The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive


Newsletter from The Golden Carrot

February 2006

* New Addition - Shine

* Update on Chacha

* Two Sponsors abandon us- a big blow to the hay payment schedule

* New Deals pending re Chaffhaye

* Springtime is here .....



No, not a command to the weather gods - just the odd name of a lovely 13-15 year old TB gelding (photo attached). Shine comes to us with Marsi Marsh, who intends to partially sponsor him, as well as volunteer with her daughter Camille. Marsi saved Shine from a home where, horror of horrors, the caretaker "didn’t like him" so fed the horse next to him, but not him. For God’s sake. Not only hungry, but tormented with the sight of the other horse eating. Marsi brought him to Rancho Pacifica but found this ex-racehorse to be a little too much horse for her. Her donations will keep shoes on him and help a little with his feed bill. And with luck, she and her daughter WILL visit and help with grooming and exercising the horses. He’s still thin, and shy with other horses, but exceedingly friendly with people and thrilled with his stall - a little space of his own in which to rest and eat without worries.




Chacha is a changed horse. I’ll have a photo of her in the next newsletter, as I’d like you to see her next without her thick winter coat. She has assimilated into the herd and in fact, at least in her own mind, is in charge of the herd. She is firm but kind to the other horses, and oddly, no one now or ever has shown her the least bit of aggression. Her bony spine is almost gone, her hip bones much less prominent, and her little turkey neck is starting to look like a horse’s neck, finally! She’s always going to be a delicate-built horse, but the change is dramatic. I credit Chaffhaye with this amazing transformation in such a short time - my rescue efforts in the past would have expected this result in six months, not three, and especially not three winter months. Chaffhaye is the only thing different this time - give credit where it’s due.




A lot of people have bitched at me for taking so long to send another newsletter. I’ve been holding off due to depression, and hope that I might not have to make the following report:


I am sorry to report that both Joyful’s sponsor and the couple who sponsor Buck and Hava have apparently abandoned us. Buck and Hava’s sponsors were a month and a half late on their sponsorship in September; and are now 2 ½ months late on their sponsorship due in December. And they have ignored my emails and phone calls. And Joyful’s sponsor sends her sponsorship annually, due in January. She has not done so, despite my reminder in December and my inquiry in January. Her husband indicated on 2/2/06 that she would continue her sponsorship "next week" but to date, nothing, and again, no response to emails or phone calls. The donations from these two sponsors would have paid off my hay purchase. Now, I’m struggling again.


This hurts is so many ways. I now have three horses to support that I was not expecting - if I’d known these sponsors were going to drop out I might not have taken on Shine. And apparently I don’t deserve the courtesy of a warning, a response to my inquiries, donation on a lower level, or any apology or explanation.


All I know is this. These three horses deserve better. Buck and Hava in particular have spent their LIFETIMES making people happy. They are healthy, but vulnerable as only the aged can be. Although in their early 20s, B&H have miles and miles and miles on them. I see evidence of creaky joints and arthritis each cold morning. They don’t need to be thrown on the mercy of the world at this stage of their life. And although Joyful is much younger, she has captured my heart, as they all do, and may depend on me to do my best for her.


If someone can tell me why sponsors leave this way, I’d appreciate hearing from you. More than anyone I know, I understand hard times. I made $7,000 last year - how many of you live on such a short budget? In the shoes of these sponsors, I’d call me and say hay, I’ve got to cut back. Maybe completely, maybe partially. I’m sorry, but when I get straightened out, I’ll come back. One sponsor did that for me - I know it can be done. And I love my sponsors - I send them photos and keep them posted on news of their horses. I don’t understand why the insult of incivility has to be added to the financial hardship now imposed on me. Any thoughts about this?




I’ve been talking to Kimber Davies of Chaffhaye. So far, doing the math, this stuff will replace alfalfa hay and hay pellets in my nutrition plan, and the cost will be the same, if not cheaper. There are benefits too in its easy storage, and reduction in manure. So instead of pimping my supporters for assistance with a large hay purchase, it may be that I’ll be begging for help making a Chaffhaye purchase ....I’ll keep you posted on this.

In case you don’t want to look at, briefly, chaffhaye is alfalfa hay which is properly grown and cut, then lightly misted with a weak molasses solution and packed into double-plastic packaging. While packaged, a fermentation process begins which helps to break down the alfalfa a little. Now, anything which helps with breaking down alfalfa is good - older horses have old teeth, and old digestive tracts, which already have problems with food, and alfalfa is difficult to digest. This process makes a weird looking and smelling hay, that the horses are absolutely happy to eat, and which is much more digestible (better nutrition and less manure). It’s a soft moist feed and helps avoid blockage colics. It has a very long shelf life and is easier to stack/store and handle than hay bales. With the particular needs of my old horses, this is a very good product.


Springtime is Here


Grooming old winter coats away is already underway despite bone chilling winter temperatures. I know, doesn’t seem like spring when it just snowed and every morning I’m breaking a thick ice crust on the water barrels, but today the noon temperature was 75 degrees. And watching the white horses walk is a hoot - they leave their own version of "snow" behind them with every step as their long winter coats simply drop off. Petting any horse on the lot will give you an instant "fur mitten." This will last for the next several months. So the prudent will think twice about volunteering now, although now is when I need the help! The recent rainstorm of 17 straight hours of downpour was light enough, although steady, that a lot of it soaked in and drained quickly - leaving the air fresh and the horses frisky. So far, spring is coming in kindly. Worming will be done in the next two weeks and another shoeing cycle begins next week. With some volunteers this summer, I’m hoping to get some of these horses a little more active, as, knock wood, several of them are showing signs of horse boredom (lots of play in the field, tearing their stalls apart, game playing when its time to go to their stalls, or leave them, etc.)


Despite the ongoing financial struggle of TGC, and great difficulty meeting my own bills due to a lack of work, for no particular reason, I’m feeling a little optimistic. 2005 may have been the worst year of my life, emotionally and financially, and it’s hard for me to believe it could get worse. So, if it’s not gonna get worse, mighten it get better? With the ongoing support of you out there who DO care what happens to these horses, maybe it will.


Everyone - raise a glass to me and the Golden Carrot horses on March 17th!