ROCKY
MOUNTAIN HORSE RESCUE IS A NON-PROFIT 501(C) (3) ORGANIZATION

  • All donations are tax deductible
  • We are a 100% volunteer organization


What is Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue?

Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue (RMHR) is dedicated to the rescue, welfare, and care of Horses, Ponies, Mules, and Donkeys.


To find out about our
animals available for adoption please visit the Information Page!!

 

Silver Shadow—A Love Story

Silver, on arrival
A close-up of Silver's poor condition

     In early November 2012, an elderly gentleman called our rescue and literally begged us to accept his two horses. He said he was in failing health and that he was having problems finding hay. When he said that one of his horses was a nineteen year ol d grey thoroughbred whom he had rescued a few years back, of course I was interested. (My whole background is with thoroughbreds in the hunter and jumper world)
     I sent volunteer Jessie Heimer to the owner's mountain ranch which was at 9,000 feet elevation to assess the situation. She reported that she felt that the thoroughbred was terribly thin and probably should be put down right there. When we made the decision to take his two horses, the owner, who had been an accomplished horseman and even on the Sheriff's Posse, told us that his son could bring Silver and Tinkerbelle, a pinto mare, to RMHR.
     The horses arrived on November 24th. Silver had a bloody hock from falling backwards while being loaded. He promptly lay down and seemed to have given up. We immediately called Dr. Deb Mayo when another volunteer thought he was dying.
     Dr. Mayo agreed with me that we give Silver a chance and to not even blanket him because of his three inch long winter coat. So we started him on the long road to recovery with six small meals of senior pellets a day. We kept grass hay in front of him at all times and then did blood work and checked his teeth. (We never de-worm an emaciated horse on arrival, but wait a few weeks until he is stabilized) Since Silver dragged his right hind leg and was in such terrible condition, we thought he would have to be a companion only——not able to be ridden.
     Fortunately, the owner had given us Silver's Jockey Club registration papers which listed previous owners and his race record. He also sent pictures of Silver in previous summers and told me that he used to dress up as the Lone Ranger on Silver while a friend rode Tinkerbelle as Tonto. Sadly, Silver's owner passed away just four weeks after donating his beloved horses.
     

Prospectors Axe Jockey Club Registration
Prospectors Axe baby registration photo

     My next task was to find out as much as possible about Silver's past. By checking his lip tattoo with his registration papers, we knew his registered name was Prospectors Axe and that he was born on June 3, 1993. His breeder was someone named James D. Brinkman from SOMEWHERE in the state of Nebraska. I wanted to locate the breeder to get Silver's baby registration photos and find out more about his history and breeding. The transfer of ownership page showed that Silver was sold as a two year old to a Pat Mahoney of Spaulding, NE. Luckily; we were able to locate a phone number for a Pat Mahoney. He did not remember the horse, but gave me the phone number of Silver's breeder, who was managing a world famous quarterhorse ranch at a nearby town. His wife answered and remembered Silver's sire; Fairway Topper, who was by Mr. Prospector and his dam, That's Not Fair. She said that both parents had been purchased at Keeneland, KY in 1990 and 1989. I needed Mr. Brinkman to sign a release with the Jockey Club in order to get a copy of Silver's registration pictures. After a few months of back and forth conversation, the pictures arrived showing Silver almost black at an early age (grey or roan horses turn whiter and whiter as they age).
     

Prospectors Axe and his racing win
Katherine Evans and the newly named Silver Shadow

     The registration papers also showed that Silver had won one race at age three and raced 12 times in his short career. My next project was to try to locate the win picture taken 17 years ago. My call to the Columbus Race track in Nebraska was answered by a gentleman who had been at the track for only two years and had no idea who was the photographer many years ago. But then he yelled out "Skinny, Hey SKINNY! Who was the track photographer in ‘96?" Skinny yelled back, "Bob Dunn from Lincoln". I had no idea how I was going to find a Bob Dunn who lived in Lincoln 17 years ago. However, I called another racetrack in Nebraska and was able to obtain a phone number for Mr. Dunn. Believe it or not, Mr. Dunn answered the phone and told me he would try to retrieve the win picture from the archived files he had donated to a museum. Five months later, we received Silver's win photo. The tote board shows there were seven horses in the race, not just two. The race was a mile and 70 yards long; the word "maidens" means for horses who have never won a race. Notice that Silver had turned three years old only three months earlier.
    
     The papers revealed that Silver had been sold to the Denver Polo Club who then sold him to his first of three hunter and jumper owners on 5/22/97. The new owner, Katherine Evans, named him Silver Shadow since Prospectors Axe was quite a mouthful. She owned him for three years, riding him for trail and pleasure, and then sold him to the next owner, who bought Silver for his daughter Andrea's 16th birthday present (she wanted that ex-racehorse rather than a car for her special birthday). Andrea and Silver were jumping partners and friends for the next four years until he was sold to a nine year old girl named Miranda. Since Andrea's parents still lived in the Denver area, they came out to visit their daughter's former horse who had fallen on hard times. They said the story was true about her choosing Silver over a car, BUT, they then said they had to GIVE her a car, in order to get to her horse (Is that called double dipping?). Since Andrea is now a 31 year old mom living in Oregon, she couldn't come visit her old love, but kept in touch with us about his progress.

   
Andrea and Silver Shadow jumping in a pair pace event
Miranda see Silver Shadow again and puts his original halter on him

     The next owner, Miranda, loved him dearly. The minute I contacted her parents to say that we had Silver at the Rescue, she rushed down to see him and even brought his old halter with the brass nameplate engraved with "Silver Shadow". Miranda had a zillion pictures of her exploits with her horse. In addition to going to horse shows with him, she made a unicorn costume for Silver and even swam with him in an irrigation canal. (I bet her parents weren't aware of that adventure) Miranda continued to help with Silver's rehabilitation and then rode him as he recovered. She kept in contact with Andrea trying to figure out how to provide for Silver for the rest of his life. Miranda was preparing to start her college career at Colorado State University, while Andrea had her hands full with a job and a one year old daughter and worried that if she adopted Silver, the long trailer ride would be very hard on him.
      Volunteer Sophia Ernst started to work Silver on the lunge line and to ride him at a walk, trot and canter (we decided not to try jumping him since his future life should be as a pleasure and trail horse). By August, 2013 Silver Shadow had fully recovered, would buck and play in his paddock and actually was a little too heavy. At the height of our rehabilitation program, Silver was fed three times a day—6.8 lbs. of Nutrena Life Design Senior pellets at each feeding—and grass hay continually. Huge thanks goes to Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply who sponsored Silver and provided all of his senior feed. Our plumpy boy is now on less hay and two meals a day of 1 ¾ lbs each.

Sophia Ernst working Silver Shadow
Andrea holds Silver who says, "Hey, that's my carrot!"

      Great news! Andrea and her husband are moving back to Denver and have adopted our special guy. They visited him while house hunting and will move him to their side of town after they get settled.
     Maybe we should all shout. HI, HO SILVER, AWAY!!!

Bini Abbott


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A trainer jumping Silver Shadow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miranda and Silver, the Unicorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silver Shadow, part of the family again

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