As I lay in bed, listening to the sounds of the babies moving about, I could not stop the tears from falling. In the morning, for the very last time, we would be loading Annie & Lil Bit into the trailer to start their journey to their new home in Lompoc, at Return to Freedom. Slowly, I drifted into an uneasy sleep.
At about 2:00 a.m. I awoke with a vengeance. The sound of thundering hooves radiated all around us. In the front, where the babies were, and in the other two areas where the big guys were, you could hear them flying around. Every once in awhile you would hear them blowing and snorting. "Matt, something is out there". All of a sudden I heard a blood curdling scream. It was clearly an animal in the horrible throes of death. It was out on the highway side of the road and I raced out as fast as my knee would allow (which is not very fast at all). I had grabbed the huge spotlight and I was calling desperately for DaBubbles. I couldn't find him anywhere. All of a sudden the light went out, (of course - lol) and I could hear Matt calling me telling me not to be out there without a weapon. But I couldn't go back, I had to know he was ok. I finally heard him running around, and breathing a big sigh of relief, realized that the kill had been outside of our gate. Most likely the cat had taken down one of the deer that used to hang around. My adrenalin was up and my heart was racing. By then, realizing the danger was no longer, the horses and dogs had all settled down and were quiet, and we knew the danger was over. I kept hearing that scream over and over in my head, and my heart was aching for the little deer that was now dinner.
Matt and I went back to bed for a few minutes and then we decided, let's just load 'em up and head out. We had brought the babies into the inside nursery and they were all over the place. There was no way we would get any sleep, So for the last time ever, I walked Lil Bit and Lil Orphan Annie into the trailer that they had come to know so well. They just hopped in as if to say, where we goin' this time? We got them settled, rechecked everything on the trailer and off we went.
The drive down was uneventful for the most part. The babies traveled beautifully, and thoroughly enjoyed their little breaks and "milk stops". They ride standing up part of the time but like to just lay down and chill much of the time when we travel. We were about an hour from Return to Freedom when we noticed a large semi with a flatbed trailer who was all over the place. He would go from 35 - 65, and would often be completely on the side of the road and other times be about 3 feet into the oncoming traffic lane. Now I am pretty protective when we are pulling our little ones, and I sure didn't want to be in front of him. After 3 separate calls and a great deal of time, most of which we were having mini heart attacks as he came within inches of wiping folks out, including a large fuel tanker, the CHP finally showed up. He flashed on his lights and began to follow the truck. Seems like it took 10 - 15 minutes literally for the guy to finally pull over. We stopped in case they needed a statement, but the officer told us that they had seen enough. Once again, the angels were with all of us on that highway.
We pulled in to Neda's place, and were met by a bunch of beautiful women. However, when we opened the trailer door, the babies who could definitely tell that momma was being weird, decided that they would rather stay in the trailer. So we took a bit of time to let them figure it out. We had added a piece of wood just inside the back door so no little hoofers could get caught, and this was only the 2nd time they had seen it. I think that with that piece of wood, coupled with so many folks waiting to meet them and them knowing that "mommy was different", they had decided why not stay in our cozy little trailer that is like our second home. So we gave them a few minutes to settle in.
After they were unloaded, they went into a beautiful arena. Both of these babies are secure, confident and ready to take on life. They pranced around, showed off a bit and literally just soaked up the love. That night when we came back from dinner, both of them ran up whinnying when they heard "their" truck. It was really nice to be invited to stay there overnight. We got to wake up to some of the most beautiful scenery there is, and I think it was easier for the babies to settle in when we were there for breakfast like normal. I do have to say though, dropping off two babies that have bonded so well is so much less dramatic than dropping off one. These guys have each other and are so secure that this will be an easy transition for them, although not so much for mom.
We spent a good part of the day with Neda as she showed us around and explained what they do. Return to Freedom is an amazing place and a great one to support if y'all need a good tax write-off. Their operating costs are about $6,000 a day, and they have done studies with the PZP that prove you can manage the wild ones with it. As is the case with humans, not all mares respond to the PZP, so that core group of mares is with a stallion that has had a vasectomy. The other mares who respond positively to the treatment are banded up with the stallions. Life at Return to Freedom is very close to "nature" and the horses are living in their family bands. I cannot begin to imagine the kind of responsibility and stress that could come with taking such excellent care of so many horses. As she says, "these horses are yesterday's emergencies". We were talking about how everyone wants to "save" the horses during the emergency, but as soon as it is over, the day to day costs of feeding, veterinary care, hoof care and all the other expenses seem to fall on the rescues. We need folks to support these horses the rest of their lives.
