Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I am so bad!

I am one of those people who put something off for a day or two... then another day... then I just keep putting it off because the idea of catching up on it is tiring!! So, sorry the blog's a week behind.... ; )

Let's see, catching up on a whole week. After I brought home the four foals from the new farm, Our friend Terri in South Carolina came and picked up 12 foals!! She is brave!! Terri takes the foals to SC and adopts them out there. One of our biggest problems in recent years is that the immediate area is saturated with nurse mare foals from our rescue. The opportunity to move a bunch of them several states away and find them homes is spectacular, and it helps us SO much. She got all of them adopted in a few days!! How awesome. So, if anyone out that way wants a foal, email me and I can get you her information.... Hopefully she'll be able to take more soon.

Little miss 25 became quite the stinker after she went to Pete's and had to go through all that medicating. She was the best foal I've ever seen at *not* swallowing her medication. She went to SC with Terri's group. The other tiny chestnut with the poops went to Pete's for a few days, and now she's back. She did the opposite as a result of her vet trip - she only became sweeter!! She actually tried to jump out of the stall the other day to get AWAY from the other babies and closer to US. How silly.

uniqueygirl was wondering if the new foals are registered. They aren't all registered, but the owner has been giving us a lot of background on them. They are all sired by a big buckskin Quarter Horse she has. There will be one foal coming in that she bought in foal, it is a TWH and has papers. Other than that, there will probably not be papers on them. The reason none of these foals are really registerable, even if their parents were, is that the nurse mare farms don't pay any stud fees or fill out any breeder's certificates. This prohibits their registration because technically there is no proof of any breeding. I know a lot of you are thinking, well heck, why don't they just suck it up and register the darn foals?? Then they would be much more marketable. The answer is, it just isn't worth their time. You have to remember that to them, these foals are pure byproduct. They have no purpose in life other than to be born and die.

Victoria picked up 7 more foals a few days after Terri picked up hers, and then 10 more the next day. They were all young except for one, but they all seem to be doing very well. Everyone is happily drinking and pooping. It's been a fortunate year as far as health issues go, so keep your fingers crossed that it continues. It not only saves us money, but SLEEP, and therefore our own health stays in tact!! There is a lot of color in the recent loads, and the chestnuts we have are all pretty darling. There is a big chestnut TWH that we call Forrest Gump, he kind of appeared to have a head injury when we got him. His eyes are a little crooked when you look at him straight on, and he was sick! He was thrown in for free on a pick-up... when they're thrown in for free, they're expected to die. But he did NOT die, in fact, within a day he went from acting a little confused and drunk to being a perfectly normal baby. He's healthy and friendly, and he is a gaiting fool! He is long-legged and will be a really fantastic big guy when he's done growing.

We have dubbed the little chestnut Appy "Kitty." The other day when we were cleaning the foal barn, he wandered up to Tracy and walked around her, rubbing himself on her like a cat would! So, Kitty it is. We come up with all kinds of silly nicknames for the foals. The big draft foals that are huge, but very young and clumsy, are always "Baby Huey." The ones that look like they will probably die are "Noodles." The ones that pee out of their bellybuttons are "Sprinkles." Spunky chestnuts are "Johnny." We used to put nicknames on the website, but inevitably, the names we "give" them never end up being what we call them! We grab nicknames that invoke some physical feature so we can keep them all straight. "Big Head," "Funky Foot," "Ugly Bay," and "Crooked" are all ones I've used or heard used before... hehehe.

I just realized that the comment about the noodle foals may be a little harsh. With the work we do, we inevitably lose a foal or two every once in a great while. Sometimes, we also lose horses. Every loss here is felt by all of us, and each horse means something special to every employee and volunteer on the farm. With the pain and heartache we encounter regularly, we sometimes end up being flippant and casual about death and illness. It is only when each of us is alone that we deal with these losses in our own ways. I'm not sure I'm explaining this very well, but what I'm getting at is that if we dwelled on every casualty, we would drown in the pessimism and crushing odds. If you are ever at the farm and you hear us being humorous about something like that, please don't be offended or think we don't care. When you face such overwhelming adversity every morning, you have to see the humor and opportunity in everything, even death. It doesn't affect us any less, but we have to put on a brave face for each other, so that we can continue through another day.

Ok, serious explanation over, back to silly business.

