The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
May 2009 Newsletter
I’m so glad to report that finally the weather is beginning to warm up here in Anza, California, but of course, it’s now TOO hot! "-) But a lot of old bones are appreciative, including mine, and new rescues have been possible.
New Rescue Efforts, and
2 New TGC residents
Although I’ve been resistant to bring in new residents at The Golden Carrot due to diminishing donations, the calls keep coming, and I did give in to the amazing personality and fragile physical situation of Swing’s Lew. As you may recall, the quarantine area set up at TGC benefits the efforts of Southern California Thoroughbred Rescue (www.sctbrescue.org) by allowing the traumatized thoroughbreds they save from the kill buyers at auction a haven, where they recover from recent injuries, possible illness, and the shocking realization that their lives have changed radically. After 30 days during which they don’t come down with any illness (such as strangles), and during which they rest and gain weight if necessary, SCTR takes them off to either rehabilitation facilities in, among other places, Moreno Valley, or off to retraining in Apple Valley. Both places are better placed for showing these adoptive hopefuls to prospective new homes as well. So, at a little over 45 days, sweet Belle and darling little Red leave The Golden Carrot on their way to new lives.
However, I had asked Caroline for the honor of providing a forever home for Swing’s Lew, an 18 year old grey TB. Lew had raced in California, earning $99,000 for his owners. He sustained a suspensory ligament injury, which his former owner helped him heal from, but he was no longer able to race, so he was given to a hunter/jumper stable as a lesson horse. After many years earning his keep and then some by helping youngsters learn the exciting sport of show jumping, he reinjured the suspensory, and the stable rewarded him by sending him to auction. SCTR was able to save him, bidding against the kill buyer and purchasing him for little over $100. Although with a long layup and care Lew might be able to carry a small rider again, and might enjoy another 4-5 years being some little girl’s darling, the reality would be that with the best of luck, in 4-5 years he would be looking for a home again when the child either outgrew his abilities, or he reinjured. I couldn’t bear that in his mid-20s, after all he’s done for people, he would be again at risk. I felt that with his racing and lesson miles, he could be considered older than his 18 years even now. I was thrilled when Caroline was willing to adopt Lew to The Golden Carrot, where I hope he will be happy in the herd, and giving occasional lessons/rides to youngsters who visit. So, Lew is available for sponsorship - give me a couple of days, and I’ll have a page up for Swing’s Lew, a royally bred and huge-hearted boy who will grace our fields for the rest of his days.
Now, with Belle and Red off on their new journeys, we moved the second set of rescues (Footloose Louie, Native Pretentious and Colorful Angel) taken in on April 12 to the second set of stalls we’ve set up, leaving four stalls open for a third set of rescues, saved again bidding only against the kill buyers on May 1, 2009. These four horses are all youngsters: Luis’s Especial, 5 year old gelding and winner of $183,000 to date; Apache, 2.5 year old gelding; Alternative Time (AT), 4 year old gelding; and Judy, a 2.5 year old filly. Judy will be going to the Red Bucket Rescue in Huntington Beach at the end of her quarantine period. The other three are SCTR rescues who will move onward as their physical condition dictates.
So, to date, The Golden Carrot has contributed to the rescue of 10 additional horses! Until Lew became a Golden Carrot rescue, none of these horses have cost TGC - the SCTR reimburses me for all of their expenses. I just have that many more stalls to clean, that many more horses to turn out and watch, and get out for the farrier. It’s work I gladly do, so that more can be saved. (Please go to www.sctbrescue.org to see pictures of the new rescues...)
In addition, I was contacted by a family about their 23 year old pony, Song, who’s arthritis and small size make her unable to meet the riding needs of their daughter. They’ve offered a ½ sponsorship to ensure her safe retirement, so how could I say no? Song is a "Welara" (which I believe is a cross between a Welsh Pony and an Arabian horse), and just plain tiny. She looks like a foal! She arrived after a long ride still full of beans, and scampered around the paddock while my old and much larger crew looked on with big eyes. Turns out that Star fell in love with this little one, and I had to do a lot of stall arranging in order to put them next to each other - until I did, every evening was full of their calls back and forth to each other! The family indicated that Song had been abused before they got her, and certainly she has an odd fist sized depression on her face just below her left eye.
She is, however, a huge carrot hound, and quite people friendly, thanks largely to her trainer, Melissa Weiser. Again, give me a couple of days to get her page up .... and I'll try to get a pic that shows the depression ...
