Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday Stills: Pets

Lyra: 25 yr. old + TB mare from Miranda's Rescue

Autumn: 24 yr. old quarter horse mare rescued from neglect.

Red Horse: 18 yr. old appendix quarter horse.

Stella: 8 yr. old pit bull/German shepherd rescued from pound

Lena: 8 yr. old aussie/kelpie from BONES rescue.

I love these five more than I can say!

For more Sunday Stills of pets please click HERE.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Updates From the General Pasture and Beyond

A few weeks ago I posted that there might be a chance for Moose and Autumn to be placed together in a potentially wonderful home. I agonized about this decision and got some really excellent advice that helped me make my choice. One of the best questions suggested to "measure" the possibilities of this new situation was "Will this move make her any happier than she is now?" Here is Autum's opinion . . .

Autumn stayed where she wanted to be, much to my delight. Moose stayed too because his caretaker Jennifer and I agreed that he was not fully appreciated by his potential adopters. But recently Moose was ridden by the husband of a good friend who fell in LOVE with Moose. This very sweet man is now Moose's new owner. Autumn has spent almost a week in the general pasture without her devoted gelding. What has been her fate?

In a herd where the geldings outnumber the mares 3 - 1, there are many contenders for Autumn's affection. The handsome Jarvis is currently at the top of the list.

Lyra has been enjoying her almost complete retirement, well deserved at over 25 years old.
We are now in the hardest season to keep her at a decent weight, yet she is doing fine.

Some of my greatest moments are shared with my Red Horse. I am deeply touched at the way our partnership continues to deepen. Red makes himself heard on many levels. He continues to have distinct opinions about most things. In this photo he is saying "Why NO I do most certainly NOT want to leave this cozy barn until I can crunch down on more good things to eat."

In August I went on the Board of Directors of a small equine rescue in my town. Wanna guess why I haven't been able to blog so much lately? We have put together a fine team. With our last recruitment of volunteers, the disintegrated internal structure is rebuilt to the degree that we can once again respond to horses in need. This was the organization that told me they could not take Autumn last winter. I didn't want that to happen to other people trying to help a horse.

Angel (pictured here) has been "in" the rescue since 2004. While she has was in a couple of foster homes, she needs and deserves her own loving family. She is a lovely, sweet senior mare.

The rescue is preparing to take in a 15 year old mustang stallion, Charlie. It is amazing that he has remained a stallion since his capture many years ago in Nevada.
Not so amazing, definitley disturbing, has been the neglect and abuse he has suffered.

His sad, wise eyes tell the story of a courageous soul who in spite of his misuse by human beings still responds politely and kindly to human requests. We are making arrangements for Charlie, starting with a trip to the vet to bring his status as a stallion to an end.

At a recent clinic with Heather Snow-Flamer, I learned about finding the edge of my horse's "comfort zone" and then gradually increasing his exposure to pressure through the delightfully challenging trials that Heather had devised for us. If I had tried the umbrella a few years ago, I would be holding it on my way to the moon.

I love this expression on my Red Horse's face as he watches another horse go through the "tunnel of doom".
What do you think he is trying to tell me?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

After a long, exhausting weekend . . .

. . . there is nothing like a horsie smile . . .

Angel agrees and thinks . . .

. . . that there is nothing like a good scratch if you have just moved into a new pasture.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I've Been Learning About What it Takes to Run an Equine Rescue . . .

My learning curve is steep. In August I went on the board of directors of Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue, a small rescue in Eureka, California where I live. In the last few months I've been learning about . . .

. . . the intensely, heart-rending, exhausting, soul-ripping, rewarding job of rescuing neglected horses and nursing them back to health.

. . . the hours and hours and hours of fundraising to support the horses currently in the rescue and to make it possible to rescue more.

. . . the need to keep rehabbing horses engaged with humans, building or rebuilding their capacity to trust the very creatures who once betrayed them.
. . . the agonizing questions about how to manage resources and what to do with those dear horses that will never be sound.

. . . the moments when everyone is exhausted from one more rescue event, its time to go home, and that final horse just won't load.

. . . the grind of day-to-day operations, the endless cycle of feed & muck & feed & muck, and the need to staff morning and evenings feedings in each facility of the rescue.

. . . the need to maintain facilities and keep donated resources in top shape.

. . . the need to recruit, orientate, train, schedule, coordinate, encourage, and appreciate the many, many wonderful volunteers that keep non-profit rescues going.

. . . the challenge of maintaining a strong internal structure, day-to-day operations, and an healthy, transparent organization with volunteer staff.

. . . the tears shed for those horses you couldn't help.

. . . the challenge of finding homes so you can welcome more horses in need into your care.

. . . the need to provide daily care, grooming, and exercise for all the horses in the rescue.

. . . the amazing, committed, caring, give-their-all-and-keep-on-giving people you will meet.

. . . the community that will support you and that you depend upon for the funding to continue to help the horses.

. . . the need to train horses that would otherwise not be adoptable, and the need to find quality trainers that are committed to the rescue.

. . . the knowledge that it takes a community to save a horse.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Sort of a belated Wordless Wednesday ;)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Where You Go, I Will Follow

Tomorrow a very nice sounding person is coming to look at Moose. He may go to live on a ranch in the rugged and beautiful coastal mountains just south of Ferndale.

This person is actually hoping to get two horses for herself and her husband. She wants to be sure the horses she buys will be good companions.

Moose already has a beloved companion - Autumn. Moose and Autumn could give workshops for couples wanting to learn move about loving devotion.

I love Autumn. If you know our story, you will recall that she asked me to save her when she was close to dying from starvation last January. Jennifer rescued Moose, I rescued Autumn. If I could, I would get Moose. He is an awesome horse. I don't have the resources to sustain four horses.

Tomorrow I am going to meet the woman who is interested in Moose. She is also interested in Autumn. I had no intention of parting with Autumn, ever. Yet how can I let these two sweet horses, horses with one of the strongest relationships I have ever known, be separated forever?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Red Waits for Me . . .

. . . almost every night. I got to Freshwater quite late tonight after a successful fundraiser for the rescue I volunteer with. Grabbed Red's halter, called to Lena (one of my dogs) and headed to the general pasture thinking I would have to walk the full 90 acres, looking for Red. Before I could even call for him, my Red Horse appeared at the gate. It didn't take much imagination to see that his "arms" were crossed and his toe a 'tappin. "WHERE have you been?"

He might be hungry, he might want his yummy crunchies . . . but when I hug him, scratch him, and listen to his big sigh, I like to think he was waiting just for me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Could Not Save Mr. Blue Eyes

There is only a small part of this story I can tell.
Like so many others, the welfare of the horse takes a second place
to legal threats and law enforcement apathy.
Mr. Blues Eyes was substituted for another horse, by "mistake".
Never mind that he has stunning blue eyes
and the other horse has brown eyes.

Mr. Blue Eyes endured a very long trailer ride and could barely walk,
barely stand on his long, neglected feet when he arrived on the coast
where I made his acquaintance. We promised him
he was safe and that his life would be better.

A few days later the actual horse that was supposed to be shipped was recovered.
The person who let Mr. Blue Eyes get in this sad, sad shape came to retrieve him.
Even though I made a neglect report, local law enforcement returned him to this person.

Mr. Blue Eyes, my heart breaks for you.
I am sorry beyond words.

Know that I wanted you.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In Between the Rising Full Moon and the Setting Sun . . .

. . . we found the perfect ride. Words won't do it justice so here are the pics.