Friday, August 29, 2008

TGIF and it's time for good news!

I know you're all dying for some good news, so happy Friday - you're getting nothing but!

First of all, I want to publicize a new web site called Report Animal Cruelty. THIS IS FOR THE STATE OF VERMONT ONLY. FINALLY, a simple way to report it when you see animals in jeopardy, without having to deal with Sheriff Doofus who thinks all old horses are skinny or Deputy Dingbat who doesn't see anything wrong with horses standing up to their knees in mud ('cause it's been rainin' you know, so that's just gonna happen). Hopefully it will spread to all 50 states, but right now, this is VERMONT ONLY. I'm excited to hear how it works out! We can thank the Vermont Humane Federation and the Humane Society of the United States for making this happen.

This is Barney, the poster child for the Vermont Humane Federation. "We are filming a television PSA on why people should report animal cruelty, and Barney here is a perfect illustration. This horse is a mid-20’s Belgian/Morgan cross. All he needed was basic horse care….worming, teeth floating, and lots of groceries."

In the interests of having a happy post, I won't show the "before" picture. You all know what it looked like. HOORAY for Barney! And HOORAY for the VHF for doing a PSA and spreading their message!

Here's what I always talk about - a horse who was going nowhere but the slaughterhouse FAST when somebody intervened, rehabbed her and then placed her with someone who - gasp! - actually TRAINED her! Folks, if you are able to train OR pay for training, that is the #1 BEST thing you can do for a rescue horse today, right now. For those of you who keep saying "what can I do?" well, this is what you can do. This is what MOST needs to be done for the irresponsibly produced horses already in existence. Do it! Seriously, if you train, what's one more baby to work with? You can put 60 days on something and change the course of its entire life. Especially those of you who have assistants/working students to help ride, and you know who you are. Please consider making that contribution this winter. I'm not telling you not to make money on the deal. Just pick up a youngster from an auction that has papers and train it and make all the money you want on the resale. Go for it! Heck, come back here and brag. My personal best is we (friends and I) took one from $525 to $2500 in less than a year and then he resold for $8000 that year (in 2007). If you can beat that, I would LOVE to hear about it - c'mon, trainers, I'm challenging you!

"I purchased a registered 2 year old Clydesdale filly with Budweiser bloodlines from a woman who was going through a rough divorce. I was sent 1 photo of the filly, incredibly thin and standing in a ton of mud...Despite the fact that I could tell the filly would be a lot of work, I went ahead and purchased her anyways. I was assured that she had been handled at least a little bit recently so I was thinking I wouldn't have to worry so much about that from the beginning. That was until she bolted out of the shipper's trailer and refused to be caught for the rest of the day...She was scaled a 2 on the body scale according to the Veterinarian that I had check her out the next day, rain rot all over her body, she had scratches from the mud she was standing in all the way up to her knees and hocks, and her hooves and frog were sloughing off from the excessive moisture over such a long period of time."

The rescuer then adopted her out to a home which started her under saddle at age four. "Pretzel, now 6 years old, competed at the Yoncalla 4th of July Rodeo against over 10 QHs and Paints to have the honor of carrying the American Flag at the opening ceremonies. It's a NPRA sanctioned event, and the horses had to exhibit a reining pattern as well as make a circuit calmly around the arena with the American Flag. They won!!! I'm including a few photos of Pretzel with her wonderful trainer Kelly doing the spin in the reining pattern as well as carrying the American Flag during their victory lap."

Kelly, you rock! What a great job with Pretzel, and how exciting to triumph over the light breeds and give people a reason to look twice at full drafts for riding horses.

OK, I love this one because it stands in SHARP contrast to the ridiculous Ponytales fugly stallion story (too old to geld, my ass). Now this is doing it RIGHT with a rescued stallion!
"His name is Ophir Epona. We got him a year and a half ago from the doggers - Unbroke, unhandled 16yo stallion. We were told at the doggers that he was 8yo. As a stallion, we wouldn't be able to keep him and figured that 8 wasn't TOO old to be gelded. When his other option was a bullet, gelding seemed a good option. A few weeks after he was gelded.. We made the discovery that he was not 8, but 16. Gulp! He recovered fine however and is now enjoying his permanent home with us and is slowly learning new things."

More on the good news front - Prince Caspian, the Cowgirl Spirit horse who was a recent Friday Featured Rescue, has been adopted! He has a new home with a wonderful woman with fabulous references and I have no doubt he is her dream horse. Honestly, I rode the horse in a class last weekend (his SIXTH time under saddle) and he was so good it was unbelievable. I'm even going to put the picture up, and yes I do know my upper body position is hideous but hey, sixth ride in the show ring and I had never been on him until 2 minutes before the class, gimme a break...LOL! The important thing is that he is a beautiful, smart boy who has a new home and I knew you all wanted to hear that!

This is the REALLY cute pic though...Juliane rode him in trail after their drill performance and he figured out he could open and close the gate with his nose, so she let him. How cute is that? It makes my day that this wonderful horse didn't slip through the cracks - thanks again to Cowgirl Spirit for getting some training on him and getting him ready for a career!
Salsa, featured on this blog, has also gone to a new home so congratulations to her new owner. Now we just need to find a home for Class, a large Quarter pony pictured on the VLC blog. So if you are in the Seattle area and need a versatile large pony with no soundness issues or vices, hit up CSRDT!

Have a wonderful long weekend, everybody. If the weather holds, I'm going to try to take the VLC for his first "outing" to a new barn and a strange arena. What are your holiday weekend plans with your horses?