Archive | News

Update to So Elite – Coming Full Circle

Update to “So Elite” Coming Full Circle first published on December 28, 2017 by Karin Wagner, Executive Director, Neigh Savers Foundation, Inc.

I am so pleased to be able to update my Coming Full Circle story on So Elite today May 29, 2018.  So-E, as we call him, had a very lengthy rehabilitation period, but combined with his own exceptional attitude to cooperate in all that was done to him and asked of him by Glenn Chambers, he overcame every hurdle. And on Memorial Day, May 28, 2018 had his first ever lesson off track.  You can watch it here on YouTube.

I am also excited to announce that on May 22, 2018, So-E was officially adopted by Brian Richards and his long-time companion Sharon Bellandi. Brian co-owned So-E during his glory days on the track. While Brian has owned many a race horse in his time, So-E made a lasting impression on him and the both of them formed a connection.  This bond is evident whenever Brian visits his champion. The plan is for Sharon to use So-E as a personal light riding horse, but for now, and in the best interests of So-E, they are leaving him under Glenn’s care. Glenn and his daughter, Brittney will retrain So-E as a riding horse and will use him in Brittney’s therapy program. So-E will remain at Brookside Equestrian, a lovely green jewel of a facility with lush lawns, old growth trees, and plenty of riding paths east of Sacramento, CA. Brookside Equestrian is a major northern California horse show hub, so we could even possibly see So-E as a horse show competitor!

Brittney Chambers is a very accomplished young lady. As an infant, her race horse trainer father took her to the track and sometimes she napped inside a stall. She can’t even remember a time when horses were not in her life and she inherited her love of all things equine from her father. She was too young to remember the first time her father put her on the back of a horse. Brittney is the founder of CBC Equine Therapeutic Riding and has over 20 years’ experience with horses. She has an Associate’s Degree in Social Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling with a minor in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree is in Criminal Justice Administration. In addition to her college education, Brittney is also a dually certified PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Can you say WOW!!! Read more about Brittney’s programs here.  Part of Neigh Savers’ future plans are to expand community outreach programs using our rescue horses. We already have Equine Empowerment Clinics in place at Bear Creek Stables in Los Gatos, CA, where we are reaching veterans, transitional foster kids, and high school students. We will also be working with sister rescue Hope for Horses and their PATH- and Egala-certified instructors in supporting additional course offerings later in 2018.

Between Brittney’s education and experience in the human services field, and her passion for horses, she is able to serve those who are developmentally and physically disabled, have mental health or addiction issues, at risk youth, veterans, those who are involved in the criminal justice system, and anyone who just wants to become more at one with horses. Now, with So-E’s natural ability, ease with people and friendly attitude, he is a most desirable therapy horse in training.

Last October 2017 we saved a horse that was described to us as looking as though his coat had been “turned inside out,” who was three-legged lame, and stocked up on all fours, barely able to walk a few steps upon arrival, and within six months, has come this far. All kudos to Glenn, who got him to this point and now to his daughter Brittney who has enrolled him in her finishing school. And great thanks to Brian and Sharon who decided to support So-E as a therapy horse in training and will hold off taking him home for now.  Besides, there’s a rumor afoot that they may be buying some dreamy ranch property on a tropical island…..hopefully it’s going to have a barn and a guest house! Maybe So-E can lean back to his five-race win streak as a 9-year-old and take on a new identity: Hawaii 5-0!

Thank you to our monthly sponsors whose continued, and steady contributions make all things possible! And to those donors who helped So-E when he initially was rescued off track – a big thank you! So-E was privately purchased by me and longtime supporter and adopter of Mr. Valentino (Rudy) Jeanie Esajian. Rudy and So-E are stall mates over at Brookside Equestrian and have certainly swapped more than a few race track tales. So the story continues………

If you want to refresh yourself on the entire tale of So Elite, you can read it again here: Coming Full Circle – The Story of “So Elite”, December 28, 2017
A New Year’s Reflection by Executive Director, Karin Wagner

Dear Donors,
As we celebrate the coming of another year I wanted to share with you and not social media some frank reflections and thoughts about the past year and the year to come. There have been so many tragedies this past year, both through the acts of carnage brought by individuals and the forces of nature certainly telling us that climate change is very real. We unfortunately can only do our small part as individuals, especially in light of a government that is undoing every environmental regulation it can find. Yes, it was a challenging year and there is more to come in 2018.  We ourselves are at a crossroads….some of it was natural attrition but now we will have to assess our entire model. The recently signed tax reform bill is estimated to cost charities between 13-20 billion in lost revenue dollars due to fact that many will no longer itemize deductions. We struggle as it is so it is hard to imagine further reductions in an already overcrowded market.  All things considered, this year is closing on a very good note for myself. I feel as though as I been blessed with kismet or call it what you like, perhaps it was always meant to happen this way.

