The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
April 2011 Newsletter
Hello, everyone! I have some good news to report this time, along with other news.
First of all, we have to report the loss of Mr. Happy Grump. This very elderly character passed away on April 15, after a possible colic/casting in his stall. Dear Mr. Grump has been on borrowed time since he came here in 2007, and like Duke was happiest being part of his herd. So his interactions with people were few. But I consider Happy to be one of my success stories - an older and disabled horse who had those coveted few years of happiness and joy as a reward for his service, whatever it consisted of, to the human race. With his mischievous ways, he will be missed. Please read his story, and remember the old rascal..... gone now, but never forgotten.
Let’s all keep in mind that this is a sanctuary for older and disabled horses. So we have a high mortality rate for a rescue. Sometimes I’m privileged to have my equine friends with me for 15 or more years, like Inch, but losing a horse like Happy is no surprise. I have a ‘short list’ of horses that I watch all the time - the oldest, the frailest. And spring time, oddly, is often when I lose them. Its seemed to be over the years that these old horses are often quite tough - they’ve learned to tough out the pain and aches of old age or injuries. So a difficult winter will bring out the ‘fight’ in them, and when spring comes, and they feel they can relax a little, well, I lose them. Right now, please have a good thought for Mary and Debbie, Buck and Chacha and Queenie. These are the horses I work hardest to keep weight on, who are oldest, and most disabled by time and old injuries. And Mary especially has been fading before my eyes ever since we lost Inch, her best friend. I think she’s only still here because of her concern for Debbie.
Second, I’m thrilled to report that Happy’s part-sponsor has agreed to transfer her support to SARGE! As always, when a sponsor transfers their support on the loss of their sponsored horse, it’s not only good for the new horse they support, but a great big atta-girl for me! I always feel that means they approve of this work and my part in it. I know, they may not mean it that way, but that’s how I choose to take it! "-) And in addition to that, Song has two new part-sponsors, Norene G and Val C, which is long overdue for this sweet pony. I hope you will consider joining these ladies, consider picking one of the part or un-sponsored horses to support. Each of these horses deserves to have someone special of their own, in their corner!
Next, I am so happy to report that our boy, Laddie, is doing great in his new home with Neigh Savers, beginning his training and beloved of NS's staff! Here is a picture of him in his new turnout/pasture with his buddy. You'll see that Laddie's page is no longer on our website - we did our part and now it's Neigh Savers who will make the difference for Laddie by training him, and finding him that great forever home. Training is an expensive endeavor - if you feel like helping our boy more please visit www.neighsavers.org and donate - we can trust Karin and her staff to use your money wisely for the benefit of Laddie....
Now, with things being so difficult, the next subject may surprise you, but I felt we needed to help here, and TGC as a whole does get some benefit, as well as these new horses.
First, I was approached a while ago by a young woman, Cathy A., who asked me to take a 15 year old TB mare with a serious knee injury. Medina is an ex-polo mare, trained to death. She is not rideable with that knee. Cathy came to love this little mare while handwalking her after her injury, and wanted her to have a couple of years of safe retirement in return for her years of service as a polo mare and lesson horse for her previous owner’s children. So Cathy offered TGC a free ad on her very popular blog (which gets something like 35,000 visitors a month!). My heart went out to Medina - to be so crippled so young is a true tragedy. And the free publicity is very welcome, so here we have this young mare, and I hope we can give her some love and comfort before her likely-to-be-untimely end. Lucifer showed us how badly a knee can affect quality of life .... I’m hoping that Cathy’s ad will generate some interest that may bring Medina a sponsor -
Dr. Z is awaiting the x-rays and medical records of Medina’s knee, but the knee almost won’t bend at all, so the prognosis is poor. He also thinks her "good" knee has a chip in it as well as being stiff. Without more information about when this injury occurred etc., he’s pretty pessimistic. He admits her teeth are in good shape and she should be able to hold weight for a long time so... I guess we’ll see. She’s so easy to handle, so well trained, and so lovely, it breaks my heart to see this.
ALLIE and COMET
Now, I don’t normally take local horses. Chacha was one; Dion was another, and both times the prior owners who wanted TGC’s help were pretty nasty once they got it. I don’t regret taking either one, but I’ve always kept my head down in Anza itself. However, I was contacted by a local whose story was compelling, and who frankly could more easily have taken the route of sending Allie and Comet to auction and a certain ride to slaughter.
Fred P’s girlfriend of many many years had these two mares. She’d taken Allie on the Appaloosa racing circuit, and then ridden her for years. At some point she bred Allie and produced Comet, who also shows some good training, although a completely different personality from her mom. But the woman began to decline, and in her last years could hardly come out of her house. Fred paid for feed, and either fed or paid someone to keep the mares fed and watered, but they stood without other attention for a very long time, before their owner finally passed away.
Now, Fred could have called Animal Services, or just sent the mares to the nearest auction (they are not his horses), as their owner’s family came in and took her possessions, leaving the horses and dogs behind. But Fred contacted me. He asked me to take the girls, and when I agreed, made a nice cash contribution and gave me all the pipe corral which made their enclosure, including paying a couple of guys to help dismantle it and load it on my neighbor’s trailer. This was really important, because one end of the enclosure, where the roof was, was actually 2-3 feet deep in manure! Finally, Fred was willing to let me have all horse related tack, including 2 western saddles which I will probably try to sell, and equipment (water barrels, a wheel barrow and rake, etc.) Yes, I would have preferred to have a commitment for sponsorship for the rest of these mares’ lives, but considering they are not his responsibility, I think Fred did pretty well by these mares.
