1st Annual SoCal Open House!

Come out and join us for Neigh Savers 1st Annual Open House Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 4-7 PM. Open house will be held at the beautiful Day Creek Ranch. Come out, meet the horses, our wonderful volunteers, enjoy a taco dinner and silent auction. Families are welcome!

 

Open House copy 2

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July 2014 Update

July has been a very active month for us. The most important thing is that all the horses we received are doing great and we thank you for being a part of it.

Swifty Found!

Swifty Found!

Before we get to the horses we also want to mention that we helped a distraught owner locate her Thoroughbred that was illegally sold at auction while on a trial.  This horse was not a part of Neigh Savers, but we felt we could use social media to spread the word since we had just been at auction and that horse was sold through Mike’s Auction. We were bowled over by the power of social media and that through sharing the post we were able to find the horse and return the horse to its rightful and very grateful owner. People shared and shared and shared the post so nearly 200,000 folks saw it. Social media when used correctly can do so much good and we were overjoyed by the response and the result.  Within 2 days the horse was back home.  Now that’s success!!!

Once again, at Mike’s Auction between Forgotten Horses Rescue and Neigh Savers, we collectively saved 8 horses…we had saved 18 the previous auction. In addition, we took in 2 horses before the auction.

The first “Joe” is a sweet TB that was very underweight and not properly cared for as his owner had fallen on hard times. In conjunction with our dear friends at Forgotten Horses Rescue we found this sweet boy a forever home within 24 hours. The second horse was turned away from Mike’s Auction because she was too skinny and was then given to Forgotten Horses Rescue through Mike himself. We have taken over her care and named her Xena. She is already doing much better and has put on some needed weight although she has a long way to go.

Xena Intake

Xena: Emaciated & Neglected

Joe & his Princess

Joe & his Princess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the auction we rescued Raven’s Ironwood. He’s becoming something of a barn favorite at his quarantine facility and is quite the ham. He’s also a beautiful mover so we are looking forward to receiving him for training as he does appear sound. Stay tuned!!

Ravens Ironwood at Auction

Ravens Ironwood at Auction 

Ravens Ironwood in Quarantine

Ravens Ironwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s an update from the previous auction:

Laguna Sulada & Turbulent Creek

Laguna Sulada & Turbulent Creek

Laguna Salada – (Belle) has moved to Silverado Stables at our newly minted and TAA approved facility in Bakersfield and is under the care of barn manager Tahlia Fischer who adopted two of our TBs last year (Adam Suances-Adam and Turbulent Creek-TC). She is doing very well and TC has decided he now has his very own girlfriend.

Grifter's Mark Playing

Grifter’s Mark Playing

Grifter’s Mark – (Griffin) has moved to Bear Creek Stables in Los Gatos and is now learning to be a horse again. He’s just a baby and will need time to grow up. We don’t anticipate riding him for awhile yet. After he acclimates he will be ponied on trail. The volunteers love him because he’s very gentle and kind.

Blaze Trotting

Blaze Trotting

Blaze – is at PM Farms in Agua Dulce and in training with Maile and Daphne He is a beautiful mover so we will see what develops with him.

 

 

 

 

We are overflowing with horses at this time. As many of you know since you contributed to the cause, we took in 3 neglect cases. What you don’t know is that immediately after we took these horses we were informed with no warning that a previous adopter who had promised lifelong pasture homes to 5 former auction broodmares was now moving and couldn’t take the horses with her. One of the mares was quite elderly and in the past 4 years has passed on. That left 4. She agreed to keep the oldest mare, but that still left us with 3. Six horses is a lot to absorb at one time but luckily our dear friends Dean and Denise who had taken the 26 year old auction horse Nelly once again opened their hearts and home and we were able to ship the inseparable Cubanita (Cubie) and Stevie to them in Northern California. Slewpy’s Charm, a grand-daughter of the great Seattle Slew, remains in program but has a potential adopter on standby.

NS Horses: Cubanita, Stevie, and Ilene's Love enjoying pasture life.

NS Horses: Cubanita, Stevie, and Ilene’s Love enjoying pasture life.

