The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive


The Golden Carrot Newsletter

October 29, 2007


In my last newsletter I mentioned a Nevada feedlot rescue, asking that anyone who could donate to help buy 7 young horses out of a trip to the slaughterhouse. Shirley Puga, in charge of that rescue, managed to buy out those 7, and 5 more. She’s still trying to collect money necessary to pay for them. She also placed all the horses except two, and asked if I could take them. After notifying TGC Patrons, five stepped up to jointly-donate $150 a month (which would feed them). And the plan was that I would take these two 15+ year old horses, one gelding paint, and one sorrel mare.


Now, these are younger horses. If it turned out they were sound, and had reasonable training, my plan was to try to find good homes for them. And I did, pending assessment. Unfortunately, the person who housed the horses after they were taken from the feedlot is not experienced, and when the truck arrived in Sacramento from Lancaster, the horses were loose in a 3 acre field, and could not be caught. The mare was initially caught, but when the other three horses caused a commotion, she reared up and backed fast out of the trailer, and broke loose. The hauler spent another 2 hours trying to catch them by himself, with no luck. So, someone from No.Cal. Equine Rescue will get over there, when the hauler can come again, to at least pen the horses up in a smaller area where they can be caught. Two pieces of information came from this: (1) all the horses are able to run around without signs of unsoundness; and (2) at least the gelding may have training issues. The hauler also noticed that the mare had what he called a ‘hematoma’ in her side which was bigger than it had been when she was rescued from the feed lot, and I did ask Shirley to have someone look at that.


As of now, if these horses are ever corralled and loaded up, they will come to the ranch of my friend Sandy, who lives only 20 minutes from where the hauler is based. I will go to Phelan and Sandy and I will assess the abilities and training of the horses, to decide if they will go to their new homes, or home with me to TGC. I’ll keep you posted.


In the meantime, while the above was unfolding, a local woman in Anza contacted me, complaining that she was unable to keep weight on her older TB that she’s had for all of four months and she had to find him a home. She said she had an individual "do his teeth" and was told that he was "old". Not a good sign that someone who will float a horse’s teeth can’t tell the horse’s age. She claimed to be spending $200 a month on his food alone (she also has a small pony). I didn’t want to commit to taking him because there was a chance I’d have to take both feedlot horses, so offered to bring her a blanket and look at what she was feeding to see if I could help her spend her money more effectively. She bitched that she "only makes $40,000 a year" and can’t afford to spend this much feeding the horse. My god. When I’m living on about $9,000 a year, I told her bluntly I didn’t have much sympathy for that! Well, she gave me his measurements for the blanket, and her address, and I jumped in the truck with a blanket and drove there (15 minutes). And she was gone, property padlocked. She chose the moment that she knew I was coming over to "run into town for some senior feed." As you might imagine, this put me off a bit. I told her she could come get the blanket if she wanted it - which of course she didn’t do. When the feedlot rescue came to a standstill, I told her I could possibly take him, but couldn’t commit till Sunday noon. She was happy, but then called me 12 hours later to tell me someone else called and were going to take him Sunday afternoon. And then Sunday afternoon, she called AGAIN to say the other people didn’t show up and would I please take him now. I went and got him Monday afternoon. She clearly didn’t care where he went, as long as he was gone.


Dion is an off-the-track elderly fleabitten "gray" Thoroughbred gelding. Much more the mission statement of TGC. He is missing two upper incisors on the left, and Galvayne’s groove is almost gone indicating he’s in his early 20s. He has horrendous crackling in his left fetlock, and something wrong on his left hindquarters (causing similar problems to what Happy had). Laurie Henkel is coming on Friday November 2nd, and hopefully will have the same success helping Dion as she had with Happy. In addition, thanks to a previous donation from NaturVet, I’ve got him on arthrisoothe and MSM. We’re trying to read Dion’s tattoo, in the hopes of identifying him more accurately, but with his age, it’s very degraded. Meantime, Sharla Sanders and I have named him Dion. She hasn’t committed yet, but Sharla is thinking about doing a part sponsorship for Dion as well as Jeepers.


