Santina I

I've Found A New Home!!


The above picture was taken of Santina shortly after the AHRN rescued she and her daughter, Viva La Paloma, from the feedlot. Here is their story:

We received a call from a feedlot owner in February that two new bay Arabian mares had arrived there. The pair, who turned out to be a beautiful mother and daughter, had been run through a low-end California auction together, and both were in deplorable condition. The horsetrader knew the name of the man who had consigned the mares to the auction, and called to see if we could secure their papers, which had not been sent along with them. The horsetrader was told he could purchase the papers for an additional $1,000 each. Once we knew the identity of the breeder/last registered owner, we went to work identifying the mares through the Arabian Horse Registry CD.

The older mare was Santina I, a daughter of multiple National Champion Stallion, MS Santana. Santina's mother Kuhaila Bay, was by Bay El Bey, also a National Champion Stallion and Regional Champion English Pleasure Horse. With Santina was her daughter, Viva La Paloma (by Viva Le Bask), a three-quarter sister to the beautiful Scottsdale Top Ten halter filly and Pacific Slopes Champion Mare, Viva La Amour (shown below).

Viva La Amour

Viva La Amour
(Viva Le Bask x Kuhaila Bay by Bay El Bey)

While there are times people unintentionally neglect to send registration papers along with the horses they sell, others purposefully dump their unwanted animals through low-end auctions or killer buyers without them. This is sometimes done to avoid having the horses traced back to them, or to hold out for more money for the registration papers. Unfortunately, placing the horses is often harder if they do not have their registration papers. Given the choice between a papered and an unpapered horse, most people will lean toward the papered one even though they have no plans to breed or show, and there is no difference in quality or soundness. This was the dilemma we faced with Santina and Paloma.

While the mares were still at the feedlot and in danger of being shipped to slaughter, we contacted the last owner/breeder of both the mares. We explained the situation they were in, hoping they had unintentionally ended up at the feedlot, and that the previous owner would help us get them to safety. But he already knew where the mares were, confirmed their identity, and was not interested in having them back. After the mares were pulled to safety, we inquired about obtaining their registration papers to facilitate placement. We were told the same story -- that for an additional $1,000 each horse, plus any profit the killer buyer made on the sale of the horses to AHRN, we could obtain the papers. Being a rescue organization, we were not in the financial position to pursue this. Sheila Varian very graciously made a call on our behalf to the previous owner, but he would not reconsider despite the fact that being reunited with their papers would have helped ensure their timely placement in good homes, and that their heritage would remain intact.

Jean Marie Diaz of Mountain View, California, graciously put up the money to pull both mares to safety, and is now the proud owner of Viva La Paloma. Santina has a temporary foster home with AHRN volunteer Trish Warr, and has been in training for the past six months with Canyon Creek Ranch in Upland, CA, where Trish works in exchange for her training fees. The AHRN continues to pay her board every month out of donations until she is trained enough to be placed in a good home. At age fifteen, Santina had been used exclusively as a broodmare and did not even know how to lunge. With no papers and no training, she was doomed to be shipped to slaughter if she had not been pulled. Both she and Paloma now look forward to a whole new career as riding horses and companions. Here are a few words Trish Warr, Santina's foster mom:


"Santina I, where do I begin?

It was a chilly, rainy February morning in southern California, when Santina I and her daughter Paloma stepped off the trailer from the feedlot. She was skinny, scared, and dull-coated, with the most matted tail I'd ever seen. It was one big mass of tangled hair, and she was caked with mud from standing knee deep in it at the feedlot.

In early May she came to Canyon Creek Ranch. My trainer, Kathy Barker, agreed to allow me to work in exchange for her training. We started very slowly, because as a 15-year-old broodmare, she knew nothing. We free lunged her to start building muscle and stamina. We taught her to tie, to stand for a bath, to lunge, and to walk on the hot walker. We introduced her to clippers, and sheets, and fly masks. Everything was new and scary for her, but she is very smart, which was sometimes good, sometimes not so good!