You can sponsor one of their beautiful mustangs, and even if you cannot do a full sponsorship, anything helps. Shirley Allen at Lucky Horse Rescue & Rehab in Dayton, NV also has some babies and big horses that could use a sponsor. Honey Bandit & Donkey are also available for sponsorship at our place. There is no end to the amazing places that need sponsors for the "saved horses". Even $5 to any organization out there can make a huge difference for these animals and allow folks to provide the awesome care they deserve.
So Annie and Lil Bit are happily munching away at their new home. They are surrounded by awesome folks and I heard a little secret that the staff run out on their breaks and visit with them, so we know they are still getting that special treatment they love.
Remember, please visit the websites and help if you can. http://www.whmentors.org/lhp/orphan01.html (Shirley's foal rescue) & Return to Freedom, where Lil Bit & Annie live http://www.returntofreedom.org/about-us/ and of course www.chillypepper.weebly.com to see our latest.
During the year 2014, we had 10 babies here, Precious, Mikey & Ikey, Texas, Janie, Baby Boo McClellan & Luna, Lil Bit & Annie and Running Bucket. Running Bucket is still on a nurse mare, (whom has done pretty much all the work) and has a potential, but not for sure adopter. All of the others have found wonderful homes, with the exception of our beloved Janie, who is now in the arms of the angels. THANK YOU EVERYONE who made these babies' lives possible. Y'all are amazing and so very much appreciated.
We just got back from Las Vegas. Took Mikey and Ikey to their new homes. Amazingly enough, they are together with Rocky at the same barn. So the three "Mustang Gals", Robin, Gabby & Emma, all have their own young mustangs to grow up with. Who would have believed that 3 of our babies would end up together in Las Vegas. Woohooo!
It was a wonderful (although a bit heartbreaking too) trip, and the boys were all settled in safely when we left. We spent most of the day Wednesday with the girls and the babies, helping them transition into their new lives as smoothly as possible.
The girls are very aware of how important it is to keep the respect of the babies and to make sure that they always remember that the girls' space IS NOT the babies' space. With that said, the girls are bonding very quickly and were already able to sit with the boys after they had had their first lessons. Mikey and Ikey were more than thrilled to lay in the warm Vegas sunshine and were content and relaxed as the girls loved on them. Let the bonding begin :)
We met their trainer who is absolutely amazing. So I am extremely thankful and even a bit delighted at the beautiful plan God had for these babies and these girls. Together with their parents, trainer and hard work and love with the babies, these girls will have amazing horses that will be their best friends for many years to come. What a beautiful outcome for all of these babies.
Thank you for all your help in making this happen. God bless!
Well, once again YOU DID IT! Your wonderful support, love, prayers and financial donations have given these two boys a chance at an awesome forever. We are leaving in about 5 minutes to start the long journey to Las Vegas, Nevada. Mikey and Ikey have been adopted by two of Robin Warren's (aka WILD MUSTANG ROBIN)'s friends.
The 3 girls, known as "the mustang gals", have already begun dedicating their lives to saving and preserving the wild mustangs and stopping horse slaughter. You ca visit "YEA" to read more about the girls and to follow Mikey and Ikey's progress, along with the Rock Star.
As usual, I cannot stop crying thinking about driving away from my babies, but I do know that with the help of some awesome trainers, these girls and babies will be best friends for life, and both of them will continue to represent our amazing wild horses.
So please send prayers as we begin our journey. We have a wonderful crew staying at the rescue taking care of all the critters and watching over everything. We would also ask for prayers for a safe and wonderful experience for both the girls and babies.
Take care and Congratulations on another successful ending for two wonderful babies.
Lots of love and gratitude,
Hope 2014 is treating you well. We are working on the end of the year tax stuff and should have your tax donation receipts out in the near future. Of course this is when my computer decided to have problems, but thanks to our good friend Mike it seems to be working again. PTL!
Ikey is finally out of jail. He had his hernia surgery 6 weeks and one day ago, and was required to be stall bound for that time. I can tell you that it was not a picnic for anyone, as he wanted to run and play about two weeks into it. However, he has healed perfectly and is outside playing and running and being a real horse again.
Both Mikey and Ikey are ready to be adopted and travel to their forever home. As heartbreaking as it always is, the heartbreak is bittersweet when you know that these precious babies are going to a place where they can have the attention that they deserve and love. Although it is hard to let them go, I can't give them the attention they deserve when new little ones come in. They are ready to start the next step in their life journey. Mikey is the more quiet of the two, and possibly even a tiny bit timid. He obviously endured some rough handling during the auction, as he has shown uncertainty and fear of being hurt from the get go. Ikey is a bit more outgoing and was gelded when he had his hernia surgery. Both boys are bright, sweet and want to please. They both move very well and would be a wonderful addition to someone's family. Please call 530 474 5197 if you are interested in adoption, or you can email me at Palomino.email@example.com.
