This page looks different to our usual site because it is from our back catalogue. More recent articles are here.


Shaun nicely rounded and ready for winter

October 22, 2011

Former Kiwi thoroughbred Shaun has filled out nicely in readiness for a Kansas winter, but new owner Deb Johnson is unsure whether he will ever have a career as a competitive trail-riding horse.

Shaun chilling with his herd.
Shaun, who raced under the name Cusack, was rescued from kill pens in Washington state early in May thanks to the generosity of Horsetalk readers.

He was transported half way across the United States to Deb's Kansas home.

She thought a career in trail-riding might have suited the former North Canterbury thoroughbred.

"I'm not too concerned about riding him," Deb says.

"He's not real steady with that left back leg, and tends to run a bit funny. Fast, but funny. Shaun will probably live out his days, maybe learning some clicker training, keeping the mares company and chasing deer. Not a bad life for a good horse."

Shaun's welcome to Kansas included some fierce summer heat, but Deb says they are starting to see cooler weather.

"Shaun is fuzzing up, but I will still be throwing a blanket on him the next couple of nights.

"His top line is filling out nicely, thanks to a lot of miles with his head down, grazing. His butt is nice and round, and you'd be hard-pressed to find his ribs these days.

"I put my hand where his ribs are, and just felt muscle.

"He is really enjoying the plentiful grass we still have, and hope to keep for another month.

"He is in shoes, and his farrier and I are talking about options for him this winter. He will either be in Eponas with carbide tips, or snow shoes. Once his feet have the opportunity to grow out, I hope to get him pasture sound and bare foot."

Deb says she took Shaun with her mount, Bit, to herd cattle on a working ranch south of her home.

"He hung out in a large round pen while Bit and I went to work every day, keeping company with a couple of 4 H calves.

"He was very happy to come home, and seemed relieved to find hmself back in his own pasture.

"He's the first in, from 40 acres out, to eat breakfast and dinner.

"There is nothing like the thunder of feet as he rounds the corner and heads for home! No whip, no pressure other than the desire to be first at the table!

"There will never be an uncertain future awaiting him if he should come in last. He is home."



Affiliate disclaimer