Was so awesome to see so many of you at our Open House. As glad as I was to see everyone, I always feel a tiny bit guilty to not get to spend more time with individuals to catch up and chat a bit. We had good food, although we forgot to get out the birthday cupcakes as everyone was munching on our famous Cheesecake! Woohooo. The chickens also enjoyed the cheesecake and were quite aggressive in their quest to get the biggest piece. There were rescued critters everywhere, dogs, cats, horses, donkey and of course our resident chickens. Just want to say thank you to the folks that took time out of their busy lives to come and hang out for a bit. God bless y'all and we cannot ever thank you enough for supporting what we do and making it all happen!
We wanted to thank Nancy for the wonderful hoses and sprinklers that they brought. We are 3 steps closer to having enough of them. We can still use a few more, and will definitely use all of them, although as the nights continue to get colder our thoughts are definitely heading towards winter supplies and feedings. All of the critter kids are already starting to put on their winter coats. I just got back from Nevada, moving mares and foals that were slaughter bound (we actually picked them up from one of the kill buyers who had purchased them at the auction.) and took them to a place a few hours away from here where they will live in paradise. Many of the horses looked pretty rough as far as scrapes etc. as the auction yard is not a pretty place.
When I returned home, I was shocked to see that the horses are already getting ready for winter. It has been quite chilly up here in the Mountains at night, and I am really wondering if winter is going to sneak in early. It made me remember all the double feeding we had to do last year. Arghhh.
This is our trip from the Kill Buyer's place with the mares and foals to their paradise in California. So many folks forget that actually "saving the horses" is just a teeny tiny step, although a very important one, in actually making sure the horses are truly safe.
PART 1 (THE HAPPY PART) Wow - what a trip. Put on about 940 miles starting Friday, then Mike & Jackie and Shirley and I took 13 pairs of mares and foals to their forever home in California. We left Shirley's about 5:00 a.m., picked up the horses in Fallon and headed out. It was a pretty good trip, with a few weird noises on one truck, (but no real problem). Then we had a truck whip into the lane I was driving in. I didn't even have time to think and whipped over into the next lane. Praise God there was a break in traffic. If there had been anyone beside us, we would have had a seriously deadly mess. Afterwards, shaking and being close to tears, we pulled over to make sure the horses hadn't been flung too hard. They were absolutely fine, PTL, and I am so thankful that our prayers for a safe and blessed trip were answered. We arrived at our destination about 4:00 in the afternoon and the horses unloaded calmly and walked happily over to start munching. If you look at the pix, you will see how calm these horses were when we arrived. We opened Shirley's trailer, the little filly calmly looked out, and then decided to stop and have some yummies from mom, nursing for a few moments and then casually stepping out. That is a pretty happy little horse who had a very positive trailer experience.
PART 2 (THE NOT QUITE AS FUN PART) Hmmmmm - I am wishing I had been a little bit better informed about towing a goose neck trailer and how much clearance you really need. So I will share my humiliation and despair (haha) and let y'all in on a little secret that I didn't know.... you need LOTS of clearance, way more than you think, not just a few inches. On the way home from taking the mares and foals, we were pulling out of a gas station with a rather steep and weird driveway when I heard an explosion... Scared me to death - but I knew I didn't run over anything. I looked back and poor Soldier had broken glass all around him. We have been towing with the trailer on and my toolbox attached for quite some time. We have went up and down hills, around tight corners, loaded and unloaded. Never had a problem. BUT ON THIS DAY...... I blew out the back window of the truck. The trailer caught a tiny bit of the tool box and crushed it in, exploding the window. I didn't realize that automobile windows "burst" like that. So long story short, we pulled over again and Soldier went to travel with "Mom 2" (Shirley) so he would be safe. I now have to remove the tool box, the remaining glass and get a new window. There is something I am eternally grateful for though, yesterday if one more car had been in the mix, or I had reacted half a second later, we wouldn't even be here, so I have to be so grateful that if we were gonna have a "wreck" on the trip, it is one as small as this. I am not happy about it, but no one was hurt and like Shirley said, glass can be replaced, but equines and humans cannot. So once again I am sharing one of my "idiot maneuvers" so someone else can learn from my lack of knowledge instead of having to go through it personally.
So the first part of what we needed to do to help the nearly 500 horses that went through the auction went quite well. Will update next time about "Step 2" Helping to Prepare the horses to travel to their new homes. God bless all of you for your prayers and good thoughts. Our window has been fixed, so all is well, with the exception of my poor tool box. But again, I am so grateful that the Lord was watching over us and prevented us from a deadly accident. Hopefully someone else won't have to make my mistake and pay for a new window.