We are so grateful for all that y'all do to make our rescue a safe and functional place for these babies. I would really like to get Mikey & Ikey placed as soon as possible as foal season is nearly upon us. The nurseries are empty and ready to go, so if you know of a foal that needs our help, please call sooner than later. Every hour can make a difference in the outcome for these foals.
Thank you again for being part of our rescue and making it such an awesome experience. God bless you for all you do! As always, please enjoy the photos of what you have accomplished.
coming up on foal season, and we are definitely set up and ready for the next little one who needs us. But it is always nice to know the ones that are healthy and rehabbed have found their perfect home, as the new ones always need most of our attention. I get happier each day with all the improvements we have been making here. Whether it is cleaning up slash or putting the finishing touches on the fencing and gates, it is just awesome to know that we are finally pretty well set up. We still need to build a couple of shelters and another little place for hay, but after 2 1/2 years of working on the property, we are well on the way to having things set up the in best way possible to provide the best possible care for our critters and to share all of them with y'all.
We recently had the honor of taking Dabubbles for a "meet and greet" at One Safe Place, in Redding, California. (One Safe Place is where people can stay or find help due to domestic violence or other situations that make it impossible for them to be safe at home.) What an awesome day. DaBubbles, our miniature therapy horse, (who looks kind of like a wooly mammoth right now) shone like the star he is. The kids and adults had big smiles on their faces and you could see the joy that DaBubbles seems to bring about. The kids brushed him, walked him, trotted him and fed him. It was so nice to see their cares melt away, even if only for a few hours. One young man was quite impressed that we drove "that far - just so DaBubbles could come visit".
We have been doing a lot of work as far as perimeter fencing that will hopefully keep out the coyotes. Our war veteran, and my service dog, "Soldier", is beyond happy as now he gets to patrol the front part of the property. Even when he lays down in the front, it looks as though he is bursting with pride. He just seems to radiate pride and happiness, as he sits out front with his chest all pumped up. I guess after being an active soldier, not being able to have free run of the property was an insult to his dignity.
So we are very happy and thankful for all the blessings we have received this last year. Our next biggest goals at this time is finding Mikey & Ikey a home, as well as the stray dog that we have been fostering. These are some wonderful animals that will bring a lot of joy to whomever adopts them. If you have any interest in adopting, please call me at 530 474 5197 or go to our webste at www.chillypepper.weebly.com or contact me at Palomino.firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from folks and to our visitors. We have had quite a few this last year and it brings joy to our hearts to share first hand this wonderful experience.
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.email@example.com. 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!
I cannot begin to express the amount of love and joy that is filling my heart. Just this morning, one of our much loved Angels picked up her phone and called Crossroads (the local vet) to let them know that she was paying for IKEY'S entire surgery. She did so and added we should use the monies donated by y'all for the feed and care of the babies. This is especially awesome as the $550 price involved taking Ikey to Nevada, and having this done locally will be much easier for him. He is now able to go to the vet that is close, which is the one I had the higher quotes from. So many blessings for our babies keep coming our way.
However, since honesty is definitely our policy, I wanted to make sure that everyone knew about this amazing turn of events and give folks the choice to request their donations back if they were specifically for his surgery, if you so desire. We appreciate each and every donation and always want to be up front and honest with our rescue family. Although our beautiful angel said "to save the monies and she would pay for the surgery", I have to give our supporters the opportunity to choose whether your surgical donation is refunded or if you want it to be used for the special supplements and feed for the special needs critters here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang, Equine Rescue & More. Winter is looking to be brutal and the critter kids so appreciate all their goodies.
If you would like your donation refunded, please contact me asap.
Sincerely, WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE TO ALL
Matt & Palomino
It's been awhile since we sent out an update, as we have been busy with the newest baby, PRECIOUS. She requires constant care and we have to lift her up. She is able to walk after we stand her up, but literally has to be lifted on to her feet.
She was dehydrated, starving and extremely cold when we picked her up. We literally didn't think she would make it until we got home. We spent hours tracking down i.v. fluids for her, which was extremely difficult and time consuming considering it was Thanksgiving Eve. After waking up several of our dear friends in the middle of the night, we were able to get her safely settled in about 3:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. (Needless to say our turkey was a bit late as we were out picking up Precious instead of thawing the bird :) )
She is holding on and gaining weight, and we are doing P/T with her so she can regain strength in her back end.
