Monday, June 20, 2011

Did you ever meet someone and wish you hadn't?

That's how I feel about the guy who was going to shoot this horse.  When the owner emailed me that if she didn't move her horse by Monday he would be shot by the property owner I thought it must be an empty threat. When she gave me the address I felt absolutely sick to my stomach.
I used to board right next door and the trails were fantastic but in order to get to the trail you had to ride past this one house. The path was not on his property but it didn't stop him from putting up wire lines right at rider height to try to keep people from riding by or maybe to purposely hurt people .  Clotheslining someone is not legal by the way and it's down right nasty and dangerous. The first time I saw the line I had just rounded a corner on a young colt at a canter . It was dusk and I barely saw it in time. Literally I stopped inches from it. I came straight back and took a bolt cutter to it and let's just say " he and I met". It went back up, I cut it down . Again, this was not on his property it's about 20 ft before his property line in an area where people have been riding for years and he built his house there recently.  I called the police , who I believe had it removed again. It kept on like this for months I moved so I don't know if it continued after I left but I do know a girl who got knocked off her pony from it. Luckily she was not seriously hurt or worse.
He now boards horses at his house ?? Bizarre world.
We planned on Monday afternoon because we wanted to make sure it was at least 90 degrees so I could really enjoy the long drive with no air conditioner.  UGH, why do they work fine when you don't really need them?
I pulled up and saw the man outside. I was really prepared for another round of words with him but he just went inside. Whew, very glad of that because my tolerance for jerks is directly impacted by the temperature . The owner went to go get the horse and when she brought him out of his pen she said" last two times it took 6 people 7 hours to load him"
Oh great! I saw she was having trouble with the odd contraption of a gate and offered to hold the horse. He was a little wound up but not too bad we walked over to the trailer . He did not load right up unfortunatly and did not care if there was hay , carrots or nice treats in the trailer. Happily it didnt take 6 people7 hours but about ten minutes just the two of us , one long line and a little tapping on the butt.
So he is Eddie a 6 year old Andulusian  that was broke and then turned out for two years. The new owner of 2 months has been lounging him but has not tried to ride him.
So that's how he got here, why I think he really would have been shot and who he is.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hello Peyton !

Peyton is a  Quarter Horse/ Arabian/ Thoroughbred/ Mustang mix . They said his story is that he was a bottle fed orphan who has figured out how to buffalo people and can be pushy .
He is apparently not over the traumatic childhood?
 Well, Payton you are now three years old and the label orphan just doesn't cut it anymore , just like everyone else you are going to have to get over it.  You are no longer a rescue horse so that isn't your ace in the hole either.

They said he knows the 7 Games (TM ) but I have a couple more for him.
1. Red light Green light=. I stop , you stop , I go , you go.  No tailgaiting or bumper cars and I will not play Tug O War and drag you by the face  , you have 4 legs you can keep up with me

2. Follow the leader , my way= You can't walk directly behind me , I can't see what you're doing and don't want to get run over when you jump at the boogey man behind you.

3.Mother May I = You walk , trot , canter and whoa when I say and you don't get to change until I say.

4 Freeze Tag= Whoa , means whoa it does not mean slowly creep up or eat or any other fidgety things
Really simple games and we both win . I don't get hurt and end up in the hospital unable to do the chores or pay for your feed and care.  You will be treated kindly but like the horse you are.
Sounds fair right ?
Game on !

The foals meet Mr Halter.

There is nothing cute about a foal you cannot handle, give medicine or hoofcare to . In fact it's just dangerous . So today the foals had their first lessons about the halter and leadrope. I have to wait until they are in the stall and shut them in , eventually I'm hoping they are more approachable in the pasture but the mom's are nervous and they follow mom.  The filly did great without any issues at all. The colt had a little tantrum about being touched and mom pacing outside and whinnying didn't help. Once she had some hay she settled down. After that he did great! He even got led around outside of the stall and eventually he even let me lead him away from mom  without pitching a fit. I feel much better knowing that if they need medical help at least I can lead and hold them without any "high ho silvers". They even learned it's ok for me to hold their feet up, this will come in handy real soon because their hooves need a trim badly.
More pictures of the halter lesson on

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What happens to those cute foals all over the country?

These horses are a prime example of why we want to bring awareness to over breeding and offer the low cost gelding clinics.

The mothers and foals were 2 out of 4 that were on the way to slaughter. A feedlot is no place for a foal, ever, so we offered to rehab them until homes could be found. Shipwrecked Farms will be taking one of the pairs .

I don't know who bred these horses but their hooves don't look like they have ever been touched. Their tails are a solid mass of matted hair which gives them a good thump just from trying to swat a fly. The feedlot said the larger mare leads but she will not let anyone touch her yet. She has a large scar that appears to have been left on its own to heal. The younger mother is only a 3 year old filly herself, meaning she  was bred at 2 years old. Her filly was a week old when it was sold for slaughter. A feedlot is a rough place for a big horse and this filly shows she has been pretty beat up. She has missing patches of hair and scrapes all over her face , body and all four legs are bald from the hoof to the pastern. Her mother was so stressed at the feedlot that she was refusing to nurse her. The cruelty to an innocent animal and her newborn is beyond fathom.
The old owner managed to make sure they had a brand on their hips though. Whoever it was should be ashamed to be connected to the neglect these animals are showing.  People can claim their rights to own horses and consider them livestock but a real breeder or rancher would have tried to put some effort into caring for them to keep his stock alive and healthy. Even cattle raised for slaughter get more care than this.
I am disgusted by this breeder and all the others like this.  All I can do is try to make the rest of their futures a little brighter by getting them healthy again and putting some effort into their handling.
It won't make up for what they went through but hopefully it will keep them from going through it again.
If anyone can donate to help it would be greatly appreciated and used on the horses. If you can't donate please share our website or facebook to get the word out about overbreeding and the importance of gelding clinics for those who need an incentive or help getting it done. We do not need more foals ending up neglected or heading to slaughter.
Together we can all help
paypal address is
Thank you
Enjoy reading about their progress on our facebook - Back In The Saddle Project!/pages/Back-in-the-Saddle-Project/161382019757

Thursday, March 24, 2011

36 New Geldings !!!

The gelding clinics went great! We somehow picked a small gap in the rain and wind this week and actually had pretty good weather and even some sun.
I'll spare you the close up pictures of the surgeries but we got some great shots if anyone is interested email me.
 The first clinic was held at Epona Farms in Galt. Kelly and I arrived in the dark  to set everything up. There were already 10 horses who had been brought in the day before . We cannot thank Catriona at  Epona Farms enough for her generosity in letting owners bring horses in so they didnt have to take the day off work . The vets and UC Davis students arrived in their bus. Some fugly blog readers may remember my suggestion to get a bus to go around gelding horses, well Dr Eric Davis really has the Gelding Bus!

The students got right to work unloading equiptment and Dr Davis started right in on the surgeries.

They made sure each horse was comfortable and even put pillows under their heads

This is where the bad kids had to go stand . I think the guys were just getting a little uncomfortable with all the women and castrations going on , they seemed to get further and further away

We had a great group of owners and friends of owners at the clinic. Thank you to Michelle and her crew for helping set up and  making sure everyone had coffee and food . Here she is with her boy Charger as he is starting to feel the sedatives.
This pretty pony was quite a character. He looks like he knows whats coming doesn't he?

 Grumpy is trying to get his bearings after waking up , he was so small we all thought the stall was empty when we first walked by.

The students were so nice and so professional , it was a pleasure meeting them and watching them work.

Everyone had a good time even this guy was smiling