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!
Matt, Palomino & The Gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
Equine Rescue & More -
Rescue/Rehab Project LRTC
I think that one of the hardest things that "rescue folks" have to deal with, is saying "no". There are so many lost, injured and/or homeless animals out there that you simply cannot take every one that needs help. It is so heartbreaking when you have to say "no, I can't take him/her". You have to be realistic. Can enough money be raised to get the horse(s) where it needs to be? Then, what are the chances that a good and safe forever home can be found for that animal. We have noticed that everyone wants you to "take them", but then who is going to support them the rest of their lives? Our specialty is the critically ill, neonatal, and/or injured foals. It is very specialized and since not everyone is set up to do it, we have to make sure that we don't fill a "critical spot" with an animal that someone else could take on. Whereas most any "horse person" could take a young foal with it's natural mother, most folks just don't have the time or ability to literally stay up 24/7 with these babies and do nothing else for however long it takes. You literally have to put your life on hold. Since this is what we do, (having chronic pain and not being able to sleep can be a blessing I guess - haha), we need to make sure that we are always ready for the next little critical emergency.
This brings up another question for folks to ponder. Should any sanctuary be breeding? Do you want to support sanctuaries that are flooding the market with more unwanted horses? In most cases, a horse rescue or sanctuary breeding within their organization is no better than the SPCA or animal shelters breeding more unwanted cats and dogs. * * (I do know that there is one sanctuary in Los Molinos that is trying to make sure that a specific breed of horse is not completely wiped out. The horses they are breeding are amazing and are headed towards extinction. I do understand and applaud them. In cases like this, where we risk losing that particular breed forever, there is a valid reason to breed.) * *
However, there are thousands (the number is most likely much much higher than that) of unwanted horses heading through the auction yards that are slaughter bound. What can you do when you get the call? Last week I was contacted about a mare and foal that were slaughter bound. I was sent a photo of that beautiful little baby, and it will forever be burned into my mind. I got the message after the auction was finished. So now I have a picture of that sweet little face in my mind that won't go away. There were kill buyers at the auction and no one knows where the mom and baby are now. The next day, I received a call about a pregnant mare with a baby still nursing at her side. Again, the kill buyers were at the auction, but I could not say yes to 3 more mouths to feed. This gave me nightmares also. When a pregnant mare is prepared for slaughter there is absolutely no care or thought to whether she is pregnant or whether the baby is handled in a humane manner when it is thrown away.
Unfortunately, this is not a rare happening and we are fast running out of places for horses to go. If you are looking for a horse, please do check out the auctions. The horses that are being run through are often very well trained, but simply "unwanted" horses. So many folks still don't get the fact that there are "free horses" that are going to end up at the slaughter house simply because the folks that used to own them can't afford them any longer. There doesn't have to be anything wrong with the horse, just a shortage of good homes for it to end up there. So be sure and check out what horses are available if you would like to adopt one.
Also, when you choose where to adopt a wild horse, please consider first the ones that are born in the wild. BLM has thousands of horses in holding pens. Why not choose to adopt one of those horses and give them a better life. There is also an amazing Wild Mustang Training program at the Carson City prison. These horses are amazing and are auctioned off at different times throughout the year. The training they receive is amazing, and by supporting those adoptions, you also help save more wild horses. Otherwise you end up supporting the folks that are breeding on purpose and causing more of the wild ones to end up headed to slaughter. If someone wants to breed their own horse and keep the baby, that is their choice. But when you are flooding an already full market by randomly bringing more babies into this world, then you should be prepared to keep those babies and take care of them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, rescues are breeding more babies, and then continue to ask for more and more money. This takes valuable dollars away from other rescues that are trying to help the problem, not add to it. There are many rescues out there housing a large number of horses. They are not adding to the already flooded horse market, but receive fewer donations because other rescues that are adding to the problem are also asking for help. So please, make sure you know who you are donating to, and try and help the ones who are really helping instead of adding to the vast numbers of unwanted horses that end up at the slaughter plant.
Just the other day I received a request to pick up a blind, 6 week old Andalusian colt with a bad leg. We had wonderful folks ready and anxious to help us get this little guy, but they found someone much closer to his location down in Southern California. But the phone never stops ringing and the emails never cease. It is so heartbreaking and just plain depressing to have to turn away these beautiful little creatures, especially when they are sick, injured or orphaned.
