Wow, we just spent the last three days with some wonderful horse people. The International Equine Welfare Alliance Convention in Las Vegas was absolutely phenomenal. We want to thank the organizers, Equine Welfare Alliance and Virginia Hudson, for putting it together and inviting us. There was so much information shared. At times it was overwhelming and disheartening, and then as others spoke we were filled with hope for the plight of our equine in this country. One thing is clear, if we work together we will accomplish major things. Look what Wild Horse Annie did, nearly on her own.
One of the highlights was Robin Warren, who is already earning the nickname “Wild Horse Robin”, due to her continuing efforts to save America’s horses. She is a student at Escobedo Middle School in Las Vegas and working not only to create awareness, but to educate and encourage her fellow students and Americans to stand up and take action. She has been an amazing addition to the fight for the horses.
We were asked to share “what we do”, and although what we do is one tiny part in this journey to save America’s horses, it was an honor to be able to share some of our experiences, not to mention be able to meet in person many of the people who helped Honey Bandit survive. The Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang “family”, stretches far and wide, and it was so awesome to finally meet some of them and to be able to give them a big hug and tell them “thank you”! Without our extended family sending not only financial support, but help, love and prayers, Honey Bandit would not be here today.
We were amazed and excited to be offered a building (8x12) to use for hay storage or whatever else we needed it for. Greg, one of our newest “family members”, has a building in a box, and he donated it to us. Unfortunately, we brought our car, not the truck, but it all is working out better than we could have ever hoped for.
Matt came up with the great idea that when we picked up the shed, we should bring Honey Bandit to Robin’s school. Part of Honey Bandit’s job is visiting schools and sharing the plight of our wild mustangs. Often times this is the only mustang or "wild horse" the kids will ever see in their lifetime.. Robin has been following HB since day one, and who better to visit at school than the young lady who is fast earning the title “Wild Horse Robin” for the work she is doing. I imagine that Velma Johnson would be exceedingly proud of her and encourage her to keep it up. Another amazing horse angel, (Victoria) is providing transportation funds specifically for the trip to pick up the building and to bring Honey Bandit to meet Robin in person. I thank God every day for the angels that he puts around us. They are the ones who deserve the credit for all of our successes!
I was asked about Honey Bandit making such a long trip. I have to agree that in some cases, and for some horses, trailering does not a happy day make. However, one of the benefits for our orphans is that because of the way their lives begin, our trailers are often their “second home”. When you save these foals, it can take months and months to bring them up to a healthy condition. Especially with Honey Bandit, where we had to spend 24/7 with him for well over 6 months, if we had to go somewhere, he simply went with us. It is part of Extreme Foal Care and if you do it, you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes, and this is part of it. You take them just like you would your own newborn child. But in all reality it is extremely beneficial for the babies, and should be a natural part of any horse’s training. You would not believe how many horses are loaded for the first or second time under stressful circumstances like being evacuated from a dangerous situation such as fire. This causes extreme stress for the horse and can make the rescue that much more difficult, and cause unneeded injuries or stress to those involved.
Many horses are imported from other countries, or purchased from stables 1000’s of miles away, and they have to travel extreme distances and if travel is not a “normal” part of their life, they are often extremely stressed. On the other hand, you have show horses and race horses that fly around the country and travel on the roads on a regular basis, with little to no stress. Horses that grow up travelling around as a normal part of their lives are much less likely to be stressed when traveling.
Honey Bandit would much rather go with us than stay home without us. When we travel to Vegas, we will stop overnight and make it a 2 or 3 day trip each way. We travel with 8 panels on the trailer, so he will have more than enough room for him to kick up his heels, and he simply loves to go with us. He was so happy when we took him to the Wild Horse and Burro Expo in Reno. He was a little bit frisky. His eyes were bright and he seemed to have a little bit more energy. He also became smitten with a mare he was next to. This was the perkiest he has been in quite a while. (I am sure he would do just fine without all the new babies coming through our place though. He liked being the center of all the attention.) We have a mattress in the front of the trailer, so we will sleep in the trailer and always be with him. So once again, Honey Bandit will be sleeping with mom and dad, his favorite place to be. J
We will be sharing more of Wild Horse Robin’s story soon.
God bless y’all and thank you for your support and for being part of this amazing journey.