He’s SO HAPPY to have enough to eat. From his situation, it appeared to me that she’d been feeding him grass hay or alfalfa, which he shared with the pony. But being three times the size of the pony, and with difficulty eating due to lost teeth and age, he wasn’t getting enough. When we arrived to take him away, I asked if she’d fed him that morning, and she blithely said ‘o yes, but it probably all blew away’. She apparently never made the connection between throwing feed in the horse’s direction, and actually seeing that he was able to eat it. So for at least the 4 months she had him, he simply didn’t get enough to eat. He’s thin with ribs, hips and spine showing, but will probably be a huge tub of a horse once he’s got enough fat and muscle on his frame - as he has broad hips and ribs, a wide chest and a thick neck and jowls. He has tiny tiny feet right now, but frankly looks like he was terribly overtrimmed and walks tenderly - and for some reason, this woman had pulled his shoes off right before I took him. Some babble about the farrier saying he didn’t have enough to nail to.... (maybe the farrier put on shoes recently, and when one fell off, that was the reason?). At any rate, he lingers in the back by his stall, perks his ears everytime he sees me (the feed lady), looks deep in your eyes with big dark eyes marked by long white eyelashes. He’s been pursued by both Anna and Chacha, and seems to have reached a friendly relation with both of them, as well as having a brief chat with Happy. Shine doesn’t like him, and the rest of the herd pretty much ignores him. Yesterday, for the first time in a week, I caught him out in the herd, eating with Chacha. Given more time, and better health, and Laurie’s treatment, I hope to see a very different horse soon.....


Lucifer’s fall


A couple of weeks ago, I started out to put the horses away and feed them, and met my neighbor, Mike, running toward my house. He’d gone out and started putting the horses away. He’d seen Lucifer when he started, and after maybe 10-15 minutes came toward the back line of stalls with Navigator, to find Lucifer cast in a big pile of rocks. What "cast" means is, he was down on the ground, in such a position that he was unable to get his own legs underneath himself to get back up. Horses get cast in a lot of ways, and with Lucifer’s crooked left foreleg, it’s a miracle he hasn’t been cast before this. In this instance, he was laying amongst several enormous rocks, on top of several, with his hips on two boulders, effectively trapping his only capable end with his feet in the air. He was on his left side, and his damaged bent foreleg was bleeding from a big cut. When I got there, he was soaked with sweat, and clearly dazed and exhausted - for only 15 minutes he struggled but remember, this is Lucifer - he puts his all into every effort he makes. I’m sure he panicked when he realized he couldn’t get up, and it’s a miracle his heart didn’t stop. It’s a measure of how exhausted he was that he let me check him over and only made one effort to get up, which he stopped when I asked. With Mike’s help, we moved a couple of smaller boulders enabling his hips to hit the ground, and used his tail to reorient him; put a halter on him and Mike pulled while I pushed and supported his downside - and bluppp - he was up. How tired was he? He LET ME PUT HIS BLANKET ON HIM! Stood like a pro. But the sun was setting, temperature dropping dramatically as it does and he was soaked from head to toe. I asked Mike to walk him up and down a little bit to help reorient him, help him dry and relax him, while I made up his bucket real fast - and doctored his bad leg. He wouldn’t let me put anything on the hind end - in fact, gave me the patented Lucifer warning squeal when I medicated his bad knee, so I felt reassured that he was back. And since then, he’s been fine. Pretty stiff the next day or two, but - fine. His strength continues to amaze me .....


Other than the above excitement, Navigator and Queenie having feet problems (both have bad thrush in one foot that may be the problem), and having several fence posts get pushed over when the wind blew too much grass hay outside the fence line (so that everyone stuck their head through and pushed trying to reach it), and a couple of stall posts knocked loose from the roof, we’ve been very lucky in Anza. The wind was dreadful, but we survived that fairly well. One little fire was about 10 miles away as the crow flies, but down wind and knocked down very fast. Last Wednesday and Thursday we had horrendous air quality as the winds shifted back out way, and I worried because if a fire did start out here, we wouldn’t be able to identify it for all the smoke and haze in the air. But considering the tinder dry conditions out here, we have been so fortunate. I’ve contacted Animal Shelters in Fallbrook and OC as well as Jolene’s Rescue in Palmdale, as I’d heard they were being overrun with equine evacuees, offering the round pen and arena of TGC as at least a temporary holding facility but so far we haven’t been needed. I know that Debra Duncan and Ron Montoya, who were part of our recent work day, had to evacuate their horses, but last I heard, their home was still standing. Anjeanette Martin, who took Stormy in a recent placement and used to sponsor Shine, also had to evacuate, and I understood her horse went to someplace in Temecula. I understood that Nicole Ardis was helping to evacuate horses with her 3-horse trailer; and that Sharla Sanders went to Del Mar to help feed the evacuees. I’m proud to know these ladies, and all of you who stepped up to help those less fortunate.


Please don’t forget TGC. It maybe that soon we will be called upon for even more, as many horses may be abandoned as a result of these catastrophes (that happened in 2003). Whether horses are left by owners, or found running free by Animal Services, or even are simply homeless while their families rebuild, TGC will likely be needed in the coming months - please help me be there......