Sorry it has taken so long for another update. Been a tiny bit on the tired side. Collins is a very smart little colt. He has figured out how to wake me up, any time and for any reason. The problem is that he knows if he makes loud noises, I check them out. So he does it on purpose when he is bored, and all night long. One thing he is not getting though, is rewarded for this bratty behavior. He has enough "me me me" tendencies already, without teaching him that he gets his way that easily. However, the damage to my couple of hours of sleep does get done. :) But since he has been colicky at times, and you have to make sure that he doesn't start rolling or whatnot, I wake up at any noise anyway. You are always "half-awake", fearing the worst, and he has had quite a few nights where he has been truly uncomfortable and needed help.
But he still has to wait til I am ready for his feeding etc. He definitely would have been one of those babies that nursed a little bit, all the time. Of course that is awesome if he is with his momma. We are still fighting his "tum tum" issues. We had him examined by the vet and he thinks that it just has to "run it's course". His lungs sound awesome, his heart is very strong and he has lots of gut noises. We are trying to modify a few things, such as gradually adding goat's milk and then weaning him off of the Foal Lac. With some foals this works awesome, while with others the issues get worse. The vet does feel very positive though, that it will just take time, and maybe quite a bit of it. He said that some of the babies have a tougher time when they are not on their natural milk. So we are just doing what we can. Thank you everyone for your suggestions for his "tum tum". It is always amazing how many things help different little ones with various issues. We always appreciate any input. The vet did also mention that with his "ATTITUDE AND ENERGY", he thought he would pull through these tough times.
It is so hard to watch when they are stressed or uncomfortable. While we follow the vet's advice on how to treat what is going on, it is still awful knowing how raw their little hineys get. No matter what you do, there is discomfort and we can only do the best we can with what we have. Our beautiful nursery is now "decorated" with the issues from his "tum tum". But after he gets bigger and better we will be able to scrub the stains off the wall. The nursery is officially "broken in". I have to say the nursery is working out perfectly, (THANKS TO OUR WONDERFUL SUPPORTERS WHO MADE IT HAPPEN!!), although we have had to make some modifications due to the fact that he was ready to jump over the gate, climb up the gate etc. But it is easy to keep clean and for that I am forever grateful, although that does require constant scooping and clean up. But I love a clean smelling stall.
If anyone wants to help Collins be more comfy, we need to get some "CORONA", and no, it is not for me. :) It is a cream for his "tender area". The semi local feed store (about 60 miles round trip) does not have any in stock. ALSO, ANYONE WHO HAS GOAT'S MILK OR ACCESS TO IT, WE ARE LOOKING FOR SOME. PLEASE CALL ME AT 530 474 5197 at your earliest convenience if you have any extra. We would be happy to buy it from you for Collins.
He has grown at least several inches and is just as energetic and playful as ever. He is being very respectful for his age, and I just have to point away if he starts getting to close when he is bucking and kicking and playing. I have never ever seen a baby spend so much time on his hind legs. He plays outside most of the day, every day, and we are getting to the point where it is safe and he is past his quarantine time to bring in a "companion" horse. Now I just have to figure out who is best matched with him.
ROMEO & ROCKY are both doing very well after being gelded. Rocky was pretty tender yesterday as he had to have a much more extensive procedure, but all are well and feeling much better today.
God bless and thank you so much for all your support and the help you have given us, whether it is prayers, good wishes, bringing food so I don't cook (especially loved that one), or financial help with the costs of caring for the critters here. You are amazing and we are so blessed to be part of such an awesome "rescue community". Please don't hesitate to keep coming and visiting. We so enjoy the visits and it is a wonderful way for people to spread the word about our beloved Wild Horses. Also, it is "garden time" for the non mountain folks, and we have lots of "mustang magic" to mix in your soil.
Take care and again, Thank you for everything!
Click the pictures to enlarge
Today is Collins 1 week birthday, as far as we know. haha. He has passed 3 major hurdles as an orphan foal. The first 24 hours, then the 72 hour mark, and then 1 week. Woohooo. He is still having a few tummy issues but seems to be feeling awesome. He is playing and bucking and kicking and having fun. Hopefully tomorrow we will be able to let him play in the baby yard and possibly meet DaBubbles. DaBubbles will be on a line of course, so it isn't too scary for Collins. Last night he reared up and flipped over, landing in an awkward position. Scared me silly, but he was fine. Just being a clumsy baby. Little goofballs can scare you in a second. He is "standing" for a little bit at a time and is no longer "smashing me" with his head. He is not allowed to do that (even though he is just a little baby). It is imperative that he keep getting better and better manners to keep us safe. So thank you for all your prayers. Please keep 'em coming.
