Sunday, December 12, 2010

Help - Volunteers Needed Urgently

Eye of the Storm desperately needs volunteers immediately. Nina fell on the ice Sunday morning and broke her wrist. This means she can't clean stalls for a while. Please call the barn if you can help.


Thank you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New "Rescues"

It is coming to my attention that many lesson stables are now starting "rescues." They are finding that their unride-able, worn out school horses are no longer marketable. If they cannot be ridden, they are not being accepted at auctions.

The closing of the slaughter houses and the unwanted publicity this raised caused you know what to hit the proverbial fan. Many stables just used to send to auction their unwanted horses. Many were being abandoned at the auctions when they did not sell. The auction owners don't want them either. Contrary to popular belief not all used up horses are suitable for human consumption. Though some horses end up in slaughter houses, the ride is long and the payoff is probably not worth it for most slaughter buyers unless they live close to the Canadian or Mexican border.

Maybe, I hope, this is a good thing. Horses that should be responsibly cared for for life, now will be. These ones have probably taught hundreds of people to ride - we owe them!

I predicted last year that the unwanted horse problem would be sorted out within two years. Little did I guess it would take this direction. All I can say is bravo!

My only concern is the term "rescue." These are not "rescues." These places are stables that are now being forced to do the proper thing for these horses who have been their slaves for years.

It is okay to establish themselves as non-profit, but they should be called "sanctuaries" or "retirement" facilities. None of their horses are rescues. They can still raise funds, acquire donations, etc., but these facilities are not in the trenches. They are not bringing horses back from deathly situations. They are not housing horses with emotional problems or dangerous behaviors which would condemn them to death. They are not otherwise taking in ancient horses whose beloved family members have died. They are not taking in the ones that are totally broken in mind, body, and spirit. Those of us who are, are "rescues." These others are only doing as they should. And that's okay. It's about time. Amen.

But though this is as it should be - and at last honorable - these farms have their own money. They are working facilities that can and should continue the care of these horses. Most of these people own their own farms. But don't be swayed by their fancy facades.

Those of us who are really and truly "rescues" actually don't have money. We depend on your support. We have been picking up the pieces of the equine industry for years. Our facilities are full of broken, throw-away horses, some of whom we have housed, cared for, and loved for years.

Many of us, like Eye of the Storm, have to make due with rented facilities, never knowing if the place will be sold out from under us tomorrow. We live in constant concern of where we will get the money for our next hay delivery. We need you, we need your help for our horses, many of whom would have died years ago if they didn't come to Eye of the Storm and other rescues like ours.

For example, Czardis is 28 years old. She has been with us for 10 years. She is completely broken, she is fading before our eyes. But though she is now frail and tottering she has had 10 years of love, care, rest, and good friends that she otherwise would not have had. When her day comes to join her angel we will still be here for her. We will surround her with love and we will hold her until she closes her beautiful eyes for the last time.

That is what we do. To those who have been supporting us all these years I thank you from my heart. Please don't forget us - we still need you and we love you.

Update on Diamond

Diamond has been placed in a family with 10 grandchildren under the age of 11. They just love him. He has found his way to a forever home.

The New One

We have a new little pony. His owners had lost their home. The pony needed to go within days, the family had been evicted. They also had a blind, 30+ year old mare. It was discussed that this mare should not be moved from her familiar home. She would be afraid and confused, and at her age would probably die soon. This would be unfair to the horse, would actually be an act of cruelty, nor fair to the ones taking her to watch her die. I made it plain that it was the owner's responsibility to provide a peaceful end for this dear old family member. She was given the last gift and was sent on her way amongst loving family members at her home. May she live again.

We brought the pony to Eye of the Storm. He was supposed to be 12 hands tall, a good useful size and very possibly able to be put in a lesson program at a local facility, the owners of which I trust very much. I was sure that no more horses would come here, at least until some of our current residents passed on. The pony's name was Cocoa. He was just 10 years old, not trained to ride but kind and had been used for pony rides. All the better to be trained properly, untainted by bad training.

As he stepped off the trailer I was astounded by one of the most beautiful ponies I have ever seen! He is palomino-ish, the color of a deer with a flaxen mane and tail. He looks like a little horse with a slightly bulbous nose like dear old Willie had. I was so very charmed by him. He is, in fact, under 11 hands tall, very slightly built, and a 4 year old child will outgrow him in 5 minutes. So much for the lessons program.

We have, of course, all fallen in love with him. He just loves people and would be happy to move into a house to live with someone. And though he will always be Cocoa to his previous family, we already have Coco, Moon's mother, so we must call him something else. After running several names past him, none fit. We want them to tell us their real names. Sooner or later they do.

Last year at this time we were working very hard to make Willie as comfortable as possible in his last days of life. Such a good boy, my dear Willie. Willie's name in his past life, we found out later, was Diamond Jim. It came to me that in memory and honor of that dear one the new pony's name is Diamond - our new little jewel. He has a tiny white spot on his forehead and with a little imagination it could be a diamond.

I placed my hand on his forehead and said, "Your name is Diamond," and he said, "Yes, it is." And so we welcome our beautiful little Diamond to Eye of the Storm.


One hot, miserable, extremely buggy day, we put a few horses out while we cleaned their stalls. Our little wild pony mare Coco has turned into quite a stall potato. She stood at the gate and hollered "Bring me in, these bugs are AWFUL." This was a pony that ran wild for 10 years and took 10 people three hours to catch and bring to us.

Coco's stall is in the middle of the barn. She has a window. The stall is open on three sides. In the summer, a fan blows directly down on her from atop a cabinet about five feet high. She stands with her face into the fan. Her door is open with a very low stall guard that she could step over, if she wanted to. At one end of her stall she can touch noses with Gabriel, at the other with Fancy. She watches as I measure feed a few feet away or as others' horses stand for attention on the cross ties. She loves her own little stall. She is a happy pony. When I look at her I know that this is one thing that I did right.

Google Stuff

We do not endorse any of the products advertised in Ads by Google that appear on our blog. Not Pergolide or any other Cushings related "cures" or medications. Eye of the Storm produces our own herbal blend for the Cushings horse - Bess' Choice. All others are not tested, used, or endorsed by us. We have had world wide success with Bess' Choice, we would not endorse someone else's untried product. The now compounded drug Pergolide is just plain dangerous, in my opinion. So, by all means, click on them as we get a few cents when you do, but please do not assume that we agree with them. We believe our supplement is the best.

Also, please note that we do not endorse other rescues except Vineyard Miniature Horse Rescue, Inc. All others I have not personally dealt with.

And then there are goodbyes

During the month of October two of our beloved horses died. Cassie, a retired horse who spent her last days here with us had a sudden episode of congestive heart failure. She was maintained on Lasix for six more days but the damage was too great, she could not heal. She was a tough old warrior mare. In the end she died with the same fierce dignity that she had lived with. She was more than 30 years old.

Thor, a 20 year old thoroughbred gelding, was adopted by his beloved friend, Christel, 10 years ago. She rode him almost every day and lovingly cared for him. After surgery to remove a bladder stone, he began to fade away. One day he was found in great respiratory distress. It was decided to let his beautiful horse go. He knew it, too. It was okay.

May we all meet again in paradise.