It has been a very busy year here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. Collins was adopted out in October, just in time to make space for Baby Blue to spend some time here. Ikey & Mikey were just starting to get on their feet and getting their weight closer to where it should be when we got Precious. Thanksgiving was a time filled with so many thanks that Precious had not only survived the trailer ride home, but that she was still with us the next day. We truly did not think we would be able to keep her alive long enough to even get her home. She is definitely another "miracle mustang" and was truly blessed as God sent angels to help us. Her core temperature was way too low, although we couldn't get an accurate temperature as she was suffering from complications caused by her body shutting down. Her condition was very similar to Honey Bandit's as she literally couldn't even move her head when she was laying in the trailer. Every time we stopped our hearts were filled with dread. Would we find a dead baby in the back, or would she still be with us?
In the wild, when foals are left behind, it is often because their moms instinctively know that something is wrong. Those babies are left alone to die, they give up the fight and nature takes its course. I truly believe, and it has been proven scientifically many times with numerous types of animals, that any baby that is left alone without nurturing has much less chance of survival. We have seen it many times, when someone takes a foal off of the range and feeds it and leaves it in the barn over night. These babies often die, and not only do they need to be fed as much as every hour, depending on their condition, (not all need to be fed that often) but they are easily depressed and lose the will to live or to fight that hard fight to survive. Also, a compromised foal can crash in minutes. So they must be monitored continuously.
The first few weeks with Precious were filled with those "will she make it" moments. She would get so cold and lethargic, and then she would have better times. We would pick her up and once she was standing, we would go for short walks down the driveway. She really seemed to enjoy her walks, and although it was extremely cold out, the fresh air and exercise were critical to her road to survival. Without the daily exercise and physical therapy, she would have no chance of ever getting enough muscle strength back so she could stand up on her own.
We rigged up a device where we could use an electric hoist to help lift her up, as she was too heavy for us to lift without it. She was simply dead weight and did not even try to help get up. Her back end was so emaciated that she had no muscle strength what soever, and we had to be consistent with her physical therapy so she would get strong once again.
It is dangerous for a baby, or even a full grown horse to lay too long on one side, as they will end up squishing their own organs. Their blood pools and it can be a deadly situation. So every couple of hours I would wake up Matt to help lift her up. Once she was on her feet she was able to stand for longer and longer periods. I would come to her stall and ask her if she wanted to get up an she would start "swimming". Her little legs were moving and she was squealing and she was trying to lift her head. She had heart and she wanted to live. That is one of the most crucial things in these rescues. Their will to live is the deciding factor every time.
Until she was brought in on the ranch she was wild, and the only hands on she had experienced was when they lifted her up with the tractor. So we still had to deal with that factor also. There were times after we helped her up when she would turn with her mouth open, as if to take a bite out of us, or she would whimper, showing her discomfort. She never did actually try to take a bite, but was just letting us know that she was in pain and pretty much sore all over. My heart would break when I heard her whimper like a child. I have to say that this is the first baby that has ever vocalized her discomfort in such a way. It is funny, because when they are so compromised and nearly comatose, they do not seem to remember much of the stuff you did "to" them. Honey Bandit is such a good example of that. We spent the first 3-4 months with electric blankets, leg warmers, and all sorts of other "unnatural" things (for a horse) on him, and if you brought out a big blanket today he would definitely tell you that he has never seen one of those. They simply don't remember what they experienced during those times. Precious is definitely showing more signs that she is still wild in many ways. But slowly and surely, she is beginning to trust us and realize that she is safe, and the fact that she is not so sore to the touch is also a huge plus.
Today, (December 27, 2013) she is free from her "lifting straps", and although we are celebrating this monumental progress, we are getting ready to have a sling made for the future foals that might be a little bit easier to use and more comfortable for the babies. If anyone would like to help us with this endeavor, please call us at 530 474 5197 or email us at Palomino.firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always looking for good ideas to ensure the greatest comfort for these babies.