On another note, Honey Bandit got branded today. The folks from BLM came out and made him "official". The gentleman (I apologize for not having his name) who did the branding was amazing. Honey Bandit was nervous about the clippers, but it wasn't a situation where more than one person could hold him. I was totally comfy letting him hold Honey Bandit, (and y'all know that doesn't happen). He was so kind and patient and instead of getting frustrated or angry when HB was scared and acted up, he just waited until HB was ok. Then he proceeded slowly. So now Honey Bandit is wearing his "wild mustang brand". Was a great day and HB was happy as could be when it was done. They use a "freeze brand", and it doesn't appear to bother the animals whatsoever. I have personally used one on a number of horses and not one of them even flinched. Woohoo for cold.
Heading off for my 30 minute nap before feeding time again.
God bless and thank you for being part of this journey!
Well, I have to say I am officially in my foal coma. This is when my family gets to make fun of nearly everything I say. So please bare with me. :)
Collins was up all night, sometimes playing and sometimes just uncomfortable. His little tummy is still not quite where it should be, but his kidneys are working perfectly, and constantly. So not only is he eating every 1- 1 1/2 hours, he is also getting me up every time he "soils" the nursery. Needless to say, he must be planning this, as it never ever happens simultaneously.
He has learned very quickly that if he pounds his foot on the stall door, that mommy is awake instantly, as well as any other time he makes a noise.
Collins is going to be a force to be reckoned with. His personality is soooooooo intense. When he drinks his milk, he attacks it like he has never ever eaten. He pushes the bucket so hard that his back legs splay out and his front hoofers slide into my feet. He loves to blow bubbles in it and has learned that more often than not, he can fool me and when he is done, or almost done, he will grab the bucket and slosh milk all over. Other times he will be in the middle of drinking and smash the side of the bucket with enough force to nearly remove it from my hands. It is seriously like wrestling an alligator. (Maybe not quite like that - but you know what I mean). He gets the biggest kick out of spraying milk all over me and the stall. So Matt built a little platform and we put his bucket inside a big rubber one. It is the perfect height, but he figured out how to literally pick up the bucket in his teeth and fling it. Then I used these big clips to hold it and he figured out how to take those off. So we are back to me holding his bucket.
He is such a funny little guy and loves to play with his basketball. He will spend close to half an hour at a time pawing it. When he gets frustrated he holds the ball with his face and then tries to paw it. He also has a love affair with the ball that hangs down for him to play with.
He is doing well and his gut appears to be doing better as well. We have passed two of the "PTL" markers, the first day and the 72 hour mark, so I am very happy right now that he is doing so well.
I can't believe I forgot how messy taking care of a newborn is. Between the cleanups and the feedings we are going through mass supplies of baby wipes and paper towels. He is on his 2nd 5# bag of milk powder and well into that. We want to thank everyone who is helping with his care and supplies. We seriously couldn't do it without you. In response to the question of what he needs, this is our "wish list" and what we need the most.
Well, we made it through the first night without too much stress. Collins was extremely dehydrated and colicky, but we are seeing much improvement in both those areas. He is still very wobbly, although every 7 or 8 hours he has been trying to buck. You can see his little brain trying to "get it right". He is spunky some of the time, and others just completely exhausted. But he LOVES to eat. When I was teaching him how to eat out of the bucket he would get really frustrated and kick the wall. He did it quite a few times. (Not hard enough to injure anything but hard enough to let us know that he was not happy). Apparently he has quite the little attitude, which is most likely why he is still here. But he learned about the bucket and that is a very good thing as he slurps the bottle too fast and we didn't want him to get his food in his lungs.
All appearances point to him doing very well, but you just never know for sure. He was coughing a little bit, and has fallen down a few times, but that is probably just newborn foal stuff. His little hoofers had some definite wear due to being chased around so much by that mare. Of course at this age, and not knowing why he was not with his momma, you cannot take anything for granted. But so far he is doing well considering all he went through. He has amazing spunk but is simply worn out by all we went through. So onward and upward, (to borrow Willis's quote) and we will just take it an hour at a time.
Please keep sending prayers!