MIKEY & IKEY are doing fabulously, once again thanks to all your support. However Ikey has a hernia, (as you can see in the attached photo) that could be life threatening if it is not fixed in time. We have to stuff the contents back inside him several times a day (very gently of course) and are saying our prayers that it will hold until we can get him his surgery.
We found a wonderful vet that will do it for us, and the total cost, (barring any complications of course) will be about $550. This is $200-$500 less than our best price before that. We are very fortunate (IKEY IS) to have had some wonderful folks donate a total of $275 towards the estimated cost of $550. So we are half way there.
However, IKEY still needs your help. If anyone wants to help this wonderful little orphan to continue to have the best chance at a happy and healthy life, IKEY would so appreciate anything y'all can do to help him get past this.
We here at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang cannot begin to express our gratitude for all that you do. Without y'all and your loving support, there would be no miracle mustangs, and man have we had a few of those. So please keep up your awesome support for these critical little orphans we get. You are doing God's work, caring for His creatures and making such a difference not only in their lives, but for all the folks who are involved and come to visit. We have been so blessed to become part of such a wonderful community who shares in all our rescues.
God bless and stay safe.
Mikey & Ikey are doing fabulously.
First of all, I would like to thank all of you who are part of our rescue and helping to keep it going. It is so amazing to have the privilege of doing the hands on care of all the critters that come through here, but the only way we are able to do so is because of all you folks who support us in so many ways. Whether it be networking, prayer, donations, or just by being there when we are struggling, YOU ARE THE REASON THAT MIKEY & IKEY, AND ALL THE OTHERS HAVE SURVIVED! SO THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS ALL THAT YOU DO! This is definitely the season for thinking about all that you have to be thankful for, and WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR, AND SO APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU AND THE WAY YOU MAKE ALL OF THIS HAPPEN!!!
I have some very good news about Ikey & Mikey. Both of these little ones have improved so much. Their breathing, although not always perfect, is much better, and although Mikey still tends to have a cough once in awhile it seems that lately they are both acting much like normal little babies. They are starting to play more and more and are growing in leaps and bounds. Both boys had their first trim (of sorts) while standing upright the other day.
Prior to that, I had done a tiny bit of reshaping of their hooves while they were lying down. They were so close to death when we got them that they could care less what we did. However, it is quite difficult to trim and shape little hoofers when they are not where you can really see them.
Both of the boys "stance" has improved so much. Ikey is still down quite a bit, but coming up gradually as we had hoped. We had discussed wrapping their legs which might have made them stand upright quicker, but there were several things to consider. When babies are that compromised, you don't want to make too many changes or put too much stress on their system. Also, any time you cast or wrap something, it causes it to need the wrap and weaken. I have unfortunately had too much experience with that with my own knee. Also, it can sometimes cause more pain to their tendons and ligaments when you change the way they stand too quickly.
Mikey's legs are coming along beautifully and Ikey's are a little further behind, but improving. The more they run and play the stronger they are getting. It is so wonderful to see them acting like normal little babies and running and playing. Unfortunately, you can still see a bit of the trauma they must have gone through during the auction from the way they were handled. Every once in awhile you can see the fear from a memory when they were mishandled,, but that is decreasing little by little. I know that the woman who had them after the auction was amazing with them, but even Honey Bandit seems to hold the memories of the roundup and all that excessive energy. There seems to be missing times in their memories though. Much like Honey Bandit, the first month or so that Mikey & Ikey were here they were so ill that they don't really seem to remember much. It's funny because that is when you would like to think you were bonding the most, but it is so far in the backs of their minds that they often don't or can't remember it. They definitely remember times before and after that though. I guess it is not that different from not being able to remember the time around surgical recovery etc.
We are ready to start planning Ikey's hernia repair. It is definitely bad enough where it could be deadly if it isn't repaired, and he is tired of me stuffing his guts back inside of him 4 or 5 times a day.
I am sending a few photos of some of the "before and after"s that y'all have made happen. Sometimes it is easy to forget how much difference you guys have made in so many lives. Have a wonderful holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. We are helping God's creatures as He puts them before us, and so blessed that we can all have a part in it and accomplish so much together.
WOW - I knew Mikey & Ikey were hard on the propane bill, but just found out exactly how hard. My last fill up lasted 6 months, as we only use it for hot water and cooking. I was filled up SEPTEMBER 12, about 7 days before we picked up the boys and needed to REFILL AGAIN NOVEMBER 7TH to the tune of $467.26 and the ONLY difference is that the nursery needed to be heated. Please say your prayers for warmer nights and healthier babies..... There are so many hidden costs for these little ones. Luckily we are using a little less each night now, but it will depend on the weather. Hopefully I can get the Monitor heaters hooked up soon and get some kerosene going as they are supposed to be more efficient. But we do what we need to for these babies. They are growing so much and feeling better overall but we are still fighting their lung issues. Thank you for all your support and prayers. Was in sticker shock this a.m.
