The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
November 2003 NEWSLETTER
THE GOLDEN CARROT
Earlier in the year I complained about the difficulties of getting farriers and vets out to TGC. Now, I’m glad to report that Lyn Clarke and Johnny Meza are two farriers who have done work for TGC, and are keeping the horses in better shape than the previous farrier, and for less money. Dr. Patton is still available, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find Dr. Fred Zadick, a local veterinarian I’d been told had retired, but who still makes calls under the prompting of his kind heart.
SUMMER 2003 - A Very Busy Time
Volunteers - The newspaper article by Molly Dugan of the Press-Enterprise earlier this year made for a busy and fruitful summer. Many people wanted to visit, but lived too far away; many made appointments to visit and never showed . Some people visited once - and I regret that I didn’t always have enough help to give them the attention they deserved. But everyone who visited got to feed carrots and treats to the horses, and many helped with stall cleaning and grooming chores, and when possible, at least the children got to ride (and get their pictures taken!). Among the volunteers who visited regularly were Yvonne and Paul Murray; Nick Cuevas and family and his friend Brian Hayek who tried heroically to save my virus-ridden computer; Sasha and Alex Kukharsky (She’s the best stall cleaner ever, and Alex, despite allergies, was able to feed the horses for me as well as ride); DeeAnn Bradley and her daughter KC; Chuck and Patricia, retirees from Texas who spend time in an RV park nearby and came to groom many times; Sue and Roland Roe; Kristen Suarez and her family; Missie Zup and her family. These folks usually came bearing gifts of treats, and cash as well.
Donors - So many people have helped this year, but I’d like to mention a few to give you an idea. My "usual" donors still contribute TGC - although at a lower rate than before (just another indication of a strained economy) and their ongoing support continues to provide a bedrock anchor for TGC. To each and every volunteer and donor, my heartfelt thanks. My own circumstances being what they are, the horses would be lost without your help and encouragement. You do a good thing here.
TGC received support from people like Marlene Stites and Freda Kallman of Temecula - generous benefactors of many animal related charities, adding TGC to their list, and helping to make large purchases of hay; people like John Conner of 29 Palms - on a fixed income, dependent upon public transportation and alone in the world - who reaches into his pocket for what he can spare, and adds his encouragement "What you are doing for older unwanted horses is great. You are a credit to the fight game."; people like Monique Montroy, who gets a bonus in her business, and hands it right over to me, a total stranger, because she approves of what I’m doing; people like Cheryl Cuttineau - a teacher in these days when teachers don’t earn much, and are respected less, finds time to reach into her strapped pocketbook each month and send something for the horses.
Through new supporter Terri Edwards, TGC benefited from the generosity of her coworker, Dave Reidy, who donated a 1985 B250 Dodge Van in fabulous shape. Not only did he donate it, but he went out of his way to work with Terri to get it here. The van is clean, has very low mileage for its age, has a large towing capacity and runs well. This will be a great asset for TGC, and is greatly appreciated. Terri has also been instrumental in raising cash donations from her other co-workers, to the tune of approximately $900, in addition to assistance from co-worker Melissa Speer who prepared a really hi-tech flyer trumpeting TGC to the world. To Terri, Melissa and Dave, and ALL OF YOU at High Technology Solutions - THANK YOU!
Also this year I received cash and hay donations from a local businesswoman, Linda Moore. She also was kind enough to employ me temporarily to get her old filing caught up. Linda is a true animal lover, rescuing cats, and raising and selling her Dorper sheep as pets.
Miscellaneous - Toby Aronson, a Deputy Probation Officer with a youth diversion program in Moreno Valley/Perris has expressed an interest in rewarding her charges with a day at TGC. I hope to have more to report in that regard around the Christmas holiday season.
In my efforts to raise money this summer, I had a yard sale. This was harder than I expected and would have been unbearable without the help of Alex and Mary and Pauline. The locals purchased items and made donations for a "take" of $238, to buy 40 bags of bermuda blend pellets - approximately a 3 week supply!
