The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
November 21, 2007
A Lot of News, and a lot to be thankful for -
Savannah is our 30th horse. I didn’t intend to take anymore after Dion, but Sue Friley/TeresaOlivares/Jane Crase have stepped up to sponsor Savannah - thank you, Ladies! Savannah was represented to me as an 18-20 year old palomino mare - but frankly, it looks to me like she is more likely 9-10 years old. She’s clearly been bred more than once, but that’s no surprise - she’s pretty and a Palomino - breeders can’t resist them.
Savannah was owned for the past 8 years by an older woman in Phelan. The two were best buddies, but Savannah became injured, so they were no longer trail riding as they had done. One day, a friend of Savannah’s owner came by, worried that she hadn’t heard from her friend in a while, and found her dead. Savannah was hungry and thirsty, and my bet is she knew her owner had died. It appeared that it had been a couple of days since the woman had died. A local woman took Savannah home temporarily, but doesn’t have room for another horse, so ....
This is an unusual case. For one thing, normally, it’s the people who outlive their horses. For a horse this young to know her owner has died, and be grieving for her, is unusual. Savannah has a popped knee, and a bad hip injury. And after about 10 days here, she is still distant and off her feed. To my eye, she is grieving, and in a lot of pain from her hip. Laurie Henkel worked on her hip and we’re seeing a little improvement, she stands on it more, but whether through habit or a continued maladjustment, she still drags the foot a little, and stands with that leg cocked up more than normal. We’ll have to give her more time to see if more healing will occur. She still has that popped knee, which will disable her like Victor and Mary, but she may be useable for children’s rides if the hip recovers more. If not .... well, she’s in the right place.
Anyone who visits my site has seen month after month pass without a home being found for Star, living at Norco Animal Shelter. The Shelter even had an auction and placed many other animals, including two old wrecks they’d rescued only a month or so earlier, but not Star. Finally, I consulted Sandy and she found Darlene Cropper, a young woman in El Mirage, with two other rescued horses, a lot of animal experience and a big heart, who was willing to provide Star with a forever home.
Mike and I got up early one Saturday morning and trekked to Norco to pick Star up and take her to her new home. Frankly, I wasn’t impressed at the Norco facility - I’m sorry to say that despite apparently 10 or more employees, no one was of any help at all loading Star into the trailer - in fact, I was subjected to some aggravation by the convict-helpers as they jibed us for not getting Star in the trailer quickly. The supervisor finally showed up an hour after we arrived. I had asked for a butt-strap as Star was willing to walk right up to the door of the trailer, but then would back up a step or five. She wasn’t mean. She simply didn’t want to leave. With Mike working the lead rope to guide her in, and me pushing, I could get her close .... almost there ... but then either she backed again, or she’d just stop. All I needed was a butt strap. This would hold her in place while we coaxed a little more. She’d get both front legs at the back of the trailer, bring her hind legs up behind her ready to push up .... and then back and the dance began again. A butt strap would hold her in place so that when she was ready to move, the only way to go was forward. Although the supervisor did, in fact, have a butt strap with her, she wanted to use her whip instead. Well, the rodeo took another hour and poor Star was frantic. She reared repeatedly, but was in much too soft a condition to keep it up - finally, she reared, stumbled and fell hard, twisting to the right and slamming to the ground. She was so stunned and frightened that although she scrambled to her feet, she was shaking. We took this chance and pushed her quickly back to the trailer, and she stumbled in, stopping with one hind foot braced on the outside ground, and her inner hind leg cocked inside .... too weak to push up with the inside leg and lift her last leg in. We pretty much picked up her back leg and butt and tucked her in. Poor baby. This is NOT the way I like to do this. I’d rather have spent that extra hour getting her to step in on her own, and would have, but felt it was being made clear to me that it would be done this way, or with no help at all. Next time, I won’t forget my own butt-strap!
Poor exhausted Star rode quietly the next hour to her new home, and rolled as soon as we let her loose in her newly built pen and stall. She sniffed noses with her new roommates, and began to munch on some grass. Darlene has indicated a willingness to work with her for a couple of weeks at least on the ground before riding her, but like every young person in the world, couldn’t resist "sitting on her" after she’d been there only a few days. Sheesh. Star stood quietly for it, and that’s a relief for an off-track mare! This was a very kind sweet mare - she never struck or reacted meanly as we tried to take her from a home she was happy in. She just passively resisted. Now, she and Darlene are taking walks each day; and Star is getting along well with her two horse buddies, and I hope to have pictures to post of her in her new home soon.