The boys are growing like crazy and even have enough energy to play for a few minutes most days. However, as much as the Vibra VM machine is helping, they still have a cough. We are talking to the vet about which antibiotics to try now. We didn't want to just flood them with antibiotics as that is so damaging for them.
Please keep us all in your prayers and thank you for continuing to support these little guys. They have been through so much and are such fighters. They will be up for adoption at a later date, but ONLY TOGETHER, AND ONLY WITH A GUARANTEE THAT THEY REMAIN TOGETHER THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. I have never seen two babies more closely connected. It is like they are biological twins - (even though they are not even related). But they have pulled each other through it all, and are so protective of each other. The machine is loud at this point and the baby that is not being treated is always at my elbow to make sure the other one is ok.
God Bless y'all and make someone smile today!
Sorry it has been awhile. I have to say that the three of us have been a bit exhausted. For the last 6 weeks, we have all been awake pretty much 24/7. The boys could only lie down for a short time, and they were coughing a great deal of the time also.
We received a wonderful donation of the Vibra VM, a machine that helps break up mucous and the plugs and helps decrease the inflammation in the airways. www.vibravm.com Today is day 4, and there seems to be a teeny tiny difference. I cannot tell you how many times we have had foals and folks will visit and tell me that "they are fine, or doing better", when that little voice inside my head is telling me - "no, they are definitely not", and they are not "OK". I am very blessed because God chose us to do this, and that He gave me such a wonderful mentor that I can call day and night. Believe me, I have spent many nights on the phone with Shirley in tears, hoping and praying that Mikey & Ikey would actually make it through the night. I didn't wake up one day and say "oh - I want to take care of foals". God put it in front of me and I am so very grateful that this is my tiny part of the horse world. I don't ever take for granted the privilege of being able to do this, and I am always amazed at how wonderful you folks are and how you keep stepping up to provide what these babies need. Thank you and God bless you so much. It is exhausting, heartbreaking and absolutely wonderful. The reason I mention this is because I am having one of those "feelings", and it is telling me that something is changing for the better.
There is nothing really that you can see, with the exception of the fact that the boys are "different" and are able to get more rest. Both are still having breathing difficulties, but it seems that there is a tiny improvement. I really cannot say what it is, but I am getting the feeling that we are starting that climb up the mountain to being better. If there are 100 steps for them to climb to be healthy, we are on about #3. But 4 days ago, they were progressively getting worse. So I am hoping and praying that we continue to climb in huge leaps and bounds. The change is so small, but I truly believe that they are no longer getting worse.
Doc wants to hold off on giving them antibiotics and give them a chance to get better. She said it could be a bacterial infection and we should just watch them closely. As everyone knows, too many antibiotics cause many more problems if they are not needed. We have not ruled out using another antibiotic if we need to, but this is the first time in 6 weeks that they are not getting worse, so I am going to keep doing the treatments and watch them closely.
Thank you so much for your donations. It is so nice to know that whatever these guys need, they will have. Again, please be patient as I will send out individual thank you's as soon as I am able.
Sorry it has been a while. Took the boys to the vet last week. She did blood work and gave them a steroid to see if that would improve things. We also changed the bedding to straw to see if they possibly were having an allergic reaction to the shavings. (They are not allergic to the shavings, which is a blessing as it is easier to keep the stall clean - especially with two of them and it is imperative that we not have that "ammonia" smell as it is very harmful to their lungs.)
The blood work showed normal on Ikey and Mikey's showed a slightly elevated white count and had very low indicators that an infection was present. The conclusion is that neither of them have pneumonia, but they have some type of bronchitis.
The boys have continued eating and drinking well, and are growing and gaining weight. Ikey still keeps his ears pinned back most of the time, (he is tired of being sick) as they are still having issues with their breathing and are still coughing, although Mikey's cough is worse than Ikey's. They are exhausted (this has been going on for nearly 6 weeks) and still struggling to breathe, especially when they are lying down, which makes it hard for them to get good rest. Both boys are fighters though and are giving it their all. We are continuing to keep the positive energy and let them know that they are loved and need to be here.
Last week I received a wonderful phone call. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Thanks to a wonderful woman in Florida, who picked up the phone and told them about Mikey & Ikey, the folks at VIBRA VM donated one of their units to help us with the boys. In summary, these machines send energy in the form of sound waves, in the correct frequency, to loosen the mucous plugs that can cause breathing problems. The VIBRA VM has been used successfully to treat COPD/Heaves, Emphysema, Asthma, Influenza, Sinusitis, Barn Cough, Pneumonia, Feline Asthma, and Kennel Cough. Their website is WWW.VIBRAVM.COM. Please visit it for more information.
