Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Excellence of Seasoned Horses

(Autumn 24 yrs)

How old is too old for a horse?  All of my personal horses are senior horses:  
seasoned, experienced,  nerve (heart), irreplaceable, "on-the-ball", and ridABLE.  

Yet too often in the world of rescue we hear "oh, but we don't want a senior horse."

(Captain Jack - 16 yrs)

I often wonder why.

(Miss T -16 yrs.)

Maybe people are worried about expenses - vet and feed.  
Yet face it, all horses are expensive.  A little education might help.  

Angel (25 yrs)

Seasoned horses may have specific feed  requirements so they can continue to thrive.
Most will need their teeth checked and possible "floated" every year.

Yet with today's nutrition, it is common for horses to be working far into their twenties.

Sometimes people fear having only a few years to spend with a beloved companion, 
yet isn't this the risk we take whenever we love deeply? 

(Charlie - 18 yrs)

And what an honor to be able to recieve the amazing gifts that a seasoned horse has to offer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

So You Want to be a Horse Rescuer?

Lots of people love horses.  Some want to be around horses.  We appreciate that. We are recruiting new volunteers and board members.  We want people who love horses and want to be with them.  Of course we do . . . and that is just the starting place when it comes to what it takes to be a Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue volunteer.

You have to be ready to start from the ground up - literally!  
We need folks who are not afraid to get their hands dirty. 
 People who say "count me in" when we put out the call for a work party.

We need volunteers who are ready to commit at least 5 hours a week doing some of the many,
 many tasks that it takes to run a rescue:  fundraising, public relations, and grant writing . . . 
all in addition to the actual hands on work with horses.

If you don't know a lot about horses, that is ok.
You need to be willing to learn and to show initiative, 
taking an active role in the process of learning.

We also need volunteers who are experienced horse handlers.  
People who, once they are screened, can lend a skilled hand to 
assisting with equine management tasks:  grooming, 
exercising, and if cleared by one of our trainers, riding.

When horses enter the rescue with serious medical needs, 
we need skilled volunteers to commit to their ongoing care.

Our volunteers help with fundraisers and community events.  
Be prepared to sign up for something every month.

There are matts, buckets, blankets, and feeders to be cleaned.

Stalls to be mucked out every night.

Hay rooms to be raked, hay to be hauled and stacked.

Sometimes you will work alone, maybe at night, in the rain.  
Sometimes you will work with a full team.

In the winter, pasture maintenance requires slogging through knee high mud.

Maintenance needs seem to never stop.

And the need for feed, supplies, and other resources is relentless.

There is tack to clean, organize, and make ready for our semi-annual tack sales

Horses need to be promoted through events, distribution of flyers, and
work on the internet posting on forums, craigslist, facebook, and online equine adopton websites.

Sometimes your heart will break because you will have to say goodby to horses you love.  
Our dear Ben had to be euthanized this year when his chronic pain destroyed all quality of life.

Sometimes your heart will break because you aren't able to help a horse that really needs you.

At times you will feel tired, exhausted, and even overwhelmed.
You will also feel exhilarated, fulfilled, and absolutely grateful for the amazing horses 
whose lives you will be able to transform as you become part of our team . . . 

. . . commited to our shared passion of the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of horses in need.

For more information visit the volunteer opportunities page on our website
or "friend" us on facebook.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ten Horses, Adoption and Fundraising

About a year ago, something wonderful happened at Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue. A new  team of six committed people took over the management of the non-profit.  New volunteers were recruited, an effective corporate structure was re-developed, and once again  horses started to be rescued.  Today HRHR is responsible for the welfare of 10 horses.  Each horse has rehab needs:  think of this as being healed and prepared for continued productive relationships with humans.  We have long known that rescuing horses is a community effort.  Today we are asking all of you to become horse rescuers!  Here are the horses that need your help.

Bryron is a stunning four year old, still a baby in many ways.  He was bred to race but the economy and other issues changed those plans.  Left at pasture for almost two years, Byron just came to HRHR.  He will need ground training and saddle training - a complete foundation to enable him to share his amazing qualities safely with people.

Miss T has spent over a decade producing babies for the racing industry.  This kind, lovely 16 year old mare is very polite on the ground.  She appears sound and will need training from the ground up.  There will be a no breeding stipulation in her adoption contract.  There are enough horses needing homes in our world.

Chip is a breath under 14 hands and is coming to HRHR tomorrow.  He is SUCH a good boy!  Born in July, 2007 he is halter broke and leads.  He needs extensive training.

Charlie is approaching the point where he will be available for adoption.  His story is a good illustration of how we work at HRHR.  When Chuck was surrendered to the Rescue he was a 17 year old, neglected mustang stallion.  First stop was North Coast Veterinary Hospital for a gelding appointment.  Chuck needed time to recover emotionally and physically.  He is now in training with Jody Swanlund.  Thank you Jody for donating your time and skill - it is part of the rehabilitation process that is changing and saving Charlie's life.