Last week we were happy to see Nicole Ardis and her dad, Steve, again. They said HI to Anna, and then the work began. They showed up in a HUGE truck, filled with 35 bags (100+ pounds apiece) of shavings; 12 bales of orchard grass hay, and 12 bags of Purina Senior Feed. And on top of that largess, a check! ALL of the horses have a nice thick bed of shavings in their house now, very welcome with the cold night temperatures we’ve been having. My biggest problem? The faces I’ll see when I switch back from orchard grass for breakfast, to bermuda grass!!! Well, a little holiday treat is certainly not a bad thing. Nicole is also thinking about coming in early December for a little riding - that’ll be MY holiday treat! These folks, remember, are helping TGC as they helped Tango and Anna - just because it’s a good thing to do. Tango and Anna were not their horses - just horses in need that they stepped up for. I so cherish people who will step outside their own situation and help others - there are fewer of them than there should be. I am very thankful that they found TGC - we’ve been much better off for knowing them!
Another person TGC is thankful for is Laurie Henkel. Laurie is a single mother of two kids, a full time 8th grade schoolteacher, and a horseperson of vast and impressive education and experience. I first responded to an ad she placed when she began doing equine chiropractic, and I’m so thankful that I called her. She has been a great help to many horses here, Jet, Shawnee, Shine, Happy, Savannah, Dion, and Josh. With Dion and Savannah both obviously suffering from hip mis-adjustments, I got on the phone and Laurie was on the way. She was really able to make a difference in Dion - his neck was also way out of adjustment, and although she didn’t feel the joint move, you could see a huge difference in his hind leg strides. Savannah was much harder - she’s so disengaged, going through the motions, wanting to be left alone. But by the time Laurie was done, Savannah was looking straight at her and working with her - she was aware Laurie was trying to help her. Her hip seems a little better, but will certainly require at least one more adjustment. Laurie seldom charges me much more than her gas money (she comes from Montclair). I’m very thankful for this wonderful woman - she’s made a huge difference in the lives of many of these older horses.
Just this last week, Jill Phillips, sponsor of Daphmar, wrote asking if she and her boyfriend Eric could come visit. They arrived on a beautiful Sunday morning, and we took out Topper, Daphmar, and Ronan first. We saddled Daph and Topper, and put a bareback pad on Ronan (just to go through the motions), and lunged all three. We listened to Chacha (the fourth member of this subherd) screaming in the main paddock, while the horses ran and trotted around and around, even after we stopped asking them to. Finally, we got them stopped, and Jill began riding! (Please see the website in a day or two to see some great photos of this). First, she rode her boy, Daphmar, and what a pretty picture that was. Even with his still swollen leg (from the snake bite some months ago), Daph ran soundly and happily with Jill aboard, with Ronan trotting behind like their puppy! Then, asking him to carry a rider for the first time, we put Daph’s saddle on Ronan, and Jill mounted up. With Ronan’s history and progress so far, we didn’t put a bit on him - just a little lead line work, with Jill sitting quiet and balanced so this young horse could remember how to handle a rider. Mike leading, Eric and I spotting, Jill and Ronan walked quietly around the arena for 10 minutes or so, with no problems at all! We let the boys go, and brought in Topper, and Eric mounted up. Topper is very happy in retirement, so wasn’t happy at first, but when she realized we were just doing a little work, settled down and walked around the round pen long enough for Eric to get the feel of a proper position. Although I had a saddle on her, I wouldn’t let Eric use the stirrups, so he could be better balanced, and the better balanced he was, the happier Topper was! We then took the three sweaty horses up, fed them bunches of carrots while untacking, and let them run and roll. We then brought out Prophet and Joyful - and once Jill had gotten acquainted with Joyful for a little bit in the round pen, Prophet and Mike escorted the girls into the arena for a little more work. Jill commented on how powerful Joyful felt - not surprising in a horse only 15 years old and sound. Again, photos will be posted very soon on the website - please check it out. A very nice looking couple - Jill is no burden to her horses!