I was part of a remarkable horse rescue that brought me right back to my core values and to why I founded Neigh Savers in the first place.  So bear with me, relax, get yourself a holiday beverage of choice and relive the journey with me.  It was Valentine’s Day 2007 and I was surrounded by a mound of paperwork wondering if it was worth the enormous effort and expense to form a foundation. At almost the very same moment, a colt was being foaled in Kentucky. A colt of extraordinary pedigree, sired by the fourth richest racehorse at his retirement, Pleasantly Perfect.  Pleasantly Perfect was a product of the great Racing Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella. Unfortunately for us, he was sent to Turkey after a few years in Kentucky, so he never had many sons or daughters racing in the US. Pleasantly Perfect is a son of Pleasant Colony, winner of the 1981 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, he was out of the mare Regal State who won the 1985 Group One Prix Morny in France. His damsire was the 1978 U.S. Triple Crown champion, Affirmed.
Pleasantly Perfect’s first major wins came in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic. In 2004 he won the world’s richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup then in the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic, finished third behind Roses in May and winner Ghostzapper. Retired from racing at the end of the 2004 season, Pleasantly Perfect entered stud in 2005 at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. The strapping bay colt sired by Pleasantly Perfect with a big white blaze was foaled on February 14, 2007 in Kentucky. He had such class on both sides of his family that he was named “So Elite.”

I’m often asked why I started Neigh Savers. After being taken to Santa Anita many times by my cousin, a racing enthusiast, I became dazzled by the well turned out beauty of the horses and their magnificence on the track knowing they were bred for speed and stamina. Of course, I knew nothing else and at the time, late 1980s and early 1990s no one talked of aftercare. Hopefully former connections would care for them. If they were good mares they could go into breeding. Good stallions as well.  Geldings could be retired to farms or passed on to show people or ???  You go to the track for the betting, for the thrill of watching a competitive race, for some great jockey riding, to enjoy a cocktail and socialize. Who wants to think about the underside or the fate of horses? Those not able to race competitively or those injured or those now too old but still extremely young and useful? No one, certainly, not me. I was there to have a good time. And the beauty and majestic backdrop of Santa Anita worked like a tonic on me.

Of course, now so many years later I am no longer an avid fan. I rarely go to the races these days. I am a huge fan of Thoroughbreds but not of the racing industry. More thoughts to follow on my views of racing and the industry.  My feelings are very mixed regarding this. We have survived largely due to people inside the industry and donors that support us while also supporting racing. And, the number of good people I know through racing far outpaces any bad seeds. But I think you have to be pragmatic and understand it’s a business that employs many people and gives horses a job. Without going into details, the show world is just as hard on horses as racing…the constant repetitive jumping over fences for example and the desire to be the best at any cost.

Back to the story at hand. As time went on, I became immersed in horse racing and started buying into racing partnerships and that’s where my real education began. However, as a software professional my career was all consuming and often involved 60 hour plus weeks. But, by then the seed had planted itself….I wished I could do something for those equine athletes no longer able to earn their own keep. Fast forward to 2007….a long term project had concluded and I was no longer interested in 90% travel, the stress or the hours. Little did I know I would soon trade a very well compensated career into the same time commitment, less the travel and definitely less the income. If I had known what I was getting into, particularly the emotional toll, I would have most likely passed.  Now, let’s fast forward back to 2017. We celebrated our 10 year of operations. We’ve helped many horses…we operated at several locations and had nearly 40 dedicated volunteers. However, donations were increasingly hard to come by and I started consolidating and reducing our herd numbers.  Lots of new rescues were popping up everywhere. The competition for donor dollars became unusually fierce. Constant fund-raising takes a huge toll.  Some groups resorted to village hysteria and false fund raising scams and schemes.

