Rescue Horses


Rescue Horses Need Long-Term Foster Home

Ranza and Rosa are two sweet and friendly Paso Fino/Part Paso Fino mares rescued from the Eugene Livestock Auction about six weeks ago. They will grace your pasture with beauty and red color and are ready to be long-term, loyal friends. These girls are suitable for companion horses, pasture pets, or in-hand equine therapy horses.

Unfortunately, due to chronic foot and leg conditions (ringbone in Ranza and suspensory ligament damage in Rosa), they are not suitable for riding or breeding, but can do light ground work and Rosa may possibly be a lead line horse for young, light weight grandkids.

Ranza is about 15 and Rosa is about 17. We have no information on their history or their use, although they trailer, stand for grooming, lead, stand for the farrier within their tolerance of discomfort, and are generally easy to handle. They need gentle and calm handling and patience. They have responded tremendously to good care and kind handling.

After their rescue, they received a health assessment, basic veterinary care, and basic farrier care. They are a good weight, eat well, and have been eating grass hay, a small serving of grain, and some supplements. They will complete their shots and second farrier appointment by June 20 and be ready to go.

Synergy Stables, with assistance from many generous members of the Northwest Paso Fino Horse Association, facilitated their rescue. We do not have the space or the resources at our stable to continue to provide care for these horses. In the foster arrangement, we can provide information and help to ensure that these girls get the appropriate care in a new home where they can be valued and live out their lives in comfort.

These girls need a responsible, long-term home with someone who has some knowledge of horse care and handling. They need shelter, a pasture, fresh water, and daily feeding of hay, grain, and some supplements. Regular grooming, fly spray, and some loving and treats would be great too. Regular farrier care on an eight-week schedule is essential to their health. We may be able to facilitate continued farrier and veterinary care for them at a discounted rate if they are placed in the Eugene/Corvallis, OR area.

Ranza and Rosa need their teeth floated (about $150 each), which is their up-front foster care fee. To approved home only. Please email us with serious inquiries only.

Craig’s List ad placed in Eugene Area:

It is time for our beautiful and friendly rescue girls to find a forever home. As of June 20, they will have a second round of farrier care and shots and be ready to go to the right place to grace some lucky person’s pasture with beauty and red color. Please

see the details on the ad we placed today on the Eugene Craigslist. You can also see many details and updates on the history of the rescue girls on the NWPFHA website at Serious inquiries only please. Thanks.



Ranza and Rosa, the rescue mares from the Eugene Livestock Auction, have settled in and are doing great, looking great, and responding to handling more comfortably, have bright eyes, good appetites, and are happy to be out in the pasture in the day and in their stalls at night. They are in a separate pasture from my other herd because we have 10 other horses out on pasture, all very vigorous and healthy, and I am concerned that the girls could be at risk integrating into the herd with their limitations.

They had a complete vet check last week. Other than their chronic conditions, which are serious, Ranza and Rosa, are very healthy. Ranza is about 15, Rosa, slightly older, maybe 17. Ranza looks very much like a Paso Fino. Ranza may be a part Paso or may be Peruvian, although they appear to be related, have the same color, and other similarities. It is hard to say.

As I told you in an earlier update, Ranza had an initial vet exam and X-rays of her front feet, confirming her ringbone. Fused in one foot, so less discomfort, and fusing progressing in the other foot, so may be less discomfort in future. My vet agreed with that original analysis, although he said that sometimes ringbone can go the other way, and she could become more uncomfortable, but hopefully not.

My vet said Rosa definitely has suspensory ligament damage, and her fetlocks are significantly dropped. Ranza has some early stages of this in a couple of feet, as well. He said that an ultra sound is required for detailed information, etc., but a basic clinical diagnosis confirms the deterioration.

So, basically, no new news from the vet exam and confirmation of what we already knew. The girls got all the basic vaccinations and will have to have a follow up in four weeks, since we don’t know their history of vaccinations.

So, here’s the important part….the analysis from my vet on the care the girls need, their quality of life, use, life expectancy, etc. He said that he does not think that either horse is suffering and at this point that their quality of life is pretty good. How fast Rosa’s condition will deteriorate is unknown, since we have no history of how fast it has been deteriorating. If it is slow, she may have a few years to live relatively comfortably. If it is moving rapidly, she may have less time. If Ranza improves or stays the same, ok, but if there is deterioration, same thing.

Neither of the girls can be ridden or bred or worked hard in any way. My vet says that Rosa might be suitable for awhile for light leadline work with a light rider (the grand kids), under 50 pounds. Both girls are currently getting a little light obstacle ground work, handling, etc., and that goes very well.

