Wow - this is one I thought I'd never be writing about. Chilly Pepper has moved to her new forever home. She is now living on a beautiful piece of property that consists of about 400 acres, her new boyfriend "Jack", and a number of ponds and a large lake. Chilly Pepper is a water girl, and you simply could not ask for a better place for her to spend her life. She would literally spend hours, turning and rotating slowly, being hosed down. She plays in the water and just loves getting wet. So there couldn't be a better place for her. As always, it was heartbreaking, especially since we have had her for so long. However, for us to continue to do what we do, we have to move horses when we can, or we would not be able to help more. Also, when there is such an amazing place for them where their life will be pretty close to perfect, you have to think about their welfare and what is best for them.
It is always hard to place your babies, and it was doubly hard to move Chilly Pepper, as she was the inspiration for our specialized focus on the critical, injured/neonatal babies and for doing what we do. She showed us how much of a need there actually was as most places are not set up for critical foal care, do not have the man power or supplies and are unwilling or unable to commit the funds needed, thus making it impossible for them to take care of them. A single bag of Foal Lac runs about $190 in California, and Collins is already on the end of his 4th or 5th bag. This can also be a deciding factor when people choose to try and save a foal. It is an extremely costly venture, both financially and time wise.
While we were taking care of Chilly Pepper, a nearby rescue had an orphan foal in a similar situation. They had to put down the mom because of complications with the birth and they had no one who could get close enough to the mare to help her. They tried to take care of the baby, but unfortunately it was left outside in the heat for 3 days, alone and scared. It is extremely important for them to not be left alone, especially if they are weak or newly born. There were many people trying to save the little filly, but without the correct equipment, and knowledge, they were unable to provide the proper care. Their mothers would never leave them alone for hours on end in the wild, and they are scared and often depressed and need to be "pulled" back to life. Also, a new foal cannot regulate it's body temperature for some time after being born. I received a phone call from one of the girls who had been trying to save this little baby, and she was sobbing and said that the baby was having convulsions and died in her arms. This poor filly was dehydrated from the heat and her inability to drink the life saving formula.
After that heartbreaking incident we decided that this was where God wanted our focus. We have an amazing support system, mainly my mentor and "sissy" Shirley Allen, who has spent many hours, often all night long, helping us provide whatever care we could to the babies we have had with us. But we also have such an awesome "community support group", who as y'all know, (since it is you guys), who will step up with whatever we need to save these little ones. Whether it is emergency funds, funds for feed, fuel or medicine, y'all have never ever let one of these precious little souls down. I thank God for y'all and for being lucky enough to be involved in such an amazing community. I know there are many babies who die in the wild, and that it is part of nature, but if you are breeding on a sanctuary or private land, you then are responsible for every little one that comes along. When the babies are found in the wild, and God puts them in front of you, you also have the responsibility to help the ones you know about. We are extremely grateful that this is where God wants us to be.
The other exciting news is that Collins is now hanging out in the same corral as Romeo, (our very sweet black yearling mustang that needs a home). Both of them are pretty even on the "don't hurt me score", except for the fact that Romeo is still the boss. He is extremely gentle when he lets Collins know what is or isn't acceptable, and for the most part it has been an almost boring introduction. (That is always good though!!) They are mostly "co-habitating", and not really inseparable yet, but every day they spend more time closer together. Woohoo. That is so awesome for a baby to be able to hang out with a real horse.
Placing Chilly Pepper should be a celebration of sorts, because she was truly a miracle and inspired so many more miracles, and she deserves to live in such a pristine environment.
We are looking forward to more successful adoptions and to helping more critters. It is beautiful up here this time of year and we are enjoying lots of visitors. Please don't be shy if you want to come and spend a day in the mountains out of the heat. Call us at 530 474 5197.
God bless and stay safe!
p.s. If anyone has any old water tubs they aren't using, we could really use them. :)