The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
May 2008 Newsletter
Normally, I try to make my newsletters about these horses, the ones we are concerned with, the purpose and meaning of the Golden Carrot. For once, with your indulgence, I would like to make this short newsletter about me. The risks I take, the decisions I have to make, the stress I work under. A lot of people think I’m depressing. They want me to find more FUN things to talk about. But sadly, the way people treat animals is often NOT fun at all. It’s heartbreaking, and dealing with the fallout from that treatment or neglect is draining and difficult work.
I’m constantly advised to do 3 things: 1. Advertise more. 2. Find a fundraiser. 3. Say no. The first always results in more horses to say no to, and seldom results in donations at all; the second is impossible; and unfortunately, the third I have way too many opportunities to exercise. I ask for advice always hoping for something more concrete, or specific. And I don’t ignore the above suggestions - I consider my website, for instance, with the Google ad, to be advertising; and I take suggestions such as the Pet Expo as opportunities to raise funds; and I say no to someone every day. It’s just that those particular pieces of advice are kind of a dead end.
I want to do 2 things here. 1. Provide a graceful comfortable life and retirement for horses who through no fault of their own, have become injured and/or unable to complete the tasks humanity puts to them. 2. Have people, whether children or adults, come here to learn about horses, how to care for them, how to ride them, hopefully so they’ll know what it takes to own a horse, and so if they ever get one, they’ll be able to enjoy and care for it their whole lives, not tossing it out when it "gets broken". (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve actually had owners tell me they had to get rid of their horse because it was broken. Unbelievable).
Outside of TGC, and related to horse-rescue in general, I want to work with other legitimate rescues to form a coalition for California, which will agree on some criteria, some needs, some objectives, with which we can approach our legislators. Just as California heard our demand to end slaughter, we need California to help us deal with the horses saved. I think we can get some help - maybe not millions, and no one who expects to make a living at this should apply. But some help with feed at least would make a world of difference to the conscientious rescuers here. Unfortunately, the rescuers like myself are struggling so hard to take proper care of our horses, and make a living to pay our own bills, that we don’t have time or the financial wherewithal to pursue these ideas.
For instance. Say I am gonna spearhead this. I HAVE to go to each rescue that may want to be part of this, inspect their facility, and have a good long talk with the principal, to understand what they need, what they do, and whether their ideas are in accord with the purpose of the coalition. That takes a lot of time that I don’t have; and gas money to go visit the facility that I don’t have. I think a lot of work can be done via internet and phone, but can we really present the front we need to without meeting each other? I gave thought to simply putting my thought, ideas, needs in writing, and going to Sacramento alone. How do I get the money to go there? Who watches my horses while I’m gone? How do I make a living while I’m gone? Even a long weekend is difficult for me to organize .... I would actually have to do it during business hours, of course. It’s just logistics I know. But for me, almost insurmountable....
But if you will forgive me, I wanted to send two photos, demonstrating some of the risks I take everyday, dealing with this many horses. Many of you may recall the snowstorm earlier this year that took its toll on me. Most of those bruises were on my backside, and back, and so I didn’t really look so bad. But attached is a photo taken Sunday May 25, after Inch knocked me down and tap danced on me for a minute.
I think Inch tried to get between another horse and Mitey Nice, who I was leading, and got kicked severely in her head, because she was bleeding copiously from her nose and mouth an hour later. But her response to that attack was to knock me down, and trying to still protect Mitey, she stood her ground, on me! The first picture is my right leg, about 1 hour after the incident. The second picture is my same leg, two days later. This is just the bruise I can get a camera on! I’m black and blue up and down my right side, my right arm and shoulder are painful but useable until I sit or lie still for ½ hour or so, at which time I have to spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to get some function back in the frozen limb. Mike has been willing to do the chores I can’t get done, but luckily for all of us, I’m healing. He just doesn’t care enough - for instance, last night Mitey went without her blanket - and the cold damp was very hard for her to bear. Why he didn’t put it on as every night before? Probably because he’s just not used to doing all this stuff, and can’t remember everything. I should have reminded him.
As to Inch, the hysterical cause of all this, SHE is fine. She bled wildly. As I sat shaking in my chair trying to bandage my leg, Mike came running in to tell me she’d had an aneurysm and was bleeding to death. I hobbled frantically to the stall-line to see ... Inch was standing calmly in her stall, nose and mouth covered with dripping blood, several big blotches of blood and serum around her stall, and as I watched, she blew another one and rolled her lip up at the smell. So I cleaned her up, checked her gums - capillary refill was fine; checked her heart and respiration rates, fine. No sweat. No trembling. Eyes clear. I asked Mike to blanket her in case of shock, and ... she’s FINE! No further sign of problems, including, amazingly, no sign of any kick or other trauma. Go figure.
This came OUT of the blue. I was walking beside Mitey Nice, at our usual ½ mile per hour rate, and never saw whatever it was that got Inch’s panties in a bunch. This is why I often will not allow visitors to go into the paddock to pet the more timid horses who won’t approach the fence. I do it often, and am aware of the dangers of herd dynamics, and I STILL got badly hurt. I knew enough to roll into a small ball on the ground and cover my head, but I know that I am very lucky that my leg is not broken, or worse.
I’ve made a lot of changes to the website, so please check it out. But I am nowhere NEAR done. I have several CDs of photos that I’m trying to weed through, picking out the best ones, renaming and resizing them and saving them to a folder - tedious work at best. Then I have to upload them to the website, and in agonizing slow speed, because I only have dialup, remove old photos, add links to the new photos, and publish each individual page. I’m talking HOURS AND HOURS of work left to do. I’m sorry to be so far behind, but I’ve had some work which I consider to be very important (bills to pay you know!).
