Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tis the Season

After much talk, Back in the Saddle Project has decided to blog every Friday. With our full time jobs, children to love and care for, and the horses to feed, groom and ride, we are short on time-so Friday it is. Please check back with us once a week to get the weekly low down!

Little Bit dressed as Christmas Elf with Ruby and Jamie

We have three horses signed up for the January euthanasia clinic where we are able to provide Veterinarian administered euthanasia and rendering for $100 a horse. We have 1 horse signed up for the $50 gelding clinic and we have almost completed the paperwork for our IRS 501(c)(3) filing. Deb and I are on the hunt for electrical horse tape and other fencing materials, wishing we could afford to rent a hydraulic t-post driver!

Monday, we were contacted by a family who came across a starving horse in an abandoned pasture near their home. Although they had no horse experience they knew, they could not leave him there to die a slow and painful death. They were able to get permission to take the horse home and walked him down the lane to their pasture where they fed and rehabilitated him. Now that he is healthy they are looking to place him in a home, but they know little about him.

Goldie, the mustang

I was going to be in the area so I stopped by to check him out. After shaving his neck it was evident that he was a BLM mustang, approx 9 years old and he was still intact cryptorchid with poor confirmation. I took pictures of his brand and have sent them off to BLM to try and get title figured out. In the mean time, the family is keeping him and taking care of him until further notice. Goldie is very lucky that these people are loving and caring enough to help him out before it was too late.

While out on a Christmas BITS Bites delivery to Sammie’s Friends, a call came in from a donor who was picking up, Cash, an emaciated horse that Sammie’s Friends was willing to rescue and rehabilitate. Unfortunately, Cash would not load in her slant trailer and she was unsure of how to transport him to Sammie’s Friends. Sammie’s Friends has a horse fund and are able to take in 1 or 2 horses at time. They understand the importance of proper rehabilitation, vet care, hoof care, and they believe that proper training before adoption, is necessary.Since I was there, I offered to transport Cash in the BITS stock trailer. We set up a time to meet the following day, Christmas Eve and transport Cash to his rehab home. After the morning chores of feeding horses and cleaning stalls were done, Deb and I set out driving down to Lincoln to pick up Cash. When we arrived at the home we found Cash in pretty bad shape, after evaluating him, we found him to be an approx. 28 years old, sway back, Arabian with a bit of an attitude. His teeth were worn down, but he did not drop any feed when eating, Deb noticed signs of ringbone and bone spurs as well.

Deb evaluating Cash

Even though he looked bad, he still had it in him to put a healthy fight, as he was unwilling to load in the stock trailer as well. We were all set to put up some panels when the owners arrived home.

We began to talk with the concerned donor and the owner and found out the owners had little horse experience, but wanted to do right by Cash. They did not understand that the horse was elderly and most likely his weight loss was due to a metabolic issues rather than neglect. The owner was willing to provide humane euthanasia if that was what the horse needed.

 It was then decided to return Cash to his pasture and help the owner set up the vet and rendering. Before we left, Deb and I took the opportunity to help the owner clean up the discarded baling twine and metal gates in the pasture, explaining to her the dangers they presented to her horses. We found the water trough empty and explained that horses need an average of 10-15 gallons of water each a day. The owner was very thankful and asked if we could come back and help her on the day the vet came to put Cash down, we happily told her we would do whatever we could to help. Deb and I could have simply loaded the underweight horse and left the home, but by taking the time educate the owner rather than just take her problem horse away, we were able to help make a better horse owner out of her and hopefully help keep the other two horses she has healthy. Remember most neglect arises from lack of education and is not intentional. Education is the key!!

On Christmas day, Deb was on her way to feed the horses when two dogs ran out in front of her car. After stopping the care and feeding them some of our Christmas BITS Bites, Deb allowed the two to jump in the car. She knew she would not be able to enjoy Christmas dinner in her warm home if she left the two to fend for themselves.

Bones sleeping on Deb's couch, which is normally a big NO NO in Deb's house.
As you can see from the pictures, Bones, an intact, male, pit-bull, is emaciated to the point that he feels pain when he is petted. Diva, the black lab mix is sweet and not as bad off as her mate but still underweight and dehydrated.

Bones and Diva resting in the warm house on the comfy couch

The two are resting happily in Debs home for the weekend and we are looking to place them in a home as soon as possible. If you are interested, please contact us a

Getting ready to deliver our BITS bites
Little Bit did his job on Christmas afternoon, delivering Christmas BITS Bites to neighbors and BITS supporters. He was such a good little elf, he really likes the attention he gets from his girl! We hope you had a great holiday week and wish you a Happy New Year. See you next Friday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Time to Celebrate!

BITS had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we have certainly been enjoying all this amazing weather, which has allowed us to ride almost every day. We attended the Chico Equestrian Association Turkey Trot and checked out their great facility and met a lot of really nice riders.

We are certainly making headway on the Euthanasia and Gelding Clinics. Our new pals from Nevada County, Sammies Friends, have donated 3 gelding procedures! We are so grateful and so very excited. Sammie’s Friends is a group dedicated to helping shelter animals get the small procedures they need to adoptable while helping other animals in the community with veterinarian care as well.

Yesterday, Jamie sent out about 30 emails to equine veterinarians in Northern California requesting help with both gelding procedures and the Euthanasia Clinic. 5 hours after the emails were sent a response came back from Dr. Dewey. Not only is she donating 2 gelding procedures, but she has pledged to head the January euthanasia clinic and is a active member in the Equine Medicine Club at UC Davis Veterinary school. She is going to help get a FREE gelding clinic set up in Nevada County where we will be able to geld 10-15 horses in one day and offer valuable experience to the next generation on veterinarians! We are picking a date and will be sending out the information later this week.

One last thing: As you all know, this economy has hit the non-profit sector really hard. When things are hard, there is an even bigger need for those dedicated to offering relief for those who need it. BITS would like to suggest that since most of us are cutting back on Christmas spending this year, maybe we could all take a different approach to this giving season and donate our time. We can accomplish a lot with help, so we encourage you to find a non-profit which is close to your heart and offer your services. The local food banks always need extra hands, and your salvation army has many to feed this year and a blanket drive for the homeless can be done by simply walking the block and asking your neighbors and friends for warm blankets to pass out to those who need it. Good luck!