The Girl Scout Visit
On April 26, 2009, some of you may recall I mentioned my Girl Scout troop was going to visit again, and boy did they! What an amazing day! I had a couple of tasks for the girls, including the dead bore of picking rocks out of my arena (sort of like prison labor, heh?), which tasks they completed successfully with a good will. We then had a BBQ, and the SCTR volunteers gave the girls a little educational talk about SCTR's mission statement (presenting other types of rescue for their information and consideration). And then the girls rode seven of the Golden Carrot residents (Jeeps, who bellowed the whole time for Queenie; Buck, Topper, Prophet, Falcon, Debbie and Peanut) in the big arena, with the assistance of several of my volunteers, including Lauren Dunn and her friend Matt, and a recent new friend, Jake’s mom Kathy. Go to http://goldencarrotrescue.com/April2009GirlScoutVisit.aspx to see some pictures of the day.
While this was a work day for the girls, and they were wonderful and willing in their efforts, clearning a ton of rocks from the arena, grooming their rides, grooming the other TGC horses in the paddock while feeding bags of carrots, and feeding everyone at day’s end, they got to understand a little more about different kinds of rescue, and also have some fun. It is my hope that the horses, and the SCTR girls, will help to inspire the next generation of horsewomen, to understand the commitment necessary to care for horses.
Please check out these links if you have a high speed internet connection, so enjoy videos of the events of the day, taken by John Chun, of SCTR, who is also one of Rocky’s sponsors:
SCTR Speaks at the Golden Carrot - Part 1
SCTR Speaks at the Golden Carrot - Part 2
Cascade Mtn at the Golden Carrot
Girl Scouts at the Golden Carrot
One of my helpers with the Girl Scouts was visiting for the first time. Kathy had recently lost her beloved horse, "Jake" at age 27, to founder, and was donating his gear for the benefit of the Golden Carrot horses. And so, I roped her into helping us - this lady really needs some horse therapy at this point. Kathy is a soft spoken woman of few words, with tired sad eyes, and my heart ached, knowing what she’s been through, and the loss that haunts her. I asked her for permission to tell the story of Kathy and "Jake’s Diner", and this is what she sent.
I found Jake in the "Horse Trader" magazine. I wasn't looking for a horse (I enjoyed looking at the pictures) but there he was. Beautiful, black and spirited.
Jake was always full of personality and affection, and he and I rode the hills of Woodcrest for years. He was a bombproof trail horse and, like me, enjoyed going out alone. In a group, he was fiercely competitive and insisted on being the "horse in front." He could do the jig for hours. I called it prancing - like a proud parade horse.
He was the alpha horse at the ranch, keeping others in line by biting and lunging with his ears pinned. But people told me when he heard my truck arrive, his demeanor would soften. He clearly was excited to see me. And I, to see him.
As he grew older, he never really slowed down. He would still break free from the lead line and gallop around the ranch "like a stallion." He enjoyed his roll in the sand arena every day. He loved having his face washed and would lower his head and nuzzle me in anticipation.
He was sturdy and stoic till the end, when his feet got the better of him. His feet became so tender with laminitis that he couldn't walk and could no longer fight for his position as alpha horse. He would never lie down to get off his painful feet but he made it clear to me that he didn't want to endure the pain any longer.
Euthanizing him was the hardest and the best thing I have ever done, and I miss him terribly. Even though there is a big hole in my heart, he made that space and I know he wants me to love another... just not right yet... and no new horse will ever displace my memories of my time with Jake.
This is the story I want for every horse - someone who loves them, right up to their final days. This is the behavior of a true horse person - stick with them, through thick and thin, and be strong enough to make the final decision when it needs to be made. Death comes to us all. But this was a kind and loving death - not a careless brush off to auction, a long trailer ride and the brutal horror of slaughter that so many face in bewilderment. I know Kathy’s pain, and I honor her for it. Kathy lives in Riverside and thus may not be able to visit TGC too often, but I’m determined to help her through this time, and find her the next horse who deserves a wonderful owner - and let the good lessons Jake taught her benefit another of his kind.
There are many ways we can help the horses, and I’m exploring as many as I can. I’m sure it’s no news to anyone that donations are very very low this year - we are all hurting. So far this year, a great deal of the good I’ve been able to do has been largely due to one amazing donor. But she is starting her own rescue and will be helping horses directly - may I ask you, my steadfast base of patrons, to look into your hearts and those woefully thin wallets, to see if you can help? Remember, I believe that $20-30 a month, just a dollar a day, from enough people, can make the difference. And if you’re still able to help others, it’s probably not the end of the world yet, right? "-) Please. The horses need you.
And let me take this moment to send a heartfelt thank you to all of my sponsors who have kept their promise to their sponsored horse despite all of these economic woes - I know it hasn’t been easy, but I promise, every penny received here at The Golden Carrot goes directly to feed, farrier and veterinarian expenses. I have never taken a penny for my personal use.