Matt and I were sitting having a cup o' joe this morning when Shirley called. When you hear those words "is the nursery ready", your heart starts pounding and your mind starts racing. Are we ready? Do we have everything? Will we get there in time? So we jumped in the truck and hit the road.
It took about 2 1/2 hours to get there, and every time the phone rings on the way, your heart stops for a second as you wonder if you will get the "turn around" instructions. But we kept going and arrived to meet Shirley and Shari (not sure if I spelled her name right, we didn't really talk about that kind of stuff), and the beautiful little colt which we named Collins Mitchell. He is named after a wonderful woman who made it possible for us to have this wonderful place so we can do what we do.
While Shirley gave him some colostrum, Shari and she told us his story. Apparently, the mare he was with was NOT his mom. She was not letting anyone else around him, but she was brutal, kicking him and sending him flying. His little eye is cut and swollen as she also kicked him in the head. Shirley also saw the mare kick him in the chest and knock him down. We didn't have time to hear about all of his horrible experience, as there was quite a bit that he went through. As usual, we just don't know his story. We don't know if the mare that was kicking him stole him from his mama, although there was no mare hanging around trying to get him back. Did something happen to his mom in birth? Did she reject him because there is something wrong with him? We will probably never know. The only thing we do know is that if Shari hadn't been watching over these horses so well, he definitely would not have survived the day. THANK YOU SHARI!!! YOU ROCK.!
We were told we could just bring the truck as we were picking up a newborn. Hmmmm, he is a little bit bigger than we expected, and extremely strong!! We stopped on the way home at a nice place with "horse people" and used the little grass area they had fenced to give him his lunch.. Let me tell you, he has all the right instincts. Especially the one where they bang there mom's bag to get the milk flowing. He tried it with my chin, but of course that didn't work. He fit safely on the back seat with me, although of course the times that he was perfectly comfy and would sleep were the times I was bent at an awkward angle with my back whining. They just know - don't they?
We stopped at the rest stop and he ate again and a couple of very young children got to see their first real live horse ever. He was fine and ate a good amount of his milk. Then we climbed back in the truck, although poor Matt got a nice little present in the form of a kick in a most tender area. But that seems to be just part of the foal transport when you lift them up into the truck. It is beyond amazing how powerful those tiny little feet are. He has no teeth whatsoever, and he has a little booboo under his lip where he fell when he was being terrorized. He still has some feathers on his little hoofers, but most of them were worn away when he was being chased around the field by that poor mixed up (although very mean) mare.
He is dehydrated, constipated and a very tired little munchkin. But he is settled down in his nursery and took a nice long nap. As usual, there are little things that could mean a lot, or mean nothing. On the whole, I think he is doing very well considering the day he had.
So now our world is once again babies, and this is the time of year that we need your help the most. The life saving colostrum that Shirley brought over costs about $100 here in California. I need to replace that so she has it for the next little one. We also need to get some of that so we have it on hand if we get a call and she is not around. She also gave him some Foal Response, which we also need to replace and get some for our kit. It takes the world to raise a foal, and we are willing and excited to do anything and everything we possibly can to help this little man live a loved and productive life. However, we need y'all to help us do that. We need lots and lots of prayers as well. He is a tough little guy, but we just have to take it hour by hour and minute by minute. If you would like to help this beautiful little guy get through his rough start and begin a new life, you can donate at Hawe's Farm & Ranch Supply and donate under Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. You can also go to www.chillypepper.weebly.com and use paypal. We so appreciate the help in replacing the critical components that Shirley brought over, as well as transport costs, or sending "milk money" for Collins Mitchell. Y'all are the ones that make this happen and we are so grateful for that. I also want to say THANK YOU!! AGAIN, FOR EVERYONE WHO HELPED IN ANY WAY TO GET THIS BEAUTIFUL NURSERY READY FOR HIM!
We will be sending pix as soon as possible. Again, please send lots of prayers for this beautiful little colt. No baby deserves to be born into that type of situation, so let's make sure the rest of his life is filled with love and kindness. Gotta get back to the little one. Thank you for all your support!
All is well, though quite fragrant, here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. We have had lots of visitors, two legged and four legged as well. There are some big changes coming up, and although they are the right moves for the rescue, they bring heartbreak along with the happiness.
