The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
GOLDEN CARROT NEWSLETTER
* Laurie Henkel has visited
* Our First Handicapped rider - Madie
* New Horses: Debbie and
* California Protection Rescues (Please see website, click on Rescue Horses link, to see pictures of these horses).
Beau; Belle; Lucifer; One-Eyed Jack
* Construction of hotwalker pen and paddock
LAURIE HENKEL - EQUINE CHIROPRACTOR
Laurie is a horsewoman for the last 19 years, a trainer and breeder of Arabian horses, who has a BS in Pre-Vet Medicine and Equine Industry. She was certified to do equine and small animal adjustments in 1996, interned with her instructor for two years, and has been adjusting on her own for the past five years.
The web site at http://www.thegoldencarrot.org has photographs of Laurie working on Hava and Jet. She is kind and thorough, and has taught me many of the techniques to work on Jet’s leg flexibility. After her first treatment, Jet was laying down, and getting himself up (although still with some difficulty) every week. We had her adjust him again, and will probably have her work on him each time she visits, and so far (knock wood) he has benefitted. (I will also give some credit for this improvement to NaturVet’s fine products, SOD & Boswellia (an anti-inflammatory) and Arthri-Soothe. Jet is difficult to medicate, but he eats these natural alternative medications happily and seems to be doing well on them.) Hava had also suffered a hip strain injury which wasn’t responding to anti-inflammatories and massage by me, so Laurie worked with her. The first attempt wasn’t as successful as we hoped due to Hava’s guarding the area, but the second time, she walked off sound and has shown herself to be fine since. Laurie also worked on Josh, and PC, among others. Check out the website for contact information. Laurie gives TGC a reduction of her usual rate - and we thank her very much for her efforts and her kindness in finding time for these older injured horses.
OUR FIRST HANDICAPPED RIDER - MADIE CLINE
Sarah Neubecker, the NARHA certified instructor from Hemet who had approached TGC for a chance to maintain her own riding skills, was impressed enough to speak to one of her former students, Madie Cline, who suffers from MS. Madie is an amazing lady - so brave in her willingness to clamber on anything with four legs despite her weakness. She wanted horses who would move out without lots and lots of leg pressure, because her leg strength is diminished. TGC horses are largely forward, and when she rode Sunny on her first visit, she admitted she was getting what she wanted! On her next visit, she rode Buck, with Mike Roth leading him, and Sarah Neubecker was riding Hava (to provide Hava with a structured physical therapy session for her hip injury after adjustment). See the website for some neat photos taken by PC’s sponsor of this very productive session. Madie was on a horse 3 hands taller than anything she’d ridden before, and had a great time.
Madie benefits from horseback riding because it increases circulation, promoting healing and thus slowing down the progression of her disease. Horses like those at TGC are often happy to take long walks, which is what she needs as well, and when the weather permits, we hope Madie will visit more often and get familiar enough with TGC horses to ride unassisted.
Mike Roth should get some credit also for not only leading Buck around for 30-40 minutes for Madie, providing her with a ‘safety blanket’, but also for building her a special mounting block complete with handrail, so that in large part, she could get on Buck by herself.
Last year when I went into the desert to get some hay, I met with John McCann. Mr. McCann and his family are going out of the agricultural business, and first sold me a large load of grass hay at $7 per bale (about $2 per bale cheaper that I’ve ever found it) and then actually gave me approximately $1000 worth of grass hay. In exchange, I took Debbie, their quarterhorse mare, approximately 20 years old, who had been in retirement on their ranch due, I think, to some severe injury to the left side of her body. Debbie is about 15 hands, and with some treatment by Laurie Henkel, I think will be a useful addition to TGC. She came with her own goat family, Arnold, Jamie Lee and Angie (see website for photos).
Most interesting of all about Debbie is how she has caught the attention of Orion. For all the years Ori has been with me, he has steadfastly stood by the side of first Andy, and then Falcon when Andy died. I was certain he was gay. He never expressed any interest at all in the mares, even when they went into season. But Orion is essentially a caretaker, and taking care of Andy had been his self-appointed job. Falcon is far too sturdy and independent - he would allow Ori to follow him around while he played bite-my-face with Navigator and Buck, but didn’t really care if Ori was there or not. When Debbie showed up, Ori’s need for someone to watch over was met. The two have been inseparable since about Deb’s 3rd day.