We had our first two sessions yesterday, about 4-5 minutes each time. Both boys were absolutely fine with the treatment and showed no nervousness whatsoever. They haven't spent too much time standing still for long periods, but they both did very well. We were very pleased to find that their nostrils were quite wet and we even had a little drip of mucous. This is wonderful as so far, their coughing has been for naught and the offending mucous refuses to leave their airways. So a change has been made. Woohooo PTL!!!
We will continue to treat them daily and keep you all updated. We are needing to purchase another bag of foal lac pellets and
their grain this week. We are so grateful for all the help and support, from prayers to suggestions and of course the money that we need to provide their veterinary care and feed. You can go to WWW.CHILLYPEPPER.WEEBLY.COM and donate there, or go directly to Paypal and donate through Palominodancer@yahoo.com or contact us at Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang, 34694 Sidebottom Road, Shingletown, CA 96088. All donations are tax deductible and much appreciated. Once again y'all have come through and made it possible to give these amazing and courageous little guys a chance at life. We are going on 6 weeks and praying hard that we start turning the boys in a new direction and see improvement as opposed to them feeling worse. Will post some pix/video of the boys getting their treatment as soon as I can.
Thank you again for making it possible to help these guys through the tough times they are facing. We simply could not provide the standard of care and feed they enjoy without your help. You guys are awesome, and I have to say "it takes the world to save a foal". God bless!
p.s. Please excuse my writing as I am a tiny bit tired and definitely in my "double foal coma". :)
Spoke with the Doc a few minutes ago. The blood work came out very well -PTL!!!!!!!! Mikey's is a little bit off but not enough to keep her worried. As of yet, I had not changed the bedding, as the shavings make it so easy to keep clean and sanitary. However, Doc said that she has had several foals that were HIGHLY ALLERGIC to shavings. She said to start using straw (ughh) and spritz it so it isn't dusty. We are taking the "do less" approach right now, and she is very cognizant of our budget. She wants to watch them and see if the wormer makes a difference. She said that worms can cause coughing, difficulty breathing and lung issues, especially when foals are so compromised. So this is where we are headed. She did indicate that it most likely will be a very long and slow process for them to get where we want them. She is the Doc who saved Honey Bandit, so I have to say that she does amazing work. I also have to say that her integrity is showing as we initially thought she would have to do a lung culture right away. After seeing them she was worried about a bacterial infection, so she chose the blood work instead. Am extremely grateful that she didn't just jump in and do everything all at once, although it would be nice to know for sure what is making them so sick. Please continue your prayers!! God bless!
Good Morning All,We made it through another night PTL! The guys seems to be having an extra tough morning today. Their breathing is really labored and there is lots of moaning and groaning. Funny though, all of a sudden they will walk over and look at me like "hey mom - what's up?". Seems to be kind of like kids - they forget for a moment that they fill bad. :)Seems to also be true when I got out their munchies - they seem to feel a bit better :) The vaporizer (a cast iron pot filled with water on to of the propane heater) has been making it very pleasant for the boys in here. Please note that we pay attention to every single idea y'all have. They are so appreciated and I run each and every one by Doc. We are using many of them :)Whatever virus these little guys have is a very mean one, so appreciate all your prayers and support. It is so important for anyone around them to keep positive energy and healing love, so I truly appreciate all the prayers, support and help y'all are sending us. It is such a roller coaster of emotions and I need to stay positive for these guys. All the love and support make it possible to do that - so THANK YOU!!!
