The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive


April 2015 Newsletter

First, the sad news.  The day finally dawned that our dear Buck left us. As many of you may know, we’ve been expecting this anytime in the last 2 years - he was in his mid-30s. Please read his story, and remember him one more time.

And the very next day, to our complete shock, dear Corazon went down and passed. She had just over two years here to be a horse, and I think she was very happy. Her passing has left Pepe and Keller so sad. Please read of her short time here, and honor this hardworking mare for a final time.

New arrivals -Carson and Durango




Durango and Carson were rental string horses at the Star Ranch in Corona. At some point, the owner of that property called it quits, not paying on the property and threatening to sell all 60 odd horses to slaughter. He pretty much stopped feeding them, and for a couple of years that effort has been accomplished by one of Eileen’s friends. Community efforts (including the other owner taking those horses he thought he could sell) found placement for most of these hardworking horses, but our two, an old crippled stallion and a lame filly were left. And then another elder gelding was returned to them!  HiCaliber Horse Rescue took the stallion and other gelding; the filly has found a home. Eileen also contacted some pig rescues for the pigs left there.

Durango and Carson were both Catalina horses! Talk about horses who’ve been there and done that! I can just imagine my horses on that ferry to Catalina! Yikes! And then they were string horses at Star Ranch for at least 10 years. So these guys have miles and miles and miles on them. And you can see it in their aching joints. But they’re used to a herd environment, and have all of the aplomb that comes with years of experience. Durango is thinner, but more animated. I suspect he’s mostly toothless but attacks any kind of food with gusto. Carson I think is suffering right now from wretched feet making his legs ache, more than anything.

Both boys need sponsorship - could that be you? Commit any amount - every month, every other month, every quarter, every six months or annually, whatever works for you - and you will be a sponsor!

Next to arrive was Saki!

This lovely palomino Argentine TB mare is in her mid 20s. Ex polo pony mare, whose scumbag owner is the same rat who abandoned Medina. So of course she comes to us skinny, with long feet, covered with booboos including two which were infected because she was tossed into a small pen with too many other horses, and required to fight for what little food she could get.  Add to this a compromised ability to see, and Saki was barely able to stay alive!  Thanks to our friends at Polo Pony Rescue, she was pulled out, and transported here for a better retirement.  Saki needs a sponsor tho - could that be you?

And Next to arrive was Princesa!

Although she’s tattooed, the tat is completely illegible. That means she was an off track thoroughbred; the doctor thinks she may have had a baby but not too many; she was a polo pony; and then she worked at a riding stable, and as a kid’s lesson horse. Not one rotten job she’s been spared.

And this poor mare has NO incisors at all now. She only had three lower incisors, and one that had been crushed and laid sideways into her jaw. All of the lower incisors were loose and the doc recommended removing them. He thinks all this horrible damage might have been traumatic, and it does mean we have no means to even estimate her age.  Princesa may have one part sponsor already, could you step up with a small monthly amount to help her? This mare has been thru the mill - let's do our best to provide her with some good retirement years!


New sponsors - 

Reggie has another part sponsor!    Sue Holland has stepped up with a part sponsorship for our boy, as she has known him for years.  It really warms my heart when people who knew our horses in their past remember, and honor them.


Stall Renovation Project!

Ok, so, now for the exciting news. our Sponsor Niki, who part sponsors Naomi (her mom part sponsors Summer) sent me an email a while back: "I know that I haven't shared much about myself but I am a manager at United Technologies Aerospace Systems (formerly Goodrich). For at least 10 years, there is a group at my work who have worked on rehab projects here in Chula Vista where they help to repair homes for senior citizens or underprivileged families. After visiting The Golden Carrot in January, I thought that maybe they could help you and the horses if you are willing."

The number of volunteers went down, and it turned out we had to raise our own money for materials, but in the end, approximately 15 able bodied adults (and a horde of children!) Came to the Golden Carrot on May 2 and 3, tore down five of our crappy stalls, and rebuilt them, and also did a few fence repairs as well! What an amazing group of people!

I kept away, a little bit - I had to deal with a pellet delivery; Laurie came out and I had to catch and hold 5 horses for her; and the chores still needed doing; but each time I came back to check on things and get pictures, progress was being made, and the people looked so happy! They had to deal with Lowe’s flaking on materials delivery; our place not really being convenient for parking; and all the difficulties of working on uneven surfaces, with dogs and horses ‘supervising’, and they just kept plugging along. And you can see the wonderful job they did! The only bad thing I can say is, dang, their stalls make my other old stalls look horrible!!! 

Katja helped by coming out and preparing and serving BBQ burgers and brats to everyone, and working with Carl and Rose who are now working on a video of the event and of The Golden Carrot; Eileen came and helped with stalls on both days; helped me feed both days and groomed about 30 horses; and Irene came a second time in a week to do her usual stall cleaning and water barrel filling. I could not be more grateful for all of them, and for those of you who donated to help get the materials for these lovely stalls. My neighbor Mike and I worked the last hour on Sunday to put up gate chains, install feeders and Mike cut the feeder openings.

