July 1, 2014 at 10:52 AM

Jackie O - One Horse’s Story

'Jackie O stands quietly in the cross ties for saddling and shows no signs of wild or frightened behavior, and no tendency to kick or pull back...'

By Susie Morgan

Hoof Prints in Santa Fe

Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.


Jackie O arrived at The Horse Shelter in 2010.  She was not broken to ride or comfortable with people.  Her life history is known only to her.  She has spent over three years being fed and cared for at The Horse Shelter, and beginning to trust humans.

Jackie O is one of the 8 horses selected from a field of 16 horses in The Horse Shelter’s Trainers Challenge “Gimme Shelter”.  The challenge is for each trainer to draw a horse, take it home and work with the horse for 100 days.  At 3pm on July 26th at the Mortenson Arena, each horse will be judged on competency to see how far they have progressed.  The most accomplished horse will take top honors for its trainer.

The best part of the day is that immediately following the judging, each of the eight horses will be auctioned off to a pre-screened homes.  The goal is to give these previously abused horses that have fallen between the cracks of life, the skills to allow them to lead productive lives.  This is important as The Horse Shelter population has swelled to more than 70 horses, aided in part by the poor economy leading to more cases of horse abuse.

Jackie O was selected by Clint Mortenson.  She is a 14.2hh mare of quarter-type probably about 8 years old.  While Clint lost some training time being laid up due to a horse-related accident that did not involve Jackie O, she is making good progress.  With fewer than 30 days remaining, Jackie O is showing promise and turned out to be a pretty fancy looking mare with good athleticism.

Recently, Clint kindly agreed to let me watch one of his training sessions.  Jackie O stands quietly in the cross ties for saddling and shows no signs of wild or frightened behavior, and no tendency to kick or pull back.  If fact, she now walks over to greet anyone that comes up to her corral.  Clint says she is smooth riding and shows intelligence and willingness.  Perhaps she will make a good arena horse or even trail horse with further schooling.

“Gimme Shelter” judging coincides with Day of the Cowboy activities held annually at Clint Mortenson’s Ranch.  For details about the activities Saturday, July 26th at Clint’s, please see related blog “National Day of the Cowboy…”. 
To be pre-screened for bidding on one of these 8 horses, contact info@thehorseshelter.org