California Protection Rescues
Press-Enterprise readers may be familiar with the scandal of the California Protection horse rescue in Hemet. 70 plus horses were seized from this facility, starved, injured and neglected almost to death. The horses were housed with Doug Williams at Lavendar Hills Ranch in Nuevo for the last 14 months while legal proceedings against the former owners were in progress. About 2 months ago, there was an auction of these horses and at least 49 were placed in new homes. With some dying, and others being privately placed, most had found homes. On February 18, 2004 I received a call from Josh Sisler of Animal Services, asking if I might be willing to take some of the 6 horses left. Believe me, these horses need help - please see the website for pictures that will curl your hair.
I was able to place the two healthy horses with Alex and Mary, who have been in the market for a couple more horses for a while. These two are healthy and sound, but the appy/mustang mare is completely untrained; and the quarterhorse has some violent reaction to being saddled. I wasn’t sure if Alex and Mary wanted to take on training issues like this, but the two charmed their way into the hearts of both Alex, Mary and their friend Christy. This is a match made in heaven as it turns out - I hope to report in the future of happy family trail rides!
I took the four left - here’s what I know of each of them:
Beau - is at least 16.2 hands, deep red chestnut TB gelding. I don’t have the microchip information on his age yet. Beau did everything he could to be sure I’d bring him home, despite his badly damaged left foreleg. He was trembly legged, and Doug Williams advised that until shortly before I saw him, Beau was spending a lot of time lying down. Although he’s skinny, with his size he’s really not as bad as some of the others - I suspect he was injured in that group pen and began to lose weight after that, when he couldn’t compete as successfully for his food. Beau is a talker - he begins urging me to hurry up with the food as soon as he sees me. The first night that I brought him his final feed of the night, he was so thrilled at getting the unexpected third meal that he stopped, hay sticking out of his mouth, stretched his neck over the side of his stall and "hugged" me, briefly but definitely, before diving back into his feed bin.
Belle - is a 15.2 hand white ‘freckled’ TB mare (maybe Arab cross). (I hate the term "flea-bitten", preferring to call this ‘freckled’). She looks like a small PC, is quiet in her manner and easy to handle. She is thin, and has some scarring on her back legs, but I have a lot of hope for this little lady - her eye is bright and interested when I approach with feed, and she’s already letting me know she prefers alfalfa to grass hay. Belle is either timid, or more depressed than I realized at first, refusing to meet the other horses over her fence, instead clinging to the fence rail between herself and Beau. Although she had not been bonded to him at Lavender Hills, they are fast becoming best friends.
Jack - is a 16 hand, 15 year old TB gelding, chestnut in color. He’s very thin, with a long horsey face which sports a blind left eye. It looks as though he may have been kicked or suffered a severe infection, as that eye is sunken deeply in his face. He has no vision in it at all, as witnessed by all the bite marks on that side of his body showing that he never saw his attackers coming. He is also easy to handle and mostly interested in food, of any sort. He loaded into the trailer easily and stood chomping steadily while we struggled to get his friend and protector, Lucifer, loaded. Jack is remarkably unspooky for a one-eyed horse; but in part, it is his singled minded fixation on food that makes him seem calm. I believe a hurricane could occur, but as long as it didn’t blow his food away, he’d ignore it.
