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.
I am writing to all of you today, to bring you up to date on Whispering Winds Animal Rescue. For 25 years, Tom and Susan worked hard to save America's horses, domestic and wild. Unfortunately, the time has come to make big changes. Due to health and financial issues, they have been forced to make the painful decision to downsize their operation to a skeleton.
Due to their financial situation, they simply cannot operated on the scale they have been. They need help in placing a group of 7 mustangs. If at all possible, and for the sake of the horses, she would like to keep them together if anyone is able to offer them space on a sanctuary. At this point in time, Tom and Susan are completely overwhelmed and are facing some extremely unpleasant decisions regarding the horses. As she said, she will not leave them to suffer or go hungry. But she cannot keep them without being able to provide proper feed and care.
Many rescues are fighting the good fight and struggling every day, barely keeping their heads above water. It is so difficult to say no to a horse that needs a place to stay, even temporarily. The horrible truth is that if you take on a horse "temporarily", you can pretty much expect that horse to be with you for a very long time. Hay prices are extremely scary at best. Unfortunately, Tom and Susan have reached the point where it is not even about fund raising, it is simply about finding a new sanctuary for the horses they have been supporting for these past years, and time is a major factor in this change. In a perfect world, Whispering Winds Animal Sanctuary would not be in this situation, and the 7 mustangs, (many of which are from the Virginia Range Herd) would all be placed together. However, these are tough times and thus calls for our usual banding together to help these horses continue to live in a safe and happy environment. If you know anyone, anywhere, who could provide sanctuary for these 7 mustangs, it would be an answer to many a prayer.
Please contact Palomino if you have any ideas or are able to help in placing these animals. They have already sold all of their personal cars and trailers and it is simply time to make a big change and say goodbye to an era. This is a subject that all of us in the "rescue arena" have talked about at one time or another. Who will be there when we cannot do it anymore? But we just have to have Faith in God that somewhere out there, someone will be ready to start when someone else is ending. When God closes a door, He opens a window, and the door has closed so now it's window time.
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!
Matt, Palomino & The Gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
Equine Rescue & More -
Rescue/Rehab Project LRTC
Hope this email finds everyone in good health and spirits. Matt and I are driving to Las Vegas for the International Equine Welfare Alliance Convention. We are so very excited to be presenting on the topic EXTREME FOAL CARE. This is a wonderful opportunity, (although we did think about the price of fuel long and hard), to share what we do and also to soak up as much knowledge on the issues that our horses are facing today.
We are looking forward to meeting many of the people that we work with via the internet and meeting them face to face. It is such a critical time for the horses right now. We are finally seeing some really great improvements working with BLM and the foals, and now there is the big issue in Nevada with NDOA. It is truly a time when we all need to work together as we are running out of time. After this is over, we are boot scooting back to Shingletown to get the place ready for winter. It snowed last year on October 5. Not a huge snowfall, but pretty cold and wet. We are working on getting the hay shelter up. We have some of the materials but need to get a few more things to finish it. The nursery is coming along, but needs another wall and some more work. It will be a wonderful place to bring the orphans and/or sick babies.
We would like to remind everyone that if you had any construction projects going this last summer and might have any extra wood left over, we would be more than ecstatic to use your leftover wood pieces. We have finished about 2/3 of the back "insurance fencing" to make sure that the horses won't run through the fence if they are panicked again. We also welcomed a new "Watch Donkey", Pepe, into the rescue. He was donated by some wonderful friends in Nevada and is settling right in. He is already getting territorial about the place and I am pretty sure he will be a huge deterrent for the mountain lion. It has been noticeably quieter at night since his arrival. However, just in case, we still need to finish "doubling" the back fence. It is going to look a little bit odd, but no one really sees it and the horses will be much safer. We appreciate the donations of panels/gates that we received and only need about 15-20 more to completely have the back done. It doesln't matter if they are a little bit bent, smashed or just plain ugly. This is strictly a safety issue. We have gotten a few old cyclone panels from people's yards and those work well too. So if you want to do some "clean up", we would be more than happy to assist with those items.
Honey Bandit is now hanging out with Chilly Pepper and Dakota, and Rocky and Romeo are pairing up pretty fast. The most amazing thing is that Rocky has learned that if he wants to, he can get his fair share of the food when it comes to moving Romeo. So all the horse babies are becoming "regular horses" and learning about space and manners. Woo hooo. That is always a good thing.
Take care and have a wonderful day.
Demonstration, Friday Sept. 14, 2012, 11:00 to 1:00 in front of the State Legislature, Carson St. and 4th St., Carson City. Please report at 10:30 to the SW corner of Carson and 4th for instructions prior to the start of the event. The weather should be cooperative.
We're restarting the wild horse defense fund. We've been told by people in the know that the AG is not going to clamp down on an executive from another departmental. In spite of statements by NDA that they aren't actively bringing in more horses, residents of Hidden Valley discovered the department hauling out more horses yesterday.
Wild Horse Defense Fund: http://www.aowha.org/war/defense_fund.html
We've updated pages in the NDOA "trap and toss" series. http://www.aowha.org/war/ndoa_horse_sale_1203.html
We've updated the "Free Dickie" page: http://www.aowha.org/war/ndoa_horse_sale_1203.html
NDA "nabbed" JJ, the foal with the lip problem that NDA refused to let the locals treat and who became a bone of contention. Information is that JJ is presently slated to go to the auction yard. http://www.aowha.org/war/jj-1201.html
Things are about as out of control as they were in the Tony Lesperance days. These are Wild Horse Annie's horses. We have to step up and stay involved.