Precious is still seriously under weight, and continues to gain the much needed pounds slowly and steadily. You cannot let them gain too much weight too quickly, or that will cause additional issues for them. So our little Precious is well on her way to recovery. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this, again whether it be prayers, financially or just getting the word out. As always, y'all are the ones that make these miracles happen.
Mikey and Ikey are both doing very well. Ikey is recovering from his surgery and Mikey is ready for his forever home. God bless you all and please be safe in the New Year!
Well it has been awhile since our last update. We were honored to be invited to participate in the " Virginia City Heroes Parade", honoring all Veterans. Of course we were only invited if we brought one of the Honored Guests with us - "Soldier", the military war dog who now lives at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang. To make it possible for us to attend, along with the invitation was a generous gift of the fuel needed to attend. Soldier was once again a big hit with the Veterans that were not only in the parade, but watching on the sidelines.
We were in the Nevada Day Parade with him last year, riding on the Wild Horse Preservation League float, and when he was announced, you could see people tearing up as we passed by. After the parade we took him to the travelling Vietnam Memorial Wall. One of our "heroes" (a veteran), asked if he could buy Soldier a cheeseburger. Of course we said yes while our eyes filled with tears, and Soldier chowed down. Well, I could not believe it when that same Soldier - Hero, was at the parade in Virginia City. It made a very special day even more so. Soldier did well in the parade, although he still has very prominent PTSD. Unfortunately, although it is not talked about too much, many of the canines that have returned home from service have PTSD. It can make them so unsettled that they cannot always be saved. However, we are blessed with Soldier and each day he gets more and more comfortable.
Rocky is settling into his new home in Las Vegas, and Robin and Denise are as happy as can be. They have been working really hard to make his transition as easy as possible. However, coming from the mountains to the blasting heat of Las Vegas can take a little toll on a baby, especially one that arrived with a full winter coat. Denise and Robin have been working with their vet to find the perfect combination of feed for him, as he can stand to gain a few pounds. He may also be in a new growth spurt, as when any of the critter kids start "growing up", they can often look like they are too skinny. Then they look too fat when they are growing out. Poor Chilly Pepper didn't figure out her perfect look until she was about 5 years old and stopped growing for the most part.
The vet said that Rocky is one of the most well mannered "bottle babies" that he has met, and that most bottle babies come in two categories - the worst or the best. He said that as long as they keep up the good work, Rocky the Rock Star will be one of the best horses anyone could ever have. You go Rocky!!! We want to thank Denise and Robin for taking such amazing care of our beloved Rocky.
Chilly Pepper is doing wonderfully at her new place, although she is now the one "pushing" up front to get all the loves. When she was here Dakota was the boss and she would be pushed aside, so she is truly enjoying being the lead mare and getting to be in the front when it comes to the attention.
Collins is doing fabulously and you can barely see his scars. They have healed up so well. Doc Lydon did a wonderful job stitching and patching him up. It was a pretty long recovery and took a lot of time and care, but he seems to have recovered and is back to hopping right into the trailer when we go any where. You just tell him to "load up" and he hops right in. He is extremely bright and behaving very well. I know that being in with Romeo, who will definitely let Collins know when he is out of line, has helped tremendously. He realizes that he is not the king and has been much more polite. We are pretty sure that Collins has an adopter, a wonderful young woman who seems to be getting to know him pretty well. She does't let him get away with being disrespectful and I think they are going to do very well.
Honey Bandit is growing like crazy and getting so tall. His 3RD BIRTHDAY is coming up on July 3, 2013. Looking back on all he has been through and all of the wonderful folks who are now in our lives, well, it is simply overwhelming. We have such an amazing group of people that are not only part of Honey Bandit's life, but are also part of the rest of this rescue and all the babies we have saved together. I am so grateful that this is what God has chosen for us and even though I get scared sometimes about where the next flake of hay might come from, He always provides for these animals, and he does it through our wonderful "extended family". We are planning Honey Bandit's 3rd birthday party/Open House, but have not set the date as of yet. We will let you know as soon as we can so y'all can come and visit and see the miracles that you have worked by being part of these horses lives. I promise it will be a fun day, and much much cooler up here in the mountains than it is down in Redding.
