I'm alive, but the Internet was down at home and so I've been effectively crippled since I had to catch up at work from my vacation! So here is the latest:
I had barely recovered from vacation when I got the e-mail. You know the e-mail. The OMG there's a THOROUGHBRED and it's going to Mexico to DIE unless YOU take it e-mail. Well, it wasn't just a Thoroughbred. It was (a) old (b) a mare and (c) unfuckingbelievably cute. Pretty much the trifecta for me. I loooove old TB mares. I love them even more than I love Kate Spade handbags and cinnamon dolce frappucinos. They are my weakness. Colin (Petersburg Knight) left on Saturday to go to boarding closer to La Mexicana's home and, as my friend Kalisa likes to say, "nature abhors a vaccuum." Or apparently, an empty quarantine pasture.
This is the mare, with Hanna who helped with the rescue.
There was a rather amazing effort being made to ensure that NO horses went to Mexico from Enumclaw this month, and I am impressed it succeeded - while at the same time having personal misgivings about participating. A very generous individual bailed all of these horses. I do not know if she wishes to be named, if she does, I'll name her later when I have a last name. However, Ron got one hell of a markup on all of them. I wasn't at the sale to know what they went for but by my best guess he made close to $4000 reselling these horses at a profit to rescue - and probably half of them are valueless, at least in their current condition. Ugh, you guys know I don't like to see rescuers throw out money to that extent. I don't begrudge the dealers a fair markup but this is getting ridiculous. It's getting where I KNOW that they are just sucking cash out of the bleeding heart women and the right thing to do is say, forget you, can those, I'll save something else. OTOH, I know, I know, it's damn hard to walk away.
Anyway, the mare was bailed whether I took her or not so I guess it's a moot point. I called Hanna, one of the people coordinating this mass rescue, last night and was informed the mare couldn't be caught so I headed to the auction yard and found an unfuckingbelievably cute black mare who wasn't aggressive and was obviously tame but had many years of experience avoiding being caught and was freaked out in the situation. Can't say as I blame her. The Enumclaw 10 were all turned out on that lovely concrete yard adjacent the auction. There was this mare, an even cuter young blood bay TB mare (with just classic sport horse conformation - not tall but should be athletic as hell), a fat liver chestnut Morgan with a "119" brand on his butt, an elderly fat Appaloosa who was running the show, a couple of positively crippled sorrel and white paints (someone had practically cut their front feet off, wtf, wtf, wtf...) I think there was a bay and white paint, I know there was a solid sorrel stock type horse, and I can't remember the rest. More details to come. After much "walking down" and tempting with handfuls of safechoice, I got a piece of bailing twine around the neck of Skittish Suzy (thanks dontyouridenofuglyhorse for that little trick in dealing with evasive and clever old broodies) and she, predictably, gave up and let us halter her.
Then there was some weird reason why they couldn't leave last night so I had to head out there and pick her up at 7:30 this morning. I certainly am glad my boss understands my need to occasionally go out and save a life on company time! I woke up at my usual 5, did my chores, stuffed a ball cap over my unwashed hair and headed off to borrow Juliane's truck and trailer. Juliane is the President of Cowgirl Spirit and is always just great about letting me use her rig even at odd hours of the day or night like this! I was at Enumclaw at 7:30 and this time, little mare was on to the idea that she was getting the hell out and not to go on a double decker. I walked right up to her and she jumped eagerly in the trailer like a good little OTTB. Yes, she has a tat, no I haven't read it. And honestly, I SUCK at reading them so if you're in the Seattle area and you're good at it, e-mail me and you come over and look at it.
So, the little black mare (she's about 15.2) is home safe right now. We had a talk about possible names and she seemed to like Lucy, so she's Lucy at least until we ID her. She is up in my quarantine paddock and is no longer hard to catch in the least. She seems super quiet, she's not at all herd bound, and her legs look awesome - very clean and tight. She's sound even trotting on concrete, as we observed last night, so I have high hopes this one will be a great little short stirrup hunter with a bit of training! She will be in QT for two weeks and then I'll hop on and evaluate her for anybody who may be interested in adopting.