I am back from my surgery much sooner than I thought. It went well and now I just have to catch up on everything. Our friend Ross came over to help me do a much needed trim on Donkey's front feet. Donkey is still pretty sensitive and nervous. He is starting to trust me, and that is very important, especially when handling feet. So I started to slowly proceed with his trim, hoping he would be ok. (Apparently the last time someone tried to trim his hind feet they scared him quite badly). So we are just taking things slowly and carefully. He gave me his foot with very little stress and everything was going well. However, all at once, he panicked and exploded. Seems like Patches was banging his foot on the gate and that was just too much for him along with the outside rescue cats hangin' out. He whipped around and did his 360, and then tried to take off. I simply got out of the way. Now Ross has been around these critters for years, and although it involved a little bit of "mud diving", he managed to keep hold of Donkey, which in the long run is so important. I have worked with many animals who were "trained" to run away and get away when they were scared. By keeping hold of the rope, Ross made sure that Donkey did not learn a very bad habit. He did not learn that he should panic and run away. He learned that he should stop and it would all be okay. We then quietly finished up and he went on his way. Donkeys are so different than horses. I am constantly surprised at how much differently you handle a donkey than a horse. It is so cute though, because Donkey figured out where the kitchen window is and he will come and visit to get a bite of apple or a piece of carrot. He is so sweet.
As for our four legged visitors. Matt and I have seen Mama and baby bear prints in the snow, traveling along the fence line. However, the other day when we had some visitors from Redding, we noticed the bear prints in the snow in the yard. Apparently they were "helping" us with our garbage disposal. Now the cans are locked up safely, as I am sure the items in there are not the healthiest for mama bear and her cub. Our favorite visitor (well, not really under the circumstances) was the skunk. Now apparently getting "skunked" does not bother any of my dogs, as they do it over and over and over. Matt opened up the front door and the smell was so strong it didn't even smell like skunk. It was much farther past that. I had to leave immediately as the odor was so strong it had me doubled over. I have never smelled anything so strong. I can't believe that the dogs don't learn their lesson and stay away.
One of the other changes at the rescue is that "Patches", our beloved therapy miniature, has found a wonderful new home. Amid the tears before his new owners arrived were also happy thoughts for his future. The folks that adopted him are some very wonderful people that we met when they came to visit the critters. I have to say that I am proud to call them friends. They do foster care for children, and I can only imagine the heartbreak they go through. I am broken hearted every timed we place one of the foals that we help, and they are all going to wonderful homes. So I can honestly say that they are amazing people and Patches will get to continue to provide his "love and therapy" to not only them but all the children who come to their home to share their love and care. They arrived in their suv and after Patches got a last minute mani/pedi, he walked up his little ramp and into the back of their car. He just fit and was happy and relaxed as they left to start their new adventure.
Other big news; Rocky, my beloved Rock Star has found his forever girl. We will be delivering him to the Las Vegas area to a wonderful young woman you may have heard of. Her name is "Rockin' Robin", and she is also known as "Wild Horse Robin". She is an amazing and truly dedicated youngster that has devoted her life to saving and preserving our wonderful heritage, the American Wild Mustangs. She founded the group "YEA", Youths' Equine Alliance, and is making big waves on behalf of the horses. To all you kids out there who want to help keep mustangs like Honey Bandit, Rocky, Romeo etc. alive and well, visit her web page at http://www.yeaspage.com and joing the fight to preserve YOUR HERITAGE. Wild Horse Annie and the school children are what made the difference for the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. We need to continue to protect them and make sure that generations to come will have the privilege of viewing the amazing mustangs in the wild.
Right now she is working on saving up to get Rocky gelded and transported to Las Vegas. We are not charging anything for our time and travel, but she is raising the funds for fuel and his gelding, as that is not in our budget. She is actually moving to be closer to where Rocky will be stabled and Rocky the Rock Star will be the Ambassador for YEA! So we will all get to watch the two of them as they grow up together. Again, I have cried a river already, but as usual, our little one is going to an absolutely amazing home where he will be loved and have a wonderful life. Now, we just need to get a home for Romeo.
As the little ones move out, we are geared up for the next critical foal to come along. Although of course we don't want any foal to be without it's mama, we are certainly anxious to be there for the next little one that comes along.
We want to thank y'all, as always, for your continued support and for being part of this "community rescue". They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it seems to take the world to raise a foal. God bless and stay safe. Don't forget you are always welcome to come and visit. The snow is almost gone and the horses are starting to shed out. Could that mean spring is getting here soon? We sure hope so. Also, don't forget to tell the folks at "Lowes" that Honey Bandit sent you when you start your spring shopping. We are extremely grateful for all their support too.
Take Care and "git 'er done"!