Our vet feels Red is probably 15-17 years of age. He knows how to park out, he's kind, intelligent and very willing. He drops his head willingly for the halter and is careful to not step on you. He doesn't bear any grudges to humans for any treatment over the years. He is sensitive.
Somewhere, he got impaled and has a huge divot where his neck connects to his shoulder. He is very insecure because he doesn't know what you want him to do. Thus, he exhibits some high strung behaviors, however, they are nothing that can't be dealt with easily with kindness and consistency.
7/10/2013 - Update & Chiropractic visist from Dr. Moore
Rocket is doing well.  Dr. Moore (chiropractor) was out, and as I suspected, his neck and hips were out a bit due to his "fall/seizure". After Dr. Moore adjusted him he let out a couple of BIG sighs of relief.  Thank you Dr. Moore!
Rocket's right eye was swollen/watery for a few days after he hit the ground with his head during the seizure.  Fortunately, when he hit he did not damage the eye itself.  He did bruise the orbit above the eye though.
Today (7/11/2013) the swelling was almost gone on the eye and he is moving much better after his chiropractic adjustment.
7/4/2013 - Fireworks of a different kind?
July 4th Rocket & Newman were turned out in the arena and I was in the hay area loading up bales to feed. The hay area is at the back of the arena area and I heard a LOUD THUD coming from the front section of the arena. When I turned around and looked I saw that Rocket was down. He looked as if he was being electrocuted! Legs straight out and quivering while his head/neck were stretched out! He was having some sort of seizure or stroke!
I felt helpless as I watched this big guy struggle and my heart dropped to the ground. As I hurried toward him, he slowly fought to stand up. When he was finally able to stand, he walked off with his hind legs making furrows in the dirt. His head/neck was extended and he was making faces like he had feed caught in his throat. He wasn't walking a straight line and he was sweating profusely.
This big, gallant horse had been reduced to a stumbling, disoriented mass of flesh & bone in a matter of minutes. I immediately put in a call to Dr. Hoyme, DVM who was fortunately close by. By the time Dr. Home arrived Rocket had gotten it together a bit and was no longer aimlessly wandering the arena. The vet had me walk him and noticed that his right hind leg was quivering and the movement was stiff. Also, he had banged his right eye when he fell and it was swelling.
The vet gave Rocket an injection of Banimine and an injection of Dex. He felt that Rocket had had some sort of seizure/stroke and that only time would tell in regard to full recovery. Shortly after, Rocket wandered over near Newman and began to eat. The only thing we can do at this point is monitor Rocket. If the seizures continue, we will have to address the situation and do what is best for this lovely Saddlebred that we love so much.
July 5th UPDATE: Rocket appears to be doing well in spite of all the fireworks last night. We are watching him closely. Our chiropractor, Dr. Don Moore, will be out Wednesday and we will ask him to see if Rocket needs adjusting after his 4th of July drop to the ground.
9/5/2012 - FINALLY...A Chiropractic Adjustment!
Dr. Moore, our wonderful Chiropractor, has tried on several of his visits to adjust Rocket.  Unfortunately, Rocket always got over anxious, would lose focus and the situation would just escalate.  FINALLY, Rocket was a bit more open minded about this big, strange man who just wants to help him.  It took a little bit of discussion though.
A little bit of dancing.
Eventually, Rocket settled and Dr. Moore was able to adjust him from head to toe.
Poor guy was really locked up!
3/25/2012 - Rocket gets his teeth done!
3-25-2012, Sunday morning before the rain hit, Dr. Hugh Gibbs, DVM came out to help some of the horses be able to eat better and process their food by floating their teeth.
Rocket was one of the lucky recipients of Dr. Gibbs' attention.  Dr. Gibbs prefers to sedate the horses when doing dental work.  Rocket was a pretty good boy even though it took a couple shots of sedative to get him to relax!  His teeth were in need of filing down sharp edges so that he is able to chew his hay easier.
We had noticed that he was not holding his weight as well as he usually does and suspected that his teeth were not grinding his food properly.  We are hoping to see an increase in his weight now that his teeth have been filed and he no longer has sharp edges on his molars.
Good info at Wikipedia:  Horse Teeth
As you can see, the big red fella has put on weight! He is still quite anxious around strangers. He is unsure of people he doesn&rsquot know. He has gotten quite a bit better for me to handle, but he still gets VERY upset with strangers OR if he is separated from Tsan Tsant.
Here he is all nice and dirty after rolling! Of course he was standing in the shade and I had to dramatically lighten the picture.
