The air is crisp and clear, and we are getting ready to head to the Shingletown Volunteer Fire Department “Fun Day”. It is still early, and we have been rushing around, trying desperately not to forget anything “important”. But I know the most important things are ready to be loaded. Suri and Honey Bandit. Originally DaBubbles was going to attend, but poor Patches, (the “to be therapy” mini) was just crushed. (So we left DaBubbles home and decided that everyone could enjoy visiting all of them on our Open House on Saturday August 20, at the new place.)
I opened the trailer door, holding Honey Bandit, with Travis holding Suri right behind us. I knew HB would just hop right in, but Suri hasn’t trailered quite as much. So Dalton pulled back the door and I slid the rope over HB’s back and told him to “load up”. Well, he did load up, at about a hundred miles an hour. Then he wheeled around and headed back out. I let him “unload”, and wondered what was up. I guess the rope had tickled him or something because when I had him “load up” again, he jumped in quiet as a cat and stood waiting for Suri. We loaded her up and away we went.
Wow, what a beautiful day. Honey Bandit and Suri were stars at the fabulous Shingletown Fun Day. We shared more smiles and happy moments today than we have in a long time. It is such a joy to watch the little ones, and yes, even the not so little ones, as they spent time with the horses.
It makes life worthwhile to have a day like this. Although life has been a little bit hectic lately, taking the time out to enjoy a beautiful summer day surrounded by friends was an absolute blessing. The weather was perfect, the skies a brilliant blue, and the air was mountain fresh. Can’t beat that combo. Dalton and Travis (our boys) volunteered once again and worked at the “kids’ games”. A great time was had by all.
As the day went on, more and more kids, (young and old), came to “hang out” with Honey Bandit and Suri. They fed them, pet them and just plain loved on them. It was so special to watch their faces light up as the horses, ever so gently, took the hay they were offered by all the tiny hands.
We were right next to some wonderful folks with an alpaca and a lama. I was concerned when we first arrived, as I have been told numerous times that horses are often extremely frightened of them. Honey Bandit and Suri checked them out for a moment, but after that they settled down to entertain their visitors, appearing to be completely at ease with their neighbors. Honey Bandit found some pine branches and had a ball rocking back and forth against the panels, enjoying a lovely “scratch” from the tree. Of course I was just tickled pink to find the huge glob of sap that is now so perfectly attached to his side. But he did make it less sticky when he lay down in the dirt and took his nap after “sapping himself”. Now it is dirty sap J; but it is a little bit less sticky.
We made some wonderful new friends, and Jennifer and I answered countless questions about Honey Bandit, Suri, and why people are still breeding when so many are going to slaughter. (I know of a couple breeds that are nearly extinct and in that case, breeding is still necessary. (The Santa Cruz Island horses all but got wiped out by the mountain lions at the sanctuary, so obviously it is extremely important that their bloodlines are kept alive.) They were moved to the Sunshine Sanctuary, where they are desperately trying to preserve their bloodlines, working in conjunction with scientists who recognize the rare and incredible value of these horses. Visit their website and be wowed! The Sunshine Sanctuary is a wonderful place where children learn about horses, and get to have hands on time with them. Christina and Troy have devoted their lives and everything they have to try and save this breed. They are one of the smartest and gentlest breed there is. So check it out and when you are looking to donate, please remember them. Their donations are used strictly for the sanctuary, and as they are not one of the larger sanctuaries, they are not funded by big donors. They do a wonderful job and no horse is considered “expendable”. There is also another exception to the “no good reason to breed”. It is a rare Spanish bloodline that is being fought for, and those bloodlines need to be protected. So there are critical and important exceptions to the “not breeding”. But in general, breeding more mustangs when so many are hitting the slaughter plants is just not acceptable.
So we had wonderful conversations, lots of hugs, continued the “educational “ part of the rescue and will enjoy seeing many of our visitors at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, Equine Rescue & More at 34694 Sidebottom Road, Shingletown, this coming weekend. Thanks for a great time.
aLL IN ALL, IT WAS AN AWESOME DAY!
Directions to Sidebottom. From Redding, follow Hwy 44 East up to Shingletown and drive approximately 7 more miles. On the right hand side you will see a big white sign in the trees that says Sidebottom. Turn right and we are the second house in on the left. Look forward to seeing ya’ll. P & the Gang. 474 5197 with questions. (If you pass Lake McCumber, you are a couple car lengths past Sidebottom)