The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive


The Golden Carrot Newsletter

April 2006


The New Chacha


I hope you kept the photo I sent 6 months ago so you can compare - what do you think? She is happy, healthy, ‘eats like a horse’, has a boyfriend (Prophet), and is clearly in the element she’s been searching for for a long time - a herd of her own. This is a true success story for The Golden Carrot - a rehab of such proportions during the winter - the hardest time of year for me to keep weight even on the healthy horses. She has yet to lose her entire winter coat (most of them have not) but she is losing it which is a good sign of health. The really poor horses hold on to the winter coats forever, as they only protection they have .....


I’m sorry to report that the sponsor, Anne Firestone, came by at four months, without warning or invitation, apparently glanced at Chacha in the field, and as she drove away, left a message that she didn’t think Chacha looked very well, her backbone was too prominent still, and giving me instructions about more and different feed and worming. Frankly - I ignored her. Even at 4 months Chacha’s progress was nothing short of miraculous. And I had planned to worm her in March, when I worm everyone, because a dose of insecticide would be too much of a shock for a horse whose system was as debilitated as Chacha’s. I did worm her in March, and have seen no sudden improvement, just the continuing, ongoing, slow and steady progress I hoped for, resulting in what you see depicted here. Any atta-girl’s will be gratefully accepted!


Alex & Sammy’s April Visit


Those of you who have been to my website at will be familiar with the little slide show of the first visit of Alex and Sammy where they groomed and rode Mitey Nice. Their Aunt Diane Mitchell sponsors Falcon and Debbie for the girls, and when they came to visit this last week, having grown to twice their original size, and having spent many hours in a stable near their home, riding lesson horses, we planned to have the girls ride Falcon and Debbie in the round pen. Debbie has been pretty stiff in this cold damp weather, and so I substituted Prophet for Sammy. Their Uncle Peter took lots of photos which I hope to have posted to the website soon. Sammy fell in love with Prophet, and has requested to be his sponsor, rather than Debbie’s.


Aunt Diane was reluctant - she and I believe that a commitment is a commitment - and that trading horses to sponsor is similar to a person who decides "this horse isn’t good enough, get rid of him and get another". However, Prophet is also deserving of a sponsor, and it was clear that he and Sammy got along very well - he even put his head out of his stall window to say goodbye when Sammy yelled "Goodbye Prophet" and so, making sure Sammy understood this was a one-time trade, Prophet now has a new sponsor.


Poor little Debbie. Hopefully, someone will step up for her one day ....


The girls cleaned 10 stalls, and did a great job; and spent about an hour wandering through the herd with brushes and currycombs trying to clean masses of winter coat off everyone without choking to death in the flying hair. They earned their time in the saddle, and did a great job there as well, despite some bad habits the Northern California stable needs to address. All horse people will know one of them - STOP looking at the back of your horse’s head!!! And also, in using the reins - NO CHICKEN WINGS! That’s strictly Hollywood riding .... But they’ve managed to maintain very nice positions on the horses, and were not a burden to either Falcon or Prophet, and were happy to ride long enough give the fat boys a good workout. They then made the feed buckets for all the horses, and distributed them, with extra carrots for Falcon and Prophet provided by Diane and Peter.


All in all, it was wonderful to have the Mitchells and their nieces visit and I look forward to seeing them again.


New Webmaster?


I’m not sure if this will happen yet or not, but I have found a gentleman in Arizona who has offered to do the updating of the website which is so woefully overdue. Paul Sanchez is a computer whiz and tennis pro (how about that for a wide range of interests?) And once he gets himself moved and squared away, has committed to helping get the Golden Carrot website going again.

Until that happens, please feel free to drop me an email if you want to see a picture of anyone, or if you have any questions at all. Although dialup is slow, I can send a photo pretty easily - it’s hard to send too many at once without tying up the computer for hours.


Malika Hurt!


Last Thursday, April 13, when I headed back to the stall line to put the horses away, I saw a group of horses milling around in an unusual and very restricted area. I hustled up to drive everyone out of the cul-de-sac they were in, only to find to my horror that Malika was on the ground, in the most preposterous position I could imagine. Somehow, she’d gone down or fallen or perhaps squirmed her way into a spot where she had a scrub oak tree in the small of her back, and her hind legs up on a huge boulder, large enough that she could not stretch her legs back or forward enough to make contact with the ground. Horses power themselves up off the ground with their hind legs - and hers were completely useless in this position. I don’t know how long she’d been down - she was not sweaty but was clearly breathless. Another problem horses have when down on the ground for too long or in the wrong position is that their guts are not contained in their abdomen, but will roll around, pushing up into the diaphragm and heart, making it difficult for them to breathe and risking a torsion colic.


I got Mike out with his chain saw, as dangerous as that sounds, and he cut the oak tree away. We wrapped a rope around her front legs at the body to pull her front end around, and then were able to grab her tail and bring her hind end to a position where she could get her hind legs under her again and get up. It took her two tries, and she was shaky, but she made it, and we immediately escorted her through the herd to her stall.

All the while, she was quiet and cooperative - this cranky willful mare who argues every time she’s wormed, and for years would not eat if we were watching her - maybe she knew she couldn’t help herself, but I’m still surprised that she withstood the sound of a chainsaw behind her, and the pain we couldn’t help but cause her dragging her around by her legs and tail. And her boyfriend Victor was frantic - trying to keep himself between her and all the horses who wanted to inspect her on the ground - frightened by the chain saw and furious at us for hurting her. Once they were in their stalls, they both stood quietly, half asleep, nose to nose through the fence separating them.


In the end, she has two painful patches on her back (I think where she initially struggled against that oak tree) and that’s it. Her appetite has been excellent; she has shown no signs of lameness or stiffness. I think my back hurts more than hers!


Just another day at TGC.....




The good news is that finally, with no explanation, Joyful’s sponsor has stepped up at last - so I was able to make the final hay payment that I had scheduled for January. I can’t express how much I appreciate Carlos’s patience in waiting for that money. Of course, I was almost totally out of hay, so went looking for more. The local hay was all $13/bale and up. I did find a one-time source in Hemet for $10 per bale and purchased 50 bales. That will keep me for another month ........ but it was also the money I had hoped to use for the delivery fee of another truck and trailer load. And having lost the sponsorship money for Buck and Hava, which would have been another $1000 by now, I don’t have the first payment I would have made on such a load. So, I’m back to the old week to week scramble to find and haul hay. In addition, I have to keep getting the senior feed they all need, and the chaffhaye which made such a difference for Chacha and for PC recently, as well as Mitey Nice and Malika who are so old, so frail and in Malika’s case, so toothless.

Just so everyone knows, the following horses are still hoping for sponsorship - they are supported by myself and general donations. Buck, Hava, Debbie, Bruhad, Cuervo, Sara, Belle, Charra, Shine (1/2 sponsorship needed), Shawnee, Josh, Beau.

And always - any donation, in any amount, at any time, is appreciated and needed. Even $5 can help - from enough people, it can make an amazing difference.

We struggle onward - and thank each and every one of you for your support. Remember, if you can’t support, or if you can’t do more and want to - word of mouth! Ask your coworkers - even a one time collection can help. If you’ve got kids - how about a classroom taking up a collection, or even taking up a half-sponsorship for a Golden Carrot horse. I certainly don’t have money in the budget for advertising, and local advertising generates more horses, not more money, so I rely on you to get the word out of our ongoing need.

Thank you for all you do!