Although I was exhausted by this time, I did ask Jill and Eric if they could give me one more hour, and a little help, putting Nicole’s shavings in the stalls. Mike and I had put 11 bags in the stalls, but it’d taken a week to get that done. In just one hour, with Mike operating the tractor; me operating the gate and moving feed, and Eric and Jill working together, all of the 19 other stalls got their shavings! How can I not be thankful for sponsors and volunteers like this? Although Jill only donates $50 a month, that doesn’t quite feed this crazy big TB, she is steadfast in not only that monthly donation, but in making sure Daph is OK. She visits; she and her mom helped me build Tango and Anna’s doublewide stall; she and her mom both came when we feared for Daph’s life when he was snake bit, and she and her friend brought out a huge group of 3rd graders in April to play with the horses, after having donated as a class. This kind of interest and participation makes all the difference to me - knowing that the younger people in the world are this dedicated to the well-being of horses gives me hope that the future isn’t as bleak as it sometimes seems. I am grateful to know Jill and her friends and family.
Along with all that mentioned above, I offer thanks from me, and I know from each of these horses, to:
All of our sponsors, some of whom have had a hard time this year keeping up, but who keep trying - these staunch supporters are my lifeline, the money I can depend on each month. Their willingness to step up, each and every month, sometimes dipping deep to come up with that sponsorship fee, gives me encouragement to keep going;
All the patrons who have stepped up for Dion, and Savannah, and those who just keep helping when they can, including new helpers like Halley Dutch, a young lady who gave up her birthday presents this year in favor of having friends and relatives give to TGC instead!
Sue Friley and her family for not only sponsoring Josh, and adopting Sierra, but sitting at a booth on Earth Day, selling M&Ms, and working on creative projects aimed at rewarding other sponsors and maybe generating some income such as T-shirts, coffee cups and CDs of Golden Carrot horses (hopefully available soon);
Other rescuers, such as Sandy Lintelman, and Courtney Hobson of UAWR, and Shirley Puga and NorCalEquineRescue, who work to rescue horses who are still slaughterbound, and find good homes for them and others being abandoned.
New horse owners, who have taken abandoned horses into their hearts, Anjeannette Martin - Stormy; Sue and Larry Friley - Sierra; Darlene Cropper - Star; Sandy Lintelman - Aries and Sugar. In addition, Sandy will be taking the gelding rescued from the feedlot; and Dee will be taking the mare, if we ever get them down from Northern California. These wonderful people have made a lifetime commitment to their new equine friends and I know the rewards in store for them as a result.
All of you who spread the word of the needs of TGC and give when you can; and
Lastly, but not at all least, those of you who have lent an understanding ear to my distress this year, this record year of abandoned horses. In addition to the usual distress I feel day to day trying to provide for these horses, this year has been dreadful in the overwhelming number of calls and emails I’m getting from people wanting to dump their horses. The number of dumpers far exceeds the number of good homes available. And every horse I reject is likely to end up at auction, and then bought for the slaughter trucks which still travel to Mexico and Canada with one gorgeous healthy horse after another. While Shirley and others work to buy those horses from the slaughter buyers, I can’t help but think that money is better used supporting those same horses at my facility or others, giving us time to find them homes!
Someday, soon I hope, I will get that big donation of money or land that will enable me to set up a Golden Carrot facility where (1) the Golden Carrot horses can live out their lives; and (2) I will have a section set aside to take healthy horses who just need some time to find a home; and (3) a small boarding or layup facility which will hopefully earn enough money to pay for a full time guy to do cleaning and feeding while I work at finding homes for the abandoned and ‘unwanted’ horses. Keep this need in mind, will ya? I’ve got to believe that the donation and/or land is out there - and the more people who know we need it, the more likely we are to get it. Again - if it’s a land donation, it will be donated to, and belong to, the horses, NOT me. With any luck at all, that’s what we’ll have to be thankful for next year ..... fingers crossed.
Please don’t forget the Golden Carrot horses - like all horse people we’re suffering with rising feed prices (why is it prices keep going up, but not paychecks???). I’m grateful this last year for my attorneys in Utah who have been fairly steadily sending me work. Just had a three week hiatus tho, and so am behind paying my own bills. Feeding TGC horses costs me about $2,000 per month and after a painfully poor summer of less than a third of the usual donations, I’m struggling. Please keep us in mind - and remember, I can’t say it enough - EVERYTHING helps. Enough people sending $10 can be a huge help - just think, 100 people doing that will feed all the horses for two weeks. Can we really say that $10 is more than we have? This is the season of giving. And you’ll never find anyone more grateful for what you give, than a happy horse munching at his feed bucket!
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family to all of you - and I should be home for that whole 4 day holiday if anyone wants to visit!!
Casey and the Golden Carrot Horses!