynn Miracle
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...

 
   

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