For all you folks who knew and loved the Phantom Stallion that lived and roamed in the Dayton, Stagecoach and Mark Twain areas of NV, we have some really wonderful news. Two days ago, we picked up his son Phantom Junior, also known as Rain Cloud and Boogie, to take home to Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang in CA.
I received a phone call about an emergency situation. (Phantom Jr.) whom I cannot help calling the Phantom because he looks so much like his beloved Daddy, was in a dire situation. He needed to be re-homed immediately or he would have to go to auction. Now folks, if you are gonna have an emergency situation where someone can no longer keep or take care of a horse, this is the way to do it. Phantom's owner knew she could no longer care for him in the way he deserved, so INSTEAD of waiting until he was in bad shape or starving, made the best decision AT THE PERFECT TIME. She told me he needed to go that very day, and he is in FABULOUS physical shape. He needs some extensive training and a lot of time, but will be an amazing horse for someone who not only has the experience, but the dedication and time it will take to make a happy partnership.
Phantom's daddy, the original Phantom Stallion, roamed the Virginia Range hills for about 15 years. He got his name due to his Phantom like qualities, showing up in and out of the blue. Unfortunately, there are so many folks that move to NV, which is a FENCE OUT STATE, which means if you do not want wild horses pooping on your lawn or eating your plants, YOU are required to put up a fence to keep them out. So Phantom, like so many others, stepped into the wrong yards a few times and people called and complained. Mike Holmes (whom we love dearly and has been such a life saver for so many of our wild horses) relocated him several times, but eventually the Phantom would return to his lifelong home. So Mike was forced to pick him up. However folks worked very well together and they brought him to the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown where I was volunteering. I have always felt guilty about helping to set that up, because for Phantom it was the end of the line. Through absolutely NO ONE at the sanctuary's fault, this would be a situation that was too stressful for our beloved Phantom.
Phantom was a stallion who kept his mares away from other bands. They were very independent and would roam mysteriously and majestically throughout many miles, showing up randomly, thrilling the folks who loved him and watched for him. He was very happy when he first went to the sanctuary, as he was in a large area and was actually given mares so that he had five when he was released. We were all there for the release, and it was an exciting and joyful time, but watching him after that was heartbreaking. For an 18 +/- year old stallion who had roamed for miles, pretty much in solitude except for his own little family, it was too much shock. When we fed the horses at the sanctuary, although the feed was spread out, there were usually a few hundred horses eating in close proximity. Poor Phantom simply couldn't deal with so many others around his family and I was constantly observing new scars and owies from him trying to keep everyone far away from his mares. In time, his mares were stolen, and no one really saw him much. Matt has what we believe is the last picture of him. While the sanctuary is successful for so many "imported horses", it simply was the exact opposite of the way the Phantom lived. His beautiful wild heart was broken and he could not keep his mares. Again, there was nothing that could have been done any differently at the sanctuary, it just was not a fit for a stallion who lived the way he did.
This is what happens when folks move to an area FAMOUS for wild horses and start whining and complaining when the horses who have been their for hundreds of years do what they have always done. These folks are the ones who cost the Phantom his freedom and happiness.
So although we did the best we could to make him happy at the sanctuary, I will always feel the sadness when I remember watching him. But now we have the chance to help one of his only known offspring get a new start and have a chance at a wonderful life. We immediately reacted to the emergency because he is "Phantom Junior", and I feel like I owe it to his daddy to help his son.
So right now we are waiting for the paperwork so we can take him across the state lines. He will be up for adoption and we are looking and hoping for sponsors to step up and help out with his care. Unfortunately, due to health & financial issues, his former owner was unable to continue working with him and he needs some serious training at this point. He is gorgeous and will be up for adoption after he is settled and gotten back his manners and confidence. He just needs the right answers and that is what we will give him at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. I see no meanness whatsoever, he just has some bad answers right now if he is not getting his own way.
As always, we love having visitors. We also want to send out a big thank you to our crew who are at the rescue taking care of everyone while we are here. It means everything to know that if you have to go on an extended horse call that everyone at home is safe and sound and watched over. Please call us at 530 474 5197 or 530 339 1458 if you would like to come and visit Phantom (Jr.) and the rest of the critters this holiday season. We love sharing "your successes" with you and as always are so very thankful that God has blessed us with such an amazing family of horsey angels.
If you are interested in helping us with the Phantom or sponsoring him for a month until we find his perfect forever home, please go to our website at www.chillypepper.weebly.com.
God bless and have a safe and happy New Year!
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!
Matt, Palomino & The Gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle MustangEquine Rescue & More -Rescue/Rehab Project LRTC www.chillypepper.weebly.comwww.whmentors.org
As I reached in and pulled out the still warm, beautiful brown eggs, I couldn't help smiling. There is just something so peaceful that makes me feel all warm and happy when I pick up an egg that has just been laid. The girls were cackling and talking away, and knew I would miss their silly little sounds and the way they follow me everywhere when I was "out of commission". The simplest things in life can truly bring the most pleasure, or at least that is what I find. But for a few weeks I would have to skip the sweet smell of hay and the delightful sounds of the horses munching away on their hay, because it was time for another surgery.