As I sit here typing this update, I can hear one of the boys coughing outside. Today was the last day of the antibiotics, and we are hoping to see a change soon. The nights are the hardest, most likely because that is when they lie down the most. Any time they are down, the pressure on their lungs makes it harder for them to breathe. Their breathing has been very shallow and rapid, and the other night Ikey's gums were very pale compared to normal. He is a very cranky little boy when he doesn't feel good, and is not shy about sharing his feelings. :)Both boys continue to eat and drink very well, which is definitely helping save their lives. They obviously want to be here, and although we are on a roller coaster ride, where one minute you think they might be feeling and/or looking better, the next minute their body is racked with their coughing and the sounds of them struggling to get enough air. Last night one of them was squeaking while trying to breathe. Every breath, step, time they get up or down, or I hear them groaning as they struggle to get their air, I am out of bed. So basically, we are all pretty much up all day and night. They are so definitely not out of the woods yet, so PLEASE CONTINUE PRAYING FOR THEM!! You get so in tune with them when you spend 24/7 with them that you see the tiniest details. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful mentor that taught me to pay attention to every little change, as you can lose a foal in minutes. Tiny details most often are and can be critical. Something that appears ok, can be deadly if not paid attention to. We want to send a great big THANK YOU!!! to ROSS ZUMSTEG. His help has been invaluable, (along with his knowledge) and it is folks like that who make our "community rescue" one big family. He has been here daily for the last 3 or 4 days to help with medicating the boys and anything else we need.We are keeping them warm as the nights are extremely cold. However, our new heaters are here but not installed, so we are going through our propane as if it were water. But it is imperative that they are not chilled. They are such beautiful little souls, and much like Honey Bandit, fighting with every thing they have not only just to survive, but to get through this. Folks were asking how they picked it up? Who knows? Maybe their mama's picked up a bug at the auction and it just now came to be active. I don't know, and at this point it makes no difference. There is a huge ripple effect from folks sending these horses through auction, and the original condition of these foals is simply part of it.I am hoping and praying that they continue to get stronger and make it through this. Will keep you posted....
Both boys had a horrible night. They both have some kind of bug, coughing and struggling to breathe. These "colds" are extremely common this time of year with the weather changing back and forth with such intense changes in temperature. Compromised foals are at extreme risk in these situations. They are on meds, but need SERIOUSLY LARGE AMOUNTS OF PRAYERS. They have absolutely NO RESERVES, and are in a very fragile position. I am praying that they will make it through this and it will not be too much for their tired little bodies. Foals are so very fragile, and every second counts when it comes to getting them help. They can crash in a matter of seconds, and the outcome for them is pretty much in God's hands. We are doing everything we can under our vet's guidance, but they were so weak in the beginning that there are no guarantees. Please pray for these beautiful little boys. I am hopeful that they will both pull through, but they are struggling so.
Hi folks,Mikey & Ikey are hanging in there. They are currently sporting their new blankeys. They are gorgeous and just right for this weather we are having. Not sure if we will have to double up later or not, but they are amazing and "tri" adjustable.
It was about 36 this morning so it is so important that they don't use any energy just trying to stay warm to survive. They need the sunshine so this allows them to be outside. :)However, Mikey is really really struggling. Have been up all night with him as his cough has gotten worse. Started out just once in awhile when we first picked him up, but it is progressively getting worse. It is quite baffling, as he has no temperature and no discharge. PTL the vet is on top of his needs, but we need to buy some rather spendy antibiotics. He has been very uncomfortable and his breathing is elevated and often very stressed when he lays down. We are watching him (both of them) 24/7 but unfortunately we need to consider the fact that this could be why his momma quit feeding him. No one was sure if he was "mis-matched" with his momma after the auction but if something is going on inside that we cannot see, his momma might have realized it and that could be why she quit feeding him. On a good note though, he is eating and drinking non-stop. Both of them have great appetites. :) So we need lots of prayers, as neither of them have any reserves if they get sicker. We are praying that there are no kidney or liver issues and that both of them have healthy organs that are keeping up with their growth. Both boys have had one little spurt of energy (right after I put their new blankeys on) and aside from that both are moving very slowly. Part of this could be as their little legs improve, changes to their tendons and muscles can make them sore. It is so hard to see them struggling so much.Please send prayers for these wonderful little babies. They have survived nearly dying together and are bonded in a manner that I have never seen. When adoption time comes, it will definitely be a "two fer" package.Thank you for continuing to support these little ones as they fight so valiantly to get better. God bless all of you and I hope your day is wonderful.THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US!Matt, Palomino & The Gang
Chilly Pepper - Miracle Mustang
Equine Rescue & More -
Rescue/Rehab Project LRTC
Shutting down my computer on Tuesday evening, I glanced one more time at my messages. With that last glance, I saw a plea to help an orphaned foal. I had almost shut down the computer without seeing the message. Moments like this can make your heart stop, as something so small as not seeing the message about the foal right away could end up in the loss of the foal, as time is of the essence. I quickly responded, sending phone numbers and telling them to call me no matter what time they got the message. With orphan foals, every hour counts. Finally, about an hour later, I received a phone call from a woman I had never met. There was an orphan, one of the Paiute Indian group that was recently rescued from slaughter.