Victor - 22 year old Appendix QH gelding came to TGC. His prior owners had been gouged for huge vet bills for cortisone injections, but my observation is simply that they had the worst farrier in the world - the angles on his front feet were so dramatically different as to be ridiculous. Poor Victor was trying to move in one tennie shoe, and one high heel! I pointed this out, but the prior owners had already made their decision, and so Victor came to TGC. Although I hope for donations from this family in the future, they are not providing sponsorship support for Victor. Happily, after 8 years, Malika has found a friend! Inoffensive Victor wasn’t accepted by any stablemate - everyone tried to attack him over their stall fences, but in the field, he hooked up with Malika and the two are now inseparable. So I moved his stall next to hers, and Victor escorts Malika to her stall each night. Little Malika with a "younger man" boyfriend! After a proper shoeing, Victor is going well. He’s a great size for a lesson horse but will need some work to calm him down a little.
Mary - a dainty TB mare of about 18-20 years, once owned by the prior owner of Prophet, has found her way to TGC. Mary has arthritis, and what appears to be a "popped" knee on the right, but it doesn’t really seem to slow her down much. She’s only been with us a few weeks, but settled in IMMEDIATELY. She’s hooked up with Inch (her stablemate). Inch, Mitey and Mary are all watched over by Jet - by far the most crippled horse on my lot, but the only gelding with THREE mares of his own. What a guy. Mary has good flesh and a decent hair coat. Her prior owner, Katherine Hinsch, sent a winter blanket with her, and is sponsoring her.
Those of you on my email list know that this year has been overburdened with sadness in the loss of Joey, Andy, Domino, and Phoenix. In taking on the new horses, I’m trying to honor their memory, and extend to others the benefits they enjoyed during their time at TGC.
The bread and butter of donations - the money I can DEPEND on each month in making purchases -
The sponsors for Buck and Hava (Misty and Jeff) , Sunny and Mitey Nice (Kathryn McDonald); Navigator (Danielle Reel); Joyful (Kim Nelson); Cuervo (Pat Newman) and Mary (Katherine Hinsch) have all been their usual reliable selves. Jet’s former owner continues to support his needs, at a slightly reduced level - but this sponsor had always paid more each month than agreed on, and covered his extra vet bills as well.
Prophet had been sponsored, then his prior owner purchased TGC’s hotwalker for $600 - another year’s worth of donations. Thereafter, his support was ended. Josh’s prior owner used to donate $20 per month, but that has ended as well. Falcon’s owner paid sponsorship for him of $550, after promising, for that same period, $1,025, plus his vet bill (colic) of $99. Her promised sponsorship has been terminated completely, because she thinks I "don’t deserve it" (See "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", below).
I thought I had sponsors for PC and for Malika but it hasn’t happened yet - and if someone is interested in sponsoring them, I consider them still available. Additionally, Shawnee, Josh, Simply Red, Sara, Inch, Orion, Falcon, Victor, Prophet are all available for sponsorship.
All of Anza works off water wells. The water level has dropped significantly. We have two wells and I’ve had plenty of water to drink, but the past summer was particularly hot due to our water conservation efforts eliminating the daily "hose down". Dr. Zadick advises that the heat has been instrumental in causing many more cases of colic than usual. TGC lost Andy and Domino from that cause, and Falcon also colicked, although he recovered quickly. I add water to the supplement buckets, and feed more grass than alfalfa (which is a diuretic) and on Dr. Zadick’s recommendation, I also salt the supplement buckets to encourage drinking. I do have large salt blocks available, but Dr. Zadick pointed out that more timid horses may not have access to the blocks and licking a block may not be appealing to many in the heat. All the gifts of fresh carrots also helped a great deal.
We did have a 80+ acre fire a mile away, which was quickly put out and never threatened TGC. We also had a mandatory power outage which was a problem, as the wells don’t work without electricity. Fortunately, a neighbor had given us a heads up - although we couldn’t believe the power would be turned off without warning, to be safe we’d filled the stall water barrels and were almost OK. However, the outage lasted 24 hours, and with the generosity of Debbie Gelson, who gave us access to the water tanks on her property, we were able to fill most of the stall barrels again. Of course, no sooner than we had laboriously moved 300 gallons of water by hand than the power came back on ..... sheesh. This water problem motivated Mike Roth to begin the process of hooking up the 2 storage tanks we have to the wells, so that we’d have an on-property source of water storage.
Horses drink approximately 12 gallons of water per day under normal conditions; of course more during high temperatures. 12 times 22 is 264 gallons per day. That’s a lotta agua, so you may understand why, despite the other problems it causes, I’m praying for rain ..