Luc - This is a pure white QH/Arab cross gelding, approximately 25 years of age, skin and bones but full of cussedness. His former name was "Sage" but he doesn’t answer to that name, either ignoring it or walking away. I’d already named him Lucifer - for the beautiful angel who was really a devil at heart, so Luc it is. Between his debilitated condition and his age, I may not be able to help this guy a lot but I will try. Could be his grumpiness has to do with pain - so I’ll try a few things to get him willing to lift his back feet, and be groomed and worked with from behind, and if I can get him less reactive, I’ll ask Laurie Henkel to see what she can do for him. He’s sweet to handle at the front end, with funny lip-flapping while thinking, and bright eyes and inquisitive ears. He fought being loaded despite the food he could see inside the trailer - standing outside the trailer, neck stretched out about 8 feet trying to reach it; then standing with his front legs in the trailer, but his hind legs still on the ground, while he ate. That turned out to be too uncomfortable, and I really think the only reason he got in the trailer was to get to that food. He cow-kicked me in the thigh when I stumbled and tried to brace myself on his hip, and bucked madly when the butt-strap was applied to encourage him in. This one might turn out to never be useful - but still, take a look at his picture. Could YOU walk away from him? (Note: after writing the above, I went out to check on him and Jack, and bring them an additional feed of grass. While there, I took a moment to brush them out - and this guy LOVED being brushed, and showed no interest in kicking me while I worked on his back end. Go figure)
These horses are the rejects. They aren’t perfect anymore, through no fault of their own, and so our disposable society wants to toss them out, turn their backs, and let these guys fade away. The woman who ‘rescued’ them did them no favor, as it turns out. She had them all in a herd, and as always happens, the older, the disabled, the timid suffered. They can’t compete for food and I have found from personal experience that you can never throw enough food into a herd. The dominant ones get fatter and fatter, and the timid get weaker and weaker. That’s mother nature’s way, but these are domesticated horses, many probably never having had to compete for their feed in their lives until now. We breed horses to be less aggressive and dominant - so they will be easier for us to handle and use. We then have an obligation, I believe, to protect them and provide for them.
These horses need your help. I need your help, to give them a second chance. I’ll have increased feed needs, not only due to the extra horses, but because of their extra needs. They have not had their feet trimmed in 14 months; haven’t been wormed or vaccinated; I’ll need to build two more stalls (at a cost of approximately $250 in materials per stall) and at the very least Lucifer needs the attention of Laurie Henkel. I’m making a plea to each and every one of you to donate what you can for the next year. Can you help? Every little bit helps - please think of the Golden Carrot when your tax refund comes in! How about going to the Winnies’ Cookie site and ordering a Pal’s Pail for TGC? It’s only $20 per month and will make an amazing difference for these horses. How about a sponsorship of one of these sweeties? Or a partial, or office sponsorship? My other faithful sponsors have made this rescue possible, but more is needed. Get in touch with me if you want to sponsor someone and I’ll let you know what the fee would be. I will be needing fly masks for them this summer; and for next winter, blankets as well.
CONSTRUCTION OF 2 NEW STALLS, AND HOT-WALKER PEN AND PADDOCK
From December Mike, Alex and I have been working on two additional stalls. One was intended for Navigator, whose toilet habits leave a huge pee puddle inside his stall. The website should have, under Construction in the Photo Album, some photos of Mike nailing roofpanels and DeeAnn Bradley’s son Isaac, and Nancy Bradshaw’s son Jason helping us to set poles and clear rocks out.
On President’s Day, Jason Bradshaw joined us again to help Alex and Mary and their 14-year old friend Kelli, and Mike and I, to build a containment pen around the hotwalker, and extend the fence line to create another paddock next to it. In four hours, Alex, Mary and Kelli dug 65 holes, Jason and I set the poles, and Mike used his beloved nail gun with Nancy’s help to put up cross rails on the hotwalker pen and about ½ of the paddock. Again under Construction in the Photo Album on the website http://www.thegoldencarrot.org, you can see us all sweating away.
Not a single person in these photos was paid in any way for the labor you see. We all acknowledge the need of these horses for some basics of life, and we put our blood, sweat and tears where our mouths are. Each adult in these photos has also contributed money when they can - will you?
Taking on these rescues means even more work for me, as well as worry. Lucifer in particular reminds me strongly of Phoenix, and the heart break of losing Phoenix after over 4 months of effort and progress is still alive. But if you could look into their bright faces when I approach with feed, hear their urgent calls that I hurry with their meals, you’d know why I’m willing to put forth even more effort. But I can’t do it alone - I need your support. I want to see some flesh on these bones, some shine in their coats. I want to see them eating a treat out of a child’s hand - don’t you? Please see what you can do -