Meet the Haven horses

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Carson

You will never meet a more gentle, thoughtful, or engaged horse than Carson.  He came to us after being exposed to very common yet unhealthy training and handling practices that many horses experience - being started quickly, being asked for too much too soon, and being forced to use his body in a damaging way,  This resulted in extreme reactive behavior on the ground and under saddle.  So much so that it was recommended he be euthanized at 6 years of age!  When he arrived at the Haven, he would have panic attacks and start running as if his life depended on it to the point where he would become ill or injured.

Carson's behavior was not random nor a sign that he was "crazy."  He had good reason for feeling very insecure in his world and in his body.  His feet were unbalanced and painful, he was mechanically foundered, and his body was in a constant state of inflammation. Carson's mind had been unfairly overwhelmed by pain and stressful experiences that left him feeling nervous and afraid.  The emotional and physical toll was significant. 

It has taken more than two years of ongoing care, proper nutrition, and special housing to get Carson's mind happy and now his body is close to optimum health.  His feet still have a way to go, but are making excellent progress.  Carson is the biggest love and we are so grateful for the opportunity to help this very deserving boy recover and live the life he was meant to live.

Sponsor Carson for $668 per month or half-sponsor Carson for $334 per month.

Breed

Registered Quarter Horse

Color

Red Roan

Age

Sex

Gelding

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RAYNA

When you meet Rayna for the first time, you'll notice her elegant face and curious expression.   She'll walk right over to see if you have any treat or pets for her.  She loves attention but gets miffed pretty easily.  I don't blame her one bit.  Rayna has suffered from chronic metabolic issues and has had repetitive founder and laminitic episodes for many years.  It has been hard on her and difficult for us to watch her go through this.  We work really hard to make sure Rayna has everything she needs to thrive and heal.  It's been a long road and it's taken a lot of time, energy, and money to keep this girl happy and heading in the right direction. For a time we thought we weren't going to be able to get her healthy enough to enjoy a good quality of life, but she showed us!  Rayna never gives up and is now doing better than ever.  In fact, she loves going on farm walks and exploring the world.   It does our heart good to see her in such a good place but we still love her when cranky too!  Rayna has the freedom to feel whatever she likes and we are so thankful she's here and now thriving.  Because of her special needs, Rayna is a permanent resident of our Sanctuary Program and will be safe and well cared for for the rest of her life.

Sponsor Rayna for $668 per month or half-sponsor Rayna at $334 per month.

Breed

Quarter Horse

Color

Sorrel

Age

Sex

19

Mare

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Smokey

Smokey is the newest addition to the Horse Haven herd.  He has a history of unpredictable behavior but has made such amazing progress that we now are hoping he can be part of our educational program. He'll help us teach humans positive reinforcement and perhaps even riding skills, then be rehomed when he's fully rehabilitated.  We are working on hoof health right now, but he's making great progress.  Smokey's got such a sweet face, calm vibe, and gentle heart. Smokey is currently learning how to feel more confident with being touched, haltered, and other husbandry tasks. 

Sponsor Smokey for $486 per month or half-sponsor Smokey for $243 per month.

Breed

Quarter Horse

Color

Gray

Age

Sex

7

Gelding

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Halo

We met Halo when she came to Pure Joy Horsemanship for training.  Her owner was concerned about aggressive behavior she was exhibiting.  Halo's behaviors included the top three greatest hits;  kicking and biting and rearing (oh my!)  After witnessing her extreme outbursts, learning more about her history, and working with Halo for a couple of months, it was decided that her situation required long-term rehabilitation so she became our youngest Haven Horse.  Why did she feel the need to be so volatile around people?  Because of really bad experiences that caused her physical and psychological harm.  She was started under saddle as a two-year-old (WAY too early) plus she was super under developed.  This sweet girl was also pressured to comply despite the pain and discomfort she was feeling.  She was under-nourished and had severe food insecurity issues too.  It was a traumatic experience for such a young horse to go through and the intensity of her reactive behaviors definitely reflected that.  But - Halo is incredibly intelligent and will ultimately succeed. It has been a challenge to find the right combination of compassionate teaching and applied behavior techniques to help her learn how to have pleasant and calm interactions with people. She is improving little by little every week.

Sponsor Halo's monthly upkeep of $486 or half-sponsor Halo for $243 per month.

Breed

Appaloosa

Color

Appaloosa

Age

Sex

4

Mare

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zena

Zena's background is sad, unbelievably so. She went through an experience so traumatic that it caused her to loose 100 lbs in only a week.  What happened to her was being exposed to coercive, relentless, exhausting methods in order to get a saddle on and ride her.  She was struck repeatedly in the face while she was securely tied. I can't even imagine how terrifying this was for her.  She went on to experience another two or more months of similar treatment that hurt her body and traumatized her mind.  Somehow she had the wherewithal to cope by suffering in silence instead of lashing out like other horses did who were going through the same experiences at the time and did not fare as well as she.