The three neglect cases are absolutely thriving with Robin and her family at their small homey ranch in Ventura County. Emma who has since been identified as “Storm on the Ridge” (12 years old) is recovering nicely from her proud flesh wounds. River has been identified as “Retired Habit.” He was quite the racehorse and earned over $200,000 in 16 starts. He is also a stakes horse having run in the California Sprint Cup Handicap. He’s only 17 so much younger than we thought and has gained weight and confidence. He would make a great lesson horse for kids if you know anyone (hint hint). Burt is still not identified but he continues to thrive and is a gentle giant to little people and a very peaceful guy. Having been the worst off weight wise, he is making great progress.

Storm on the Ridge 3 weeks after intake

Storm on the Ridge 3 weeks after intake

Burt 3 weeks after Intake

Burt 3 weeks after Intake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Habit loving his little Friend

Retired Habit loving his little Friend

That’s all the news we have, except that in addition to neglect, abuse, auction and surrendered horses we also recently accepted two off the track TBs into our program. One is a gorgeous roan named Doubting Thomas and the other is a lovely bay gelding named Unbridled Falls. Thomas fractured his sesamoid coming out of the gate in his one and only start at Santa Anita. His compassionate owner paid for his surgery and has been paying for his rehab in Santa Ynez. The vet cleared this horse for racing but the owner really feels it is too risky and has asked us to help find him a home. Unbridled Falls is being treated for sesamoiditis and is at Los Laureles Equine Rehab and Therapy along with Lullaby Slew, Impregnable and Dunmore East. Oh yes, we have horses….lots and lots of them.

Doubting Thomas Rt Conformation

Doubting Thomas

Lullaby Slew Los Laureles

Lullaby Slew at Los Laureles Training & Equine Therapy

 

 

Impregnable, Dunmore East, and Unbridled Falls with interns and Angie Scully at Los Laureles Training & Equine Therapy

Impregnable, Dunmore East, and Unbridled Falls with interns and Angie Scully at Los Laureles Training & Equine Therapy

Auction is coming up this weekend. Please consider making a donation to help us save a life.

Thank you for your donations that allow us to continue this work! We know there are many good causes out there and many other worthy equine foundations as well so we thank you and are very grateful to you for entrusting your donations to us.

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Emaciated & Neglected: 3 TBs Need Help

Neigh Savers received an urgent call from our friends at Forgotten Horse Rescue asking for help with three different cases of neglect and abandonment. Timing was critical as people had been working hard to secure the safety of these horses. Although we had just taken in 3 auction horses and 3 rehab cases, we could not turn our backs on them. All three horses, one mare and two geldings, are at varying stages of neglect. We are currently working with the Jockey Club to verify the identity of the two geldings. Their rehabilitation will take time and lots of feed.

“Burt” is approximately a 23 year old gelding. He had been kept at a facility for quite some time. He was locked in a 12’x12′ stall with no access to light. The ground squished from the saturation of urine. He was feed 1-2 flakes of Bermuda Grass per day, if he was lucky. There is no way to know how long he lived like this. Supposedly, he was a lesson and trail horse. He is profoundly emaciated with no topline.  His legs are scalded from the urine and are covered in dermatitis.

Burt

Burt

Burt's emaciated topline

Burt’s emaciated topline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“River” is approximately a 30 year old gelding. He was found in Pala, CA wandering the river bed. His previous owners were located, but did not want the horse back as the daughter had grown bored of him. He is currently 200 lbs under weight, in need of mechanized dentistry, and being treated for seedy toe.

River

River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Emma” is approximately a 12 year old mare. She is exceptionally feminine and refined. Emma was supposedly a Hunter/Jumper. Somehow she ended up at the reproduction vet’s hospital to be used as a recipient mare. She was not able to be bred and was being discarded. She was at extremely high risk for the kill buyer. Emma is two hundred pounds underweight. She has lacerations on her front ankles with significant proud flesh. It is unknown if her front end lameness is due to her lacerations or another cause.