Overall, quality of program was not recognized or appreciated. It’s all about numbers, never mind what horrors horses go through with hoarders and overcrowded and poorly maintained facilities, none that are certified by the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance or CARMA as an aside.  During the summer of 2017 during so much turmoil we just soldiered on and then suddenly a horse seemingly from the past came across my radar.  This was a horse that was still racing at 10 years of age, ended up with 58 starts and total career earnings in excess of $326,000. The horse, of course, was none other than So Elite.  Alerted by a long time supporter and adopter we started following him and discussing how best to retire him for he was not doing well at all. We made inquiries, asked sources to intervene, made contacts and offers and all to no avail.  One might ask why a 10 year old stakes winning horse was still racing….and that would be a good question.

Lately in racing there have been forums discussing the trap owners fall into when deciding to enter a horse slated for retirement into “One Last Race.” I think it is worth noting that a race horse normally passes through many hands, owners and trainers alike during his career and So Elite was no exception to that rule. Often times, the uniformed public gets all fired up about “greedy” people pocketing the earnings of a horse. Racehorses are very expensive to maintain. It costs approximately 4K a month and then if you claim a horse you have to pay the claim tag to the prior owner upon transfer. The new owner starts out at a huge deficit and is usually just trying to play catch up or break even. Just like multi level marketing schemes, those at the bottom of the pyramid usually don’t see the promises fulfilled of fancy cars, trips and a secured retirement.

Horse racing at the top levels is profitable but the majority of horses in racing are “blue collar” claimers racing for small purses and little upside. People in racing are in the game because they love being around the horses and hope to make some living out of it. It’s truly a labor of love for most. Let it not remain unsaid that there are bad apples in every industry….an inattentive nurse, an incompetent doctor, a bad mechanic or a scamming accountant. It’s just that racing is everyone’s favorite target to shoot at, is largely misunderstood and no longer a popular sport but it has some overwhelmingly good people that put in longer hours each week than anyone would sign up for mostly very low pay. There is much compassion, love, dedication and the like in racing, and I have witnessed this countless times. But like everything in life, not everyone is on the same page regarding the humane treatment of our equine athletes.

Back to So Elite. He was to be retired and his trainer at Golden Gate Fields promised the owners that no would claim a 10 year old. As with many well-intentioned predictions he was wrong.

So Elite had won a stakes race at 9, in fact a marathon where he raced 1 3/4 miles against much younger company and won. Of course, that was a year earlier but older horses can still have some upside if they’re as good as So Elite. That is, if they are still in prime physical condition, which So Elite was not. I’m not going to go into any details that may pinpoint to one or more persons in particular. Instead, I am going to make a toast to one of our many heroes in this story, Duane Belvoir, of the venerable Belvior racing family, quite well known in the Pacific Northwest.

So Elite disappeared for awhile and then resurfaced at Portland Meadows where he had been privately sold to a racing partnership sight unseen. It was clear to these partners that they had just lost their entire investment and they were unsure of what to do next. What they did do was take very good care of So Elite, who was underweight and both emotionally and physically spent. Duane negotiated on our behalf and managed to buy So-E (his barn name). It was a private sale paid for personally by me and Jeanie Esajian who alerted us in the first place. We can’t buy horses off track with Neigh Savers’ funds. We can buy at auction or in neglect/surrender cases but horses off track need to be donated. This doesn’t mean someone can’t buy a horse and then donate to Neigh Savers and that’s what Jeanie and I did.

Duane personally delivered So Elite to Brookside Equestrian Center and he’s now been under the 7 day a week care of rehab specialist Glenn Chambers for the last 6 weeks. At another time we will feature Glenn, an author of the book available on Amazon “A Thousand Ways to a Better Life” and a lifelong conditioner of horses who brought two horses to the Kentucky Derby in his time. An old school trainer and conditioner, the life lessons and care and time he takes with his horses is extraordinary. So Elite couldn’t be in better hands now and I feel as though I’ve come full circle, fulfilling the personal
pledge I made to help athletes like So Elite on or close to the day he was foaled and Neigh Savers was born.

And better yet, former connections of his last race have helped as well. One has helped with his board and another paid for his transportation to Brookside as well as medical expenses. We are gratified and honored and just recently learned one of these former connections, heartbroken over what he endured at the end of his career, wishes to adopt him after his lengthy rehab period is concluded. We look forward to that, new memories and shared good times of Winner’s Circle photos with our own personal champion, a racetrack warrior, who laid it all down as a competitor, a horse, who truly embodies the qualities of his sire’s name, for we think he’s absolutely Pleasantly Perfect and most definitely So very Elite.


