Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You

The great news is that we have a beautiful "new" Truck!! Many, Many thanks to Mark and Debbie B. who donated the money to us!!! Thank you! We Love you!!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Welcome to Eye of the Storm’s Open House

November 5th, 2011 1-4pm

Fun for the Day:
A Bit About Bits – In the Cabana
Interested in learning about bits? Which bits work for which jobs. How to fit bits. Learn about bits from old western cowboy bits, to modern dressage bits. Learn the difference between the materials they’re made of. Decide which bit is right for your horse!

Adding a Horse to your Family? – In the Cabana
What to think of before you decide to buy a horse. How to pick the perfect companion. What questions to ask before you buy. How to budget for a horse (purchase price and maintenance)

Pony Parade – In the Ring (behind the big barn)
Get a chance to meet all the horses as they show their stuff. Let them tell you how they came to eye of the storm. Then, the Grande Finale! Let the young volunteers show you how a lot of love and a little creativity can make even unridable horses tons of fun!

100% of the donations goes directly to the animals at Eye of the Storm,
for hay, grain, bedding and veterinary care.

Thank you so much for your support
Please no dogs or unattended children
Please do not go in either of the barns – so as not to stress the horses
Feel free to peek around the doors from the outside to see the horses that are inside

Here's hoping for a big crowd!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hot Off the Press: A Book About the Horses at Eye of the Storm

Written by Nina Arbella, "From the View Point of a Butterfly" tells the stories of our horses at Eye of the Storm, accompanied by photos. The stories showcase our horses' unique personalities and singular life histories. Proceeds from all sales of this book benefit Eye of the Storm Equine Rescue. To purchase a copy, click here.  You can also preview the book below!

This book is supported in part by a grant from the Stow Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Open House Fundraiser!

Saturday Nov. 5th   1-4pm

65 White Pond Rd. Stow, Ma 01775

A Bit about Bits
Nina teaches about bits, how they work

and which bit works for what purpose.
Thinking of Adding a Horse to your Family?
Jessica discusses what to look for to find your forever horse,
And how to prepare for the lifetime commitment.

Playtime in the Round Pen

Let our thoroughbred stallion Gabriel show you how it’s done!

Pony Parade!

The cutest demonstration of young volunteers and their favorite rescued 

demonstrating how a strong bond and a little creativity can make even a 

horse who can’t be ridden a ton of fun! Watch as they dance with their ponies.

For more information please call Jessica Mitchell (617-717-8386) or visit 
None of the current horses are for adoption or fostering, this is a fund raising event only

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Dance

Sometimes we just have to let our own ideas go and let the horses teach us – BabyPony, Sky Blue, taught me to dance. While just barely touching my body he kept me in the middle of his and moved where ever I moved and we danced. It was beautiful and moving and full of love. He never bumped or pushed me, he was just there, a slow beautiful ballet, dancing at my side. I had no lead rope or contact with him in any way – he did it because he wanted to – it was a gift from him to me. I am in love.
                Sometimes we get so carried away in “training” our horses that we lose sight of the fact that they already know so much, so much that they can teach us about being horses! I will never be able to ride Sky Blue, he is a pony and I am old, but in 61 years no horse has ever taught me to dance – until now.
                I have been so bogged down by shoveling out stalls, worrying about money/ water/ broken trucks/ growing old that I have forgotten how absolutely wonderful horses really are! My beautiful Baby Sky Blue Eyed pony showed me the way back – if only for a moment. How loving and kind horses are – they want to know what the heck we mere humans want from them so they can just do it, leaving out all the crap in between. We cannot even communicate with our own species, how can we possibly understand any other? And yet they continue to put up with us. Knowing them so well, I am always amazed.
                And so after years and years of living in the company of horses, I’ve learned something new, from a 14 month old colt, I have learned to dance -

Cars/ Dogs/ Summer/ NO!