So many folks breathe a huge sigh of relief when they hear that the horses have been "saved from slaughter". But the reality is that is just the beginning. One of the horses rescued was a pregnant mare that the vet deemed to be in her late 20's. Although pregnancy at this age is not an everyday event, it does happen but a lot of those mares that age do not carry the foal to term. However, this mare was determined to have her baby, and even though she carried him to term, she was in really bad shape and passed away when he was about 3 months old. So this baby already had a lot of strikes against him. The first is that his mom could not possibly have given him the proper nutrition when she was still pregnant. After she had him, in her condition there would be very little nutrition left in her milk because of the shape she was in, and who knows how much milk she even had. (The vet told the woman who rescued the mare that he didn't think she would live long enough to even give birth.) The woman who saved these horses from slaughter did her best to care for him, and then realizing she needed help she contacted us to take the baby. By the next day there was another foal in distress. This one was Mikey, the little tri-color, and the mare he had been paired up with after the auction did not seem to be his mother. When foals and mares are separated, they do not always match back up appropriately and in the chaos of the roundup and then the confusion of being pushed from pen to pen at auction yards, they very easily can get separated if care is not taken to make sure all are paired up properly. The mare had milk, but refused to let him drink and was being aggressive, resulting in a leg injury and him not being able to eat.
Not knowing where the babies were, but realizing time was of the essence, Soldier, (my service dog and our military war veteran), and I headed out the next day to Dayton, first stop on the way to get the babies. Matt was staying back to hold down the fort as this was an emergency situation. It was too late to do anything Tuesday night, and we also had to make sure the proper steps were followed. It is necessary to have the brand inspector legally change the title to the horses before you can take them, especially when you need to cross state lines. The foals would need to be checked by a vet and get a health certificate, as well as having their blood drawn for a Coggins test. It's never wise and no one wants to cause more problems and delay by not following the laws when crossing state lines without correct paperwork and it was a good thing to get them on their feet and have a little rest before they start their next journey to California. It was Thursday morning before we were able to pick up the babies so we have had a week to watch for problems and get them eating their supplements. It takes a little time for the older babies to learn about their munchies (supplements and vitamins) along with eating good hay. Electrolytes are so important to these babies and it's almost the first thing we do is to replace and keep them on water with electrolytes added. At 3 months they can free drink on their own and we watch their water intake to make sure they are drinking enough and not drinking too much.
Shirley and I headed out with the small two horse baby trailer that is totally enclosed, praying like crazy that the little guys would be okay. We arrived to find Mikey, the tri-colored little colt, lying on the ground. Ikey, the little buckskin, was actually standing on the edge of Mikey's neck, but Mikey was too weak to even care. We loaded them up in the trailer, knowing that they were extremely compromised as well as being dehydrated and seriously malnourished. We took them back to Shirley's and began checking them out. Their temperatures were in a safe range, although their little legs were quite cold. This can be a huge issue if they get too cold from lack of circulation, as the blood flow can decrease to the point of losing their hoofers, which of course means losing the baby. They both had good gum color, which is also extremely important, as it shows good oxygenation and abnormal gum color can show jaundice, and indicate other health issues. Low body temps (core temp) below about 85 degrees can cause internal organ damage and then the loss of the baby, one of the reasons it is so important to have compromised foals in an area where we are able to keep the temperatures stable and they are breathing air that is not to cold.
The next day Doc came and checked them out more thoroughly, and also drew the blood for the Coggins test needed to bring them back to California. He said both their lungs sounded good, and that hopefully with lots of love, attention, good groceries and supplements, their legs have a good chance of becoming more normal. Ikey also has a hernia which will most likely require surgery. We are hoping he will be well enough in a month or so for the surgery as Doc say it is better sooner than later as long as he is ready. We will need to raise funds for that operation before that time. We have to watch them closely as with foals that are this compromised they have absolutely zero reserves and also immune system that is also compromised, so it is imperative that we keep them as healthy as possible and in a temperature controlled environment.
Both Mikey and Ikey love to eat and drink, which is a great way to start getting better. They are definitely showing tiny signs of improvement every day, and if anyone would like to help with the special supplements, foal lac pellets, hay and feed that they need it would be much appreciated. You can donate at Palominodancer@paypal.com or go to our website www.chillypepper.weebly.com and donate there. Remember that all donations are tax deductible and so much appreciated, as they are what keep us going and make all this possible. We are hoping to head back to Shingletown on Thursday at the latest. I am anxious to get them safely (and ever so slowly) home and settled in. Thank you again to everyone who made sure that we have a safe and warm nursery. These two need it if we are going to have a chance to bring them back to a healthy state.
God bless you and thank you so much for making it possible to give these foals a chance. So many folks stepped up to make sure that they didn't end up at the slaughterhouse in the first place and we really want to make sure that they continue to beat the odds and are able to live a happy and peaceful life. Thank you so much for helping us help God's critters.
Ikey and Mikey say THANK YOU ALL, we're getting better.
Ikey day two, chowing down.
Mikey, day two, taking a little breather to say Love You and Thanks.
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