Friday, June 24, 2011

If Wishes Were Horses We Would . . .

. . . See all of our horses adopted at Heart of the Redwoods.  One of our community friends asked a very good question:  "How many of your rescues get adopted on average?  How many are in your care currently?"

Our management team at HRHR is fairly new having started last summer with the exception of Misty Hunter who had just about single handedly been holding things together for most of 2010.  We did quite a bit of rebuilding and revising over the last year and are feeling pretty good with the current shape of HRHR.  We have a great pool of committed volunteers, a solid organization infrastructure, and a hard working Board of Directors with six passionate people committed to the Rescue.

Here is our current status when it comes to equines:


His guy is on his way to physical and mental health.  He weighed 1300 lbs when he came 
to us in June,  2010.  Now he is a trim 1030 lbs and living in a long-term foster home in 
Grandview Washington.  He even has his own blog!  Visit him and Quincy & Another.


This pretty mare was one of the horses from the hoarder seizure in 2008.  She was untrained with some soundness issues.  She is VERY happy living with her foster family in Loleta.


This thirty year old pony came into HRHR years ago with a "legacy" to pay for his care for the rest of his life.   He lives with his foster family and is doted upon.


In her early 20's, she was one of the 40 horses seized in the So. Hum. horse hoarding case in 2008.  Olive is currently in training with Heather Snow-Flamer at Hillcrest Stables.


Bodie is a senior mare, a quarter horse who used to do gymkhana.

She would be such a good companion.

She really deserves the very best for the rest of her life.


An 18 year old Twin Peaks mustang, Charlie was a stallion when he came to HRHR in December, 2010.  His first experience with the Rescue was a stop by North Coast Veterinary Hospital to get gelded.

Charlie has excellent ground skills

When Jerry Boots gave him his first ride, he just stood and stood.  HRHR has been fortunate to have some wonderful trainers donate or give us reduced rates on their services.  This can't happen all the time.  We were told that Charlie was once a trail horse.  Under saddle he acted like he did not know what to do.

Training and veterinary care are the two greatest expenses for the Rescue.  Untrained, unsound horses are not very adoptable.  Charlie, with his sound mind and athletic body, is an awesome horse who needs  go into training. 


Everyone who works with Angel loves her.  It absolutely breaks my heart 
that she has been in the Rescue since 2003.  The reasons had nothing to do with Angel.

Our current BOD sees her as VERY adoptable - she is a delight to ride
 and would be a perfect horse for a light adult or an experienced child. 

 Angel is a 25 year old arab mare.  Help us find her a home!

Captain Jack

Jack is a 14 - 16 year old mustang/quarter horse who came into HRHR on 6-21-11.  
He shows great potential, is a good trail horse, and quite a personality.  

He weighs in at 930 lbs - about 70 lbs less than he needs.

In May we said goodbye to Ben

Ben came into HRHR around 2006.  He had some serious neurological issues.  HRHR ended up serving as a sanctuary for Ben.  In May it was clear that he was unable to continue to live a quality life and he was euthanized under the kind hand of Dr. Branch.  

Over the last year our new (not so new now) team has not placed any horses in adoption.  We have placed two in foster care.  We have had two in training.  We have taken in four horses: Quincy, Charlie, Bodie, and Jack.  We currently have five horses at HRHR facilities, one in training, and three in long-term foster care.  

Our current potentially adoptable horses are Bodie, Jack, Charlie, and Angel.  Bodie and Angel are adoptable now.  Jack needs rehab and assessment.  Charlie needs training.  We hope Olive will soon be adoptable.

Do we have room for more horses?  Yes, depending upon their needs.  

How does someone surrender a horse to HRHR?  Call 441-9402.  One of our intake specialists will call you back and do a telephone interview.  We may want to assess the horse in person.  Our BOD will vote, considering if we have the current resources to meet the horse's needs.  If we do not take in the horse, we will offer to take photos and post them on our website page "Local Horses in Need".

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Horses Are Always Talking to Us, How Often Do We Listen?

Meet Captain Jack!

Yesterday Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue took in a new horse. Misty, our President, and I went up to Crescent City to get Captain Jack. A good-hearted guy, Jack is VERY communicative. He was pretty anxious to be leaving his familiar surroundings.  On the trip, at the vet, and in his new stable Jack let us know in eloquent equine language about his concerns.

When I listened, Jack gave me his very best. It got me thinking, how often do I fail to "hear" what horses are trying to tell me? Now I'm not talking about things at the "animal communicator" level.   I'm talking about regular equine language - what you can hear and see when you take the time to pay attention.  

Our "dialogue" went something like this:

Cherie: I walk in Jack's directions, stopping occasionally, moving slow. Jack sees me and walks away, showing me his butt.

Jack: Who is this strange person? I feel her attention. Oh Oh. I don't know her. This worries me, what is going to happen? I'm going to tell her to slow down or better yet, just leave me alone.

Cherie: He is walking away. He isn't too sure about me.  I stand, breathe slowly, turn sideways, get smaller, point my center away from Jack. Wait. He cocks an ear my way. I take a couple of sideways steps not looking at him. He shifts his weight away from me. I stop, wait, breathe, and start talking about what I'm doing and who I am. He is still.

Jack: I'll just skootch over here away from her. Maybe she will get the message and go away. Oh good, she stopped. Now what is she doing? Hmmmmm. She feels sort of soft, not sharp, no poking-at-me energy. Let me check her out again.  Points ear. Oh-oh, she got closer, but it doesn't feel too bad. Maybe she is ok, she is talking to me.

Misty, our President at HRHR, knows how to listen to horses.

To often I get caught up in the "business" I am about and forget that I have a sentient partner with their own preferences and ideas about what works best. I wonder how many times horses get labeled when the real problem is that their human is "hearing impaired" when it comes to listening to equine language.

When we listen, the rewards are tremendous - the eye softens, our bond deepens, and our beloved equine companion dares to reveal more of their self to us.

If you want to learn more about the language of horses, here is a very well written article that starts with this quote from an old cowboy:

Horses are always quietly talking to you with their body, and horses don't lie.
It's very subtle, but if you are very patient and watch closely,
what they are saying to you will come to you like a whisper.

Click HERE to read more.