10th Anniversary Gala

Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala

IT’S A WRAP!!  Neigh Savers Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Gala was a huge success.   Board Directors Paul & Caroline Nathan opened their beautiful home for the event which could not have been more perfect!  Stunning views, gorgeous weather, amazing food and drink all combined to make this a spectacular occasion and, most importantly, gave us the opportunity to show our appreciation for so many of our loyal and committed supporters, including donors, adopters, sponsors and volunteers who were in attendance.    None of this would be possible without these compassionate and dedicated people who believe in the work we do and continue to do so.  We are so very grateful and look forward to the next ten years of making a difference in horses’ lives!!!

Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala   Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala

Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala

Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala

Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala Neigh Savers 10th Anniversary Gala




A heartbreaking goodbye: Salsa (Secret Room)

It’s with heartfelt sadness that I am writing this update. The other day I was forced to make a decision no trainer ever wants to make. Goodbyes are always hard but this one was mind blowing.  A couple of weeks ago as I started progressing Salsa (Secret Room)  into canter work I could tell he was extremely uncomfortable. In the beginning I thought he had a rib out and quickly called the chiropractor for an adjustment. He was adjusted and we were sent on our way. I thought for sure this was the issue and things were going to be smooth sailing from here on out. I was sadly mistaken. After a few days off I got back in saddle and could tell there was a serious issue. Something was wrong with our sweet boy’s back and he needed medical intervention ASAP. I loaded Salsa into the trailer and took him to a see a surgeon at Desert Pines Equine Center. She examined him and quickly agreed that his back was very concerning. He was brought back for X-rays and it was determined he had a very severe case of “Kissing Spine”. In all Salsa had 7 vertebrae kissing. He had already developed scoliosis in 4 of those. His back was quickly deteriorating and there was nothing we could do to stop it. The surgeon explained trying to fix this would be completely and totally unethical and he should never have a saddle on his back again. It was uncertain as to how comfortable he would be even living in a pasture for the remainder of his days. The amount of deterioration in his bones as a 4 year old was unreal. In all of my years, including the vets, we had never seen anything like this. The decision was made to lay our sweet boy to rest. Salsa was humanely euthanized with all the love and compassion in the world. I stayed by his side until his final breath. My heart is broken for this sweet boy. He had so much talent and so much potential. Letting this one go was really hard. I know he was only with me for 3 short months but the bond and partnership we developed together was truly an unforgettable experience. He will forever hold a special place in my heart. If we can take anything away from this and if I can change the life of just one horse it was time well spent. Listen to your horse, if he is showing signs of discomfort STOP and evaluate the situation.   Rest In Peace Salsa AKA Squishy. You will never be forgotten.

All my love,







CARMA Newsletter Feature

CARMA featured our very own Oso Smart in their latest newsletter! We’re so proud of our boy for his performances in the Thoroughbred Makeover 2016 and cannot wait to see what he does next.


Placement Program Graduates

We have helped more than 100 Thoroughbreds transition from the racetrack into the next stage of their life.  Below are three “success stories” we are proud to share.

oso-jumping-rrp-2Oso Smart

This bay son of Curlin participated in the Retired Racehorse Project 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover.  Under the care of CARMA Aftercare Partner Neighsavers, Oso Smart showed in dressage and jumpers classes. He was one of the lucky Thoroughbreds to find a forever home at the show. He and his new owner have dreams of competing in the Paralympics.


Our Graded Stakes Winner, Utopian, was saved by the generosity of his veterinarian who donated a live-saving surgery and CARMA taking a special interest in his unique circumstances. While he recovered well, this nine-year-old decided he would much rather enjoy life as a permanent retiree with our Aftercare Partner Humanity For Horses.


With his incredibly sweet personality and unique appearance, our lovable one-eyed wonder has a second career as a therapy horse at CARMA Aftercare Partner – Square Peg Foundation. He helps children and adults with special challenges find their strengths by giving every visitor a hug when he meets them.



7th Annual Day at the Races Wrap Up

We want to thank everyone that attended our 7th Annual Day at the Races and Holiday Party at Golden Gate Fields!  This year’s event one was for the record books with a full house of sold out seats, a huge and successful silent auction and our ever popular raffle.  It was a great day filled with new friends, old friends, good food and some spectacular racing.   We could not do it without you and we feel incredibly blessed to have had so many dedicated friends, volunteers and supporters join us for this fun day.

We were all treated to a rare dead heat in the first race of the day and to an exciting blanket finish in the Neigh Savers named race where a local jockey picked up her 500th career win.  Bear Creek junior volunteer Katelyn Read was honored with a winner’s circle check presentation for her award winning essay for the TCA.  After the last race as many of us were leaving, we were treated to one of the most spectacular sunsets over the San Francisco Bay.

