The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
September 2010 Newsletter
The Golden Carrot
I’d like to start by again thanking the GVGs, Berger Foundation, ASPCA and private donations that helped get my Ranch Utility Vehicle, "Lou", and three bulk feed bins. OMG I am SO loving this equipment!!! I had a shock a couple of Sundays ago when Lou wouldn’t start (had to get a new battery) - what would I do???!!! My neighbor helped me get it started with a spare car battery he had, but I realized I’ve become a lazy blob - unable to work without my Lou!
I haul feed in it every day (2 hay bales for breakfast, bins of pelleted feed etc.) and just being able to sit and ride instead of trudging back and forth is such a luxury! THANK YOU!
And the feed bins! Wow! I’m still learning how to judge what’s in them (I really hate climbing up on them to look in the top - the big one is 15 feet high!) but I love not having to haul 80 pound bags of feed around. And the bins are actually pretty easy to work, with much more control of feed flow than I expected.
And again, I’m saving probably $400 a month between the cost of the feed in bulk, and not having to go get it, and no feed lost to rodents! These were wonderful gifts that help the horses, and ME, so much.
Now, you may recall that the Memorial Day yardsale was such a success that Shela insisted she wanted to do one on Labor Day. Unfortunately, due to low donations of items to sell, and the heat bringing it to a close early, this sale wasn’t nearly as successful. We did get $725 in sales, and that’s terrific. In addition, several people who helped at the yardsale took the time to sell items elsewhere, and raised another $150 or so. And I’m trying (so far without success) to sell other items on Craigslist. I want to thank all the people who helped, either by donating items, selling (Andrea, Linda, Sue, Shela, David), or closing up the sale and taking remaining items to the HELP Center in Idllywild (Mike, Lisa, Julia). Yardsales are hard to set up and take down, and boring to work. The horses and I appreciate all your efforts!
The one day that Julia and Lisa helped close up the yard sale was just the end of their efforts that day - despite the horrific heat, they insisting on helping at the ranch too, and so I had them doing some painting on and organizing around the feed bins. That green feed bin was their work - Thanks girls!
My neighbor Mike found another source for a shade tarp - finally! We got it up and you can see the horses are enjoying it! That cost me $175 - if anyone wants to donate towards another one, we could use it and they still have a few left!
Duke got his feet trimmed again the other day - and he went down very quickly. Now, partly, that’s because we did it right this time - roping his hind (good) legs. But, I’m a little worried about how easy it went. And after we were done, he laid for a while, getting some rest. So I’ve added a morning bucket for him. Although he was good at coming right out in the morning and munching on the hay, I’m thinking he wasn’t getting enough nutrition from the Bermuda Hay, so he’s getting a senior feed/bermuda blend pellet bucket each morning. He’s doing well with it but I sure have to get going in the mornings - one morning I was a little later getting there to clean and he just bulled down his gate and came out of his stall after he was done with the bucket! He still has all the spirit in the world - bad leg, advanced age or not. Duke wants to be here with his herd.
And Chacha has developed an infection in her left eye. DANG it. These appys with their sensitive eyes. It’s not responding as I'd like to antibiotics - it’s not real inflamed but a film has developed over half of her eye. So far, it doesn’t seem to be bothering her. You'll see in the pic that it's retreating a little. But this frail old lady has been on my ‘must watch’ list for a while ....is this a sign of deterioration? I’ll keep you posted.
A little better news is, finally, Pepe, Keller and Oso seem to be bonding! For so long, I would come down to the South Stream area to find Oso standing alone, at one end of the arena near his stall, and everyone else at the other end, or in the turn out, or anywhere but nearby. For the last several days, I find the three boys all in close proximity - and Anaba and Pic sometimes close to each other, or one of the geldings, or alone. While Pepe’s devotion to Pic remains strong (he’ll run right over if any of the geldings approaches her), I think they’re all doing well just by themselves. I still use the new corridor to go back and forth, and sometimes I see evidence that they’ve been over by the hotwalker probably talking with the main herd, but I keep the gate closed and mostly they are their own little herd and happy with it. Between Pic’s tiny fragility, and Oso’s nervousness around larger herds, I think we’ll just let them stay there ....
Featured Horse - Jeepers!
Jeepers is a 19 year old Pinto Pony gelding - isn’t he handsome? He’s got slight founder issues in his left fore, but gets around very well and is still rideable (although with his size and sore foot, I allow only smaller riders here). He’s devoted to Queenie, and protective of her although not at all aggressive in nature.
I don’t know much about Jeepers - he came to me from another rescue (Under the Angel’s Wings) when their funding was drying up. He came in fat and sassy - and all Courtney could tell me was that the former owner was .... uh.... demanding. We rescues love it when a person dumps their horse on us, no support, and makes demands about how we’ll care for it....
