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HoofBeats Stable Ambassadors
Meet the horses and ponies!
Sparrow intake photo
Sparrow is a young, spirited chestnut 14.1 hand 2013 pony mare. Sparrow came in as an emaciated and very sick 2 yr old on July 30th 2015. She had run through an auction with a loose lot of young horses and been sold for slaughter, but was unable to cross state lines showing obvious signs of illness. That earned her just enough time for us to arrive and find her locked in a tiny pitch black isolated stall at the auction-house and purchase her on the spot.Sparrow didn't have proper nutrition or turnout as a youngster, and has a whole slew of genetic issues. At intake, she could barely walk due to severe upward fixation of the patella (locking stifles) causing her to drag her hind legs behind her when she walked. She also has hyper-mobility in all of her joints and carries long term effects of chronic Lyme, EPM and is a Strangles survivor, which almost killed her in her emaciated state.Through years of proper care and nutrition plus dietary support and surgery, Sparrow is around 80% sound most days. Her lameness is mechanical and not pain related, and she adores having a job.Sparrow has some gaiting in her genes and will pace and perform the running walk at times, but mostly trots and canters. She is an absolute joy to ride and is currently schooling and competing successfully at First Level dressage. Sparrow is the best at teaching students rhythm and consistency, if you don't set the pace she will switch gaits on you! She's a favorite to learn to canter or practice canter work, as she has a lovely uphill and rocking horse like canter. Sparrow's known for her mountains of personality and is as goofy and playful as they come.
Mochi (Smokey Black Horizon) is a 2014 15 hand Arabian gelding and our newest equine! Not all of our horses had a traumatic past, but each of them was in need of a new home. Mochi's former owner loved him very much but life had changed he found himself looking to rehome him. While Mochi originally had a job and other horses to interact with, all of the horses at the farm where he boarded had been sold off. He was rarely if ever ridden anymore and had developed extreme obesity from boredom as an only horse. Lone horses quickly develop depression as well as behavioral issues from only interacting with members of other species. Imagine how awkward you might be if you hadn't seen another human in years! Mochi has lost most of his extra weight and is working on reshaping his hooves and learning to balance his body. His former obesity and constant wearing down of his toes as he grazed caused him to have club feet and confirmational and movement defects. It's suspected that he may have an old healed SI injury, and we're working to sort this out as well.
Mochi Arrival Photo
AppleJack Intake Photo
AppleJack is a 2006 model 11.2 hand pony gelding. He's of an unknown cross of breeds, but we think Halflinger is a major genetic contributor, due to his big bones and lots of feathering! AppleJack was abused as a young pony and broke to ride at 2 years old by very harsh means, leaving scarring in his mouth on both his teeth and tongue. He was then sent through auction and purchased by well meaning folks who turned him out on their large farm and were unable to catch or handle him due to his fearful behavior.He lived in a field for the next 9 years and when he came into HoofBeats he was in poor shape. Overgrown hooves so long he was walking on his heel bulbs and covered in a fungal skin infection, he also had wounds inside of his mouth from tooth neglect causing the points at the edges of his teeth to dig into his cheeks causing painful open wounds. He suffers from allergies and his eyes were left untreated, so he only has partial vision left due to chronic inflammation.When AJ first came in he was so fearful of humans that he was dangerous and explosive. He would hide against the back corner of his stall and rear and strike if you approached him. Through years of careful training AppleJack has learned that humans are a good thing! He now gladly accepts human interaction. Although his eyes don't work so well, his other senses are heightened so he gets around his world quite well (except when he first walks into the barn out of the bright sun and bonks his head on the wall he didn't see!)It's taken years of careful confidence and trust building to bring him to where he is now, but he's slowly becoming a great asset to the lesson program. For the first few years he would listen to and follow only one person, Rebecca. He's begun to let others catch him in the field, and begun to let students ride him without dragging them into the middle of the ring to stand next to his human!AppleJack is still a true pony and he will keep his riders in check! If the riders leg moves too far back he will stop short to unseat them! If their hands are too bouncy or reins too short, he drags them over to the instructor to "tell on" them and have the reins properly adjusted.Don't let his small height fool you, AJ has the same bone size as his much taller companion Sparrow and can carry children of any size and even small adults.
KnightShade is an April 2020 mini mule. He joined HoofBeats in June 2020 when he and his mother Rarity were removed from a bad situation. Rarity and KnightShade were locked in a tiny mud and trash filled stall with a number of other ponies, plus a stallion and a donkey jack. It's widely known that donkey jacks will kill the offspring of a mare from another stud so that they can breed her more quickly themselves. Rarity was thin and terrified of humans, but she was tough as nails against the stallion and donkey jack and spent all of her time fighting them off to protect her baby KnightShade. We received a message about them from a concerned client and were able to strike up a deal to remove them from the situation.When KnightShade first arrived we presumed that he was not well. He hardly moved around at all and would stand in the stall looking defeated. His bones were still very soft and bowed from lack of movement and proper care. When they first arrived at their new freshly bedded stall which they had all to themselves they both layed down to sleep and barely even got up once for 48 hours!! The vet came out and they were found to be in decent health, but utterly exhausted.Their health improved quickly and within a few weeks KnightShades legs were already straighter and he began to play like a baby!KnightShade has been retained as a program mule and hopes to grow up to be a service and therapy mule. He was rescued just in the nick of time and is not afraid of humans in the least! Rarity spent the next 8 months raising her son in our care, and when she turned 4 she was broke to ride and was adopted out to another equine educational program who has lots of small students just her size!KnightShade is a big part of the program because mule training and care is slightly different than horses and ponies. There is always something to be learned about sweet Shade! He participates in groundwork lessons and is in training to be a therapy mule.
KnightShade Intake Photo
Astoria is a March 4th 1999 15.1 hand Lusitano/QH/Percheron cross mare. Her mother was rescued by our Executive Director when she was a growing up. Astoria's mother had been used as a nurse mare (leased to farms to raise their babies so those babies mothers could be re-bred and return to work) and each of her own foals were seperated at birth and sold to the highest bidder. Many of the foals died of stress/depression, starvation and neglect before being sold off and the farm was closed for animal cruelty.
Astoria's mother was allowed to have one more foal after her adoption which she kept and raised to adulthood, and that foal was Astoria! Born to heal a grieving mother horses heart, Astoria is a very special soul. Her willing nature and kind willing attitude together with smooth gaits and many years of dressage training make her a fantastic choice for confidence building. Many students have their first canter, first bareback experience, or first jump on Astoria.
At 23 and after sustaining a catastrophic injury in the field a few years ago, Astoria is mostly retired. She moves between a retirement barn a few miles away and the Seven's ranch where HoofBeats is located and fills in when another lesson horse needs a short break.
Astoria has earned herself the nickname "Astoria the Unicorn!"