We here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang are extremely fortunate. Our extended family is always there to help us if we have a critical baby or need help when we have to pick one up. We also have a really wonderful adoption program and are very happy that our babies are finding amazing homes. Thank you all so much for everything you do to save God's creatures.
We look forward to seeing you at our Open House on the 17th of August. It makes me feel so good to be able to say thank you in person and share with y'all what you have accomplished. Keep it up and remember, when you are deciding on an adoption, please choose the ones that will end up in slaughter as opposed to the ones that are bred on purpose because it makes for cute pictures and fun visits. Below is one of the faces that will haunt me forever. This is the baby that was at the auction with his mom and I was too late to help. The kill buyer was there.............
SO FRUSTRATED..... I have to say that I am beyond frustrated. Yesterday I received a email from a person that I consider to be a friend and a respected horsewoman. She indicated that I might be wrong for trying to raise funds for this little guy because there are a lot of healthy foals out there and she was afraid this one would end up at slaughter. I reassured her that there are lots of blind horses that not only are used for show but for jumping and trail riding. HOWEVER this is what breaks my heart. She also indicated that some people were saying that I was just desperate to fund raise and would basically stoop to anything. FOLKS - PLEASE WATCH WHAT YOU SAY ON FACEBOOK. NO ONE IN THIS WORLD THAT HAS EVER RAISED ORPHAN FOALS MAKES ANY MONEY! When people put out slurs and lies about folks trying to make money off of these rescues, it makes people wonder about where they are donating. 1st of all - In nature, most babies nurse for about 6 months. This is because THEY NEED THE MILK!! A bag of milk in California costs about $200 vs. $120-$160 if shipped or purchased in Nevada. Of course we try to purchase everything as cheaply as possible, but you CANNOT keep foal lac powder too long. It is milk folks - and it will spoil. When you get a new foal you cannot wait a week or so for it to be shipped if you don't have any on hand. Whether you switch them to foal lac pellets or they are on the powder, the cost is pretty much the same. Then there are the supplements, the rice bran, the grain, the hay pellets or whatever that particular baby needs. When we put out the cost of picking up this little one, well you might notice that there was no "wear and tear" on the trailer and truck tires. Truck tires are about $1000. Trailer tires aren't too far behind. To date, I have yet to meet the "wear and tear on the vehicle" or the tire Fairy! There was no "lodging expenses or food expenses". It was simply fuel to get them home. We took Rocky to Las Vegas. MOST of the fuel was covered and we slept in the horse trailer and ate out of our cooler. We did eat out once at McDonalds on the dollar menu. Although we are extremely lucky with our support for the babies, it NEVER covers all the costs. We (and everyone else who does what we do) go through hundreds of dollars of extra propane and electricity. That is NEVER covered. It costs $40 to drive and pick up a load of hay, and that is before you even buy the hay. There are so many other expenses like random medical costs when they are colicky etc. It is a lose your butt business, and you have to change your life. There are hundreds and thousands of folks out there who give up everything - financially and time wise to take care of these unwanted, injured or sick horses. We are not special. We are a drop of sand on the beach, but I am getting tired of ignorant people acting like anyone is making money trying to help these horses. And I am sorry if folks don't understand, but I WILL NEVER NOT TRY TO HELP A BABY IF SOMEONE ASKS ME TO - WHETHER IT MEANS HELPING IT TO PASS IF IT NEEDS TO, FINDING THE BEST HOME FOR IT OR TAKING IT TO OUR RESCUE. You are HURTING the horses with malicious and incorrect gossip and folks should check out the facts and actual costs of what these rescues are doing instead of promoting foolish lies and harmful ignorance. Without support, most rescues would not exist and there would be that many more horses going to slaughter. I find it odd that the little folks are always the ones getting accused of trying to make money, when you have big sanctuaries that are still breeding and causing more horses to be sent to slaughter. We live in a house that doesn't even have counter tops or finished floors. But our first priority was the nursery. Another thing to consider is that if you are part of a 501 - every penny is accounted for. So PLEASE - stop the lies and ridiculous comments and try helping the rescues instead. We try as hard as we can to help, and it is truly heartbreaking when people are so cruel and actually make it harder for us to do what we do. Matt (my hubby), who didn't really sign up for this, but has made it his life now, said to come walk in our shoes for a few months and then decide what to write. I am sorry, but this had to be said, not just for us but for all the rescues who end up losing support by people running their mouths off when they don't have a clue. And a big THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS TO THE FOLKS THAT SUPPORT THE HORSES AND ALL THE ANIMALS ALL OVER - WHETHER IT IS HANDS ON, PRAYERS OR FINANCIAL SUPPORT!