Care. The girls do not need extensive care, but they most certainly need regular, consistent care to maintain health and quality of life. I started giving both a gram of Butte a day to increase their comfort, and my vet thinks this should be continued to reduce inflammation and take the edge off. They eat the powdered form in their food, so easy to manage. He also recommended joint supplements to help lubricate joints, so I am giving them the glucosamine version of my vitamins that I feed my older horses. This is somewhat expensive, but I will do it for awhile.

They need pasture and to be out and about and moving, although putting them out in a huge pasture with long walks to water and shelter would be difficult for them. They are better off in a small pasture with water readily available, and easy access to shelter. And, they must have very regular farrier care, on the every 8 weeks schedule to keep them as comfortable and sound as possible.

And, finally, as with any horse, some regular grooming, fly spray, attention, and time spent with them would give them a nice quality of life for their remaining years.

Ranza and Rosa will make nice companion horses and pasture pets for someone with the resources and the time to give them a good life. They can do a little in- hand work, teach youngsters and others how to handle horses, possible give the little grand kids a short ride, learn clicker training, and just be nice horses to be around.

That’s the update. I do not have the space or financial security to care for these girls to the end of their lives. It has been wonderful to see them respond and come alive again, and I value this opportunity; however, I need to place them in a responsible, forever home. While I do not regret rescuing them, it is not something that I would do again, as it has been a huge undertaking, is expensive, and could put caring for my other horses at risk.

I have contacted numerous programs, rescues, etc., and no opportunities for them. I have some more to contact, but I think we have to hope for a miracle with the right person able to come forward. I won’t drop them back off at the auction, but for horses with chronic conditions, there are limited options, unfortunately.

I will get this information off to Jim in Canada, give him a few days to respond, but if nothing, then will get very serious about finding Ranza and Rosa homes. They will be ready to go June 20, after second round of shots.

Any and all ideas appreciated. Thanks.

Mary Schoenheit



Two Paso Fino mares were brought into the Eugene Livestock Auction week before last with a short time to be re-homed or they would be shipped off to slaughter. The Eugene Livestock Auction folks participate with, a website out of Washington State that helps re-home horses that are in auction yards. That is how information on these horses moved out to various Paso Fino sites.

One of the mares was immediately spoken for, and working with the NW Paso Fino Horse Association to facilitate some donations, I rescued the other mare. Two days later I was notified by the Auction folks that the buyer for the other mare had rejected her due to feet and leg problems. I took her as well.

The two mares are at my stable, and I am caring for them both, hoping to re-home them within 30 to 60 days. A gentleman who owns a Paso Fino farm in Canada has offered them homes and to help with more expenses, if we don’t find anything closer for them. Both mares are surprisingly well behaved. Trailer extremely well. Move out when led. Stand for grooming and foot care. They are very bonded, and do get pushy, trying to get to each other. There is no information on either mare’s past, and there are no papers. It appears from their behavior that they are a mother/daughter team. Neither mare can ever be ridden again or bred due to the condition of their feet and lower legs.

The younger mare, “Esperanza,” is the one that I received donations to help from Paso Fino owners in the NW, far and wide. She is a beautiful mare, about 15, but she has ring bone and is pigeon-toed in the front (either from genetics or bad foot care which put her at more risk from continued bad foot care), and some beginnings of “dropped fetlocks,” or damaged suspensory ligaments on a couple of her legs. Here is a UC Davis publication that explains the condition.

I paid the auction fee for Esperanza, and took her to our local equine veterinary clinic for an exam and basic X-rays (due to the severity of her foot condition, my farrier did not want to trim without X-rays). My farrier has trimmed her very long front feet, so she is much more comfortable and moves much better. Her ringbone has fused almost completely in one front foot and is continuing to fuse in the second. Once the fusion is complete, there will be much less discomfort, and she will still be able to move adequately, as there is not a lot of movement in the pastern joint to begin with. The vet said that it is nature’s way of “healing.”

The older mare, “Rosalina,” does not have as strong a Paso Fino conformation, although I think she is a Paso Fino or part Paso Fino. I don’t have an estimate on her age yet. She gaits, but due to the condition of her feet and legs, she is very pacey, and I can’t see from the ground exactly how she gaits. She has more severe suspensory ligament damage on her rear legs than the other mare, but her front legs and hooves appear to be in better condition. She will soon have her four feet trimmed by my farrier, and hopefully, she will have a vet exam next week. I paid the auction fee for her as well.

