MEET THE HORSES
Valentino The Paso Fino
Valentino the Paso Fino is a 6-year-old gelding that we found in Miami, FL when we were looking for a horse for Paulina – and he captured her heart immediately! His soft eye and fancy way of moving was irresistible. After we brought him home, we noticed very unusual behavior, and we found that it was quite difficult for him to put weight on. We noticed that he didn’t seem to want to eat, was very nervous, and was constantly pacing around. When we looked into his background, we found out where he was originally from.
It turned out that police discovered Valentino with 21 other malnourished and injured horses at a Davie ranch in 2014. The owner of the ranch was arrested, and the horses were seized. They were being starved and kept in stalls knee-deep in manure with hot wire that prevented some of them from even getting to their water buckets. The man that was charged is still awaiting trial (sometimes they postpone their trials for years on end). After this horrific ordeal, Valentino The Paso Fino is thrilled to be living in a new, safe home, at Blue Poppy Farm.
Segundo had been left to starve with a group of more than 14 horses. The owner was apparently mentally ill and neglected and starved her horses, leaving them in stalls that were filled with manure as they were barely hanging on to life. After a team of local rescues in the community made numerous requests, the sheriff’s department was convinced to come out and examine the condition of the horses. They immediately confiscated all of the very ill horses.
Unfortunately for one of the horses, it was too late — it died the day they came in to pick the horses up. Our Segundo was in very bad shape, but a wonderful member of the rescue team took him in and helped nurse him back to health. She was unable to ride him, so he was then sent to one of the most well-respected natural horsemen in Ocala, where he was given some basic training. We took over Segundo from that point.
We are pleased to say that Segundo (Second) Chance has made incredible gains in both his health and confidence. He is now at Blue Poppy Farm and in the capable hands of our resident trainer, Nestor Gonzalez. He has proven to be an excellent trail horse, and he has become one of our shining stars. Sadly, the owner of the farm from which Segundo was rescued continues to hoard and mistreat animals. Repeat offenders of horse abuse are common, and we are so thankful Segundo found his way to us before it was too late.
We rescued La Evidencia from the Cranbury Sale Stable, which is a horse auction that sells directly to a kill pen located in New Jersey. She was a 2000 Grand National Champion mare as a 3-year-old performance filly. La Evidencia was in rough shape when we found her the day before she was set to be sold for slaughter in Canada. However, after considerable negotiation between the stable and a group of concerned Paso Fino rescuers, she was able to be bailed at the last moment. We could not be happier to have been an intricate part of her rescue, quarantine, shipping, and medical treatment.
La Evidencia highlights a growing problem in the horse community where former show horses that no longer are able to compete often end up left for dead, while the original owners and trainers are totally unaware of what has transpired since the horse’s glory days. We are so thankful we were able to prevent this fate for the beautiful and sweet La Evidencia.
This little Paso Fino mare was saved from one of the largest and most notorious kill pens in the United States (located in Bastrop, LA). Serafina appeared to have been well taken care of before arriving at the slaughterhouse with several herd mates – in fact, it is likely that she was a family pet, and her owner unexpectedly passed away. Even beloved animals can end up at horse auctions and slaughterhouses under these kinds of circumstances. When private owners must quickly liquidate their horses, this is often the result.
Fortunately, Serafina was not at the kill pen for very long, and she’s being quarantined and treated for some lacerations, a cold, and other medical conditions — all almost definitely acquired while at the kill facility. We are excited to have been able to effectively intervene and initiate the quarantine, shipping, and placement of Serafina in a new home.
Fabio was rescued when he was found running loose in Summerfield, Florida — an area with a number of Paso Fino farms — in May 2016. He was very thin and afraid of being handled. When someone finally managed to catch him, they sent out public messages to try to find an owner to claim him. No one stepped forward, so they called Animal Services. Animal Services picked up him, and after holding him for a short time, they contacted Pro Paso. Carmen Micheletti picked him up, nursed him back to health, and sent him for initial training with a local trainer.
Fabio is now at Blue Poppy Farm to be finished and learn ground manners. Once he is a safe, person-ready horse, we will find him his forever home. He’s a fabulously gaited, gorgeous, and super flashy gelding, with a name (and a mane) straight out of a paperback romance novel!