Here he is with his buddy Tsan Tsant (of course). They were both hosed off and rolled so they are quite the mess! HA! Some days, Rocket&rsquos Ringbone tends to bother him and he will limp a bit. We will get x-rays done when funds allow so that we really know the extent of the damage and see if there is anything that can be done to make him more comfortable. Link to definition of Ringbone: http://www.answers.com/topic/ringbone
Rocket spent many years in a herd situation at another rescue.  He was seized by Animal Control (along with all the other horses at the rescue), kept for awhile and then adopted out.  He then was seized again due to neglect/abuse.  His interactions with humans hasn&rsquot been a positive experience.  We are working on that!
As a result of his horrific journey, Rocket has issues with people.  He is untrusting, anxious, and reactive.  Due to all of this, we only allow horse savvy volunteers in with him and it can get unpredictable.  He was so freaked out when the farrier came to do his feet.  We got it done, but there was dust flying because he kept trying to get away.  He wasn&rsquot being hurt, but he sure thought he was going to be!  The thing is......he has had his feet done before!  But he still just hypes up when a stranger comes near him.
So.......what we would like to do is put him in training with a dear friend of TIER.  We want him to have some confidence, comfort with new people, to be able to think instead of reacting.  The training would be for 3-4 months and would cost 1,000.00.  The 1k would be for boarding only as Rachel (the trainer) would not charge anything for her training services.
TIER absolutely vouches for Rachel.  She adopted Royal from TIER several years ago and the two of them had an amazing journey.  This is a link to Rachel&rsquos website/her horses.  http://twoheartsnaturalhorsemanship.webs.com/aboutmyhorses.htm
We are asking for help with the training costs.  Before he goes to training he will have his teeth done, x-rays and we will have the farrier evaluate whether or not he needs his feet done again.  TIER will arrange transport to Rachel&rsquos facility.
Contributions can be made through this link:  http://www.tierrescue.org/IndividualDonations.htm
OR, TIER&rsquos email address for PayPal is:  email@example.com
Thank you for your ongoing support!
3/18/2010 - Rocket/Big Red was visited by the farrier
Rocket/Big Red was visited by the farrier.  What a fun job that was!!  NOT!  This guy is so worried that something is going to happen that he danced all over the place.  His neck is so long and his head is so high that we had to move him out from under the cover so that he wouldn&rsquot bang his silly head.
Rocket has put on some weight and is looking good.  He is still terribly herd bound to Tsan Tsant and will run back and forth in his pen when Tsan is out and Rocket isn&rsquot.  The other day VolunTIER Andie took Tsan to the roundpen to groom and I just knew Rocket was going to throw up dirt and dig a ditch by running back and forth.  Amazingly, he settled down after a bit and continued eating.  But, as soon as we moved Tsan to another area where Rocket couldn&rsquot see him as well, the pacing became frantic again.  We will continue to seperate them at times so Rocket can get used to being without his buddy 24/7.
Kathie, the outstanding Mom to Nickers http://www.tierrescue.org/Nickers.htm  whom she rescued from a feedlot, came out to visit Red/Rocket yesterday.
Kathie knows the American Saddlebred!  She helped Nickers become who he is today, is quite active in all things Saddlebred, shows her horses and is a wealth of information regarding the breed, their personalities (BOY!  does this breed have a wonderful personality!), their love of humans, etc. Here is what she surmised after her visit with Red/Rocket.
I went out and met Red yesterday. Once again, he's represented exactly as Gail says. He knows how to park out, he's kind, intelligent and very willing. He drops his head willingly for the halter and is careful to not step on you. He doesn't bear any grudges to humans for any treatment over the years.
He parks out. He's obviously had some natural horsemanship over the years. He jumps willingly (not that I tried, but while lunging, he ended up jumping over a water bucket in the round pen). Somewhere, he got impaled and has a huge divot where his neck connects to his shoulder. The good news is that someone took care of it immediately and there's no proud flesh.
He is very insecure because he doesn't know what you want him to do. Thus, he exhibits some high strung behaviors, however, they are nothing that can't be dealt with easily with kindness and consistency.
Kindness & Consistency.........isn't that what they all deserve?  It is our hope that soon we will be able to employ the services of a trainer well versed in Saddlebreds to help this lovely boy along.  We do have a trainer in mind who is gentle, loving, knowledgeable yet firm with her training methods.  The cost is something that has to be considered.