This event goes a long way in supporting our mission to help re-home retired and endangered horses and we cannot thank you enough for your support.   We cannot wait to see you next year!


img_2354img_2346img_2360img_2424img_2404img_2427 img_2438img_2509





RRP Thoroughbred Makeover 2016


I was lucky enough to go along for the ride this year with Neigh Savers Foundation to the Retired Racehorse Project‘s Thoroughbred Makeover at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.  This event brought together hundreds of OTTBs, their owners, trainers and fans from all over the country to compete for $100,000 in prize money.  Each horse had less than a year of under saddle training and competed in a number of disciplines: barrel racing, competitive trails, dressage, eventing, field hunters, freestyle, polo, show hunters, show jumpers, and working ranch.  Vendors, seminars, and training demonstrations filled in any time not spent watching the OTTBs compete in their individual events.  It is a large and ambitious show for an event that has only been run since 2013.  We cannot wait to see what it becomes in another 5 years time…

To read the rest of the story and see more photos, click through to the article on Decidedly Equestrian.




Race for the Rescues 2016


Neigh Savers Foundation had a blast at Race for the Rescues 2016! Thousands of people came together to raise money to help save animals lives. The event raised almost $400K and out of approximately 80 teams Neigh Savers was placed 8th in fundraising efforts. We could not have done this without your help and we are so grateful to those of you who donated to this cause! Special thanks also goes to Jane Lytle who donated shirts, totes and caps and made our booth look so beautiful!!

It was also our pleasure to meet Jennifer Osborne of Fire and Ice Horses Rescue from Las Vegas who ran the 5k in her full fire fighting gear!!! We are fortunate to be able to reach out to Jennifer if we have a horse that needs special attention.

Once again, thank you to all the participants, donors, friends and family that made this our biggest Southern California fundraising event of the year!

14606284_10154242450098375_322066611627470178_n 14715602_10154242446623375_8337928695918186851_o14642244_10154242448718375_296502412217727647_n14713011_10154242451203375_6969303687262435690_o14572805_10154242447433375_2533107242021331784_n14731353_10154242449618375_8962220061510446242_n



4th Annual TCA Youth Essay Contest Winner: Katelyn Read of Los Gatos, CA – Neigh Savers Volunteer

It is our pleasure to announce that junior volunteer Katelyn Anne Read is the WINNER of the 4th TCA (Thoroughbred Charities of America) Youth Contest and Neigh Savers will be awarded the $1000 prize.  The essay needed to be less than 500 words and it is found below for your reading enjoyment.  Katelyn’s essay has been nationally published and she has been recognized in the Blood Horse Magazine.   Congratulations to the entire Bear Creek Stables team! 

“Life has always been three things to me – constant changes, diverging paths and unexpected goodbyes. In the first 17 years of my life, I have lived in Switzerland, England, Canada, and now California, always relocating from place to place. I’ve lived in countless different houses and gone to countless different schools. The word “home” never meant much to me, up until I first visited a small rustic ranch in the Los Gatos Mountains.

In early 2014, I was introduced to the Neigh Savers program by complete accident. I knew little about horses, and for some reason, I desperately wanted to learn more. Following my first visit, I was coached and mentored by Jenny Whitman, Neigh Savers Program Manager, who helped me learn the ropes and showed me the power of the bond between horse and human. Nothing has taught me more about trust and second chances than volunteering with these thoughtful yet energetic thoroughbreds, who will give their all and never stop trying for you. Soon after I began volunteering, my mom Karen Read, a lifelong horsewomen, adopted a lanky 16hh bay mare called Blame Rome. We decided on the barn name Rose, although she was soon pegged with the name “princess” for her love of pristine pine shavings and full-time stall cleaners. She wasn’t exactly a big winner at the track, but it definitely didn’t take long for her to win over my heart.

Rose fell severely lame in the winter of 2014. Old racing injuries flared up, maybe from navigating the rocky mountain footing. She was unrideable for almost three months, and needed daily hand-walking and icing. My mom and I spent hours at the barn each day, tending to her and giving her lots of love. I think that Rose understood how we were helping her, and in those long, rainy months, she came to realize that we were her family. Her nickers and her nuzzles have never ceased since the day we adopted her, and our bond has only grown stronger. She has taught me so much about partnership, and I can’t imagine what my life would be like if Neigh Savers hadn’t introduced us to each other.