Last Monday I went to San Francisco to see the shoulder doc and one week later I am having my shoulder replaced. Funny how a big bone spur that keeps your shoulder out of the socket can make you so uncomfortable. (I have to say that it makes me feel good that there is actually visible proof that I am not just a wuss - haha) I had surgery in November, but was trying to hold off getting a total shoulder replacement, as I want to be ready when the first baby call comes in. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be and 7 days after my appointment, I will be having the surgery. So we are praying that all the babies are safe with their mommies at least for a few weeks. Matt already has stepped up and said that he will take care of any babies that come in, (he would do the physical part that I won't be able to do right away), so that takes a lot of the stress off. Our partner in NV, Shirley Allen, is recovering fabulously from her spinal surgery, so hopefully we will both be ready to go before the first little one comes in.
As I scramble madly to get ready for the surgery, I cannot help thinking about how amazing my life is. In spite of the fact that I have had surgery nearly every year since I was 17 years old, and will always have to live with the chronic pain and physical limitations, my life is truly blessed. Don't get me wrong, I still have my whiny - feel sorry for myself days, but those are really few and far between. As Matt always reminds me when I get down, there are not too many people who get to do what we do. I know there are so many folks out there who would love to take care of the babies, but simply can't due to their jobs etc.
This is one of the reasons that we are open to the public pretty much 365 days a year (unless of course we are gone getting babies) lol. We want to share as many of these babies and as much of the experience with as many folks as we can. Everyone should have the chance to look up close into those big sweet baby eyes. Everyone should have the chance to kiss that teeny tiny little nose and to be able to experience the joy of listening to a baby nursing from the bottle or slurping their milk out of their bucket. When you watch their "firsts", much like watching a child, it warms your heart and always brings a smile. Especially when one has been so sick that they couldn't move their tails. Watching them figure out that they can move it is pretty darn entertaining. Chilly Pepper was hilarious. She would move it on one side and then turn around and look at it like wow - it moved. Even watching Honey Bandit moving his head. He hadn't moved it for so very long that it seemed to surprise him when he could move it. There are so many amazing little things we get to enjoy. Watching Collins rear up and kick their ball that was hanging in the stall. But what was even more fun was watching him stop it from swinging wildly with his nose, and then kick the stuffing out of it. When you walk in to feed and they are calling you and talking to you it just makes your heart so full. At that point most of them are so childlike, as they look at you with all the love and trust in their eyes. As far as they know, you are mom and they feel safe and happy. However, of course we have to actually be mom too. We always need to remember our motto "We don't do brats". Sometimes that is really hard for folks to understand, but if you watch wild horses when the baby is out of line or tries to kick or bite, the consequences are immediate and very serious. There is no way that we could ever correct a baby with the power it's real mom has, but believe me when I say that it can be life threatening later if you don't handle it while they are still such tiny cute little things.
This is one of the issues we have with Phantom Jr. He was taught every wrong answer there is and he is no longer a cute little baby, but is 800 - 900#'s + (?) of solid muscle. The fact that his previous owner needed a stud chain on him is a very good example of the fact that he never received the proper answers. Folks can ruin a horse so very quickly without meaning to, but the consequences can be deadly. Respect is one of the first things we teach our little ones, even when it means "punishing them" even though they are so darn cute.
As Phantom Jr. settles into our rescue, Terri Farley, beloved author and very dear friend will be releasing her latest book. She wrote the Phantom Stallion series after riding on a cattle drive and seeing a white, wild mustang stallion in the mist, and she has now written a book about the plight of the wild horses. Terri is an amazing friend, author and supporter of all the wild horses and the kids who want to save them.
Terri writes : here's the publisher's description of WILD AT HEART: Mustangs and the Young People Fighting to Save them:
Mustangs have thrived for thousands of generations. But now they are under attack from people who see them as pests. The lucky ones are adopted. Some are sent to long-term holding pens; more and more are sold for slaughter. But courageous young people are trying to stop the round-ups and the senseless killings. They are standing up to the government and big business to save these American icons.
With eye-witness accounts, cutting-edge science, and full-color photographs, Terri Farley and Melissa Farlow invite readers into the world of mustangs in all its beauty, and profile the young people leading the charge to keep horses wild and free.
. Here's a link to Terri's website; http://phantomstallion.com/jan15.shtml
Here's the link to Amazon, and they offer a discount on pre-orders and mail it to arrive on the release date
Link to amazon
So check out this amazing book, and head to Terri's website to learn more about the real Phantom Stallion and to see the video of Phantom Jr. having his tantrum in the horse trailer when we were bringing him home.
Terri's books are a great read, and would make a great Valentine's day present for that young horse lover in your life. I have read her books and they are entertaining even for grown ups. They are very well written and she uses much of the money she makes to help preserve the wild horses and bring about permanent change before they are all rounded up and sent to slaughter.
Take Care and God bless! I hope you enjoy her books as much as we do, and I am proud to say that she has included my son in her book also.