Posted on June 26, 2017



8 Year Old, 16.2hh Quarter/Draft Cross:

Dozer was donated to Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary so his rehoming fee could help raise much needed funds to help horses in need–however, upon his arrival we found an undisclosed old injury that is performance limiting.  It is important to read this ENTIRE biography to understand Dozer’s story.  Please hold all questions until you have read to the very bottom of this detailed novel…

The biography of Dozer from when he was a Ranch horse in Montana is as follows: Dozer is a solid broke ranch gelding. 16.2 hands, 1400lbs and takes a size 4 shoe. Rope anything you want, from the biggest bull he will hold it, to the littlest calf he will take care of it. We have rode him for many miles on the ranch and in the mountains in some very rough country. There isn’t any place he won’t go. He won’t hesitate in the thickest brush, he will push his way through and make a trail for you if he’s asked. Dozer is sure footed, he will cross water and downed timber with out a fuss. He is handy on his feet and will watch a cow, cut one out of the herd and he will stay with it. He is traffic safe. For a big horse he has tons of style and a pretty way of moving. He is soft in the bridle, lopes around quiet, know his leads, has a one handed neck rein, a pretty stop and turn around. He is great to handle his feet, good to bathe, and clip. You can load him in any trailer and he will back out. Dozer is current on worming and vaccinations. The owner who relinquished Dozer added the following information: He came from a ranch out west, and worked on obstacle course trail riding and around cattle.  We started the horse towards a career in becoming a field hunter so continued his trail riding and introduction to dogs and our routine around the barn.  He has been ridden English and Western in an easy snaffle bit at all times.  He is worked 4-6 times a week, our first five months consisted of light longeing in the ring then trail ride.  We turned to trainer A.B.L. who uses Buck Brannaman methods to solve some trust issues.  A typical training session with Dozer is 1 to 2 hours.  We consider him to be intermediate though he loves all people.  He’s gentle and quiet, but if he gets alarmed he is too big for a child to be around.  He is nervous with the farrier and requires encouragement and patience.  The previous owner said he shod Dozer in stocks. We can pick up his feet, but could not get through his hind feet with the farrier for shoeing without sedation.  We had progress on his hind feet with training.  He can be fully in pasture or kept in stall with pasture turnout.

This is our information: We were very obviously ecstatic about the generous donation of Dozer to Safe Harbor, as he came during our year-end fund drive and we have about $5,000 in accrued veterinary bills needing to be paid.  Dozer seemed heaven sent.  On his delivery to our foster home we immediately noticed swelling on his front knee.  This was dismissed as “an old injury” and no problem at all.  In order to be able to confirm this and not just take someone’s word for it, we took Dozer to the vet and had  ultrasound and an xray done.  There is an old injury there, the knee is a large fluid encapsulated joint.  It does not inhibit his range of motion–oddly, it has enhanced it on just that leg, so Dozer moves as if he is doing a Monty Python silly walk.  Trot normal in three legs, Allegro dressage in one.  Here’s the important part to this for his future.  This is cosmetic.  Yes, it looks REALLY weird.  In fact, it looks really uncomfortable; however, our veterinarian could not create a true lame or pain response in the flexion and lameness testing of that leg.  Will he truly pass a pre-purchase exam?  No, not really.  There is damage to knee, and we won’t dispute that whatsoever.


So what does all this mean?  Well, for one, we have a very fine specimen of a horse available for a very low adoption fee.  Our hope with Dozer’s adoption is to recoup a fraction of what we have invested in his diagnostic and daily care during his time with us.  He is truly SO SO broke, and is a very good horse.  He can move quickly–all of his foundational work was with cattle, so at heart he is a cutting horse, but treated as a rough and rowdy ranch horse he is low maintenance.  He wants a round roll, a pasture and blue skies–not baths, blankets and stalls, and the more free he is in his pasture life, the better and calmer he is when he is working.


The ideal home for Dozer will be one that can look past his silly walk to the beautiful soul that lies within, and recognize that he still has a fully functional body.  Someone who wants to do light riding, on farm, or off on flat farm land will be fine.  Someone that wants to stick with walk or walk/trot and has no need for speed is even more ideal. Dozer was adopted from Safe Harbor in December, and was doing great, but always ridden out with other horses on the cattle farm environment.  He has shown no issues with lameness, no issues with farrier care etc. He is bonded with a mare on the property and when separated she called for him, and he chose to buck.  His adoptive owner was bucked off, and chose not to continue his relationship with Dozer.  As a result, Dozer is returning to Safe Harbor, and will once again be adoptable. If you believe Dozer is the one for you then please apply to adopt.  We are requesting only a $250 adoption fee for this wonderful gelding at this time, but can be negotiable for the perfect home for him.  We do plan to send Dozer to Perry Neal for some refresher training on the farm where we will refresh on riding out alone to avoid any future issues with buddy sour ness.  If he does go to Perry prior to re-adoption, his fee will increase to $500 to offset some of the cost of his training. Complete an adoption application for Dozer at

Safe Harbor Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non profit rescue based in Middle Tennessee. Please visit our website for our adoption application, and to read more about us (including our adoption area) on our About Adopting FAQ.