Thursday, July 30, 2015

That Time of Year

The trend continues. Every year about now (first to mid-August), I start seeing horses up for sale very cheaply. Ok, so at this very moment, I don't see any in our area. Maybe its' just that I'm looking at the Kaufman Feedlot and a new slew of horses came through with less than 24 hours before they are hauled across the border and slaughtered. It's so hard to see these really gorgeous horses that deserve so much more. They aren't the old and the crippled. People...these are the horses you've been looking for! Horses in their prime, good weight, and most likely broke to ride to some degree. I'd never consider a horse bombproof (not even Maverick who was trained to go no faster than a trot ).

But now that the Back to School ads are starting to come out, people are thinking about school, fall, extra curriculars from school, upcoming holidays, etc.  There's less time for horses in the fall and lets face it, winter is almost impossible to ride in our neck of the woods unless you have an indoor arena or your made of steel (well, maybe not steel but you're hard core).

I wish that I could do more. But right now I'm turning away horses. Even with the potential for sponsorships, I'm turning them away. Which makes no sense unless you're sitting in my very shoes (or boots/sandals because I don't want to bend down to tie shoe laces). I don't trust myself. My brain isn't functioning like it used to so I struggle to figure out exactly what needs to be done. The current horses are taken care of but I don't have the brain capacity to bring on anyone new at the moment. I don't trust myself to even drive in town. I can get to the paying job driving back roads but for the safety of everyone, I'm relegated to being Daisy from "Driving Miss Daisy" because I simply don't trust myself. Which means I don't trust myself to bring in another horse at this time because I don't feel like I could do him/her justice in the quality of care. I know it's all baby brain but it's a little hard on the ego.

I know some of what I'm thinking doesn't make sense and what little does, is all muddle with baby brain. It's just about this time of year that I know good horses are losing their lives and its' hard for me to sit back and do nothing. And I know good horses lose their lives every day due to slaughter but it just seems like more enter the pipeline right about this time of year and I struggle with not being able to do ANYTHING. Even if I wasn't pregnant, I doubt I could do more than simply share pictures. But its' so hard to sit and do nothing. I hate feeling helpless when I KNOW I could be doing something but at this point, I'm not even sure what. Suggestions?

Monday, July 27, 2015


Just read this blog.

Breaks my heart, knowing that a good horse has come to their end. It's a tough life and an even tough decision to make that call. I can empathize and sympathize.

I look at some of the horses that are being shown, those that are doing rodeos, those that are in the public eye. Then I look at the Sanctuary horses. They look a little rough right now because I can't get out and untangle their manes (the heat and mosquitoes are too much, let alone my back giving out...isn't pregnancy great!). But the Sanctuary horse are, as the author says, "more precious than gold". Even Junior, who we've only known for nine months now is worth his weight in gold. We don't have flashy horses, we don't have stakes winners, or points earners. We have humble horses that are willing to teach us what we need to learn and not be irritated by our mistakes.

The wisdom of our Sanctuary horses (especially the older horses) is beyond comprehension some times. They have seen more in their years than I have in mine (and I'm older than them). But that wisdom is amazing and fascinates me to no end. I only hope that I can learn from their wisdom and that they forgive me for my lack of knowledge.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Really it's not just race horses that disappear

In our neck of the woods, people dump horses at auctions to never be seen again. I know of one organization that had the state vet and officers visit but to no avail. How you can have people show up on your property and not know that what you are doing is wrong, I'll never understand.

I'll humbly admit that I have two hard keepers in my pastures right now, Bo and Junior. Junior looks worse of the two. But he's on 24x7 pasture and grain. And we are looking at adding a round bale to help offset in case the pasture isn't really giving him enough nutrients. I've also added alfalfa to the mix but he's a slow eater and what I put in front of him takes more than an hour to devour. It has nothing to do with his teeth. They've been checked. He's simply a slow eater (I have multiple slow eaters...Junior and Brego both come to mind).

But I am not trying to hide the fact that both Bo and Junior are not at the weight that I want. I'm not trying to dump them, sell them, or make them disappear. What infuriates me is that people will simply let these horses "disappear" and no one is the wiser.

If you sold a horse, do you know where he or she is? Have you kept tabs on him/her?