Our vet feels Red is probably 15-17 years of age. We are in the process of trying to identify him through the American Saddlebred Horse Association, so the age is important in this matter. It&rsquos a bit difficult as we don&rsquot have a lot of prior information other than he was in a showbarn in Los Angeles and then went to a rescue in 1998. I have asked a lovely lady who we helped to rescue a Saddlebred from the feedlots years ago to help. This lady is familiar with the ins & outs of identifying &ldquolost&rdquo Saddlebreds as she spent several years trying to get the identity/heritage of her rescued Saddlebred (In The Nick of Time, aka: Nickers). Here&rsquos a link to his page: http://www.tierrescue.org/Nickers.htm
Our vet thinks Red is in good shape considering all he has gone through. Since he is so herd bound to Tsan and was running back and forth when they are separated, he has good muscle tone from all the exercise! HA! Also, there is a possibility of ringbone or prior injury to his left front ankle. Seems the recent running back and forth may have aggravated an old injury/ailment that wasn&rsquot obvious before. It is not bad and you really have to look to notice it, but that is what the vet is for! He was given some anti-inflammatories and that should do the trick. X-rays were not taken as the vet did not bring his machine today and we will have to wait until funding improves a bit to have x-rays done for a more in depth evaluation.
His teeth are in good shape and he is not in need of dental care immediately. Of course, he will have his teeth done in a few months when we have the dentist out to do some of the other TIER residents.
A good report. Heart rate normal. Vet did not feel the need to do a blood panel as Red is in good health other than the slight soreness in his ankle. The vet indicated that Saddlebreds are pretty tough and resilient. His feet are good (no need for special farrier care) and his movement indicates he&rsquos pretty flexible!
Red & Tsan are out in the arena area as I write this. They rolled, bucked, kicked, played and settled down to eat. I placed hay in various parts of the arena so that they would have to walk around to eat and get a little exercise after being confined for so long.
Rocket/Big Red  has a home for Christmas because of YOU!
Just a quick Xmas eve update.  Rocket/Big Red arrived safely yesterday evening.  Loading him at the shelter was quite the circus.  While I was filling out the paperwork in the office, our wonderful transporter Ingrid attempted to load Red & Tsan with the help of the shelter staff.  By the time I finished the paperwork and went outside, Tsan was in the trailer and Red was still standing at the back.  He was anxious as there was a crowd of shelter staff, dogs barking, people moving back and forth and he was slipping around a bit on the asphalt!
Shelter staff were attempting various ways of getting him in the trailer and he would have none of it!  Ingrid would walk him, bring him to the back of the trailer so he could get a good look inside and then walk him a bit more.  He finally started loosening up and relaxing and then something else would set him off.  We finally decided to unload Tsan, move him to the side where Red could not see him, and try to load him again.  Even though he now had an empty trailer all to himself to load in, he was still a bit resistant about getting in and worried about where Tsan was.  Eventually he climbed in and Ingrid was able to tie him and then lock the divider.
Red immediately began to paw & stomp, so we hurriedly brought Tsan around.  Tsan just stepped right in the trailer and waited patiently while Red kept us all entertained.  The trailer door was quickly shut, we jumped in Ingrid&rsquos truck and took off.  Red would paw and rock the trailer the first few times we stopped at stop signs/lights, but Ingrid would inch the trailer forward and he would settle down.  Finally he quit altogether.  The drive & arrival was uneventful.
Rocket/Big Red is somewhat high energy right now and has made a mess of his pen walking back and forth trying to get Tsan Tsant to come to him!  HA!  Just a little separation anxiety even though they are right next to each other.  He is settling down.  He is curious about everything going on around him.  He is eating and drinking well and will eventually get used to not being able to boss Tsan around.  After he has calmed down a bit I will turn him out in the arena area so he can stretch those legs, get some exercise and burn off some of that energy.
Just an update on the status of getting Big Red & his buddy from the shelter. We are so appreciative of the kindness and generosity shown by everyone who donated to help us get these boys out. Thanks to those who sent words of encouragement and support! We could not have done this without people like you!
A bit more information has come to light regarding the black gelding. At the shelter, he is called Tsan Tsan (pronounced Zan Zan). It seems there is a gentleman who really took a liking to this Old Soldier. The gentleman has been visiting him, bringing apples to him & Red, donating funds for some of his vet bills & farrier visits. The gentleman does not own horse property, nor can he afford boarding fees, etc. or I think he would have tried to adopt this lovely old boy. But, he did name him Tsan Tsan. So, unless we find more information on this horse about his past, for now we will stick to calling him Tsan Tsan.
