The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
The Golden Carrot
August 2012 Newsletter
Ok, I hate to start with bad news, but holey moley. Feed prices are skyrocketing! DURING THE SUMMER!! When usually we can get good quality plentiful feed at the best prices of the year. We try to stock up as much as possible, because in winter, more feed is needed, its poorer in quality, and there’s less of it, making prices higher.
But in the last month bermuda grass hay went up $1.75/bale (That load above will last me until early October); and senior feed went up $2 per bag! (I feed 60 bales of hay every month, so that’s $105 more a month there; and about 75 bags of senior feed every month with this largely geriatric herd, making another $150 there). So monthly feed prices just went up an extra $255 every month. IN THE SUMMER! I can’t express how much we need your help, either in donations, any amount, as much as you can spare, or in spreading the word, trying to find us more supporters who might send us some money as well. I know many people on this list may say, hay, what’s $255 a month? Well, again, that’s summer prices. But even if it doesn’t continue this upward trend (and the droughts and economy, and number of farmers plowing their fields under at the instructions of their insurance companies say that it will), that’s an extra $3000+ every year - just to feed. We need feed folks. The MOST important expense here.
The economy has also affected farriers very adversely. Many people have moved from an every-two-month program to every 3 or even 4 months, which has really hurt farriers financially. My own has taken some really unusual jobs, that had me scared that he would just stop farrier work entirely. So I’ve been making calls, and finding out the reality. There’s not a lot of guys who even want to come here, despite the size of the account, and all of them charge between $15-25 more per trim, and $25-30 more per shoeing. In an effort to keep my farrier Juan interested and motivated, I’m paying him $5 more per trim, a minimum, I think. But this increases my farrier expense every year by a minimum of $1200.
Yikes. I only do the bare minimum here folks, as it is. Between the above, and the new medication costs for Sunny and Victor and maybe a couple of others, our expenses are actually going up - not holding and certainly not lowering. Please. Anything you can do will make a difference. Every penny goes directly to these vital expenses of feed, farrier and vet, directly benefitting these older and disabled horses. If you can’t donate, please please tell people of our mission and our plight. With enough supporters, we can do this good work.
Our latest rescue, Smokey ....
Smokey was abandoned by his former owners, who packed up and moved out of state, asking a local family to house him ‘temporarily’. And then simply said, we won't be coming back to get him, leaving everyone in the lurch. The family where he was left were not able to financially care for him, and felt he was "about 30, and may have Cushings" and they indicate owners who left him had been riding him. I hope he was in better condition when that was going on, as he is very very poor. Dr. Zadick estimates him at 200 pounds underweight; found his teeth in poor shape, and feels arthritis in his knee may explain his lameness in the left fore. His trip here took a lot out of him, and he’s struggling to find a friend in the herd. He’s seen the farrier, and the vet, and will get adjusted if Laurie finds anything out, but he needs time, and groceries, to find a better quality of life. The doctor wants to see if he can pick up weight now that his teeth are floated, and if not, we’ll reassess for Cushings.
He lives next to Surely, and approached her very sweetly. But she runs away from him (she goes to Buck though, and that makes me happy!). He then tried to join Montego, but has trouble finding his way to that area (their stalls are on opposite sides of the property). So then he’s attached himself to Dion and Peanut. Interestingly, Dion has been fairly friendly to him, and I’ve been seeing the two boys standing head to tail swishing flies, with Peanut a distance away. Evenings he calls goodbye to Peanut and Dion as he goes toward his stall, and then nickers sweetly hello to Surely. He has the lovely voice I heard from Josh and Duke .... and I think a will to live. Although he seems frail, it was encouraging to me to hear from Dr. Z that he’s more like 24 years of age, giving him a better chance at recovery.
See pictures and read his story at www.thegoldencarrot.org/Pages/Smokey.aspx Smokey was able to come to TGC thanks to FB friends. I asked for support for him, and SEVEN people stepped up to sponsor him! Thanks to Kathleen, Jan, Inge, Sarah, Dianna, Donna and Katja for committing to help Smokey .... hopefully this is a sign that his luck has turned.
As The Stable Turns
Dominic, our last rescue, still a nut for the ladies but attached to Anaba. While he sidles over to Star, or Medina, or just about any mare that will have him, at some point he’ll look up, and call, until he locates Anaba (who is fairly well over him now), and walk back and forth between them. And every night, he and Anaba come back to their stalls together. They’re like an old married couple now - and she tolerates his flings. Lucky lucky guy.... Meantime, when he needs a rest, he plays with geldings like Laddie here...
Sunny and Victor are showing great improvement on pergolide - I couldn’t be more thrilled and wonder why I didn’t ask the vet about this before. Although this was the worst hair-retention year ever for Sunny, I think I should have checked this out a year ago. She’s lost another TON of hair and is much more active; Victor is bright eyed and prick eared (he IS still pretty damaged in all joints) and keeping up with Sunny. I’m thinking to ask Dr. Z about putting Buck on this as well for while he’s shed out a lot, he has some hair still onboard and ... being so thin.... maybe ...
Jed and Gio doing well. They have FINALLY learned where to go at night for their dinner (they used to wait until every horse was put away in the main line, and fed both buckets, and then follow me like giant puppies back to their stalls. I’ve had to encourage them to "go to your house" - and it wrung my heart to think of every second of their lives having been so controlled, that they just waited, hungry, for someone to tell them what to do.... This is Jedi breakfasting with Laddie...
