SAQ Adoption Program

The SAQ adoption program has been running since 2003 and we have successfully re-homed over 600 Standardbreds, retired from their racing careers. Some of these horses were retired due to injuries, or simply because they lacked speed. ›› Read more

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Horse Registration

The SAQ can provide Standardbred owners with show registration cards that are necessary to contest agricultural shows and participate in the National High Point Awards and the SAQ Annual Awards. ›› Read more

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Here you can browse stories and pictures of adopted horses and their owner





Sarah and Jabez

     

I adopted Jabez (formerly JJ) through the SAQ in November 2012.  The grief I had experienced following the death of my old Arabian horse “Trooper” had been quite overwhelming.  As any horse lover would understand, the longer they’re with you… the harder it is to part with them.   I had helped break Trooper in when I was a young teen, and therefor developed a strong connection with him that lasted the following 24 years. Trooper died in January 2012.  Once he was gone, it was very hard to look at an empty paddock.  But 24 years on and 4 kids later I thought I’d never have the opportunity to break in and connect with another horse, like I’d done with old Troops.  With this in mind, I concluded that a standie was the way to go.  I could probably pull off training one to saddle myself since they’re so much quieter that arabs!!!  I started checking the SAQ website for a nice standardbred and finally came across JJ. He was unraced and had already had extensive groundwork using natural horsemanship, something I was familiar with.  I was really nervous when I went to look at him as I knew his owner Karyn was particular about the home he was going to.  She showed me how quiet he was, free lunged him, cracked some whips over his head and threw a saddle on him.  I was quickly convinced he should be MINE and confident I could further his training for riding.  But JJ was still 3 and willing to try and get away with things if he thought he could.  I think I convinced Karyn that I could keep him in line by pointing out how well behaved my children had been while I’d been checking out JJ.  Not sure… But when she offered him to me it felt like Christmas of 1988 all over again, when my father had handed Trooper to me on a lead and said ‘Merry Christmas’! 

I have taken Jabez’s training nice and slow.  I started with taking him for walks down my paddock, doing some Parelli games with him and brushing him daily.  Jabez is a natural canterer and now 5 months on, is coming along beautifully under saddle.  The experience has been very rewarding and our connection is far better than I imagined.  My 10year old daughter rides him without being led in a 20m round yard.  She too loves him dearly.  He will not go beyond a walk for my kids as he seems aware of their abilities.  For me he will back up, do a slow and fast walk and trot up my big hill under saddle.  Recently I began cantering on him, something that needs work but I know he’ll get there in time.  I am also riding him bitless, which is something I’d never done before.

Jabez has come along leaps and bounds and is such a blessing to our family.  He is also being used to educate home-schooled children in an ‘’intro to horses’’ type of workshop, where his breed is promoted for riding.  He loves the attention the kids all give him when they come.

I have renamed him Jabez because of the following scripture verse: 1 Chronicles 4:10 - Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

My daughter and 3 of her friends did 7 weekly wednesday mornings of learning from all about the standardbred horse and what they wear for training to breaking to saddle along with learning 20 basic horse points, grooming, washing, foot care, measuring a horse, telling of age, basic health check and a little ride at the end.  He was awesome for them.  I free lunged him at a walk while each one took their turn.  One child could not ride as well as the others so he just plodded for her.  The mums present were all amazed at his perception and willingness to care for someone with less confidence!