Comet is approximately 20, and like many white horses, has lots of melanomas under her tail and jaw which are not affecting her as yet. She also has a slight heart murmur. She was also quite lame on her left fore, but after Laurie Henkel visited and adjusted her neck and withers, she is walking better. Dr. Z finds a lot of arthritis in her knees. Comet is much more assertive and independent than Allie. She’s not rough with her mom, but I’m sure she was getting the bulk of the feed in the pen they shared before. Hopefully, now that they have separate stalls at night, Allie can gain some weight....
Allie is approximately 25 and sound, but thin, and blind in her right eye. Dr. Z says that blindness is caused by trauma, not cataracts. He also says she has a pretty severe heart murmur. There’s nothing to be done for that, and often horses go on a long time with murmurs. She is a sweet kind mare, very like our Peanut, but due to her blindness and the fact that they’ve been together for 20 years, extremely attached to Comet, her daughter. Between their ages, and disabilities, I think it a certainty that these two mares would have been slaughter-bound at this time - and I cringe to think of the terror Allie in particular would felt, partially blind, walking down that fatal chute..... I’m grateful that Fred did the right thing, and I hope you agree that they are worthy of our help.
Here's the pipe corrals being assembled with neighbor Mike's help, for Allie and Comet to live in. We've got roof panels too, but will need to make enclosed areas.
Below, Sarge is here guarding Comet and Allie - right off his nose is Pepe, lurking.....
Sarge and Pepe, who were best of friends, have had a falling out over the new ladies - Pepe really likes Comet as do all of the geldings, but the ladies wanted a more mature man and chose Sarge. Hilariously, Sarge tries to breed them and guards them all day long and yet at day’s end, hustles towards me with a ‘hunted’ look in his eye, begging me to get him into his stall for some much needed rest! And once he’s safely separated, he begins to call repeatedly to them, making dinner time pretty dang irritating until everyone finally settles to eat! Pepe tries to creep up to the girls after Sarge is separated, but I keep him away until I get them in their stalls, and then he circles around Comet’s stall - ogling her and refusing to go to his own stall without a battle. And once HE is in his stall, HE starts calling to Comet. Yeah, I can’t wait for this ‘sex’ stuff to ease off! Reminds me of when Remy came in almost a year ago.... Sheesh...
The last bit of good news is that I found an ad some time ago on Craigslist for another 6 ton feed bin. With a little help from another rescue and my neighbor, we were able to get it home and repaired and stood up. The bin was free, but after transport, repair and setting it up, I'm down $275. Now I just need $1400 to fill it! That ad was for a woman who was selling/giving away everything as she headed to a new job in China, and the other rescue took away a couple of truck and trailer loads of free stuff, and with help from me and my neighbor got even more things on the day they helped with their truck to load the feed bin on Mike’s trailer. So that rescue benefitted as well. Many thanks are due to Jennifer and her mom, Beth, for their generosity. And Best of Luck, Beth, in China!
Hay prices have SKYROCKETED! I was so surprised, as spring is often a great time to get large loads of good quality inexpensive feed. I guess these insane gas prices are taking their toll. It also means that my bulk feed deliveries cost more - both for the feed, and the delivery of same. A delivery that used to cost $1400 now costs $1600. Nothing to do but pay - because everyone has got to eat! (I’m betting you all have noticed the higher prices in the grocery store as well!) Any help you can give the horses in this regard will be so appreciated - I’m hoping you were all able to get some sort of tax return, and that you might consider sharing.... But I continue to feel that if all 4-500 people on my mailing list and FB page would consider sending in $10 a month at least, the feed situation could be covered, without a lot of pain for anyone... Of course, if you can send $50, or $100, or even more, I and the horses would truly be so grateful!
The fencing situation continues to be pretty bad. My neighbor has been replacing a couple of poles a week, along with me, so things are being addressed. But our first priority has to be feed. Once I’m able to fill the bins again, I’ll keep up my search for more labor to make fencing/stall repairs, as I have a fair amount of materials to work with.
The weather has finally begun to ease up and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage people to come visit. The horses are about half shed out, so a little more grooming should be all they need to start gleaming! And I have several horses I’d like to start working with, and getting ready to ride, like Silver, Song, Oso, Peanut, Brave and Hershey and others. Give me a call! We’d love to see our sponsors, patrons, and friends....YOU, in a word. I’d like you to see the horses you help - look in their eyes, work with them a little, enjoy them, for all you do. I know some of you can’t, but IF you can, please, consider a road trip to The Golden Carrot ..... For those of you who can’t make it, DeeAnn Bradley is working on another visit, to get current pics of everyone as well as the new horses, and I’ll be sending those off to sponsors and trying to get current pics on everyone’s page asap.
Thank you all for continuing to support this endeavor. The old horses who have done their best deserve a reward, some love and comfort for all their effort, and that’s what we provide. I think it’s what we all hope to get someday, when our working careers are over. And you know what they say - what goes around, comes around! So if we help these old guys get what they deserve, maybe we’ll get what we have worked for too, right? Please don’t forget to tell your friends, family and co-workers about TGC, and it’s sweet equine residents .... you never know who might consider a small monthly donation that could make all the difference here.
Here I'm walking Medina back to her stall after her 3 hour long trailer ride. The horses on the left actually LEFT THEIR DINNER to come out and watch her pass!