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  • White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue

Two Nice Girls Seeking New Homes: Happy and Strawberry

Happy- Missoula, Montana

Today, we are featuring two horses who are not physically located at the rescue, but who really need new homes. The information below has been provided by their caretakers, so we have not personally verified it. However: if you are interested in providing a home for one of these nice girls, please contact their caretakers through the contact information below. I am sure they will be happy to answer any questions yo may have.

From her caretaker:

This mare was headed for slaughter and I intervened and thought I’d found her a forever home with a woman who was looking for an older, reliable riding horse for her daughter who has compromised abilities and health. The woman had Happy for about a week. She was delighted with the mare’s calm and easy nature while being ridden, but the mare unexplainedly pulled back hard a couple of times while loosely tied to a rail and she didn’t want to risk that behavior around her daughter, who has special needs because of a brain tumor. I was the “fall-back” home for Happy and so she came to my house a couple of months ago.

I handle Happy twice daily, moving her between a corral and my field, morning and night. I’ve never experienced the behavior the woman described, but here’s what I can tell you about her.

Happy belonged to one family in the Choteau area since she was 3 years old. She was ridden by a young girl and then by the girl’s father for 22 years. The father worked for the state and did trail maintenance with Happy. She’s never been ridden with anything other than a hackamore. As reported by her former owner, she has a calm, easy manner when ridden.

Happy was thin upon arrival from Choteau. She’s responded well to extra helpings of grass hay and now nearly a normal weight. I’ve recently added a can of Equine Senior to her diet. I had her feet trimmed an she did fine, other than “leaning” into the horseshoer for her back left leg. She got a little excited and moved around a bit, but we got her settled down again with a little patience. Happy loves to be brushed, peed, is easy to catch, and will follow you around. This mare is spritely and confident, somewhat of a character, and so likable. This mare is bigger than she looks in the photos.

She does not like to take anything by mouth. She will bob her head up and down and basically wear you out unless you resort to other means. In my case, “other means” involved mixing molasses with her wormer and pouring that over a handful of Equine Senior. She will eat anything mixed in molasses (even Banamine in liquid form). She is bossy when she eats and won’t hesitate to pin back her ears and swing her butt around toward other horses, even kicking out with both hind legs if needed.

Happy’s eyes were swollen and painful when she came to me. I treated her with Banamine (in molasses) and she bounded right out of it in a couple of days. She was good for about two months. Just last week, her right eye became swollen and cloudy. I’ve been giving her eye cream (no steroids because she had an ulceration), atropine, and Banamine, and she’s just now starting to pull around. I now have a fly mask on her during the day. Surprisingly, she will let you do ANYTHING with her eyes…putting in cream is no problem even without a halter.

I would very much like to find Happy a loving, safe home to live out her years. I think someone could ride her, but if her eyesight becomes compromised down the line, I’m not sure how appropriate that would be I don’t know yet how often her eyes will flare up…it’s been a mixed bag so far. The ideal owner may be someone who loves and understands appaloosas and is not afraid of monitoring and treating her eyes if needed.

White Bird Note: Don’t you just want to kiss that fuzzy little nose?

White Bird Update: Happy will remain as a member of the family who has been caring for her. How cool is that?

Strawberry- Northern Virginia

Strawberry is a rescued pony who has been fostered, rehabilitated and is ready for her new home!

From her caretaker:

I really like this pony, if she were just a bit bigger I would be happy to keep her as my trail pony! Basic info. about pony- Strawberry is a 13.2 hand, 9yr. (according to the dentist that floated her teeth), App. cross (call her a POA but have no papers), mare. She was seized by Shenandoah county in the fall of 2011 and had been in several foster homes until she came here mid-Sept. 2012. She has been in training – much of which consisted of just gaining her trust as she was very distrustful of humans and very head-shy once caught.

She has come a long way in her trust of humans but still requires a treat to catch her- she has a mask put on and taken off everyday and this, along with her treats have helped her accept humans more. She is still quirky about being caught- requires a treat- so would need a home understanding what she has been through and willing to put up with this quirk. She does need a full mask during the day or a stall as she has pink skin that will burn.

From info. gathered by the rescue Strawberry was just a broodmare in her early life. She was only just started under saddle this past fall and her flat work is still green- she is a forward pony and is just learning to carry herself without just going fast. As a trail pony, Strawberry is amazing – nothing phases her. She just did a judged trail ride and did each obstacle like a pro! The UPS truck has blown by us on the road and she doesn’t flinch! She has been started over some small jumps and seems to have ability there. Because she is a more forward pony I don’t think she would be a Hunter type show pony but she is a lovely mover and with more training could possibly be an Eventing type pony. Her true calling does seem to be trail riding though. She is barefoot with great strong little hooves and has been absolutely sound.

White Bird Note: Because of Strawberry’s unique circumstances, she will be adopted out through White Bird’s adoption process. However: questions about her can be addressed by her caretaker, who can be reached at:

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