Emma

Emma

Emma's lacerations & swollen ankles

Emma’s lacerations & swollen ankles

Please help us restore these much deserving horses health. They have been betrayed, neglected, and thrown away by humans. They will know the feeling of love and a full belly once more. There are limits to the number of horses we can help, but through your generosity, we do make a difference.

 

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Welcome to our New Website!

Welcome to our new Website!

Neigh Savers has not had a site refresh since we started in 2007. Early in 2013, several Neigh Savers volunteers and Board Members realized it was time for a change. After many months of work, it is complete! Please enjoy the new features:

1.  New Logo and Look

2.  Updated Navigation

3.  Higher quality photos of our horses

4.  Easy to use online forms for Adoption Applications, Volunteer Applications and Horse Updates.

5.  Easy to use Donation section

6.  Success Stories for adopted Neigh Savers horses

7.  Online Web Store (featuring Neigh Savers swag with our new logo and color scheme and many other collectible items will be coming in Phase II of our rollout)

Thank you for sticking with us through the transition!

– The Neigh Savers Web Team

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2013 Year In Review

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2013 Year in Review

Wishing you a very Happy New Year, health and happiness and thanking you for your service to Neigh Savers in 2013.

2013 saw significant changes and achievements to the Neigh Savers Program:

1)         TAA (Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance) accreditation – This was a rigorous procedure that took over 9 months.  We are now one of 23 accredited facilities in the U.S. and Canada.

2)         CARMA – we continue to forge our relationship with CARMA and our commitment to aid CARMA with fundraising and awareness programs, such as the Breeders’ Cup and Thoroughbred Classic Horse Shows.  We will also continue to take horses directly from the CARMA Placement Program.

3)         Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show Series – This is the brainchild of NS Board President Nicole Schwartz.  Produced in conjunction with CARMA and the CARMA-Siegel Foundation, three shows were successfully executed in the Southern California area this year.  There will be 3 shows in 2014.  In 2015 there may be four shows scheduled.  The last show generated tremendous interest and industry support.  We are so proud of Nicole for merging the show and racing worlds to benefit our off track thoroughbreds.

4)         Twitter – Thanks to the efforts of Sally Cruikshank our Twitter following has increased by 100% and continues to grow every day.

5)         Facebook — Thanks to the efforts of our Facebook Team, our Facebook page has attained a professional look and feel and is always an interesting and upbeat read. We went from 1,500 followers to 8,600 this year alone.

6)         Website – Our website has virtually been unchanged since 2007. While in 2007 it was fresh and modern and far beyond what was out there at the time it has now become nearly unusable. The past year we have been working on a new design, new colors and a new hand drawn logo. The website will feature online forms, templates, and other features.

7)         We held another successful fund-raiser at Golden Gate Fields on December 7, 2013. We entertained nearly 200 guests at our 4th annual event. We had a tremendous show of volunteers coming with their friends and families and 25 volunteers donated time on the day of the event as well. We thank all the volunteers that helped procure raffle and/or silent auction items as well.

8)       We are extremely proud to say we have facilitated 35 adoptions in calendar year 2013!!!!!

Thank you all for making 2013 a tremendous year for us.  It truly takes a village!  Every one of you made a contribution that helped us this year. Looking forward to working with you to achieve even greater successes in 2014.

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The Star of the Show

We at Neigh Savers are biased–all our horses are stars in their own right, but some of them come named that way for a good reason.

Star Nicholas came to us in October, ready to find his new home. He is a ten-year old gelding, last raced at the end of 2012–a race he won handily and one of several that gave him impressive stats and over $463,000 in earnings.

He immediately won the Sonoma County team over with his over the top personality and better-than-average ground manners.

Smiling for the camera

Smiling for the camera

As the days went on and he settled into his new routine, he learned to socialize and made good friends with his neighbors, sharing hay with the little paint mare on one side and talking gelding stuff with Jess Boyd’s horse, Calabar on his other side. Whenever Jess rode Calabar, it was accompanied by the sound of Nick’s whinny floating down to them in the arena.

