The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive



Newsletter, April 1, 2003








This is a newsletter full of news, unlike the last one. A lot to think about - please take the time to review this whole newsletter and let me know what you think of these matters.




In the past, I have suggested Sponsorship of an individual Golden Carrot resident as a way to personalize your donation. Today I am glad to announce that TWO horses have been sponsored, as follows:


CUERVO GOLD - Cuervo is the most popular of the Golden Carrot horses, with his eye-catching Arabian beauty, and his antics. Cuervo was owned by an individual who endurance raced him, under feeding him in order to be able to control him, until his reduced strength resulted in a mis-step which severely bowed both tendons in his right foreleg. The owner put him in his stall with a wrap on his leg, and left him for 30 days. When the vet looked at the leg at the end of that period, it was covered with fungus and sores from the bandage, and of course was still severely swollen, obviously causing Cuervo great pain. The owner’s comment was, oh, it’s not healing, just put him down. It was Cuervo’s great luck that the vet had more sense than that, and offered to take him off his owner’s hands. The vet’s assistant adopted him and began the process of rehabilitating him. Eventually they found The Golden Carrot, and here, with the expert help of Dr. Woods and lots of time off to heal, he’s blossomed. Today, 5 years later, Cuervo is healthy and sound for everything except racing and high jumps. He’s approximately 18 years old now, but still thinks he’s 5! Although he’s an intermediate ride, with way too much energy and a way of dancing and jigging down the road, he’s never run away with anyone, or spooked out from under his rider - he just needs miles and hours of work to get that edge off.

My last newsletter mentioned Georgia, and Max and Steve, who visited several times towards the end of last year. Georgia sent a friend of hers, Patricia Newman, to visit me, due to Pat’s interest in horses. Pat came to meet the horses and offer fund-raising suggestions. Of foremost importance, she fell in love with Cuervo, and is now his proud sponsor, on behalf of her grandchildren Georgia (age 5) and Tucker (age 2 ½) Panitch. Pat’s generous sponsorship will take care of Cuervo’s feed, carrots and farrier work, and she has asked me to keep her notified if Cuervo needs a fly mask or blanket, so that she can help with that as well. Wouldn’t you say Cuervo was a lucky horse?


Then, let’s look at NAVIGATOR! Many of you will recall Navi’s story - he was owned by the same woman who abandoned Andy at The Golden Carrot. I was amazed at the gall of a woman who had done that to Andy, calling to ask if she could do it again with Navigator. After a long conversation, with several home truths spoken, she promised to support Navigator. Again, she lied, abandoning Navigator as heartlessly as she did Andy. The last 6 months or so that she owned Navigator, she had leased him to the stable’s lesson program, to earn his keep. She simply doesn’t feel any obligation to care for these kind fellows - they are just objects to her. Navigator came to me with a suspensory problem, and the stable had spent several months trying to rehabilitate him before he came. Given a year off, he appears to be mostly sound. I would imagine hard work might cause problems, but maybe not - this is a horse who REVELS in the freedom he has here at TGC - he runs from the stalls to the paddock every morning, stretched out, tail high, and despite not making any particular friends in the herd, seems very happy. A young woman, Stephanie Olsen, who used to have lessons on Navigator, has generously donated to TGC each Christmas on his behalf.


Danielle Reel is a patron of the Golden Carrot for the past 9 months or so, sending donations when she can, and having just completed a move, has promised to send me some "horsey things" she found in the course of packing. Because of the move, she’s not really set up to have a horse, although she’s looking, but in the meantime, she asked if she could sponsor one of TGC’s residents - and after some debate, has chosen to make Navigator’s life easier. Her generous sponsorship will take care of his feed and farrier expenses, neither of which are small matters. Navigator requires shoes on his front feet, and as an absolutely HUGE horse (17'1") and nervous, so hard to keep weight on, he’s a big eater. It appears that at last, Navigator’s luck has turned.


Are you interested in sponsoring or partially sponsoring a horse? $50 per month will provide feed for most of these horses; depending on their feet and disabilities, farrier expense varies from $25 to $70. Some of TGC horses have former owners who have been generous supporters over the years, but some have been "rescued" or were just abandoned, becoming my burden instead. The following is a list of those horses for whom nothing is donated each year - do any of them appeal to you?