I have relayed to the Shelter that the gentleman is welcome to come visit Tsan Tsan once he is at TIER. It really made me feel good to know that there was someone other than Shelter staff that was giving these horses individual attention.
Due to my schedule and the schedule of the lovely lady who is doing the transport, it looks like we will be picking these boys up Wednesday or Thursday. This means that the boys will be Home for Christmas!
I received some updated photos of Red and Tsan Tsan. As you can see, they have both put on weight! Yay! Tsan Tsan can use a little more weight from what I can see in the pictures and your contributions will be utilized to purchase pellets and a balanced Senior Feed for both of these boys. Of course they will receive hay, supplements if needed, turnout and lost of hugs!
The Shelter informed us that they are both due to have their feet done. Apparently, the shelter pays 75 per trim. We assured the Officer at the shelter that we will have both boys attended to by our farrier. Our farrier costs are 30 per trim. That is quite a bit of difference in price! We will most certainly post updates for everyone. Thank you all for your continued support.
We need your assistance to help these two horses have a Home for Christmas! We need to raise the funds for transport, adoption fee to shelter, Initial Vet exam expenses (we want our vet to do an evaluation on them which we do with each new arrival), perhaps some extra senior feed etc.
Big Red's story is above.
The second horse came to my attention when I was speaking to one of the officer&rsquos at the shelter who said that Big Red has made a friend and he is very attached to him. His buddy also needs a home. His ID # is A4024379.
Our current funds are earmarked for feed, farrier care, supplements, regular maintenance & care, vet care and a little bit set aside for emergencies. At this time, we do not have a large amount of funds set aside for "extras". It's been a very lean year for everyone and donations have been low. Such a difficult year for animals and people!!
When a new rescue comes to our facility we ALWAYS have our Vet do a FULL evaluation so that we know precisely what needs to be done to help the animal now in our care. This usually consists of Blood Tests, Flexation examination, Oral Exam (teeth), Eye exam (if their are injuries/cloudiness this can be a bit more detailed) checking their feet to see if there are any problems (cracks, thrush, founder, white line disease, abcesses, etc.) temperature, heart rate, basically an overall wellness exam. As you can imagine, this is not inexpensive for horses. Once the vet has done the initial exam, we adhere to his recommendations for feed & care. That could change depending upon the results of the blood test.
If their health is not too compromised, wormers are adminstered. Also, the vet will give them a tetanus shot. These two horses most likely have had all their shots & worming done and have been evaluated at the shelter. But it is our policy to have our vet do an evaluation on each new arrival.
We are very lucky in that we have a nice lady who will do the transport for minimal costs (most likely just gas) once we receive word from the Shelter on what the adoption fee will be and when can bring these two lovely horses to TIER.
All in all, we need about 500.00 to give these 2 boys a Home for Christmas!!
12/10/2009 - Just received these pix from Animal Control
Red in 2008
The pictures below are of Red after being adopted out and seized again.
Occasionally, TIER is alerted to horses in dire need of assistance - from abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc. This is one of those times.  We are familiar with this particular horse.
TIER would like to bring to your attention a Saddlebred Gelding currently listed at the Lancaster, CA shelter. He is appx. 15 yrs. old, chestnut and is listed under the Lost & Found section of the shelter's listings. The shelter refers to him as Big Red. His number at the shelter is: A3835603
This isn't the first time this horse has been in this type of situation. I first met this horse when he was at another rescue several years ago (I'm thinking 2005 or 2006). That rescue moved from it's original location and later (2008) the horses were seized by AC. Big Red was brought to the Lancaster shelter at that time and then adopted out. He was seized once again when the new owner failed to take proper care of him. He is again at the Lancaster Shelter.
I spoke to one of the officer's involved in the first seizure and that is where I got the above information. I contacted the private vet who attends to the horses on occasion at the shelter and asked about Big Red's soundness/temperment. The vet said that Big Red is sound, does well on the ground & is rideable. He did say he was a bit of a drama king in that he reacts quickly to unfamiliar situations.  My take on this (not that I am an expert) is that this horse just has not been exposed to a whole lot other than going from place to place, not being cared for properly and not much training/handling involved. At 15 yrs. old, he could use a break!! I would think that a home of his own would not be too much to ask.
It is my understanding that adoption fees from the shelter for horses runs about 150.00. The phone number for the shelter is 661-940-4191 and you would need to have his number when inquiring. A3835603
Someone familiar with the wonderful ASB breed might want to take a chance on him. At least, that is my hope.
Home for Christmas!!!  Wouldn't that be nice?
Thank you for reading.