Levi came into the Rescue in July. In severe pain from her badly foundered front hoofs, she needed some immediate relief.  Xrays and a treatment plan following the founder rehab protocol developed by Pete Ramey and Dr. Debra Taylor at Auburn University were the first step.  Talented trimmer Jessica White is donating her time as an essential part of the team desperately trying to save this mare's life.   To make a difference we need to continue to provide her with expensive therapy boots and pads, mineral supplements, and weekly White Lightning treatments.  We think we can make a difference and that in the end Levi will be sound.

Angel.  LOOK AT THIS MARE!!!!!!  She is SO adoptable.  Trainer Heather Snow-Flamer said she has had extensive training at one time in her life (thank you Heather for all you do for us!).  Angel is great little riding horse.  Senior horses have SO MUCH TO OFFER.  Please adopt this mare.

Captain Jack joined HRHR on June 21st.  His "savior" was a kind-hearted woman in Fort Dick who took him in when he was abandoned by his long time owner.  Jack had some medical needs and HRHR was contacted.  Dr. Branch of NCHV has been wonderful with this boy, treating a long term low grade infection.  Just cleared for exercise and light riding (to start), Jack's "horse team" can now begin the process of preparing him for adoption.

Long time friends of HRHR will recognize Olive, who was one of the 40 horses seized by Humboldt County  in 2008 in a heart-wrenching hoarding case.  Currently in training with Heather Snow-Flamer, we believe that Olive will soon be a very adoptable riding horse.  Heather, thank you for donating you time and talent to give  Olive the best chance for a wonderful life.

Bodie . . . after five years in a small, manure filled enclosure, Bodie is delighted to run free in the pastures donated to HRHR.   We have many "silent" partners whose generosity makes it possible for the team to exist. Bodie would be such a wonderful companion horse.  How would you, her adopter benefit?  You would get to share her infectious joy.

In addition to these nine horses HRHR is responsible for the life-long care of a senior pony, Legacy.  We are very grateful to our foster homes who are providing exceptional care for Sophia and Quincy.

Our Board of Directors recently met to review HRHR's expenditures between June 2010 and July 2011.  Here is a "snapshot" of those expenditures (click on image to make it bigger).  We are highly committed to ensuring that the funding generously donated by our community of fellow horse rescuers is effectively managed.  All donated funds go for the welfare of HRHR horses.  

As we move into our fundraising season, we want to thank all of you for what you have helped to create over the last year.  Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue is again thriving and rescuing horses.  The horses who come to us have needs that must be met to prepare them for adoption. We will continue to need your help and would like to invite you to be horse rescuers, your generous donations make the work possible.

Charlie getting a lesson from Jody Swanlund.

Levi's damaged front left hoof upon intake.

Levi getting her first trim from Jessica White.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thoroughbreds "Abandoned" at Local Stable are Now with Miranda's Rescue and HRHR

The stories kept circulating around Humboldt County's equine community . . . FOURTEEN horses abandoned at a local stable.  What happened to those horses?  The story is complicated and is one played out countless times in the TB racing industry.  Horses are bred in high numbers to produce the few stellar progeny who actually make it to the track.  Of those, fewer still become moneymakers.  What happens to the hundreds . . . thousands of horses who don't "produce"?  They end up abandoned, given away, sent to auction.  If you are interested in learning more of the plight of forsaken thoroughbreds, please follow the blog TB Friends, written by the amazing Joe Shelton who maintains a TB rescue of over 100 horses.

Back to our local story . . . 14 horses intended to be the foundation of a Humboldt County breeding operation were "left" at a local stable when their owners' fortunes changed.  Over the last few months many people have assisted with these horses.  Foremost is Shannon Miranda.  Shannon, the driving force behind Miranda's Rescue, has been providing support, resources, and encouragement for the people who were left with the care of the "herd".  Many of the horses have already been placed.  Shannon has the remaining seven.  Of these, two will be coming to Heart of the Redwoods.  The horses are now clear for adoption.

Each horse has a story and needs. Some are immediately available for adoption, some have extensive medical needs.  Potential adopters will be screened by the Rescues to ensure they will be able to meet the physical and emotional needs of each horse.

1.  "Miss T"

The 16 year old chestnut mare is the mother of several of the other horses.  A brood mare all her life, she is done having babies.  She is well behaved on the ground.  We do not believe she has ever been ridden   Contact Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue for more information.

2.  "Lilly"  is 9  years old.  She has been on the track.  She was well - behaved on the ground.  Contact Miranda's Rescue for more information.

3.  Byron is a 4 year old gelding.  We do not know the extent of his training.  Contact HRHR for more information.

 4.  Yearling filly - this cute girl had an umbilical hernia and will be needing surgery.  Donations can be sent to Miranda's Rescue.

5."Kiss" is a 3 year old chestnut mare with blaze.   Training level is unknown.  She was well behaved on the ground.  Miss T is her mother.  She is available for adoption through Miranda's Rescue.

6.  Bay Mare - 9 years old . . . believed to be adopted.

7.  Bay Gelding - 4 years old . . . believed to be adopted.

The cost of caring for these horses is significant.  Miranda's Rescue would be very appreciative of donations to assist with their care.  Donations can be made conveniently via their web page - click HERE.