Click picture to enlarge.
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. :)
Well it has been pretty busy here. We got home from the trip to Carson, (Earth Day Celebration with Rocky and Robin), the long road down to Las Vegas to drop off the Rock Star, back to Carson to the prison to pick up 2 mares and foals and deliver them to a beautiful ranch near Sacramento, and finally arrived home, safe but tired.
Collins has about 1600 miles under his belt and will hop in the trailer all by himself. (I am SO PROUD!) After spending one (and only one) night in the trailer, he had quit jumping in on his own. But now he is back to my little man and just "loads up" by himself. WOOHOOO!! (This is also a really good indicator of how much he is NOT bothered by travelling or spending time in the trailer.) His wounds are nearly healed and he is still friends with the dobermans. So that is really great news that he isn't terrified of dogs, per say. However, if he hears one in fighting mode, he can definitely show some signs of worry.
We will soon be introducing him (again) to Romeo and DaBubbles. I am looking forward to pairing him up with DaBubbles, our miniature, as he is much smaller than Collins. Dabubbles will teach him that although Collins is much bigger than DaBubbles, he will still not be able to boss DaBubbles around, even if he is the 'biggest". Since he will soon be bigger than me, I want him to know that respect has nothing to do with size. We have waited a little bit longer than normal to introduce him to his "horsey brothers", due to his injuries from the dogs. We didn't want to take a chance of a wound being re opened or Collins getting "hit where it hurts". But it is imperative that he learns respect from the horses as soon as possible. Where his natural mama would smack him or bite him when he is out of line, as much as we try to make sure that we are right on top of correcting his bad habits, there is nothing on this earth as good as his real mama, or other members of the herd to teach them about respect. This will keep us safe when we are around him when he weighs 1000 pounds, and save him a lot of heartbreak and stress while he learns his manners and what he needs to know in life. Since he already spends about a quarter of his time on his hind feet, striking and playing, it will be even more important that he respects our space and doesn't accidentally hurt anyone.
It is quiet here with out our beloved girls, and my heart is still breaking. However, I am glad that I posted what happened, even though it was so difficult to do. I am amazed at the number of people who have contacted me and said the same thing or something similar had happened to them. I was told that there was even a young mom in Nevada whose toddler had went outside through a doggie door, only to be killed by the family pets. Please pray for the family. Although I don't know the exact details, I do know that this young mom will always have to live with this and she only needs love and prayers, not prosecution. It was a horrible accident and I think that we need to remember that although we love and trust our animals implicitly, there is always a tiny chance that there could be a tragedy we weren't expecting. We cannot always predict how they are going to react.
Thank you for all your support and for being part of our rescue. If any of you are good at fund raising ideas, please call me. I could seriously use some help in that area. Would love any ideas for a fun event. God bless, stay safe and give your loved ones big hugs and kisses while you can!
p.s. Please remember that now that Rocky is safe in his new home in Las Vegas, and yes, I am still crying a little bit, we need to concentrate on finding Romeo a forever home! He is a beautiful yearling and as sweet as can be!
HI Y'ALL,It's been quite crazy the past couple of weeks. Rock is now safe at his new home with Mustang Robin and Denise, and Collins is doing very well.He gets his stitches out tomorrow and is healing fabulously. Normally we would take out the stitches, but he is tired of us messing with him and since he has so many we need to take him back to the vet. It's a bummer, but will be way easier on him. Will be sending some pix of him soon, and a cute video which shows just how spunky he is feeling, in spite of his owies.Just got home yesterday. Made a little side trip to drop off a couple of wild mares and a couple of babies at a private ranch in Northern California. Tried to move there but they said no. (just kidding). What an amazing anonymous angel the woman is that purchased this land for the horses. May God bless all she touches and the folks that are caring for the place and the horses.Been a very long trip, about 1500 miles, and we are a little bit wiped out. Hope all is well with you and your families.God bless
THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!Matt, Palomino & The Gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
Equine Rescue & More -
Rescue/Rehab Project LRTC
Just wanted to give you an update on Collins. He is doing well. He was pretty sedated for quite awhile, which was really nice for him. After the sedation wore off, our "Collins" was back. :)
He stomped his feet and told me in no uncertain terms that I was late with his milk. (He always says that!). It took everything he had to "stand and wait" for his milk. He does that pretty well although his head is always moving about 100 miles an hour and he is verbally voicing his impatience. But those front feet stay planted. He munched all night on his "yum yums" and is feeling pretty frisky, so PTL for that and thank you for all your prayers. Actually, he is feeling a little too frisky and I am hoping he doesn't pop his stitches. But you know Collins.