At any rate, my experience with him is that he’s a real nice guy. Withthat sore foot, he needs occasional bute and as a pony, he’s on a special low-cal diet, because it’s easy easy easy to put weight on him. And low-cal sounds nice, but it’s a pain - they still need the nutrition - you can’t keep yourself healthy on just white bread, right? So I’ve found with Jeeps that chia is an invaluable aid - making him less hungry, and providing lots of Omega 3s and 6s, protein and fiber. I highly recommend it to anyone with a super easy-keeper...
Jeepers is just $100 a month to sponsor. And I’m always happy to have part-sponsors too! Anyone want to step up for this nice fellow?
Well, folks, I got a great big NOTHING when I asked about any interest in a work day here at the ranch. I wouldn’t ask, I promise, but finding anyone to do the work up here in Anza is just not possible. And there are a lot of small repairs, two more feed bins to paint, and a few bigger repairs to be made. I got my neighbor to help me put up some windbreaks to complete Oso’s stall. I am hammering up cross rails that get knocked down every day. I’m loading up dirt and moving it into stalls when I can. But there’s 37 of them against just little ole me - HELP! OK, I really get it if you don’t want to come help. It’s a long drive, hard work, dirt, etc. But how about some donations? With more money, I can pay someone to help me - or maybe just pay me? (Naw, I'm just not someone I'd hire to do these type repairs!) And that brings me to....
O yeah, the usual pleeeassseeee donate. Right? Summer time, as my long time donors know, is always horrid for me. I don’t get much in donations (thank you, Shela and helpers for those yardsales!), and usually I have little work, leaving little for me to work with when donations are low. This summer was the worst ever, as I haven’t had work since June. All my savings are gone, and every application is met with - ‘sorry, the job was taken’, or ‘we’ll get back to you.’ So right now, although the feed bins just got filled (making that part ok for about 6-8 weeks), I will be needing hay soon, and senior feed in another 10 days. If donations don't come in, I don’t have a penny to cover these costs personally. I have never had to say this - ever. I’ve been consistently employed since I was 16 years old (and I’m approaching 55 now). (And please, if anyone knows of any employment opportunities, please let me know? I'm a legal secretary by trade, and a quick study, and will work cheap!) So your help for the horses is more important than ever! Please, don’t forget them!
The Golden Carrot horses are healthy, and happy - so far. I work hard to keep them that way. But because they’re not in danger of stepping on a slaughter truck today doesn’t mean they can’t come to that. Without support, I would have to close TGCs doors, as so many rescues have done in the last 18 months. And at their ages, chances of a new home are almost non-existent. Although I totally understand the need to reach into your wallet for the horses about to step on the truck, or the horribly starved and abused horses from one wretched situation or another (and don’t mean to take a penny away from them) still I want to urge everyone to remember - once they’re saved, once they’re rehabilitated, they will still need a couple of square meals a day and a place to live. Rescues place all that they can, but they’re reporting record numbers of returns. And a facility like TGC, that takes those too old and too damaged to place, and doesn’t get money back through adoption fees, really suffers.
Breeding of course needs to stop, at least a moratorium for a year or so. It should also be regulated. Laws against abuse and hoarding need to be enforced. Education is important - how many people think a horse is "too old" or "lame" even when all it needs is a little layup. And they need education in how to ride and care for their horse to avoid laming it! All of these things could help reduce the number of horses going to die. All responsible horsemanship, should be required.
But. We need to stop finding reasons to kill horses, even if for a while it means a lot of money and effort to care for the horses who are here already, through no fault of their own. A horse can eat for far less than it costs to feed a human being. They aren't too concerned with the weather if they're properly fed. They are NOT demanding - and they did NOT cause the economy's collapse. Just like children, they are innocent. It is our obligation to care for them. And them being "just horses" or "animals" doesn't matter. Either life is sacred, or it's not.
Again, I urge people to think about ways to influence the state, County or City they live in to set up sanctuaries - where people can turn in their horses. Where those horses can be cared for until they are trained, rehabilitated, and rehomed. An ALTERNATIVE to auctions, where kill buyers send them to a horrible fate. If we are successful in stopping the slaughter, we need a place to keep the horses who are now going to auction and death. Most rescues would do more if they had room - horses aren’t dogs and cats that you can have in the house, or the back yard. They need more space to live and space to train them. And I know for a fact that California has about a zillion acres unused, lying fallow, that could be used to provide this service to its citizens. And please, if you know someone who has 40 acres or so they want to jettison in these difficult times, be sure to mention TGC. Perhaps donating that land for a tax break is something they'd consider?
Let’s not make a choice of death be the only choices horses have.
Like children, they are vulnerable, and innocent.
They do not cause the problem, they should not pay the price.
We made them, let’s take care of them.
And in all the drama of rescue, let’s not forget these old guys, and the other healthy horses in rescues all over the nation - let’s help them live until their forever home can be found or their natural time to die arrives.
If not The Golden Carrot, please donate to a rescue -
lives depend on it!