Give Health & Purpose to a Neglected Horse

by Sound Equine Options
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...

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!

One of the "Lucky 7 Horses"
One of the "Lucky 7 Horses"

Sound Equine Options is happy to announce The Lucky 7 Training Challenge!  This competition matches up 7 SEO horses with 7 trainers experienced with taming and starting horses. The judged finale will be held on December 5th, 2015 at the Yamhill County Fairgrounds in McMinnville, Oregon.

Each horse will compete in the following classes:

  • In hand
  • Trail Obstacle
  • Arena Pattern
  • Freestyle


The horses will then be auctioned off to pre-approved bidders at the end of the event.  Please encourage any good horseman looking for their next ridding horse to follow our Facebook page and contact us if they would like to learn more about each horse or become a pre-approved bidder.


We are grateful for the trainers willing to donate their time, patience and skills to these previously high risk horses.  The training that they gain will help protect them for the remainder of their lives.  


Carlos was born in April of 2012.  His mother was heavily pregnant in foal with him at the time of a Feb 2012 law enforcement seizure.  He was born at one of our foster homes and came out with a huge presence.  The ownership of Carlos was not established for 1.5 years due to the criminal case so he continued to grow and thrive with us. Once he was legally ours he was castrated and the search for the right home began.

  Carlos is now 3 year old. This boys grandma Caressis the reason I personally started fighting so hard for horses not being treated right. He has always had a special place in my heart. Almost like I promised Caress I would take care of her family and never let them go through what she had too. Carlos would have made her proud. So much potential & character.

Carlos continued to thrive and grow until SEO obtained legal ownership of him at 1.5 years of age. He generated interest as a top dressage prospect but upon radiographs an OCD lesion was found on a stifle joint. One vet thought it would be an issue, one did not. We kept him close to monitor him for any signs of lameness. One year later we had him xrayed again to double check. The first lesion was the same but unfortunately the other stifle now had a significant lesion. Our options are to wait until he takes that one step that will start him on a life path of lameness and pain OR raise the funds to have an OCD surgery performed that will give him a good chance of not only comfort but the ability to become a performance horse. 

We choose to fight for Carlos!

Please consider donating now and give him the chance so many of his family before him never had.

Carlos 2
Carlos 2
Carlos with Mom
Carlos with Mom
Such a teenage boy..
Such a teenage boy..

Sound Equine Options (SEO) is proud to announce it received a $4,000 grant from the ASPCA Equine Fund to expand its VEEP (Volunteer Equine Education Program) training program.

 "This innovative program has dramatically reduced our training costs while successfully training more horses to a higher level--including walk, trot and canter under saddle--more quickly," said Elisabeth Wolff, SEO president. "It is a life insurance policy for the horses we rescue."

 To help ensure stronger matches with potential adopters, SEO has provided training for all adoptable horses since 2011. Training included ground manners, desensitizing, and whenever possible, riding. Training costs $400 per month per horse and SEO worked with 9 different professional trainers. It took anywhere from 90 days to more than a year, depending on the horse and trainer.

 "Saving a horse and refeeding it is the easy part," said Kim Mosiman, SEO executive director. "Good training makes our horses much more desirable and reliable partners, which leads to more successful adoptions."

 In June 2014, SEO began a pilot program called VEEP (Volunteer Equine Education Program) to teach select volunteers natural horsemanship techniques under the guidance of Stacey Riggs of Riggs Training, an award-winning trainer. VEEP horses are also boarded at her facility, Eagle Creek Equestrian Center, LLC. Volunteers attend 2-hour group lessons every other week and commit to working with their assigned horse a minimum of 3 days a week for a total of 6 hours per week.

 "Natural horsemanship focuses on creating a bond of respect and communication," said Stacey Riggs, SEO Director of Training. "The result is a solid partnership and connection between horse and rider. It builds a horse's confidence and is the fairest way to communicate with your horse."

 The training program has also resulted in several unforeseen benefits. Having SEO's horses at a professional trainer's facility allows volunteers access to one-on-one assistance when necessary. SEO horses are now getting handled and desensitized by a greater number of people, and volunteers assist and support each other.

 "Having several adoptable horses at one facility makes it easier to arrange meetings with potential adopters," said Kelly Burke, SEO vice president and head of SEO's adoption program. "We want people to see that well trained rescue horses can be just as successful in the ring and on the trail as any other horse."

 "We are deeply grateful for this generous grant from ASPCA, said Elisabeth Wolff. "It will allow us to give health and purpose to more horses in need."

 “The ASPCA Equine Fund awards life-saving grants and resources to nonprofit equine welfare organizations across the country,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “We are pleased to award this grant to Sound Equine Options to assist their horse training efforts and increase adoptions so more horses can find homes.”

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Organization Information

Sound Equine Options

Location: Gresham, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Kim Mosiman
Executive Director
Gresham, OR United States