As I fill out my university applications and wonder where my adventure will carry me next, I can’t help but think about how much these incredible thoroughbreds have impacted me. Volunteering with these amazing horses has given me memories that will last me a lifetime, no matter where in the world I am. Because of them, I have made lifelong friends, helped educate others, and most importantly, I have learned that no act of kindness is too small. Neigh Savers has taken hold of my heart and pulled me into something endlessly rewarding, and I feel so grateful to be apart of an organization that has helped not only revive thoroughbred’s lives, but humans too.”  – Katelyn Read



Harry and Snowman Screening

Neigh Savers had the pleasure of presenting an advance screening of this film last night – September 17th, 2016! We had a great turnout and everyone loved it! Special thanks to Gina and her staff at Brightstar Saddlery for providing the venue and all their assistance.  Great job by the SoCal Neigh Savers Team: Board Director Maureen Sowell, volunteers Victoria Brentwood, Nenah Mikuska and Annie Eitman.
Help get this film the exposure it deserves by calling your local theater and ask them to bring it to your town!


poster-7 14330031_10154154233078375_1759363311319049562_n 14370002_10154154232983375_2161939295073528207_n 14358766_10154154233068375_2978559984664801336_n 14322789_10154154232988375_979351133716359080_n


Learning to Jump

As Oso learns to jump, I have made it my goal to challenge and help him progress while keeping him feeling confident and successful about his ‘job’. Some horses take to jumping easily and quickly, others take a bit longer to figure out how to jump. Oso is careful for the most part to keep his feet out of the way of the jump, and when we are able to maintain a good canter coming to the jump, he is simple to ride! Our biggest challenge is to continue to improve the consistency of balance and rhythm in Oso’s canter. We have worked on a few different exercises so far: trot poles for strength and coordination, canter poles on the ground to improve adjustability and jumps on the circle to improve suppleness. In the next week I am planning on working on Oso’s canter on the flat, (getting him to accept my leg and allow me to sit a little more deeply in the saddle) and hopefully start jumping through small grids!



Making Progress…

June 4 2016 – I have tried to take a picture of Oso every few weeks or so to keep track of how he is developing. It is so much fun to see OTTBs go from race horse to performance/riding horse!

Oso March 11 2016Oso June 3 2016

The last few weeks with Oso have been filled with developing strength (and steering) in the canter and preparing for our first ‘field trip’ off the ranch. I am planning to take Oso over to our local show venue (Woodside Horse Park) in the next week or so. In preparation, we incorporated some new things into our daily rides. When starting a young OTTB, I like to develop a routine that stays relatively the same until the horse is comfortable with the basic requirements of being a riding horse. Horses appreciate a certain amount of predictability in their training. Since Oso now comfortably walks, trots, and canters quietly with focus, I have begun altering our rides slightly to introduce some new factors. I find the more new circumstances a young horse is exposed to, the calmer and more easily they handle new situations. We have started riding in the bigger, spookier ring, at different times of day, and have both started and ended on the trail during our rides. I am looking forward to seeing how Oso will handle trailering for a ride at a different location–stay tuned for our next update!




Volunteers Attend Equine Symposium at UC Davis

Sophia-Katelyn UC DavisWe are extremely excited that two of our volunteers, Katelyn R. and Sophia C. were recently able to represent us at the Equine Symposium put on by UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. They spent a long, but extremely informative day, attending lectures on Disaster Preparedness, Equine Disease Prevention, Colic Prevention and Treatment, and an excellent presentation on Lameness – Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment. They will be sharing the materials received with the rest of the Bear Creek Stables team in Los Gatos, CA..

They were also fortunate enough to attend the afternoon lab session on Lower Limb Dissection working with a deceased horse with Wobblers
Sophia-Katelyn UC Davis3Syndrome. This was a very profound moment for these two young ladies, who plan to study animal science and equine medicine at college. Even with all the many detailed anatomy textbooks that are available trying to understand the dynamics of horse musculoskeletal systems, nothing can compare to spending an hour in a lab environment with an equine surgeon. They commented on the high caliber of teaching staff and senior level DVM students leading the presentations.
The day also included a tour of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and barns, spending time with the new born
foals that are part of the UC Davis breeding program, and meeting with VMTH Director, David Sophia-Katelyn UC Davis2Wilson.

We are happy we were able to provide these young ladies with this opportunity as it is a great learning experience for them working hands-on with the horses in our program.