Now if she DOES look familiar, e-mail me right away. You know there are few things I enjoy as much as a good game of Out The Asshat. And if I find out who dumped this mare at Enumclaw, I will make it my personal duty to ensure that the folks in Zimbabwe hear the news. She was lot 191, FYI.
I still don't know all of the responsible parties here, so please do not have a cow if I don't credit you properly, but Shannon Hendrickson of Signature West Farm provided transportation for many of them and is, I am told, adopting two for sure (I think the pretty TB mare and the elderly Appy). I'm going to send Shannon the link to the blog so she can comment herself. BIG kudos to her - we ALL love it when someone who has a "serious barn" takes time out to rescue instead of sneering at these horses and making comments like "there's a reason some horses go to kill." I actually suspect that cute little TB mare she got is going to wind up being a freakin' superstar. She just has the look. You know? Shannon will have to post pics. I should have taken some. Both of these TB mares are going to turn out to be well bred horses...mark my words.
For those of you ready to jump up with donations, we will be reimbursing the person who already bailed the horse at the time of adoption, as we did with Colin. Colin's donations have been distributed to the rescues indicated by the donors except for those of you who didn't choose. For those of you interested, SAFE got $451.25, Cowgirl Spirit got $271.70, SOS Equines got $47.50, Serenity Equine Rescue got $32.30, Pasado's Safe Haven got $23.75, and Draft Horse Rescue got $19. This is minus 5% paypal fees. If you didn't choose, PLEASE let me know if you want your donation to go to a certain rescue, because if you don't, I am warning you now that it is going into my gas tank! I just blew $50 I hadn't really planned on picking up this mare...you know, whine, whine, price of gas, whine whine...
I continue to debate actually trying to set up some sort of formal rescue structure related to this blog. I discussed everything with an attorney this past week and I may do it. In the meantime, I will compromise. If you feel that you really want to donate to my rescuing in some way, and understand that I do not have a 501(c)(3) and you cannot write this off, you can paypal to email@example.com and it will be used specifically for vet bills on rescued horses only and I will scan in the actual bills so you can see them. Sound fair? Again, if I can adopt her out for enough to cover her expenses, you will be reimbursed or can re-route the donation as you choose.
On other news - I went to the Roy Rodeo this past week and I am curious about something. It always seems that somebody on this blog has the info I need, so I'm asking! Anybody know the stock contractor for that rodeo? I believe the company name was Hall or Howe? They have this tall, dark bay TB, pretty sure it was a mare, in their bucking string. I mean, she is definitely a TB. Sticks out like a sore thumb. I'd like to get in touch with someone over there to offer her a home if she gets hurt or quits performing well. She is a really nice mover and well put together. She must have made someone very angry to wind up where she is (I'm kind of picturing some dressage queen hanging off a barn rafter swearing in German at her) but I'd like to get my name and number in front of the stock contractors and make sure she never falls through the cracks. Those bucking horses can be reformed in many cases...there's actually a guy named Wayne White who runs rodeos in the PNW who retrains them or has them retrained as a matter of course and I understand most of them ride just fine. I know that those of you in the show world tend to go EEEEEK at the rodeo life, but honestly, many buckers come out of it sound and retrainable and they are another group (like old TB broodies!) that really need for someone to step in and help them get a second career. (Why isn't anybody focusing a rescue on that? Or are they? Fill me in, if you know of one!)
OK back to finishing my pile of ignored work ... sorry about all of the offline time. And yes, don't even try to e-mail me except if it's with regard to this post and Lucy at the link above. I am 800 emails behind. I honestly do not know when/how/if I will ever catch up. Talk about it in the comments if it's important. I always read the comments!