Let's not let Annie's horses down.
If you can't make the demonstration, make a phone call and send a letter or email. Actions that you can take can be found on the links listed above.
On Saturday, Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang had help from a local High school student. Jess Van Riper, a singer songwriter from Foothill High School, came to Shingletown to help us at the rescue. Although Jess had not worked with foals prior to this, the fact that she is an accomplished horsewoman and has a soft and gentle touch held her in good stead. She worked with Romeo and Rocky, and did such a wonderful job.
Romeo came in off the range with substantial head injuries. He suffered from memory loss and would intermittently forget that anyone had spent the last few weeks brushing him, loving on him and handling him in general. This would result in a very scared little guy. Shirley had to start over numerous times as his little brain struggled to heal. The very good news is that he seems to be nearly, if not completely, recovered from the injury itself. Of course that would make him a little bit head shy, so we have to be extra careful around his head.
Jess did a great job with both of the colts. It is important for youngsters, especially bottle babies, to work with as many people as possible, as they need to learn respect. So many times people raise orphans and Bottle babies and they don't realize that what is cute as a little hundred pounder is not so cute as a 1000 pound horse.
We are actually en route back to Shingletown as I type this. Pepe is coming home. Pepe is a very much loved donkey that some wonderful friends donated to help with our "kitty problem". They also donated four rather large panels to help support the back fence. So, little by little, we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our guys. Having a double fence in the back will be so much safer. Also, the horses will get used to it looking very solid, so they will be much less likely to challenge it, even if they are scared.
Big news - Honey Bandit is in with Chilly Pepper and Dakota. He is not overly excited about it, but doing very well under the circumstances. He doesn't panic when Dakota and Chilly teach him life lessons about who gets to share the hay. It is such a complete turnabout since last spring when he nearly killed himself trying to get away from a big bad colt that was pretty much ignoring him.
Romeo also learned a lesson. He tried to take a bite out of HB before I moved him and Honey Bandit explained very clearly to him that he was a pipsqueak and needed some respect. So Romeo was having a little bit of an attitude problem and decided to take it out on Patches. Well, let me tell you, Patches might be mini, but he wheeled around and sent Romeo running. So we are having a lot of little lessons. Rocky is definitely not happy with the whole thing but life is about learning and he has also passed the stage where he is hurting himself getting away. They will be much safer together anyway, especially now that they have Pepe to guard them.
Remember, Chilly Pepper, Rocky and Romeo are all available for adoption in the very near future. It is heartbreaking to let them go, but we have to make room for the new orphans. But for now, we are trying to spend as much time as possible with the 3 of them to get them ready. Of course right now we have to finish the nursery and start the hay barn/shelter and get enough wood in so we don't freeze this winter.
We appreciate your leftover usable wood to help with the barn and hay shelters. We also appreciate anyone who wants to come and help out or volunteer. If you want tickets for the Honey Bandit chair, you can go to our website at www.chillypepper.weebly.com or Palominodancer@yahoo.com at paypal for tickets. We appreciate all your help and for making this happen.
God bless and don't forget to come and visit!
Been awhile since I sent out an update. Rocky and Romeo are now spending all their time together. Rocky is still stressed out, but not as much as he was before. He does not seem to be in any danger of injuring himself when he flees from Romeo. Romeo seems to enjoy messing with him. He will look at me, almost as if to say, "watch mom - look what I can do", then he whips his head around towards Rocky and of course Rocky runs for his life. We had Honey Bandit and the two of them together for a short while at Shirley's. Then it was Honey Bandit putting on all the pressure. The ultimate goal is for the three of them to be a little "band", while Rocky and Romeo start more intensive training to be ready for adoption.
For now we are letting Romeo get the "lay of the land" and become familiar with the terrain, as well as Rocky, before we put all three of them together in the big area. We are also still needing to secure that last line of fencing permanently. The mountain lion continues to prowl through and around the property. We have seen very few deer since the fire, and that makes it all even more worrisome. After the last incident when the mountain lion chased Honey Bandit and the minis through the fence towards the highway, we have been desperately trying to obtain panels to secure that fence line permanently. We were lucky, PTL, that the guys all came back into their "safe zone" after they had been chased out. We need to panel approximately 300 feet of fence line. We have no climb horse fencing up, but that will not keep them inside when a cat is after them. We definitely do not need the animals on the highway where they could kill, maim or seriously injure a motorist, as well as themselves if they run through the fence in a panic.
We are hoping that ya'll can peek out into your barns, fields etc. and maybe come up with even a single old panel or gate. We have 3 panels for that fence so far, and we are using two 10 foot gates that were part of the barn. We are definitely not picky, do not care what color or what the panels look like, as long as they are safe. We are leaving the no climb horse fence up, and adding the panels on the outside. This will definitely encourage the critters to run around in a circle as they will be much less likely to challenge a fence that looks higher and more solid. I am not comfortable using wood as I have seen horses that have been impaled by wood when they ran through a wooden fence and it was a rather horrible sight. We are working on getting a donkey or burro, as they are definitely not an attraction for mountain lions. As of this point in time, it seems like most of our wild life was chased the other way from the fires, which covered an enormous amount of ground.
Please remember, all donations are tax deductible, (yes - even your old ugly panels or gates :) ) and we so appreciate any help you can offer. We were focused on building a hay barn/shelter, but now we have to make sure this is taken care of immediately. We were invited to attend and speak at the International Equine Welfare Alliance convention in Las Vegas. It is truly an honor and we are really hoping to have this fence issue resolved prior to that time, which is in a couple of short weeks.
Thank you for your support and prayers!