Domino the prior owner took care of his needs for 2 years and since then, has provide no support at all (I think she left the state). Domino is an easy keeper regards to food ($50/month), but requires special shoes for correction of conformation defects and pretty severe arthritis ($60 every 2 months).

Sara - the prior owner made every promise and never kept a single one. She has never contributed to Sara’s well-being in any way. Sara is a HUGE eater, so $60/month is probably appropriate for her; and having foundered/abscessed in one foot, at this time she wears shoes (draft horse size) on her front feet at $70 every 2 months. We’ll probably have to keep that up for 2 more shoeings; and then she’ll be barefoot as before ($30 trim) unless further problems develop. Apparently, draft horses are susceptible to abscesses ....

Joey - the prior owner has never contributed for Joey’s keep - and due to conformation defects and navicular, Joey is a full shoe job ($70 every 2 months). He’s a great guy though, keeping company with Inch, with good training both English and Western and a great schoolmaster at jumping (although he just does courses, crossrails etc - no jumping for him anymore). Joey is in his 30s now, but looking good. As an older horse, with no inclination to gain weight, I probably spend $60 per month feeding him.

Mitey Nice - This little quarter mare is worth her weight in gold when she’s sound, but recently has had a bout with severe founder. She’s small and the definition of an easy keeper so feed for her is about $40 per month; and at present, she is without shoes, so trimming her is $25 every two months. Despite being so inexpensive, this little mare, when she’s feeling well, is the BEST lesson horse I have - no child too small, no rider too timid, that she doesn’t take care of them. Her prior owners not only don’t donate for her, but they felt she was mis-named, not finding her "nice" at all. They were idiots. At 26-8 years old, Mitey has years left - and she’s a bargain.

Andy - This is the old Morgan gelding that was also abandoned by the prior owner of Navigator. Andy wins no prizes for beauty, but he’s an honest workman, sound and kind and totally unspooky. He’s cranky with other horses except his best friend Orion, but absolutely bombproof to handle and quietly appreciative of gentle handling and treats. Like a lot of good "broke" horses, he’s been used hard in his life - I wonder sometimes why we use the "good" horses so hard - it’s almost as though we punish them for being good! He’s sensible enough to be happy hanging around in the paddock, but a solid guy when it comes time to work. Andy has a tendency to colic and have weight fluctuations so I have to watch his feed carefully - I probably spend $50 per month on that; and he’s got hard feet that need a trim ($25) every two months.

Sunny - This buckskin quarter mare was owned by the same people who sent Mitey Nice to me - they came together - and I’ll NEVER understand why they let her go. Sunny was my first lesson horse - in temperament she’s kind of like Andy. Lots of energy and lots of good training (an ex-posse horse) and sound as can be considering she’s 28+. Another bargain - she probably costs $40 per month to feed and $25 every two months to trim. This is a mare that behaves even if she doesn’t like you - and that’s worth some kindness isn’t it?

PC - Partly Cloudy - PC was dumped by his prior owners. A big white Thoroughbred, PC is kind and gentle around people, and best friends with Malika and Sunny. He’s an older horse, large, and has navicular and a bad knee on the left foreleg, so PC is not a bargain - it probably costs me $60 per month to feed him, and he has to have special shoes at $60 every two months. But what a sweetheart! How a horse as large as he can sneak up on you, and present his huge head in the most un-intimidating way for pats, I can’t say, but he does it. I’ve ridden PC - and he’s a little tricky, but well trained and hopefully, I’ll be able to use him for students who have gotten past the "beginning stage". No cantering, or jumping which I suspect he’s done in the past, but walk trot, no problem.

Malika - is a little old mare, supposedly Morgan in breed, homely, cantankerous, and only green broke despite her age in the 30s. What? Support this little monster? Well, Mike rides her and think’s she’s great - although I suspect he couldn’t get her off property by herself! And why should it be her fault that her prior owners bred her mom to produce her, and thereafter never did a thing with her? Why shouldn’t she be cantankerous when her whole life was standing around, being tormented by neighborhood kids, and otherwise ignored? Is being homely a crime? Frankly, she’s pretty nice considering all this - and despite missing 5 back teeth, she’s a REAL easy keeper - she eats only pelleted food but being small, I probably don’t spend more than $40 per month feeding her, and she gets a trim every 2 months for $25.

