As usual, life is keeping us pretty busy. I spent a good share of New Year's eve, dreaming about parties, dancing, pretty clothes and lots of sparkles, as I spent a very cold hour digging through ice and snow with a shovel and a flash light, to find the hose that I had so carefully drained. It has been awhile since we had a "real winter", and although I remembered to leave the faucet with a drip so it wouldn't freeze, and I remembered to drain the hose, I forgot one really really important fact. You have to actually be able to find the hose to use it. But it was another great lesson of how we need to improve our winter prep. I have to say there will be many things that we will do much better next year!! :)
The horses are all doing well, although we are feeding about twice as much as normal due to the cold and snow. But everyone is happy and the youngsters are growing quickly. Romeo and Rocky have the cutest "winter jammies", and the Rock Star has actually mellowed out quite a bit. I think being pushed around all the time by Honey Bandit has crushed his little fantasy that he was "it". He and Romeo are pretty equally ranked, and although they will both push each other around a bit when it is time for grain, neither one of them seems to be the boss of the other. They are more like brothers, pushing and shoving but never in a serious way. I think mainly they are sticking together to stay away from Honey Bandit as he is being quite bossy.
As I looked out in to our winter wonderland, I cannot ignore the beauty of where we live. The snow is frozen, and sparkles endlessly on the trees and in the sunshine. The icicles bring back warm childhood memories of days passed. There is something so magical about looking out and seeing icicles glistening along the eves. It looks as though everything is covered in diamonds. (I just love the sparkle). The air is crystal clean, the sky a brilliant blue and the world feels clean and beautiful. I can hear the crunch of hooves as I see a resigned Donkey trudging through the ice and snow. You can tell by the way he looks that once again, this is not his idea. He is followed closely by the Rock Star and Romeo, and bringing up the rear, all puffed up and proud, is Honey Bandit. Honey Bandit normally seems like my little old man, but he seems to be thriving in this cold winter weather, He absolutely loves pushing the others around and making them crunch through the snow. He is getting a little too pushy around the food though and is almost ready to go back in with the "grown up horses", who will put him in his place. But for now, he gets to be the boss and think he is a "big shot".
We had taken HB to the Palo Cedro Christmas celebration, but this time we left him in the trailer, instead of putting him in his pen. He was extremely irritated and promptly turned his butt on me and proceeded to pout the rest of the evening. Needless to say, he will be back in his "corral", available to mingle with his adoring public next year. He has been going through a big growth spurt lately and is turning in to a very handsome young man. It makes me sad though, because it is as if that year of 24/7 care never happened. He doesn't seem to remember much of anything we did back then. He acts like he has never seen a blanket before. PTL he does not need one, but it amazes me that after spending nearly 24/7 with him for a year, and actually moving out and building an attached bedroom so we could sleep with him, it is like it never happened. Rocky, on the other hand, remembers everything. But I guess it was just the extent of HB's condition that made him forget, kind of like when you have surgery and don't remember much. But seriously it would be nice if he remembered as it would make him one of those "bomb proof" ponies. The Rock Star isn't scared of much. Romeo is still extremely sensitive around his head, and when he was sick a few months ago, he seemed to have one of his little times when he couldn't remember much. But he has been doing very well and as long as we are gentle and soft with him, he will have one of the softest heads around. Rocky, Romeo and Chilly Pepper are all available for adoption.
The nursery is turning out to be absolutely adorable, and we won't have to use "diapeys" on a regular basis. It is also going to be a Godsend as it is the one place that I will be able to bring in the babies for hoof trimming and winter training. The stall is large enough for 3-4 "critical foals" (if there are any left by the time NDoA gets through), so we are getting the place much closer to where we need it. We cannot thank you enough for being part of this and making all of this possible. Even if you cannot actually adopt, please feel free to come and visit the babies and the rest of the critters. We love the visits and will never forget that this is your rescue and we are just lucky enough to be hands on. God bless y'all and we thank you in advance for your continued support, prayers, visits and love for the critters in 2013. We will be sending pix soon, so you can share the smiles.
We also have several miniatures that we are trying to help place. So if anyone has been looking for a mini, look not further. Just call us at 530 474 5197 or 530 3339 1458 for more information. I also want to thank everyone again for the help and support as we were able to get the tank warmers that we need. It is so amazing to have water instead of ice blocks, and it is crucial for the horses' health to drink enough water. So many horses colic simply because they don't drink as much water in the winter. So thank you - you guys rock!!!
As usual, life has been crazy busy with lots of ups and downs. We need to send out some THANK YOU'S to some people!! We had a 1972 Dodge flatbed donated to the rescue. So Matt and I drove to Placerville to pick her up. After picking up the truck, we drove over the mountains to Dayton. She made if over the grade from Placerville through South Tahoe into Carson very well, and that is saying something. We are extremely excited and hopeful that she will be a great "hay truck" and we will be able to use her to "git er done". She should be great in the ice and snow, and also has a pretty phenomenal winch, which will come in very handy where we live.