THE HUMAN FACTOR
Running this charity has brought me into contact with the good, the bad and the ugly. The good people thrill me and give me new strength; the bad make me angry, and fill me with dread for the future of these horses. A few examples follow:
The GOOD: Nick Cuevas - a teenaged boy with a heart of gold and a tender touch. Nicky has bathed and groomed the horses; cleaned stalls like a pro, made amazing progress in his riding, and gifted the horses with countless treats, carrots, 5 flymasks and various other horse equipment. His only flaw? Nick goes crazy about my lack of sponges! He’s a fixer tho - my birthday basket from him included two big yellow sponges for the horses.
Terri Edwards of Ramona - a horse enthusiast who doesn’t have the time to devote to horse ownership day to day, but finds frequent Sundays when she drives here from Ramona and clean stalls, feeds carrots, and generally provides support and encouragement to me personally. Terri is a visitor who really seems to understand just how much work this enterprise is, and appreciates what I’m doing for the sake of the horses. In addition to her visits, she usually brings a care package of feed, helps to advertise TGC by posting flyers and talking to feed store owners about us, and has been instrumental in collecting a great deal of money for TGC.
All the donors including those mentioned throughout this newsletter, who have reached into their pockets to help TGC. Some donated once; some many times; some donated large sums; some a little, but it all adds up and it all helps. Susan Squires, Donna Gawne, Stan Smith, Ginny Talucci, Deanna Renz, Jo Head, John Garvey, Abbe Stauffer, Kay Edge, Deborah Bianchine, Ed Stone, Steph Howard, Jacqui Luciano to name a few, and many others who asked not to be mentioned, all help to keep TGC going.
All the volunteers who have donated their time to groom horses, feed them treats and carrots, and help me to clean stalls and sweep out the feed shed. Everyone who is willing to ride one of these older guys, giving them purpose, without overstressing them. People like Yvonne Murray who took Phoenix for a walk and Donna Caplan who rode Navigator to exercise them; Alex and Mary, who donate the use of their small tractor, and Alex’s skills operating it, to help put dirt in the stalls, and move hay; Mike Roth, who helps to make occasional stall repairs, to get Jet on his feet at 10PM and holds him and Mitey so I can medicate them, stands with Sara while her abscessed foot soaks, lets the horses out in the morning and often helps me put them away at night; and professionals like Johnny Meza, our farrier, and Dr. Fred Zadick, a local veterinarian, who take pity on my old and disabled horses. These are the good people.
THE BAD AND UGLY This category includes generally those people who call to dump a horse on me, and become abusive when I expect their on-going support; those people who call to visit, set an appointment, and never show or call; those people who want to use TGC as a free babysitter, who expect me to receive their kids, who have no interest in horses at all, whenever they feel like "volunteering", cavalierly instructing me through the kids to drop the kids off "when they’re done".
Another individual took the opportunity to pick a fight with me because I had to cancel a "birthday party" she had organized to take place on my property. I had an opportunity to work and simply can’t turn that down, but she was so irate and chose to believe I cancelled the party for reasons having to do with her personally, that she wrote two magazines and told them I was inhumane to Phoenix and that she could no longer support my organization. She then wrote me to boast of this ill-natured act and tell me she hoped I’d learned my lesson.
I also include in this category the horse owners who have made promises to me, orally and in one case in writing, and failed miserably to live up to those promises, all the while expecting ME to live up to my side of the bargain. A case in point is Falcon’s previous owner, who had pushed hard to send him here, preparing a written contract of sponsorship, setting forth in detail what she would provide in the way of financial support and what she wouldn’t. She failed to live up to that contract, and also took the opportunity call me "psychotic", "neurotic", and "a hateful bitch" because I was fool enough to expect her to live up to that agreement. Her attacks were so intemperate, and obviously unjustified, that it was clear she was simply pretending this hollow outrage to justify what she planned to do all along - she told me I "didn’t deserve" to get any money from her, and stopped sending any. Despite the distress of dealing with an individual like this, I don’t regret taking Falcon - he’s far too good a horse to be owned by such a person.