Ladyhawke - The prior owners sent $20 per month for about 1 year and have since sent nothing, and changed addresses. Lady is a sweet horse, and I used her in lessons several times with great success. She’s a horse who’s actually better for a rider than someone handling her on the ground - she has lost almost all the vision in her right eye - you can see the whip mark where someone hit her in the face and damaged her eye. So she’s kind of spooky, but takes great confidence from a rider, and with a gradually fusing left pastern, is slow to move. She’s easy to feed, costing no more than $50 per month, but her leg problems, and that left foot in particular, have driven my farriers mad trying to keep her walking. It costs me $50 to $60 every 2 months to shoe her.

Simply Red - his prior owners never donated a penny for him, and as a 30+ year old thoroughbred, who’s been used hard, including racing, he’s got his share of problems. Red came to me because of a blown suspensory, which took at least a year to begin to heal. But he’s got a lot of spirit and after a long recuperation period (during which he was also recovering from a bad cold, and an abscess in the same leg as the suspensory problem), he’s doing very well. Red is another bargain - $50 per month to feed; $25 every 2 months for a trim.

The horses not listed above have people who still donate for them on a fairly regular basis. However, they seldom donate enough to meet all their needs, so if there is another horse you’re interested in providing some sponsorship support for, let me know. There are only two horses on the property whose former owners donate enough for almost all of their needs - Jet and Joyful. There are still costs I bear for all of these horses, and I can use all the help you can send. I emphasize again - NO AMOUNT DONATED IS TOO SMALL. I can use it all - believe me!


For sponsors, I have two available "perks" - Pat Newman is willing to take a good portrait photo of your sponsored horse, and if you’d like, for an additional amount, she’ll paint a portrait for you - and she’s offered to donate everything paid over her own costs back to TGC. In addition, I can obtain for you a Golden Carrot baseball cap (with the same embroidered logo that’s on my web site), including the name of your sponsored horse, for only $20 (part of that cost is also a donation to TGC!)




Marsha Rugg of Ru Horse Tack & Equipment LLC out of Los Gatos CA (866-664-8439) generously donated 10 rope halters with 12' leads. For those of you who don’t know what a rope halter is, check out their web site at Pat Parelli, a well known horse trainer, uses a version of this equipment. The donated halters were "seconds" but I absolutely can’t see why - they are gorgeous! We’ve used them extensively - one benefit of these rope halters is that they are very adjustable, and fit just about every horse I have on the lot. Thanks, Marsha!


Mandela Arabians has closed its doors in the Desert, and sent halters and ropes; saddle racks; various medications, salves; water barrels and miscellaneous equipment to TGC. It’s all useable except the adorable foal halters - you think baby shoes are cute, sheesh! I’ll be offering those to the breeding farm across the road ... Thank you Helen Mandela - we’ll make good use of these donated items.


Barry Waugaman and Helen Glacy of Banning, CA, were kind enough to visit with FORTY 50# sacks of horse carrots! I gave some to the neighborhood but mostly, TGC horses have been in HEAVEN! Thanks Barry and Helen - despite the name, TGC horses never get ENOUGH carrots.




Felicity Reed of England and Anza has volunteered a couple of days a week for the last 3 weeks at TGC, and what a help she is! Felicity, like a lot of English girls, has been riding since she was one. (Ok, maybe five). But a year or so ago, she had a terrible accident, when a bolting horse threw her, and badly hurt her back. She was off horses for a year - and that makes getting over that fear just that much harder. She’s horse mad though, and TGC horses are just what the doctor ordered. Although she’s ridden Josh, and loved it, and rode Prophet, with a little less success, her favorite by far is Falcon. I’d been told Falcon was "too tough" to be a good lesson horse, but frankly, that has not been the case. He and Felicity have bonded, and both are working slowly together to become fit again. It’s a pleasure to watch them work together. And believe me, Felicity earns her rides - she’s a great stall cleaner, and figured out making feed buckets in just one try. The only thing she can’t do for me, due to hayfever, is load the hay carts up. I’ll try to get photos on site as soon as possible.




