My story.... a new phase of life for this HORSEMAN.
I just have a compassion that wells up deep from inside me. I hate to see a disadvantaged animal. I guess you reach a certain plateau in your life where you feel the fulfillment of living the horse lifestyle (ranch life) where you have done a lot... but there is something stirring within you but you don't know this what this new chapter, this new adventure is !! One day, my neighbor and I are talking horses over our weekend coffee and she mentions a rescue lady is 'rescuing' a herd of horses and they will be adopted. (the seed is planted).... We talk and she invites me to go to see the event. That inner 'thing' is awakening. I hook up the horse trailer in case this suits-my-fancy.... We arrive and it is a Norman Rockwell moment. The barn is basically... falling-down... and in the corral and stables semi-wild horses... starving.... and restless. The hired men are absolute picturesque 'Florida Crackers' in worn clothes, word dirty boots and spurs. Hats are big 'working' dirty cowboy hats. We carefully navigate the cluttered barn. A loud thunder of crashing wood and a cowboy leaps over an eight foot corral wall to get clear of one really wild mare. THEN... I lay eyes on "Scarlet"... A 3 year old half starved mare... my heart drops but something inside says "She NEEDS YOU" and I say ok... "Load her up" my neighbor, Kimberley", says.... "Bruce; there's a white pony, YOU want him" I retort "No".... but laying eyes on him I sigh and say "Load him up"
That was the catalyst of my new adventure/lifestyle.
Scarlet was a runt 3-year old. She was so scared of people you could not have eye-to-eye contact. You could not touch her. Slowly, with patience and equine love.... she felt the safety and let us come near... touch and after a month or so she no longer feared eye-contact. She was skin-n-bones... we kept her quarantined and treated her for parasites. My daughter built the first trust bond. Soon she whinnied "Hello" and blossomed. She gained weight. She tamed out. She accepted a halter.... a bridle.... a saddle. With us all holding-our breath.... she accepted my daughter sitting on her. I guess it was the logical progression of their bond. Not once did she ever buck. For me... the hardest part was when it was time to let her go. Like parents watching their children grow-up and leave. We delivered her to her new home. and yes; we keep in touch with her new owner. (she can always come home)
Arctic... the white Shetland pony.... starved, hair matted, quite parasite infested.... From moment one... he was a sweetheart. A forgotten pony. He won all our hearts. He is not young... but he is 'forever-home'. He has filled-out nicely. If we have a birthday party... he is happy to be saddled and off he goes taking little.... children for wonderful rides
The word gets out. We got notice of two geldings that needed a home. Three hours to load them in trailer... and they were not geldings but father and son stallions. Gorgeous Polish Arabian stallions. quite the disrupters of tranquility on the ranch... but daddy was a 'kicker' and that is absolute taboo on our ranch. We helped them improve their behavior and health and found them new homes.
Soon another 'rescue' turned into two rescues. Beautiful mares in the prime of their youthful lives. We helped them rebound and my daughter advanced their riding training.... and so too, found them new homes..
Let me clearly state.... Rescuing is not an inexpensive venture. Some adoptions cost, others are purely a hand-over transfer. THEN.... comes the expenses.... Coggins Test..... A vet checkup, immunizations... medications/treatments if necessary.... farrier trimming/aligning their hooves.... and possibly teeth work (trimming).... Depending on how starved.... re-feeding can be a crisis that either helps them... or they die.... so you need to research and be prepared. IT's TOUGH.... but the rewards cannot be described.... they are felt... in the heart. It cannot be described... only 'felt'
Miss Noel and Master Bubba..... How appropriate "Noel's" name as she came into our lives 9 days before Christmas.
We went to a horse and TACK auction... my kids to buy tack and barn equipment, and for me to possibly buy some miniature horses, if available. My kids checked out the stalls. My daughter came back quite disturbed that there was some starved-looking horses in the last stall. I listened... but I was watching the tack auction for winter horse blankets, etc. Sitting long-enough, I decided to stretch my legs. I checked-out the horses up for auction. I finally came to.... THAT STALL.... yes, the Mare and her colt were skin-n-bones. Made you shudder just looking. and, I noted she was zombiesque.... her eyes were open... but their was no awareness. He buttocks was starvingly skin-stretched-over hip bones. I.... HAD... to walk away. That really bothered me. I went back to the auction. I sat; but could not focus my attention. Soon the horse bidding came up... before that I saw ANIMAL CONTROL milling around the auction. I asked if it was OK to buy those two animals. they replied "Please DO !"
The auction started at $20 and dropped to $10 each.... after my bids and another bidder the price had gone up.... and where the words came from within me... mid bidding.... I said "SOLD-bids end" the auctioneer looked at the other bidder and banged-the-gavel... "Sold" and a new life started for Miss Noel and Master Bubba..
December 16th, 2017
1 PM - the auction stall 1:30 PM.... she is obsessed to eat grass 5PM home; getting ready for shampoo and TLC
Runaway Horse Ranch
January 17 - less ribs showing face, Neck and Buttocks filling in ! April 16 Face looking good, good muscles.... RUNNING !!
Bubba gets bath Dec 17 mom & son get 20 minutes together Dec 18 Dr Malone gives checkups. Estimates 350
pounds underweight !!