VISIT FROM ANIMAL SERVICES
A complaint about the Golden Carrot was recently made to Riverside’s County Counsel, who referred the matter to Animal Services for investigation. Josh Sisler, Supervisor, and Senior Officer Stephens investigated. They "didn’t have the print out with them" but believed the complaint involved a "thin black horse; horses whose feet were not being trimmed and no medical records". After obtaining information about my vets, my farriers; counting the bales of hay on the property; checking out the feed shed, looking over the stalls and walking through the herd, Officer Stephens said "This is a lot of work, why do you do this?" I replied ‘because I’m a freak, obviously". By the end of their visit, Supervisor Sisler said to me "You told me you were a freak for doing this, but I wish there were many more freaks like you out there". He heartily endorsed the entire operation. When I reminded him that I’d spoken several times with the Animal Services office about fostering horses that they had to seize, he was surprised, but wondered if I would still do that - as he was "that close" to seizing 8 horses in this area. These guys see the worst in rescue operations - it means something when they approve.
I wrote Animal Services documenting this visit and our conversations and requesting a copy of the report they submit; and I wrote the County Counsel’s office asking for information regarding the complainant, who so clearly was using their office to further a malicious agenda of some sort. If anyone wants to speak with these officers about what they found here, I can provide their phone number and mailing address.
Donations this year were amazing. This year, for an ALL TIME HIGH - donations have reached the $18,000 mark!!! Many donated amounts are "one time" donations, with many of the people who expressed their support based on the Press-Enterprise article being "one time" donors. And although sponsorship for half of the horses has been terrific, there are still 10 horses without sponsors. If you deduct the money for Ms Antioch’s trailer and Ms. Hinshilwood’s Honda, I’ve received approximately $10,000 in donations and sponsorship amounts. If everyone keeps donating as they have this year, that’s what I can expect next year. If my own work situation doesn’t improve, that won’t be enough. We very much STILL need your help.
The sponsorship amounts I ask for pay mostly feed and sometimes part of the farrier expense for the sponsored horse. I still do all the feeding, cleaning and other work myself, without pay. I still have the expense of vet/worming/vaccinations, fly mask and spray; topical medications; bute; lumber; increased electrical for water; and other miscellaneous expenses. My income has been hugely reduced. So far this year, I’ve earned a total of $9,000. I got $2,000 for selling my jeep. I feed myself; my dogs and cats; pay my car insurance and utilities; and provide support for the unsponsored horses, as well as pick up the extra expenses of those horses who are sponsored. With 22 horses, the expenses for feed alone each year are at least $25,000. Your support continues to be needed!
This year, to my knowledge, two horses lost their lives because The Golden Carrot can only do so much - Phoenix because in my desire to avoid taking on another horse, I delayed 30-40 days before taking him. Those extra days of starvation, and the time lost when I could have been building him up, almost certainly contributed to his end. And Tripp, a 30 year old Appy, whose relocation to TGC I again resisted, hoping that his owner of 23 years could find him a home closer to the coast to reduce the shock of a new arrangement. The obligations here are enormous and I just couldn’t take on more responsibility. Imagine my distress when a large donation came in the same day Tripp’s owner advised me that she was going to put him down.
Cleaning 22 stalls every day (7-8 wheelbarrows worth), and every 3rd day shoveling that same manure out of a trailer; filling 27 water barrels/tubs every day, and cleaning several each day as well; preparing and distributing feed for 22 horses three times every day, including 3 carts full of hay (approximately 80 pounds per cart) and two carts full of supplement buckets (each bucket weighing at least 4 pounds) and night (2nd) buckets for 10 horses; repairing fences, digging post holes; moving hundreds of pounds of bagged feed from truck, to storage, to barrels, to buckets; coughing hay dust out of my throat and picking hay out of my hair; wearing hideous clothing, because you’d never want to wear something nice where the horses can slime you, or pee soaked mud will splash on you; freezing your hands as you try to clasp a blanket on a fidgety horse or fill a water barrel in winter; getting so parched doing summer chores that your throat closes up and the gag reflex starts; scrubbing caked on mud off the winter coat of a 17 hand horse - getting every bit of it, it seems, in your eyes - just so they can lay down and recoat themselves; bringing two horses to the farrier even when only one needs work, because you don’t want to cause the emotional trauma of separating buddies even for a moment; wrestling with Jet or Mitey to get their meds down their throats, wondering why they never connect up how much better they feel after a moment of bitter taste; sitting alone on a Friday night, wishing I had the money or the freedom to go get a drink and listen to some tunes at the local night spot, but knowing I’ve got another feed to throw, and horses to check on - these are all part of the price I pay to keep the Golden Carrot operational. Can you help too?