The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
The Golden Carrot
First, New Year started with a goofy run thru the dark, convinced the Donks were out. I woke from deep sleep believing that I heard Diablo bray to me, through my bedroom window which faces the arena, where the donkeys should NOT be! Scrambled into sweatpants and slippers, grabbed a flashlight and ran madly down the hill, hoping to catch them before they headed off down the road! Well, after several passes, and a final one to see if I could find them, the donkeys were right where you’d expect, where I fed them 6 hours earlier, wondering what I was doing. Apparently, my neighbor had ‘honked’ with a duck call in his front yard, and with the “fear of donk” instilled in me months ago, I ‘heard’ the wrong thing! Whew!
2013 in review:
It was a year of losses - dear friends who had been with me for, in some cases, decades. Victor, Spencer, Brave, Dion and Beau - a terrible year. I was sure I’d lose Buck (no), and Queenie, who even broke a neck vertebrae in a casting incident early in the year (no) but instead, lost dear friends I never expected to lose, and had to send on some who would have, with their great hearts, continued to struggle. I’m still aching ....
It was also a year of new friends. Corazon, Shelby, Cinnamon, Basky, Ashley, Mack, Jordan, and three donkeys (Latte, Diablo and Sancho) all came in, with their different stories and circumstances. I had to turn so many away though. So many need this sanctuary we provide, this safe haven.
And it was exciting - the year that thanks to Katja’s blog and new friends from back East, we were able to buy a tractor!! One that even I can handle!! Whoohoo!! And how about our Yahoo video?? http://music.yahoo.com/video/road-trip-anza-ca-170000193.html Dang, so many new friends from this, and new sponsors! I was so thrilled to have the horses before the public this way.
If you missed them, just go to News Archives on our website to look at all the newsletters from 2013 - a very good year overall for us.
Katja Tootle-Pizka, new Board member
I am proud to report that when asked, Katja was willing to act as a new Board Member for The Golden Carrot! Katja Tootle-Pizka is a young woman with a job and family in Inglewood CA (a good three hours one way from TGC), and yet has found time, again and again, to help this organization. She is a financial manager for a graphics design company. Just two of her contributions in 2013 were to attract, with her blog about TGC, donations sufficient for a tractor, and to set up an online store www.zazzle.com/thegoldencarrot to raise funds, and awareness, for our organization. Katja’s commitment to help horses is heartfelt and profound, and she steps up, whether helping to man a show-booth, spreading the word to all she knows, and aggressively soliciting donations for us; or shoveling poop and doing chores here at the ranch. And don’t forget that she’s a part sponsor for both Smokey and Shelby! Over the last year or so I’ve found her to be kind, hardworking, and creative in her ideas. Normally, she’s much cooler than I, but watch out if you are an animal abuser - get her dander up and you WILL be sorry! I love her passion, and her commitment, and am honored that she feels our work is worth her time and effort.
Our Zazzle store! www.zazzle.com/thegoldencarrot
And speaking of that, check out that Zazzle store. If you need a T-shirt, hat, mousepad, or any of a number of different items, and would like one with a picture of one of our horses on it, or our logo, just let us know and we’ll MAKE a special item just for you! So far, everyone has been very pleased with the quality of the items.
Equine Retirement done RIGHT
I was also contacted by Andrea Call of Traditional Equitation (http://traditionaleq.com/) a riding school here in the Southland. This organization has the right idea, as they want to work with a rescue to have a good retirement program for their lesson horses. We want to encourage this kind of thinking; and of course, these are precisely the horses we want to help. (Too many organizations, be they schools, or riding stables, or camp horse lessors, simply throw older and injured working equines to auction when they can no longer earn enough for their owners.)
And my usual Whine for Help!
What is holding me back? SPACE! LAND! You know I’m at capacity right now. Are you remembering to mention to people that we need LAND? I’m looking for that donation of land. We need LOTS of acreage - no upper limit! The more space we have, the more we can do. A tax deductible donation of land to The Golden Carrot will not only allow me to expand our sanctuary, but will also allow me to help other rescues. It often happens that a rescue takes a horse that they hope they can rehab, retrain and rehome, but it turns out that horse will need 6-12 months of layup before retraining and rehoming can take place. If TGC had the space, we would have an area dedicated to just those horses, where they could hang out and heal, leaving a stall at the other rescue open for another horse who doesn’t need the layup! And as you know, the list of horses needing sanctuary is long ....
For many years, I didn’t ask for anything except your support, in time, publicity and dollars. But now we need this particular request to find its way into every corner. Just yesterday evening, I found an injured horse. It was not life threatening, but required a vet’s attention. If I’d had a lighted barn, I’d have called to see if the vet could come right away and deal with it. But not much can happen in the dark. And our old stalls are on their last legs. Rather than try to find funding to tear them all down and rebuild them (which would cost A LOT), I’d rather set up new stalls, in a new location! Or apply for grants to get an actual barn! (I know our vet and farriers would LOVE that!) What do you think?
People don’t like to ask about things like this. I know rescues who have a hard time asking for donations. It hurts our pride to beg, right? But we are THEIR VOICE. We are speaking for these dear old horses, who deserve a few golden years. Can you help us? You are our supporters, just mention our “great horse sanctuary” to open that conversation. Mention our need for land and ask if anyone has ideas. I believe our place is out there, just waiting to hear about us. We need it.
Lastly, I want to mention I’ve been dealing, with Rick Freeman’s help, with some changes that Microsoft wanted us to do with the website. That’s why a lot of sponsors are not up yet, some links may not work, etc. Email me with any problems you encounter, would you? And it’s why it’s taken so long to get this newsletter out. (But, our donation links on the website and on FB work just fine! :-D) We’re working on it, so check in whenever you can. I also want to mention that photos I was hoping to receive weren’t quite what had been contracted for. So my hopes of being able to provide sponsors with some really great photos of their sponsorees will have to wait a while, till I can get DeeAnn Bradley (our official photographer) out again. I am trying to get the best pictures I can with my little point-and-shoot, and if you haven’t seen a pic of your sponsoree, or any horse you’re interested in, just shoot me an email and I’ll get on it! Remember: Winter photos are the best face shots, but often wooly and muddy; Summer photos give the best body shots with shiny coats, but with fly masks....
Thank you all for all of your support - every share of our posts and newsletters, every dollar sent, every referral and conversation where you bring up these horses and our mission are PRICELESS and so much appreciated. We are doing VERY GOOD WORK here. These horses are living a good retirement because of YOU!