There are times when it is hard to understand "why" things like this happen. I know we have to trust in God and that everything happens for a reason. I have to say I have a hard time understanding things like this. One dear friend mentioned that maybe this happened now, so it wouldn't be a small child that was injured down the road. I don't know, but all I can do is keep praying.
Thank you so much for all your support and prayers, and I pray that this helps and no one else ever has to go through this again. Unfortunately I spent two days, not too long ago, cleaning up the carnage with a dear friend after a couple of other dogs who turned into "sport killers" had massacred her mini's. We spent two days euthanizing and treating those poor little ones. The dogs were terrorizing the neighborhood and would attack, then stay quiet for a few weeks and then do it again. When we arrived at her place they were laying in the sun, waiting for another round, calm as could be. As much as we hated losing our girls, I couldn't risk that happening to someone else. I truly believe they are wrapped up warm and tight in the arms of my beloved mom. She will take good care of them, and I know that someday the tears will stop flowing and the pain will ease.
ON A MUCH BRIGHTER NOTE - Robin and Denise arrived last night and Robin and Rocky finally got to meet. Rocky was being kind of a little goober, so we took him into the round pen. Robin did fantastic, and made sure that Rocky was paying attention to her. The meeting was as wonderful as we could have hoped for, and I think they will be best friends for life. I am so excited for them and their future together.
Today they will spend more time together and we will try to get some pix up tonight.
Again, thank you for all your support. God bless!
It's been about about a month since we brought Collins home, and his "tum tum" is finally improving. We went from weeks of scours to bouts of colic to finally being close to having a healthy digestive system. We are so grateful that he is feeling better and that his "tum tum" is nearly normal.
I want to thank all of you for your prayers and for helping us get through these times. Collins is growing so fast and is as energetic and feisty as ever. He still spends major time on his hind feet, and loves to buck and kick. He has attitude to spare and there is never a dull moment around him. He is learning his manners pretty well though, and can plant those front feet firmly in place when he wants his milk. (Don't you just love his "GOT MILK?" pix?)
He has already had several trips in the trailer, and is quite the big shot. He handled it extremely well and like all the babies that start so young, it becomes second nature and is just another "nursery". He met Honey Bandit through the gate, although HB wanted to run in and chase him. Dabubbles, Romeo, and Rocky all spent time together and all went very well.
We will be putting the Rock Star and Collins together for the rest of the time before we start our travels. Robin and Denise should be here on either Monday or Tuesday, and Robin will be meeting Rocky in person for the very first time. We will try and make sure we document it as much as possible. At the end of the week we will all be heading back to Carson City for the YEA "YOUTH EQUINE ALLIANCE" EARTH DAY CELEBRATION!, and after that we will start Robin and Rocky's journey back home to Las Vegas. Robin is still raising funds to make sure that the fuel for Rocky's trip home is covered, so if anyone wants to help him get to his forever home, go to the YEA website and help her out. :) Robin is an amazing young woman and is fighting the good fight for our beloved wild horses.
I had another great lesson in faith this last week. Was down to about 2 bales of hay, and stressing about the upcoming trip. Came to my senses and simply said a prayer. I know that God is behind everything we do and He is the one that is planning this journey. Sure enough, a wonderful friend and donor contacted us and sent us money to go and get hay. As usual, we are blessed and as long as we keep the faith I know that God will continue to provide for us and the critters here, and to show us the direction we need to go.
Thank you again for all your support. Will keep you posted on Collins and the rest of the crew.
God bless & take care!
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!