Once she was removed from that situation and in a safer environment, it was clear she needed time to decompress.  In fact, it was impossible to approach her for 6 months.  When she was able to be approached and haltered, she was fearful of being touched, clearly depressed, and often disassociated while being handled.  She required heavy sedation for routine care such as hoof trimming.  When she was reintroduced to experiences like having a rope laid upon her body or a saddle pad set upon her back, she would launch herself into the air, kick wildly, and let out an agonizing scream. 

 

It was heartbreaking to witness such an emotional being express so much pain.  With time she has learned to trust humans because we have created a safe place for her and given her the emotional support she needs.  She has learned we will listen to her and not put her in a situation where she feels trapped or controlled.   She has choice with us and as a Sanctuary Horse, will be treated with kindness and respect for the rest of her days.

Sponsor Zena for $544 per month or half-sponsor Zena for $272 per month.

Breed

Quarter Horse

Color

Gray

Age

Sex

11

Mare

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Flora

This gorgeous girl came to us because she had been handled in a way that caused her to feel so distressed around people that she would pin her ears, rear up, and chase them away.  This behavior is not her nature but the result of being pushed so far beyond her comfort level that she felt her life was being threatened.  She was behaving aggressively because she was terrified and took steps to defend herself.  Good for her...however, these choices often land horses in a whole of of hot water.  They are labeled "mean, domineering, alpha" and other such terms than justify retaliation against the. It's unfair and meant to subdue the horse despite the emotional and physical toll it takes.

Flora was very upset and nervous when she first arrive. You could see what a thinker she was but her instincts were in overdrive.  She was unable to relax, but even then I could tell she was trying really hard to process information and make sense of it.

Over time that swapped - she began to think more and react less.  We were thrilled to discover that our assessment of her was correct - under all that chaos going on in her mind there was a calm thoughtful girl who wanted very much to connect and enjoy relationships with us. 

It wasn't easy to see through her pinned ears and threat behaviors, but we persevered and gave Flora what she needed to become her true self.   If she had never recovered from those lousy experiences, that would have been okay too.  Everyone gets to be who they need to be without judgement or unpleasant consequence, but we do everything we can to help every horse who comes to us find their way to comfort and peace.

Sponsor Flora for $544 per month or half-sponsor Flora for $272 per month.

Breed

Rocky Mountain

Color

Chocolate

Age

Sex

16

Mare

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PJ

PJ is one of those horses that wants so badly to trust but had so much fear that the best he could do was turn his and kick with both hind feet.  Poor dude!  I can't imagine what in his history caused that defensive over reaction.  With time, patience and a lot of space, PJ has begun to feel safe enough to, well...not only stop kicking at us but to initiate cautious contact.  We've been progressing from there using Classical Conditioning and Positive Reinforcement to help PJ feel safe and relaxed.  He's doing well on the lead, picking up his front feet for cleaning and trimming, and even showing signs of enjoying being groomed.   He's a far happier boy now though still showing signs of insecurity at times.   We are excited to continue PJs education and help him have a far better life experience. We are excited to announce PJ has been adopted!  Thanks to Anlouise Deklerk for providing PJ with a wonderful forever home.  :)

Breed

Quarter Horse

Color

Sorrel

Age

Sex

18

Gelding

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fox

The Incredible Mr. Fox, as we call him at Lyric Valley Ranch, is the our most recent member of the rescue.  He came to us with significant physical issues, particularly in the hindquarters.  He was also keeping his ears pinned back...a lot!  He would occasionally nip and body-bump us.  He was clearly agitated and not a happy camper.   The goal was to rehabilitate Fox for his previous owner.  That is still the plan, and we remain optimistic that it's possible, but it could take years for Fox to fully recover.  His body was overworked when he was very young.  As a result he suffered damage to the muscles and joints in his body, with his hips and hind legs getting the brunt of it.  He was also starved and abused.  It's no wonder he was a cranky boy.  The great news is that Fox is feeling safer and well enough that he's quite friendly now and doesn't bite or pin his ears anymore.  He also has a girlfriend!  He and Halo are roommates.  Halo makes sure Fox keeps moving so he can get healthy and strong.  We call her his personal trainer!  Come out and meet Fox sometime.  He'd love to see you.  Fox is fully sponsored YAY! but we could use your help for expenses over and above the sponsorship amount such as dentistry, farrier work, and vaccinations.  

Breed

Quarter Horse

Color

Sorrel

Age

Sex

7

Gelding