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Kiwi thoroughbred Shaun could score some ranch duties

November 17, 2011

Kiwi thoroughbred Shaun has his long coat at the ready for a Kansas winter, as he continues to make strides in the care of Deb Johnson.

Shaun enjoying his pasture.

Can you see his "goggle tan"? He has worn a fly mask all summer and has bleached out where the mask didn't cover.

Come the northern spring, subject to a clean bill of health, Shaun may well be reacquainted with a saddle. He could well be herding cows come the Kansas summer.

Shaun, who raced under the name Cusack, was rescued from kill pens in Washington state.

Shaun crossed the Pacific from New Zealand around 2005 for a racing career in North America that never reached great heights.

In May, he found himself down on his luck in a Washington state auction house, with $US500 on his head.

There were real fears he would end up at a Canadian slaughter plant.

A hastily organised fundraising campaign on Horsetalk got the cash within two days to pay for Cusack and his transport halfway across the US to Kansas, as well as contribute to his rehabilitation.

Shaun has since been enjoying life on Deb's 40-acre slice of Kansas.

"We are enjoying pleasant fall temperatures and cold nights," Deb reports.

"Shaun has put on an amazing coat of fur. I think it had a lot to do with the Formula 4 Feet supplement he's on.

"His tail and mane is twice what it was, and his hoof growth is healthy and looking great! You can see where the cracks and lines stop, and that's been since he's been here.

"Ed McCarty, Shaun's equine dentist, was out today and said that Shaun was looking like he was pretty full of himself - happy, frisky, confident, and healthy.

"I have a call in to an equine chiropractor and we are shooting for a beginning-of-December appointment.

You can see where the new hoof growth is. Dry lines and cracks stop, and a great hoof begins!
"Shaun's top line is looking a lot better, and his hips are getting much rounder. He still has more muscle on one side than the other. He's a bit one sided, but he's moving better.

"I have him on [joint supplement] MSM and that seems to help him. His trot doesn't look so unco-ordinated, and even his canter is looking better.

"I don't want to work him until the chiro gives me a clean bill of health. Once he gets to go-ahead, I'll start ground work with him, and then this spring, we try a saddle.

"If all goes well, we'll be playing with cows next summer! He won't have to chase deer anymore, but he can use them to practice on until I can get him some real cows. He'll like that!

"I know he would want me to thank everyone. Thank you for saving him, and seeing him through his dark times. He's seeing the light, I'm happy to say."

Bit and Shaun heading for a visit to the next door Morgan horse



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