The Christmas Holiday and ringing in the New Year has been an incredibly blessed time for all of us here at CEOEW, and we hope that yours been as well!
Right around Christmas, we were made aware of a Craigslist post regarding a herd of 5 horses that needed immediate help. My calls and text messages went unanswered until December 29th. On that morning, I got the call from the person that had placed the ad. She sounded frazzled, a little bit panicked, and definitely in need of some reassurance that we were here to help. With her assistance, I was able to speak to the owner and offer emergency feed. He'd been in possession of them for months following their abandonment after only paying one month of pasture rent. They were no longer his problem and he didn't just need the temporary help, he wanted the horses GONE. With a desperate leap of faith in our followers, I negotiated a treaty wherein he would not sell the horses to the kill buyers who like buzzards were circling, instead giving our group time to fundraise for their purchase. It's easier to apologize than ask permission right? Not normally, but thank goodness our Board Members were all "on board" with this desperate situation. So, with no more than a glance at the photos in a Craigslist ad, we were off and running to raise money to purchase a herd of 5 horses. Unknown history, unknown health, unknown anything other than they were still available and no one else with good intentions was on their way. YIKES!! (We limit our program horses to 6 maximum and already have 3!)
I will say that our village ROCKED to get us what we needed to bring these FIVE in to our Rescue/Rehabilitate/Re-home program. Not only the initial purchase of $700 but funds to help with feed, farrier, vetting, and hauling. We aren't 100% covered as there are variables that could hit us hard...baby needs her umbilical hernia fixed and surgery is expensive so we're hoping our supporters hang in there with us, but to raise enough funds in a day to get them safely in our possession. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?!
On December 30th, my husband and I loaded on some hay and delivered since we didn't yet know where we were going to put this herd. Luckily the owner said that he would feed them a couple days while we figured it out. So, off we went not knowing who this gentleman was or what we would find. My goodness guys, these horses were eating BARK for sustenance. The youngest, "Baby" as we refer to her until she gets a name was a sack of bones. The one we refer to a "Granny Mama" until she's named, is also thin and the one we believe may be the mother all of the others. All looking quite wormy and unloved, all wearing worn out halters, yet all willing to be stroked and some even seeking to share our breath. We did our best to let them all know that they would soon be 100% safe and we'd be seeing them soon.
Soon came the very next day! Our Secretary and her husband opened their pasture to our new herd, "The Christmas Horses", and they were let loose on 23 acres with two 1600# bales of beautiful grass hay donated and delivered by a neighbor (thank you Jeff!). Jr. member Hailey and I welcomed them, showed them the hay, introduced them to their pasture mates Stetson and The Cow, and left them to decompress and acclimate with their foster family to watch over them.
Since illness plagued our group throughout the week it wasn't until yesterday that, thanks to a few extra hands, we were able to get 4 of the 5 vaccinated and wormed, height and estimated weight recorded, photos of teeth and body condition. #5, referred to as "greying mare #2 - Dapples" wasn't having anything to do with getting caught with all the excitement. We were sure able to see what a pretty mover she is, if you know what I mean?! LOL. Members will team up this week with her evaluation form, vaccines and wormer for a much quieter and less stressful interaction. Keeping our fingers crossed. We move now to the next phase of our program and that will be veterinary exams, fecals, dentals, farrier, and then of course training with our favorite gal Katie of Pasco Kahlotus Ranch for a minimum of 10 days and 30+ as warranted. (Except Baby, she's going to go be a baby for awhile. :))
I'm attaching a few photos here. For more please go to our Facebook page and give us a "like" if you haven't already to follow along. Make sure to interact on our page so we stay live in your feed!
I could go on and on about how wonderful it is to be able to give these 5 girls a safe haven, food, and a fresh start on life. As always, we can't do what we do without YOU. Thank you to all who have taken a vested interest in our Christmas horses and for showing up in making it possible to bring them into our program.