We were sure we could find Nick the right home. He is a solid and thoughtful horse, honest and willing if a little unsure about what his life is now that he’s not surrounded by the hustle and bustle and routine on the track.

Then we got an email that said:

Hi, I have been looking for a horse my family had owned for 8 years +, who has pretty much disappeared. I have emailed a few trainers and had not located him until I found your website. There is no picture yet, but you have him named. Please contact me. I am looking for Star Nicholas (out of Poteen/Viznaga). If you have him, I will do anything I can to help. If he needs a home I will immediately begin working on that. Thank you for all of the great work you are doing.”

The ever-expressive Star Nicholas

The ever-expressive Star Nicholas

And just like that, Nick’s next chapter was written. His new owner was his old owner and his road has come full circle. Or oval as the case may be. She searched and found a barn ten minutes from her house so she can work with him every day and we dressed him up in Christmas bells and took his picture. A picture that will likely hang on the wall of fame she has, next to win pictures.

There are those who automatically dismiss all the people associated with as cold and heartless, not caring about their animals once the racing is done. Star Nicholas would just like to say they are not all that way and he for one is glad.

So are we. Happy holidays to Nick and his new family! There will be more to this story, of that we are certain.

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Dixie Update

So, yes, we haven’t posted anything new in awhile here but that’s because summer means getting enough light and sun to really get horses out and ready to go to their new homes.

Dixie (Ur My Dixie Girl) completed her rehab and had a final set of x-rays done. “I can’t even see where the fracture was,” said the vet, “and the joint looks great!”

Dixie and Erin, off to new adventures

With that, Dixie was off to her new life with a long-time horse family with experiences from cow horse to hunter jumpers to training horses for the track. They were impressed with her from start, seeing in her the same things we all did–intelligence, huge heart, willingness to try new things, confidence, and an absolute surety about where each and every part of her body–ears to toes–is at all times. Not to mention her beautiful self and princess attitude.

Her new owner watched every one of Dixie’s races. Every one. “She broke from the gate first in every race!” She thanks us every time we talk for this amazing horse and smiles and laughs while she rides, constantly offering Dixie a pat and a “Good girl!”

Dixie and Erin–a matched pair

Dixie is blossoming with the regular work and all the new things she’s learning. “She’s already bending and moving off my leg,” Erin said in week one. Today, at a local gymkhana event they attended, she told us Dixie is already getting her turns and Erin’s mom told us that she’s learning to use her back end as well. “She’s so smart,” was said more than once with absolute pride and the joy that comes with working with a horse like this.

Dixie warming up

Dixie warming up

They just walked and trotted today. And tied an ex-racehorse to the trailer. And let her see horses running fast. Worked her in a strange arena with dozens of strange horses. Dixie acted like the professional she is with only the slight impatience of youth and an athlete who knows she’s got a job to do.

In other words, she was incredible.

Our Sonoma team had a hard time letting go of Dixie, but seeing how much she’s loved–and loved for who she is–plus seeing her handle a new environment with confidence and enthusiasm? Well, we might have puffed up a little with satisfaction at doing right by this horse.

Neigh Savers isn’t about rushing a horse–not through rehabilitation, not into work, not into the first home that comes along. It’s all about finding the right place for each horse that passes through our program. Dixie says we did a great job and that pink rhinestones are definitely her color.

Thank you, Erin, for giving an ex-racehorse a chance and for loving Dixie as much as we do. You two are a perfect match and there are many fine adventures coming your way, we can tell.

With lots and lots of bling, says Dixie-the-princess.

Dixie shows off her rhinestones

 

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Derby Trip

Long-time Neigh Savers friend and awesome hat-creater Rachel Satterfield-Masen was there in Kentucky for the first Saturday in May to witness the Kentucky Derby first hand. Some of us are a wee bit jealous, but as always, Rachel does a great job of making us feel like we were RIGHT there.

It was my first Kentucky Derby.  For a girl whose heroes are Cigar, Silver Charm, Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra, and Zenyatta it was the ultimate vacation.  I cannot begin to explain how excited I was.