I have both the mares in a somewhat quarantined situation for two weeks with no contact with our other horses, and we wash up after handling them, just in case they have been exposed to or are carrying any disease. They appear to be healthy at this time, just not well cared for, in particular very poor foot care. I have wormed them both, and working with our other local equine veterinary practice, I hope to get the older mare her exam and the shots for both mares within the next couple of weeks. They both need their teeth done, but that will have to wait until we see how the financial situation goes.

The fee to the auction yard was $350 for each mare, for a total of $700, which I paid. I paid $144 to Del Oeste Equine Veterinary practice for the exam and X-rays for Esperanza. That fee was discounted about 30%. So far my farrier has donated her time to look at the mares, attend the veterinary exam of Esperanza and consult with the vet on her foot care, and trim her two front feet (she couldn’t complete the trim in one session due to the complexity and time it took to trim the front feet). She needs to complete the trimming of Esperanza and trim Rosalina, and I will have to pay her something for her time, although most certainly a big discount. I bought $30 worth of a mild sedative to help Esperanza through her trimming (painful for her to stand on one leg). I paid $26 for two tubes of wormer for the mares. I am feeding them grass hay and a small amount of grain, and giving them a little opportunity to ease into grazing. I plan to start them on some supplements soon. My regular veterinarian has been on paternity leave, but hopefully he will do the exam on the second mare and shots for both at a significant discount.

At last accounting, Paso Fino lovers in the NW have pledged $670. So far, I have received just a little over $550 of those donations. I want to make it clear that I am not in the business of rescue, and that I do not have any legal entity to collect donations. The generosity of our NWPFHA members and other Paso Fino lovers is tremendous, and I appreciate that they are trusting me to handle these precious donations well to help these mares live out their lives in a good situation.

What is the future for these mares? Clearly, they cannot be ridden or bred, but that doesn’t make them useless. They have a good future as companion horses or possibly they could be used in an equine therapy program for in-hand work. Possibly, they could be used for riding equine therapy for light children in a leading and side walker situation. With just good routine care, they could live out their lives as pasture pets. Clearly, they must have continued good foot care to keep them as comfortable and healthy as possible.

All that said, this is a difficult situation. There are many neglected horses needing homes these days, and not nearly enough money or responsible owners to go around. The day after I brought the second mare home, I was contacted by the horse trader that rejected purchasing her and told me that she had just bought three Pasos (one in foal) that were starving from a person who was ill and desperate. These three (soon to be four) horses need homes and may have more potential than these mares for a useful future (two young mares, a five-month foal and foal on the way). Supposedly in good health. These horses are being advertised on Craigslist in Medford, and I have the phone number of who to contact.

These same horse traders posted on Oregon Horse Forum on Facebook last night that they are working with a breeder with some 50 Paso Finos near Merlin, OR that all need to be placed. This has been personally overwhelming for me, and then to continue to hear the plight of many more horses is disturbing to say the least. I have done all I can do to help, although I will try to help spread the word about these other horses. If anyone has ideas or more resources to help, I certainly encourage you to do so. Despite the stressors, I have found it rewarding to make a small difference in this world. But for the preservation of my own situation and my own horses, I need to move these horses along to a better life as soon as possible.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped ease this burden by donating to the expenses of Esperanza and Rosalina.

I have attached a picture of Esperanza at her vet exam, pictures of her “before” and “after” front feet, and a picture of the mares reunited. We are working on cleaning them up, shedding them out, and grooming them to get them comfortable and looking their best again.

Mary Schoenheit, Synergy Stables and Territorial B&B&Barn, Junction City, OR



“Esperanza” is a beautiful horse with good manners & training. Generally healthy but can never be ridden again. Ring bone & breaking down in fetlocks & extremely poor foot care. There is no coffin bone rotation. She is pigeon toed due to poor, uninformed hoof care as a young horse, or possibly genetics contributed to putting her at risk with poor care. She may have been overworked, but who knows. She has most certainly been neglected for some time.

With Proper foot care & time she will be more comfortable & able to move better, not sure how much, and she should be able to live out her life relatively comfortably. This sweet mare would be great for a companion horse or used for in hand therapy. Looks so much like my Little Red, shocking. My initial payment to purchase the horse was $350. My Vet took about 30% off, so only $144 for exam & X-rays. First trim on feet tomorrow. On Bute to help.

Mary would like to personally thank each of you that pledged money to help save this horse. Our Northwest members really stepped up and supported our efforts. This endeavor was taken on by Mary. NWPFHA is not in a position to rescue horses but definitely supports the effort of our members doing just that. As the checks come in, Mary will be contacting each of you with her personal thanks and a full accounting of how your pledges were spent. Your total pledges came to $670 so far. Again, thank you for your support.