We have a ton of foals with a ton of color and no adopters. Come and get 'em, guys! What are you waiting for! LOL. Every year at Equine Affaire, we typically take several foals and horses and take bids to raise money. This year, we've decided to adopt out everything at a set price at Equine Affaire, and then hopefully we'll get more adopted. We're thinking we'll bring a couple, as soon as they get adopted we'll come get a couple more. All the foals will go for $500 each. We save the nicest babies for Equine Affaire, to show off! The red dun, the black paint, and the roanie Appy went to Stacy's for some socialization time before Equine Affaire. We just never have enough time here to get everything done.

Karen and I rode Mikey and Chop together yesterday. They really seemed to enjoy it! Chop is the kinda guy that is sooo quiet, but if he doesn't want to do something, he likes to give you a hard time about it. Mikey ended up being just fantastic to ride. Mikey will need to learn about a headset and using his back, but he's really easy to work with. Chop carries himself with his head a lot lower anyway, and I think that's why he's gaining his topline back so much quicker. Mikey's put back almost as much weight as Chop, but Mikey has nooooo topline at all, and a big hay belly. I definitely think Chop will be good to go to Equine Affaire, but we'll see.

Oreo is also ready for Equine Affaire, I'd say. He has the nicest little jog. His canter is alright, not western pleasure slow like his jog though. He neck reins really well, and LOVES the trails. He listens very well but he definitely wants to run up those hills, hehehe. He has been overnight camping and trail ridden extensively, according to his old owners. Leah rode Zach again and said he just did so wonderfully. She is actually kind of bored with him, haha! She said he is just so easy to ride... LOL.

We are down to only five horses... Zach, Norell, Zen, Oreo, and Brutus. Stacy rode Brutus again for a few minutes the other day and he did well. She also rode Norell again. Norell is such a nice mare, I hate to see her sitting here and getting no attention. She is sound and could do anything!! Of course it won't be only 5 horses for long, Tracy and Victoria and I are on our way right now to pick up two unhandled stallions. They are 4 and 5 years old, and have been led around, but that's it. Typically they aren't really something we would take in, but they sound like nice horses, pets really, and they should be easy to start. The five year old is a registered Morgan, and the four year old is a Morgan/Saddlebred cross. I'll update you once we get them.

MAYBE.... if we're REALLY lucky.... we MIGHT be able to go to Sugarcreek Friday. MAYBE. ; ) I try not to get too excited but Sugarcreek is my most favorite thing EVER. I'm sure those of you who have been to Sugarcreek are thinking, why the heck would a horse person WANT to go to Sugarcreek??? But the thing of it is, it's where you can really make a difference for the horses. Literally... these are horses that WILL DIE unless we buy them. Of course, it's discouraging to watch 80% be sold to the kill buyers, but for the 4 or 5 we bring home, it's awesome. A true reprieve. Last time we went to Sugarcreek, Stacy and I got there early and got our hands on every single horse we could. We jumped on anything we could catch. The coolest thing about that was that people watched us from the catwalks, and when the sale started, people were really bidding on the horses that we had ridden. So even though we couldn't take them all home, we helped some of them find homes, which is a great feeling. I have put the offer out before and I will again, if anyone is interested in rescuing a horse from Sugarcreek, come with us when we go and we can help you find your way around. It is not a place for a first time horse buyer to purchase a horse, but if you know the ropes, you can really save a horse's life.

We thought about starting a fund for Sugarcreek horse purchases, what do you guys think? We debated having a specific fund for that, as well as one for necessary euthanasia for people who are unable to afford it.

Almost all the candy bars are wrapped, there are 5 more posters to make, the newsletters and coloring books are printed.... we're almost ready for Equine Affaire! We are going to have a coloring contest for Equine Affaire, and Victoria made some really cool posters. I can't wait!! Equine Affaire is SO exhausting but it's so much fun, you get to meet sooo many people. I really enjoy it. Although we do have to explain what a nurse mare foal is about 1 million times. ; )

Enjoy your sunny Tuesday, I'll update with these new stallions as soon as I get the chance!


OnTheBit said...

I tried to e-mail you all a few pictures of the foal my friend Bridget adopted from you all 5 years ago but it came back and said it was undeliverable. He is a mighty big Appy these days...and as of last Sunday he is a show horse now as well! He had a LOT of firsts in a single day and he was wonderful about everything! If you are in need of pictures of what these wonderful foals look like grown up and in the show ring just let me know and I would LOVE to send some off to you. I have never in my life seen a horse so good at their first show as this guy. I know they were only breed to be thrown away, but you guys rescued him and he is a total gem!

RLehman said...

Can you put a link on your web site to the farms that adopt out your foals in other areas?