Juesa is the sort of horse who should never have “fallen through the cracks.” Imported as a high goal pony many years ago, she moved down the ranks and was playing low-goal polo when I first saw her, about ten years ago. After that, she was retired and bred. I thought she was still at the farm that was using her as a broodmare, and was surprised to find out that was not the case.
Juesa had been given away about 18 months earlier, along with a few other horses, to a charismatic woman who portrayed herself as an animal rescuer with a wonderful farm. Juesa’s polo owners did not go to see the farm, nor did they have the woman sign any sort of contract. The “rescuer’s” web site stated that her “mission is to rescue and provide for the well-being of horses that are abandoned, injured, subjected to unfair or cruel treatment, neglect or otherwise in need. We also intervene to save wild horses and burros from slaughter and other ill fated situations.” The truth was that the so-called rescue was so poorly run that the horses were not even getting their most basic needs met. Responding to numerous complaints, Los Angeles County Animal Control seized all of the horses in October of 2012.
I read about the seizure of horses on Facebook, where several former volunteers from the “rescue” were discussing the horses. They talked about an old polo pony with a dent in her head. I suddenly realized she was Juesa. As soon as I had confirmed this, we headed up to Lancaster with the trailer and brought her home. This is how she looked the day we picked her up.
Fortunately, she quickly packed on the weight and learned to love her life of extra hay, massages and cookies! Given Juesa’s age and all she has been through, she would only be suitable for light riding – for example, for a small child to learn to walk and trot on. She would, however, need an experienced mom to do the tacking up since she can be a little girthy and does not always like to be brushed. (She has explained to me that princesses don’t get brushed but I’m not buying it). Juesa’s former owner, Michelle “Chellie” Testa, pled guilty to three felony counts and was sentenced to jail time and banned from animal ownership for ten years.
We are looking for sponsors to help with Juesa’s expenses. You can make a one time donation or subscribe to make a monthly contribution of any size toward her board, farrier and vet costs.
Or commit to a monthly donation to help support Juesa! Paypal will automatically deduct this money on a monthly basis from your default bank account, and we will send you a formal receipt at the end of the year for your taxes.
Chiquita is not old, but her polo career was cut short by Navicular disease. She is enjoying early retirement with her handsome buckskin friend at the farm we use for our retirees in eastern Washington state.
Contributions toward Chiquita’s retirement care are greatly appreciated!
Or commit to a monthly donation to help support Chiquita! Paypal will automatically deduct this money on a monthly basis from your default bank account, and we will send you a formal receipt at the end of the year for your taxes.
Monty came into our program as an adoptable horse, but began stumbling. After he fell under saddle, a veterinary exam showed that no real problem exists – he is just old, creaky, and does not always watch where he puts his feet, so we cannot consider him safe to ride anymore. He will stay in our program as a retiree and would love to have a sponsor!
Contributions toward Monty’s retirement care are greatly appreciated!
Or commit to a monthly donation to help support Monty! Paypal will automatically deduct this money on a monthly basis from your default bank account, and we will send you a formal receipt at the end of the year for your taxes.