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Red Willow   

In shelter Horse

Cottontown, Sumner County, Tennessee,...
Pet name:
Red Willow
Chestnut, Sorrel
Red Willow came to Safe Harbor in late September of 2018, part of a mass neglect case in West Tennessee. She was one of the youngest in the herd, but also one of the thinnest, having likely been bullied off available food by older broodmares. RW is most likely a thoroughbred, although she does not have a tattoo - that just means that she never made it to the race track. For 8 months, we fed and cared for RW until the court decided that she was legally ours.

At that time, one of our wonderful fosters began putting some foundational training on her. She spent a few leisurely months walking and trotting around the farm before she was moved to our main training facility. There we found that she does much better in a quiet setting - the hustle and bustle of a busy facility with multiple horses in her turn-out and lots of human activity makes her quite anxious.

She was treated for ulcers and basically re-started in training, but her right hock began giving her issues. Radiographs confirm some arthritic changes and a small lesion or cyst. Our vet thinks this could possibly be why RW never raced - it may be leftover from her youth and be why she was turned out with (or turned into) a broodmare rather than finished in training.

Regardless, she was treated with steroid injections and is currently in her second month of a 6-12 month pasture life to allow the joint to fuse. She will most likely be sound for pleasure or flatwork. Surgery may also be an option to allow her more career options, although financially, it is not an option for us.

RW is not an easy keeper; she requires quality, high-fat feed twice a day plus good pasture and hay. She does best in private turnout where she can see other horses but be left to eat at her leisure. She is very passive in the herd. She is barefoot and does fine that way unless she's worked on rocky/hard ground.

She is approximately 8-9 years old and stands 16.2 hands. A quiet, confident handler does best with her, as she feeds off a nervous personality.

If you are interested in fostering RW through the rest of her recovery -- or if you are interested in taking a chance on her through adoption -- please fill out a foster or adoption application.

Apply today:


  1. American Humane Association
  2. Peeva
  3. American Veterinary Medical Association
  4. Veterinary Information Network
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