This was an extraordinary effort on the part of a group of strangers. They all hail from Chula Vista, a 2.5 hour drive one way. They all work full time. They gave up their whole weekend, drove so far and camped at a local campground overnight, and worked their butts off for two whole days. You can see the lovely finished product, but you don’t see how neatly they stacked the materials from the old stalls; how they carefully removed nails and other hardware to keep from leaving them in the stall area to cause damage; how everyone kept working, all the time; how the moms present, if they weren’t corraling the kids, were also working to lift and carry and help remove old materials and bring new ones in. They all understood what needed to be done, they had a plan, and no one had to be told what to do. VERY impressive.

I am so grateful. To Niki for suggesting it. To all of the families who gave up their time and effort to help. To my volunteers who made it possible to keep our routine going during all the chaos. To all of you donors who helped to get the needed materials. At least the five worst stalls, with the most precarious roofs, are now in excellent shape. Maybe I can get some more in good shape before next winter!

As always, I end with a plea that you keep our little organization in mind. In the last 45 days, we spent just over $7,000 on a really nice load of early bermuda hay which the horses are just loving; $7,200 on 22 tons of pellets; $1,200 on the farrier cycle; and the extra money needed for final expenses for two horses, and the initial expenses for four. We’re cleaned out! :-D

I still hope, against any common sense at all, that somewhere we will find that land we need to expand our ability to help. I won’t go over 45 horses as long as I have to do all the chores - I’m almost 60 after all! - but with the right place, maybe I can find someone to help at least 3-4 days a week. I’d like to have the ability to provide sanctuary for 100 horses; and layup for maybe 10-20 horses for other rescues (freeing up a stall they can use to take in another, less injured, horse until the injured one is ready to retrain and rehome). I’d like to have a nice arena and parking for enough vehicles that perhaps I could offer riding lessons; or a facility for events to help earn some $$ which might pay for a full time helper. So much more could be done, if we just had the space....

But even as we are, these 43 horses and two donkeys are very deserving of your help. Without frills, it still costs a fair amount to feed, farrier and vet this many equines. And keep the facilities in decent operating condition. If you make a once a year donation to our general fund, or send monthly money to sponsor a particular horse, each dollar goes directly to their care. When you help financially, a Buck can live out his years, a Corazon gets to pick her friends and enjoy them. We focus on the horses here at TGC - it’s about them, sometimes for the very first time in their lives. Isn’t it the least we can do, when, without choice, and with the best wills possible, they give of their own freedom, and effort, for a lifetime? Thank you for joining us to help the horses of the Golden Carrot....

As the Stable Turns...

After the loss of Peanut, I was worried about Ashley, her best friend.  I put Buttercup in the stall next to her, figuring she'd like a girlfriend, but it turns out, Ashley likes the elderly, and has become hopelessly attached to Cinnamon! And Sarge and Mack follow at a close, but respectful distance.  She's queen of her own sub-herd now, and I think quite happy!

I had to put Carson and Durango in separated stalls - I had hopes that Jordan would like Durango but while they're civil to each other, Jordan runs out to stand near to Hershey and Shawnee each day, and Durango dashes out to find Carson. When we lost Buck, I immediately put Joyful next to Surely and moved Durango next to Carson.  Then, when Saki came in, she went into Corazon’s stall and initially Keller was just awful to her. So I moved her over to a stall between Anya and Daisy, but each day, found her at Cora’s old stall gate, so I gave in and let her choose. And little by little, she’s getting Keller to come around - Pepe, of course, loves her very much and that may be part of the problem.  Now, to put her even briefly with Daisy, I had to move Jasper - so Jas went next to Jordan, and while it took a few days, that has turned out to be inspired!  Jasper originally loved Remy, and when Remy passed, I think he followed Daisy and Medina around thinking that's what Remy would have wanted him to do. But he's an old bachelor at heart, and has struck up a friendship with Jordan.  Whew, it's musical stalls around here! Eventually Princesa came in and she's very happy in the stall between Anya and Daisy.

Carson turns out to be a caretaker - he's very protective of Durango and recently a misunderstanding resulted in poor Diamond having some pretty severe lacerations on his left hind due to Carson's insistence that he 'move away!'  He was trying to, but Diamond is slow and while moving turned to see if Lester was coming, which I think Carson took to be interest in Durango. Ooo boy - he's a tough one. Diamond is doing great and the wounds are closing so long term, no harm....

Life goes on.  Horses pass away; new horses come in. New sub-herds are formed, new friendships develop.  It's not wild horses, but its as close to a wild life as domesticated horses ever see.  Enough human routine to help them feel safe and comfortable, enough interaction with the other horses, the herd, to make them feel young again for a few years.  Our chance to give back for all they do for us. Thank you - from them and from me - for helping make this dream come true for them.....