Among many new photos coming are photos of the Golden Carrot booth at the Pet Expo in April, manned by Sue Friley and her daughter Stacey, grand kids Cooper and Tanner, and many of her friends, including Gail Childson and Sharla Sanders, both supporters of TGC. Let me take this moment to again thank each and every one of them for their patience and help to tell people about TGC! I hope to have new photos of many of the horses posted as well.
Sad news is this. I am very close to making a decision to help both Josh and Mitey Nice find their way over the Rainbow Bridge. Although each continues to lead their normal routines, I can see the struggle it is becoming for each of them. And poor Joshie looks sooo tired. Mitey is in her mid-30s; Josh in his late 20s. For their size, conformations and histories, these two have been a miracle of endurance. But it hurts me to see them continue to try. I’ve discussed this situation with several people, many who love each of these horses as I do, and who have seen them in person, first hand, recently. Some people have suggested I add dear Lucifer to the list as well. (I still harbor hope that I can get Laurie Henkel, and maybe Mike or my farrier Kevin Noble, to help me with a possible adjustment of his left knee).
Many things prevent me from jumping into this. First of course is the simple fact that I love these horses dearly. Mitey and Josh have both been with me for over a decade. They are both such GOOD horses - and like I’ve said before, the good horses get used HARD. Even thinking about trying to tell you of their many accomplishments and sweet ways makes me cry. In addition, each of these wonderful horses has a love! Dear Inch flutters over Mitey Nice every day - walking slowly with her out each morning when she could easily run out and eat her entire breakfast while Mitey cruises out. She stands within a horse length of her all day long and guards her as she sleeps on the ground, as though Mitey were her foal. And as my leg can attest, she won’t tolerate other horses crowding Mitey. And what will Shawnee do without her protector, Josh? When Domino died, she was distraught, but only for a day before Josh stepped up and has never flagged in his devotion to her. Despite his crippled body, he is a force to be reckoned with - no horse ever bothered Shawnee while Josh was by her side. Finally, I have to consider the simple financial cost of such a move. The money I will have to spend to dispose of their remains will exceed $800. That buys a weeks feed for all these horses.
But I will be honest with you. Things have reached a point where I do not want to watch them struggle anymore. Painkillers barely take the edge off, and I see weakness in both of them that I don’t recall before. I think I have mentioned in the past that often horses will struggle through the misery of winter, only to give up and pass away in the spring. These two, I believe, will struggle on, until they go down and are unable get up, with all the fear and stress that goes with that. I do not feel I am being fair to them anymore - I am just avoiding a personal pain that cannot be avoided forever. If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would be happy to hear what you think. Do not be mad if I don’t follow your advice, whatever it might be. I will listen with respect. I want all the points of view I can get .... it is what I need to make a reasoned and fair decision. I have been doing some reading in this area, and of course I have a whole history of experience with it myself. But I value my patrons - not just for your financial support, but for your thoughts about this rescue effort, and the various problems that arise.
Finally, as usual, I like to keep you posted on donations status. I was lucky to get three larger than usual donations early in the year, which has kept feed flowing, and enabled me to get the horses’ farrier needs covered. In addition, I was able to purchase several new fly masks which were needed, and get wormers for the horses in April. Finally, I was able to restock my ‘booboo’ medicine cabinet. I’m not broke yet, but other than those three donations, and the sponsors for Falcon and Prophet, Inch, Bruhad, Lucifer, Topper, Sunny and Mitey, Dion, Anna, Josh, Navigator and Mary, I’ve only received $300-400 per month in donations.
Now you may be thinking that sponsors for 13 horses is pretty good - and don’t think I don’t agree! I LOVE my sponsors. But most of these folks are sponsors who have been providing support for their horse for years - and feed prices have doubled just in the last year! In addition, this year we lost the sponsors for Joyful and Ronan, one of Savannah’s sponsors and Jeeps’ sponsor has had to bow out at least temporarily.
And altogether, there are 29 horses at TGC right now. The other horses? Those horses are supported by general donations (that $300-400 a month) and me. See where I’m going with this? I NEED more sponsors or interest, folks! Can I ask again that you speak for these horses in your offices, at school, even at the local bar? One sponsor buys M&Ms at Costco, and sells them at her office for a markup that goes to TGC - you’d be surprised how much that adds up to each month! If every office did that, I might be looking at another $100 or so a month, right there.
Whether I send Josh and Mitey, or even Lucifer off in the next weeks, I have had many calls from people with horses who certainly meet the criteria here at TGC. A couple even have people kind enough to want to help provide some ongoing support. I have an open stall. I may have more. But with donations this low, and times so difficult for so many people, and summer approaching when I don’t have work, and donations are always dropped, what do I do? I don’t know of other rescues with room either. So, do these horses die? Do they take that trip to Mexico or Canada?
Remember ladies and gentlemen. In addition to all the stuff above, I work for a living too - and sometimes even trying to find work takes as much time as a job! Between my jobs or job hunting, cleaning and feeding and farrier and vet work with the horses, web site maintenance, miscellaneous projects, newsletters, the banking, scheduling feed pick up or deliveries, fence repairs and just plain paying attention, I am pretty busy. Can anyone tell me how to deal with the coalition ideas? The advertising? Trying to find homes for those few people who care where their horses end up, and don’t just hang up on me when I won’t immediately agree to show up with a trailer and take their horse off their hands? I know most of you are busy too. Particularly in these days of upheaval and change. But money helps all the problems. It’s the easy fix - even tiny amounts. Only 160 people sending $20 every month would enable me to feed these horses. That’s less than $1 per day. Can you help?
Don’t ever think I don’t appreciate each and every one of you, and each and every dollar you send. I see the happy horses, and listen to their satisfied breaths blowing in their feed bucket each night. You are doing good. And I love you for it -