We had our share of setbacks and major obstacles to overcome. She is the consummate carrot addict and choked after stealing a huge handful and wolfing them down, which required a vet call. Then she reared up in the bullpen another day and cut her knee ... another vet call and twelve stitches. Some time later she flipped herself over on the hotwalker when the 29" miniature horse mare untied herself and ran around raising Cain ... broken leather halter! When working with her, she just did not seem to understand this thing about following her nose with the bit and the reins, and refused to yield to the pressure for what seemed like forever. But we kept trying, day after day, until finally one day, the light went on and she looked at me as if to say, "Oh, that's what you wanted ... why didn't you just say so!" We did ground work for many months just trying to build her confidence, which was not an easy task.

After she became comfortable in her routine, we moved on to the surcingle. She puffed up, bucked a few times, and then went to work. Next came the bridle and the bit. She adjusted to that fairly quickly, and we began tying one rein very loosely, but enough so that she would bump it slightly from time to time. We began to tighten the reins, still using only one at a time. She resisted for quite a while. By this time she was becoming incredibly fit and her stamina was tremendous. She never wanted to stop working and really seemed to enjoy the stimulation.

Santina I

When we felt she had progressed far enough, I started putting weight in the stirrups, first standing in just one, then rubbing my foot all over her back, then laying over the saddle, and then throwing my leg over and putting weight in both stirrups and the saddle. She never flinched. After a few days of this I urged her to take a step. NO WAY, she said! She absolutely refused to move. I could sit up there all day, but she was NOT moving! This went on for a few days and we let her get used to the idea. Finally, I had Kathy get on and after fifteen minutes of coaxing and trying to assure her, she got her to walk around in small circles and then finally that first step forward. However, she decided that if she was going to walk, she certainly wasn't going to breath at the same time. She held her breath! Well, that was a couple of weeks ago and I'm happy to report that she is now trotting under saddle AND breathing at the same time!

Santina I with Kathy Barker

She is still a long way from finished, and we still work daily on confidence building, but with time under saddle and a great deal of patience, she will make a wonderful riding horse. We have taken a very long time with her, which is what she needed. A rushed job would have fried her brain. Today she is a different horse; she has more confidence, she runs to the end of her stall to greet me, she loves being pampered, her coat is tight and shiny, her tail has grown back, and she is not so afraid of everything. She prances from her stall into the training barn, works like a well trained athlete, enjoys her bath (all but the face and tail washing), and loves to stand in the cross ties drying in the sun while watching the other horses work. She is the consummate "Princess" and has always had a regal quality about her. And she has all the little quirks to go with the title!

Santina I

I find it sad that she is without her papers and her rightful heritage. Her beauty and grace under saddle are a sight to behold. She probably has the purest Western Pleasure jog I have ever witnessed. She moves like a ballerina. She automatically drops her head when ridden to a vertical position and she has wonderful bend at the poll and a gorgeous neck. I truly believe that this mare could have been a National quality western pleasure mare ... and probably still could given time and more training. The pictures I took were at two and a half weeks under saddle. She's amazing.


I will be saying good-bye to Santina later this week as she leaves for her new home in Idaho. I am so happy that she will have a loving home, but selfishly, I cry every time I think about it. She and I have spent 5 intense months together and to know her is to love her. I will miss my sweet Santina for a very long time!"

UPDATE: Santina has gone to her new home in Idaho, where the beautiful young mare Roseann has affectionately named "Libby" will join her once she has a little bit of training under her belt.


Santina I
1983 Bay Mare
AHR# 275023

MS Santana *Bask Witraz
SW Saruchna *Sambor
Kuhaila Bey Bay El Bey Bay Abi
Pashenka Gamond
Lewisfield Nizzara

For Further Information:

Write Us! Arabian Horse Rescue Network
P.O. Box 4603
Sunland, CA 91041-4603
Phone: 818-353-9577

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