Please don't get all teary eyed on me when there was a freak accident and a horse lost its life, when not long ago you sent horses to a loose horse sale and consigned them to their death, hoping that they "went to a good home". There is no "good home" when you take them to the state's biggest loose horse sale. I don't believe in out of sight, out of mind. I will tell you exactly how each of our residents that have passed on have left this earth. I'm not ashamed. If I can't afford to care for them, I'll make sure that I keep tabs on them, not send them on "hoping for a good home".

Don't be like so many. Don't be complacent. Don't agree to the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. If that were the case, the horses in the story wouldn't be standing here today.

Friday, July 24, 2015

What Makes a Horse Worthy?

On a different blog, someone asked the question "What makes a horse worthy?"

I've never really contemplated the question because I always though each horse is worthy. Of course, I was confronted with that question a few years back by another rescue during a situation where they thought Bo wasn't a worthy horse to rescue (they wanted me to rescue a different horse instead even though the horse would be purchased with my money, be cared for by me (and use my money), and continue to stay with me and be cared for by me).

So now that I've had that question brought back in front of me...what makes a horse worthy? But I'll ask the same question...what makes a person worthy? I don't put a price on any of the horses at the Sanctuary. Do you put a price on any of your family members? Oh sure, you aren't allowed to pick some of your family (and would rather not acknowledge their existence), but maybe because I come from a background where no matter what, you stick by your family and help/protect them no matter the situation. I don't see why horses are any different. They aren't at the Sanctuary; they are family.

The horses aren't just horses. They aren't a means to make money (lord knows there's no money making going on at the Sanctuary). They aren't a means to gain ribbons or points. They aren't a means for any gain. Unless of course you gain knowledge from their wisdom and past experiences. That's the gain I get from them. They teach me daily, sometimes without me evening knowing it.

I guess I'm a little bothered by the question that there's a set "worth" set on a living being. Of course, when I see ads for horses with sky high dollar signs attached to them, I sometimes wonder what their owner is thinking but I don't know the horse so I don't know if it's the right asking amount. Having never sold a horse before (and never planning on doing so), I can't put a price on a horse. Can you put a price on a friendship? Can you put a price on your grandmother, your grandfather, your dad, your mother, or your siblings? Oh sure some days you desperately want to but in reality, you can't.

So I guess for me, the question of what makes a horse worthy isn't about dollars and cents, it's about the wisdom.

I've seen so many horses go through the slaughter pipeline, standing at a feedlot (looking at the Texas and Washington feedlots), and wonder. If someone would have simply polished them up a little and given them some education, or possibly a fighting chance instead of being run through auction, would they be where they are? Or would they be standing in front of a camera because they won a ribbon, or made some little kid happy during a trail ride?

Oh sure  I'm focusing more on dollars and cents right now but how do you deem something worthy? I guess at the Sanctuary, the horses are all deemed worthy to live out their lives because they are worth their weight in gold.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

20yr Thoroughbred at WA Feedlot

Just doesn't seem fair.

Zane - 20yr Chestnut Thoroughbred Gelding - $575
Zane is a great horse that has done it all, from pony club, to trails, to be a good horse for both kids and adults. He has some superficial scratches but should heal up just fine. He is a very sweet and gentle horse who should be great for anyone. He stands 15+hh and looks to have been previously taken care of. He appeared to be sound and had no vissible issues.

Location: Sunnyside, WA
Contact: Sabrina 206-250-5115
Deadline: 7/21/15

Tennesee Walker at WA Feedlot

How can you not fall in love with that face?

Zeke - 18yr Sorrel Tennessee Walker Gelding - $500
Zeke is a super sweet geding who has been at the lot gaining weight. He is easy to handle, broke to ride, and has shoes on. He has gained weight and pictures are from when he came in 2 weeks ago, and last week. He stands approx 15'3hh and looks to be an older horse, but in good condition for his age. He is gentle enough for anyone to handle and gets along well with the other horses. He is peobably in the 18-22 age range. 

Location: Sunnyside
Contact: Sabrina 206-250-5115
Deadline: Can ship anytime 

20yr Old Black Gelding at WA Feedlot

Sure wish we were able to do more than simply share.

Zippin - 20yr Black Gelding - $500
Zippin is a beautiful black gelding who stands close to 16hh and looks to be in great condition for his age. This black beauty is broke to ride and is easy enough for a beginner to handle. He looks to be sound and in overall good condition. He is sweet, gets along well with everyone, and a very nice all around horse, especially for someone who wants a taller sturdy horse. His hooves look good and he looks to have been well maintained. 

Location: Sunnyside
Contact: Sabrina 206-250-5115
Deadline: 7/25/15