horses rescued in 2015
CHANCE - ADOPTED!
All he wanted was a Chance...this beautiful and kind poor Arabian horse had been bounced from home to home to home to home...with no human to bond with him deeply and truly care for him. A once a big time show horse, Chance gave his all to his humans so they could win fluttery colorful ribbons only to then be passed on to others with little care for his constant disenfranchisement.
Chance was 14 hands, easy to handle, tractable and so willing to please. Chance just wanted a true chance at a real home and a real human to love him and be his best friend forever - we're so happy that Chance finally got his wish.
"Justa Cowboy" is a 23 year old gray gelding Arab-Quarter horse. His foal date was May 2, 1992 in Eagle Point, Oregon from a breeder of Arabians, Toni Isola-Bayer. Cowboy comes from a long line of registered horses in both the Arabian and Quarter Horse breeds.
At about age 5 he was owned by a college student studying at U.C. Davis. And he received training in roping and cutting skills.
At age 8 he was purchased by Mark and Sabrina Speer and became Sabrina Speer's pleasure horse. He also received more training and clinic's with reputable trainers in Western pleasure and trail riding.
At age 20 Cowboy was adopted by Liz Henderson who had shared Cowboy with Sabrina for several years. He was Liz’s lesson horse as a beginner rider.
His temperament made him an excellent lesson horse for beginners. Calm and steady, gentle and intelligent. Cowboy has the most beautiful spirit of generosity of engaging with his leader, wanting to please and respond. Liz fell in love with him and bonded immediately. Cowboy helped Liz heal through a difficult and painful time of her life.
“His heart is so large and open to any one that will show him good, kind, patient leadership. He will give back 100 times in affection, trust, reliability”.
An excellent trail horse with capacity to participate in light to moderate trail riding once conditioned and in good physical condition.
His owner now had to sell her Sonoma home and relocate to the East Coast.
“It's my deepest hope and heart desire that he find someone worthy of him. I need the consolation of knowing his remaining life’s adventure will offer security, safety, caring and relationship. He will always have my heart and I hope he will steal the heart of whoever comes into his life now and future”. Liz H.
HONEY - ADOPTED!
We don't have much history on Honey since she was rescued by a woman at a Sugercreek Ohio auction in Amish country. We do know that Honey was then was purchased from a boarding stable in Copley Ohio in fall of 2013 and the new owner brought her all the way from Ohio to Contra Costa County only to do very little with her for the next year and a half. At that point the owner ended up in a divorce and needed to re-home Honey quickly.
Horses Healing Hearts of Danville helped in the rescue and Honey was transported to SERRA for our Rehoming for Life Parelli workshop as a demonstration horse. Honey was a STAR! Easy to train, great attitude, would come and catch her human, and generally just wanted to please.
Honey is approximately 15 hands tall, and about 8 years old.
Yep..she's a real honey!
JAZZ - Over the Rainbow Bridge
Jazz, a 21 year old quarterhorse, recently came to the SERRA ranch through our sister rescue, HorsesHealingHeartsInc.org run by Melissa Austin. Jazz is what we classify as a 'Feral Domestic' horse. That means while she has been fed and kept by people, she has NEVER had any meaningful interaction with them.
NO training, no veterinary care, no farrier work done on her feet, nor any dental work. She lived a solitary life in a small backyard with no other horses, and no-one caring for her, except to feed her, for her entire life.
Our head trainer, volunteer Laura Ponter, has been working with this developmentally arrested (at about one year old) twenty-one year old fully grown mare. And the results have been extraordinary!
Our Laura had to start with Jazz as if this was a pre-kindergarten baby with not even an alphabet to build on. So Laura has been teaching this very bright, and very willing middle-aged 'baby' the ropes. From how to respect human space, to understanding basic commands, to even having a halter put on...all are being taught.
Make no mistake...although this domestically bred mare has been in a backyard for her whole 21 years, she is NOT a tame horse. In many ways she is just as wild as the wild mustangs out on the range. She is every bit as dangerous to teach, and has to learn to offer her legs and feet for simple trimming and to accept a needle from a vet. She was never trained or habituated to normal human interactions, except as food service. In ways MORE difficult to work with because at least the wild horses experienced the herd dynamic all their lives, and social lessons that have been taught to them by the older mares in their family herd. Not so for Jazz. She was kept in solitary confinement away from the comfort and natural dynamic of a herd. So we have to ALSO teach her how to be a horse and to fit in with other horses...which to her were other frightening beings when she first arrived.
After 14 days of one-on-one training and interaction with Laura—SERRA's head trainer—she felt Jazz had come far enough to finally be close to other horses.
This is a delicate and sometimes dangerous procedure—one can never tell which horses will become friendly, and which will interact badly. So we tried several of our rescue mares, and none 'clicked' until our little Sasha, a horse rescued from brutal treatment in a Mexican rodeo, came forward and openly investigated the little outsider. See when Jazz met Sasha here.
We held our breath...then... the pair bonded...even sharing food!
This little act of bonding with another horse is in fact a HUGE move forward for this wild mare who had never even seen another horse, let alone interacted with one since she was one year old!
In March 2018, we had to say goodbye to dear 24 year Jazz. Her vibrant spirit touched many hearts. Our deepest sympathy to Sarah and Shell and all who knew Jazz. We know she will be missed.
PLAYER - Adopted
Player ("Always A Player") was a racehorse for several years, but even more than that, Player was a beloved family member of a retired Marine. Player won almost all of his races in California and Oregon and he was nominated to the prestigious Breeder's Cup for his speed and powerful strength on the track.
Player was retired from the track an was enjoyed as an equine partner for over 12 years. Unfortunately our Marine lost his ability to work for the City of Petaluma due to severe back injuries and it became apparent he would no longer be able to keep and care for his long-time friend. So, the decision was made to reach out to SERRA for help. We were honored to assist.
When we spoke to this Marine, his voice cracked and the tears flowed down his cheeks as he was faced with saying good bye to his long time companion. He told us “Thank you so much for helping this broken down old Marine to keep his promise to Player of keeping him safe for all his life. For Marines our motto, SEMPER FI means Always Faithful." And with SERRA's help, he still can keep his promise of faithfulness.
All of us at SERRA fell in love with this big, elegant athlete of a horse. Amazingly sweet and calm, goodnatured in every way. He is respectful, aware, intelligent, quick and eager to learn, and has beautiful gaits. He is calm and gets alone with other horses and animals. He became a volunteer favorite during his time with us.
In the early Fall of 2015 Player was adopted by Melissa Thorndyke who operates the new Enchanted Stables in the East Bay. Player was being used for equine therapy for children. In the summer of 2017, Melissa became pregnant with twins and realized she wouldn't be able to care for Player as he deserves and surrendered him to SERRA again. During his time with her, she kept him in great shape continuing his Parelli training, and riding him both English and Western. He is still as wonderful as ever, and we are looking for his next loving human and forever home.
In February 2018, Player was adopted by Melissa Shellenberger who is madly in love with him and spoiling him rotten - in all the best ways. She is continuing her training and is looking forward to many years of happy trails together. Congratulations Melissa!