O, I can hear it already - WHAT? She took on two more horses? With finances so tight? Well, now, calm down. Apparently my faith in people is unharmed, despite people like the prior owner of Andy and Navigator, and the last horse who came to me whose owner has not lived up to the terms of her agreement either. I’m trusting the owners of Buck (16'2" Tennessee Walker gelding, age 19) and Hava (16'1" Appendix Quarter mare, age 18). Misty and Jeff McPherson are DEVOTED owners, who have donated not only the money necessary to build stalls for their horses, but enough money to defray their expenses for 3 months, with an agreement to continue to do so. In addition, various items of feed which reduce expenses for the first month, and items of tack, came with Buck and Hava. They trailered the "kids" (as they call them) here themselves from Santa Barbara, and have already been down to visit and be sure the kids are OK. Misty is donating the baseball caps offered in the sponsorship program. Maybe I’m making a mistake, but I just HATE judging people by the actions of others, and am hoping this time I’ve got prior owners who really care. I did have the chance to speak with the last "home" Buck and Hava were at (she had to move to Oregon, or they’d still be there with her), and Tracy gives Misty and Jeff a glowing recommendation.




As you’ll recall, with my reluctance to take on more horses until I can find work, I’ve been feeling very bad about the many horses whose owners call desperate to find a home for their old friends. I don’t feel sorry much for the owners who don’t offer to provide donations to help defray that retirement expense, but I continue to worry about the horses - if those owners don’t find a home, those horses will end up at auction, and probably on the slaughter truck.


In addition, I get a lot of calls from people looking for a horse - wondering if I adopt my horses out. Despite the snide comment I heard recently that I must feel I’m the only possible home for my horses since I won’t adopt them out until all support fails, in fact, finding responsible caring homes for older or disabled horses is no easy task. I simply don’t have time to follow up and be sure the match was a good one. A horse will try hard to please, even to their own detriment, and a person who won’t acknowledge a horse’s age or disabilities can cause irreparable damage, and pain and suffering, to an old campaigner who tries his heart out for this new owner. That is what the Golden Carrot offers that other homes don’t - an understanding of the aches and pains that limit a horse’s ability, and a willingness to work with and tolerate those limitations.


Within the limits of that and other problems related to horse ownership and maintenance, and the law that considers a horse to be "property" and thus to be used and disposed of at the "owner’s" discretion, I’ve tried to match up the people looking for horses, and horses looking for homes.




So far this year, donations total $1,408 (not counting Nancy Antioch’s generous donation of her trailer; and the part of Joyful’s annual donation not yet used). If that rate of donation continues, donations for the year will be $5,632 - barely more than ½ of what was donated last year. Has everyone forgotten us? Did you all think your help wasn’t needed because of Ms. Antioch’s donation? Remember, if I get donations from you to equal last year’s, ADDED to Ms. Antioch’s donation, I’ll still be $6,000 short of the feed bill. Remember, the feed bill up here is at least $25,000 per year - the farrier expense annually is $4,800. WE STILL NEED YOU!!


Call or e-mail me if you’d like to make a donation; or if you would like to sponsor a horse. We’ll find a way to make it easy for you. $10 per month is $120 per year. I have 40+ people on my mailing list. If you all did this - the farrier expense for the year is covered! Is $10 per month so much?




When the lucky day dawns that I win a SuperLotto, in addition to the good work I do here at TGC, I’ll be donating some money to an organization called Habitat for Horses in Texas. The man who runs that rescue is very politically active, and has done a great deal of good for horses, but mostly, he writes about horses like an Angel! The following is an excerpt from his newsletter that I think expresses a lot of what I feel and believe:

People who live around horses and take the time to see them as more than animals understand the depth of love they often have for one another and for their human. We see them experiencing joy and sadness, fear and anxiety, love and heartbreak - emotions we understand and identify with. We see the emotions in them not because we project our feelings on them, but because we see the results of those feelings in their actions. Listening to them, we can witness a spirit as pure as God can make. But it takes listening. It takes the ability to lay ourselves aside, to stop thinking that we humans know everything, that horses have nothing to teach us.


Habitat for Horses (And The Golden Carrot!) - the organization, the volunteers, the concept, the goals - revolves around understanding that spirit, promoting it, and expressing its beauty to all who want to be a part of the world of horses. From the new born colt to the old, swaybacked mare, they all deserve a life free of hunger and fear. Because we domesticated them and use them for our pleasure, we are responsible for their mental and physical health. When a human denies that responsibility and lets a horse suffer, others must step in to help. That is what rescues are all about. That’s why we have animal cruelty laws. That’s the reason Habitat for Horses (and The Golden Carrot!) must exist.