In worries about our uneven terrain and 12 hours a day of free turnout, I asked the doc what he thought about putting shoes on Gio. I didn’t want the healing and fusion of that joint damaged if shoeing would provide support. But he feels as long as we don’t trim so short as to make Gio sorefooted, that barefoot is better. Jed is blooming. He’s gained some weight. He and Gio are finding friends apart, but continue to be buds.
Biscuit has a tendency to abscess. He’s arthritic too, and swings between crotchety-ness and sweetness. He is Gio’s stablemate and lunges at the poor boy everytime Gio goes into his house for his dinner. But there are no hard feelings, in fact, I think Gio kinda likes him! When they’re let out in the morning, Gio and Jed are out first and eating at the first hay pile; when Biscuit comes out next, they stop and follow him into the arena. I can just hear him grumbling, "dang whippersnappers, gotta show them everything!"
As you may know, we lost Rocky. Read his Goodbye here. My dear baby boy simply ran out of a very limited supply of luck. My only consolation is that he is no longer in pain, which was his constant companion during his few years here. While my experimentation early in the year provided a brief period of relief, it didn’t actually solve his problems, just alleviated his symptoms a bit. Finally, he could no longer bear weight on that deformed left fore. My deep gratitude to John Chun who faithfully sponsored Rocky for his 3 years here, and who has graciously transferred his sponsorship to our dear Jedi. Thanks John!
Sara also underwent our experiment early in the year, with good results for a little longer than Rocky, but she too is degenerating again, walking slowly and in obvious discomfort, and spending too much time lying down. The doctor suggested, as a last ditch attempt, a rocker shoe (made by the same people who make our Equicasts) which has been used in cases of laminitis with a lot of success, and we’re hopefully going to put that on next weekend. Please keep your fingers crossed for Sara that this works, because otherwise she’s headed the same way Rocky went.
Supporter and friend Jan Heppert came to visit with her son Patrick, and after they did some chores (Stall cleaning, water barrel filling and small feed shed cleaning) for me, the three of us were able, in a very non-mechanic sort of way, to install the 6 batteries in the GEM, and get me some help (The EzGo, after getting a new seat and new gas tank, has crapped out again)! It was exciting and a little difficult - one battery MUST have originally been installed when the GEM was up on a hoist as it had to come in from below. But with Jan and Patrick pulling these 70 pounds from above, and me pushing from below, we got it in. Since the posts were a little different, we had to do some adjusting to get the cables attached, but we did it! I’ve been using it since - I’m so grateful! Mechanic? We don’t need no stinkin’ mechanic! (Well, ok, yes, we do. There’s still the EzGo....) They ended the day by giving Sarge and Cassidy a bath...
Kathy and Keith W came to visit, really they weren’t here for more than ½ hour as it was her father’s birthday, but she brought a HUGE stack of stuff. Some of it brand new! I couldn’t help but wonder what she’d do if she did get another horse .... forgetting the obvious .... get all new stuff, of course! Meantime, tack, medications, stable goods (buckets halters leadropes etc) all were donated to TGC. Thank you, Kathy and Keith, for your kindness to these sweet old horses.
I still have been unable to find anyone to do labor here at the ranch. And frankly, the last guys I hired did a really poor job on the new roofs for about 3 stalls - I’ve been struggling to keep the dang things up! (Spencer is a horse I should hire out as a demolition man - never EVER had a horse so hard on their stall as this boy!) I’m making repairs, resetting fence posts, tacking up cross-rails, doing all I can every day. But I’m just not good enough at it. If anyone has ANY ideas on where I can find a helper, I’d love to hear from you. Even one day a week? A hard worker who needs an extra $100 a week? We have all the tools - I just need the energy and strength ....
My efforts at applying for grants this year have not been very successful. Don’t be mad at me, I don’t think I’m the only rescue having that experience. Grantors only have so much money to work with, and the need out there is HUGE. Remember all the disasters taking place around our country - these all impact horses, and grants I believe are going to rebuild, and feed, and care for the disaster victims. And general donations continue to slide slowly down. Again .... I really do understand folks. That’s why I hope that we can get more supporters. 100 people all donating $10 a month is $1000. That’s half of the hay cost right there. Is that NOT possible? What if we had 1000 people donating $10 a month???? Ok, ok, maybe that’s crazy, let’s split the difference! How about 500 people (the number of our FB Group members!) All donating $10 a month!!!??!?!? Is that really more than we can do? Well, so far it seems so.
But let’s start encouraging our family, friends and co-workers to help, okay? It’s tax deductible! I mean, wouldn’t you rather give $120 a year to these sweet old horses, than pay that to Uncle Sam and have him give a few pennies back to you? Just something to think about.
You know we appreciate everything you can do, and I am not kidding when I ask you to share our group with everyone you can. If anyone is interested, I’ll get you a flyer in .pdf format (Or I can mail a supply to you) that maybe you can put up in your local grocery store? Or Feed store? The more people we can recruit, the more likely we’ll find more donors.
To Our Patrons:
Thank you all for your help - whatever that help is - and your good thoughts for these horses.
You make their lives possible.
You ARE their reward for a lifetime of service to humans - you’re the people who say to them - yes, you and the work you’ve done ARE appreciated, you are valuable in yourselves, you DO matter. We have respect for you and know that you deserve a life, even if you’re hurt, even if you’re old.
You folks reading this right now are the reason they’re happy and healthy.
And I thank you for that. As I know they would. Both the horses and I know that we are lucky to have you, our supporters, sponsors, donors.... the lifeblood of The Golden Carrot.