After leaving "the beast" (as her previous owner called her) at Bruce & Shirley's, we left the next morning to drive down to Vegas. Greg, whom we met at the conference in Las Vegas, donated an awesome little "hay shed". It is about 8 x 12, and will be our first enclosed hay shelter that will not need tarps of any kind. God bless you guys!! The trip down there was very long, and after spending the night at Greg's, we jumped in the truck and drove back. The winds were horrible, and the trip was long, but well worth it. Then we stayed at Bruce & Shirley's and came home the next day via Susanville and a lot of ice. We are so appreciative of everything that y'all do so we can continue our "community rescue". The fuel costs are high, but the benefit definitely outweighs that expense. We are also extremely grateful for the folks in Nevada, as they help with fuel when they need us to transport horses etc.
I also want to thank Hawes Ranch and Farm Supply. They have always been very generous with the babies, and help whenever they can as they realize that the little guys grow to be big guys. They have donated Foal Lac or other specialty items for the critical foals and help us every way they can. The picture of the feeder below is an example of how they try to always be there and help us. Apparently someone "special ordered" it and never picked it up. They let us purchase the feeder for less than they actually paid for it. As we all know, hay prices are already through the roof and I know that like everyone else, when you see any of it wasted, even the tiniest bit, it's enough to give you ulcers. So we cannot express how much gratitude we have for being able to have a feeder that keeps most all the hay out of the mud and helps reduce any waste there might have been.
Update on Soldier. (The military war dog now residing at our rescue). Soldier is doing well, although the more time we spend with him, (and we have pretty much been spending 24/7 with him), the more we see the trauma that resulted from his military career. This poor soldier definitely is suffering from PTSD. There are so many little triggers that stress him out. It is obvious that he has felt pain from some of the things he went through, and so we are just going slow and taking it day by day. On a bright note, he is extremely protective of his mommy :). He is starting to enjoy his road trips more and more, as he is beginning to realize that we are not going to leave him somewhere. There is a pix of him on the way back from Vegas, along with some wild burros we saw. It was so awesome to see truly WILD BURROS that were afraid of humans like they should be.
We also have a new addition to the rescue, KK the cat.
The less bright part of the last week, is that not only was my truck in the shop last week, it needs to go back. Apparently leaving it sitting for four years will cause a lot of little things to need fixing the more you use it. It is running strong, but little things keep popping up, and as we all know, there is nothing "little" about the pennies we spend to fix those items. But the good news is that the engine is running strong. PTL!
Last night my computer crashed, and now none of my programs are on it. But I can still do a couple things, so I guess we will be visiting Best Buy again. They have a pretty good repair program.
So no matter how many little frustrations keep coming up, there is more sunshine than snow. God is teaching me patience, and Lord knows I have never been that great in that department, unless of course it is with the little critters. :) PTL for that one! We were supposed to transport some yearlings that were adopted, but need to postpone that until the latest truck issue is solved. If anyone is travelling between the Susanville area and the Bay Area and could pick up a couple horses, please let me know. 530 474-5197 530 339-1458.
If anyone is considering adopting a baby/horse, it would be awesome if we tried to get the ones headed for slaughter placed before the ones that are safe where they are at the moment. There is another bunch coming up immediately. We are simply running out of places to put them. If mares are allowed to breed on purpose, obviously those babies are not at risk of slaughter. Just a thought as we are really in crisis.
I was asked to post the Rescue Wish List on my next update, so here are a couple little things.
Hay (always) :) - it's kind of like air - you just can't live without it. hee heee
Amplify (Honey Bandit's special supplement) sold at Tractor Supply - If anyone is trying to put weight on a horse and having trouble - this stuff is what keeps HB doing well.
Wood for two interior walls in the nursery - It is coming along so well. It is going to be so warm and cozy for the babies. It will be very rustic, but that is more fun anyway.
A working pellet stove (that someone is no longer using) for the nursery - we have a friend that can help us with free pellets when we have babies. woo hoooooo!!
We can also use refill supplies for medical care, from bandages to antibiotic creams to needles and syringes.
It would be awesome if we could do a "work day" so we can git the hay storage and big water tank up.
A few more old panels to finish the double fence in back.
There it is...... and I am happy to say that it is much smaller than it used to be. The rescued critters are thriving and we might have an adopter for Romeo!! You guys are amazing and I am so happy to be part of such a wonderful little community rescue. God blessed me when He put this in front of us, especially with all the new friends we have met.
Take care and drive safe!