Oxbow galloping Thursday before Derby

Oxbow galloping Thursday before Derby

During the morning works, the horses were gorgeous and happy as they jogged and galloped by.  There was plenty of yelling between exercise riders and lots of excitement from the fans at the rail who showed up early to watch the horses.

And then the Derby and Oaks horses came out.  Without their saddle cloths announcing they were special, they looked just like every other hard working animal out there.  What sets them apart?  Breeding? Sometimes.  Connections and money? Rarely.  Conformation? Maybe.  It’s not clear why a horse can do great things while the horse next to him won’t.  They all give us what they can.

The funny thing about the Kentucky Derby is that it’s all glitz, history, press and money…but in the end it is really only about horses.  As high-flying as the 19 this year are, they are still animals who sleep in straw, eat hay and lay in their own poop. They cannot begin to fathom all they have come to symbolize.

Without our love of racing, these horses wouldn’t exist.  Without the work of breeders, owners and trainers they would never race.  Without the passion of individuals who care about the horse for the sake of the horse, they end up in horrible situations. The horses owe us something, but we owe them much more.

Adena Springs

We made visits to Old Friends, Adena and Three Chimneys as well as a trip to the Kentucky Horse Park to visit my old love Cigar.  Adena and Old Friends and Neigh Savers worked together to help a horse named Racketeer.  He was a graded stakes runner bred by Adena who earned over $400,000 in his career and Neigh Savers found him in a bad situation about to go worse.  Thanks to the efforts of Neigh Savers he was saved and thanks to Adena Springs he was shipped back home to Kentucky and transferred to Old Friends.  While I didn’t get to visit him, I was informed that he’s doing very well and is happy.  Adena Springs has set the bar high for breeders for aftercare, and we can only hope for more owners to take these responsibilities and put us happily out of business.

Homestretch run of Kentucky Derby 139 -- May 4th, 2013

Homestretch run of Kentucky Derby 139 — May 4th, 2013

Derby day was cold, rainy and bleak.  It wasn’t exactly what I’d been dreaming of my whole life, but it was still a real good time.   Wise Dan demolished the field in the Woodford Reserve in the pouring rain and left me wondering if that was the best race we’d see all day.  Right before the Derby, nature decided to celebrate the Derby with us and it stopped raining.  People crawled out of every nook to find their wet, empty seats waiting for them.  The mass of people was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or am likely to see again.  Orb was impressive and was a very popular winner (though I have to admit I was on Revolutionary and Palace Malice).  The Derby is hard to put into words.  It is big.  It’s exciting.  It’s grand.  It’s crazy.  And then it’s over and your not sure if you should feel happy, sad, excited or disappointed that it’s over.  It’s an experience.

Rachel and Calvin Borel

On Sunday at 11:00, I was lucky enough to be the guest of Lisa and Calvin Borel (3 time Derby winning jockey) for a 10 minute preview of the Mine That Bird movie.  I think we were the only people in the room not directly connected with the horse or with the making of the movie.  It was special and I will never forget it.  I had a little time to talk with Lisa about Neigh Savers and Calvin was kind enough to sign several items that we will have at our upcoming Neigh Savers events.  I was lucky enough to go visit Mine That Bird at the Derby Museum with all of his connections and go in the paddock with him.  Bird is a ham and really has a show stealing personality and it was an honor to be near him.  The Borel’s are truly gracious, kind and sincere people and I’m glad to have met them.  They were happy to talk about Neigh Savers and hopefully we can continue the conversation and friendship.

It was a crazy 3 days and an experience that is unforgettable.  I was surprised at my reaction to the race and the realization that the ones we save are not that different from these being cheered and celebrated by millions for two short minutes.  Volunteering for Neigh Savers has changed my perspective on racing.  I appreciate and love it more because in the end the least horse and the champions will both give us their best try and that is what it is all about.

"On to the Preakness!" -- Red Bullet, 2000 Preakness Winner

“On to the Preakness!” — Red Bullet, 2000 Preakness Winner

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1547 Palos Verdes Mall, Suite 259 | Walnut Creek, CA 94597-2228 | No CA 925.980.7588 | So CA 818.456.9184