At 4:20 PM Sunday July, 21, 2011 after 3 continuous days of temperatures of 90* plus someone left a beautiful brindle boxer in a car in the middle of a parking lot. The windows were open about 4” and one was open enough for this dog to get his head out as far as his neck could stretch. He barked frantically at intervals as his tongue was wide and as flat as he could make it as he panted between cries from help. I called the police, as I circled the parking lot waiting for the owners to come rescue him. I told the police dispatcher that if no one showed up in one minutes I was getting the dog out of the car. As I walked towards the car the cruiser pulled into the parking lot. I pointed to the dog and returned to my truck. From a possibly air conditioned car the officer drove by, looked at me as if I was nuts, smiled, waved, and drove away! As I sat in my own unairconditioned truck with the windows wide ope sweating in the heat, I was stunned. Just then, after a good half hour, a young couple came or of a store, got in the dog’s car and drove away.
                What could I do? The police officer, obviously not a dog owner, determined this poor suffering animal was alright, that I was stupid and interfering and had basically wasted his time. I and so tired of watching the helpless ones having no saviors. That poor dog, though able to get his head out the winder was seriously overheating in that hot car,
                I worked for a vet years ago when a sweet young miniature poodle was brought in by his loving owner. The dog had been left in a hot car for a very short time. The dog’ body temp had gotten so high his brain basically cooked. The dog was euthanized in his sobbing owner’s arms.
                Dogs should never be left in cars in the summer. They do not sweat, their only way to cool off is to pant, that is not a sufficient cooling mechanism in a car that can reach 100* plus, even with his head out a window. I know the man with the poodle loved his dog. I know he would never intentionally harm it, would probably have died for the dog. He made a terrible mistake – his dog could not be saved. “I’ll only be a minute” he thought – only a minute.
                And so, I pray that dog survives his young owner’s possible future “mistakes”. If there isn’t already a law concerning this issue, there should be. I have seen this so many times. And the police, who are supposed to be our rescuers don’t always understand. I have lived with animals all my life, I have seen things that very few get to see. Some good, some, like the brain damaged poodle, not so good. I have made my share of “mistakes” too (I could write books on the subject of my own “mistakes”) But animals or children in hot cars is very, very, BAD!
                I am not a whistle blower when I say something animal-related is wrong it is wrong!! So all, Leave your dogs at home in summer, it is so easy for “just a minute” turn into ten or twenty minutes – by then, it might be long enough to cook your dog’s brain.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Eye of the Storm is in Desperate need of a pick-up truck! We need a 4-wheel drive pick up truck. Any Make/Model/Year. Must pass Ma. Inspection!! This is a completely tax-deductible donation. We need a truck ASAP Nina's truck is completely broken and our well is dry so we need some way to truck water buckets from a neighbor's well until our well refills.
If you can help please call Nina at (978) 809-2090

Monday, June 27, 2011

Remember how awful this was?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pictures of Rose

Please see the donation button on the left to help support Rose and the other horses.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Raising Mr. Baby Pony

     I am not a very experienced baby horse-raised but in my life I have raised six from birth or before one year old. Two were fillies four were colts. The fillies were sweet and loving, kind little girls from birth. The colts were screaming aggressive from the moment their hooves hit the ground!
    They even effect the moms while still in the womb. Misty, my horse Fancy's Mother, had one of each. While carrying Fancy, a filly, she was as sweet and passive as any mother to be can be.While carrying hr second, a colt, she was aggressive and stud-like. When she was turned out with the stallion and other mares she would herd the mares and drive the stallion away - and he would go!! The reason for this odd behavior? We concluded that the testosterone produced by the developing noy fetus affects the mare! So if you have a pregnant mare turn feisty, she is probably carrying a boy!
     So anyway, colts are born little stallions, and unless they are turned out with other colts and perhaps, even better, a few tolerant geldings, so they can all beat on each other and learn horse to be horses from each other, you are going to end up with a tough violent little maniac on your hands. A single stud colt weaned and raised alone should never be handled by the uninitiated!
     My advise: halter break him within two days of birth, imprint him if you're there when he's born, teach him to tie, pick up his feet and groom him as best you can while he's still really small and you still have the ability to do so. Do not tolerate biting, kicking or striking but when you reach the point that all interactions with your colt is a battle of wills, minimize your contact with him until you can get him gelded. Geld him as soon as your vet thinks it's safe to do so. It is almost a miracle what the absence of testicles will do for this bad behavior in less than two weeks! But if you don't let bad behavior get established while still a stallion, you will not have to undo it after being gelded. Colts often stay a little nippy after the operation but it is usually just baby behavior, like a puppy or kitten would do. He still must be taught not to do it though, it could become a habit otherwise. Biting humans is never okay. With a baby colt under one year all the other bad stuff just, well, stops! They become nice! What you have at this point is an equine sponge - you can teach him anything, good or bad.
     Our baby pony came to us as an unmanageable confused weanling. Previously taken from his mother at nine months old and put in his own turn out between two adult horses, a mare and a gelding. He was supposed to be a companion to which ever horse was left home while the other was ridden. But he would scream and carry on if either horse left. On the day that he got in with the gelding and was injured, his new owner had had enough. Long story short, we got him.
     Because of circumstances we were able to put him alone in a stall with a seven foot high partition which he promptly tried to climb over - and almost did! Now this little dude is only 45" tall but his determination was about 18 hands worth. He was so dangerous that he would rear, strike, bite and kick, he was in a towering rage!
     His previous owner had done a great deal of ground work with him (thank God!)  so he could be tied, groomed, and his feet handled, but his atention span was about two minutes before he decided that humans were fine toys to gnaw on. It took two of us to clean his stalls. Jessica would tie him up and groom him while I power cleaned his stall as fast as possible. Then we would squeeze out the door watching our backs as we went.
     Then the miracle day arrived! The little stud muffin became a Gelding!! Without incident or complications our baby's future began. Within days he turned into one of the sweetest, kindest horses I have ever known. He loves to be hugged and kissed and groomed. He no longed uses us as chew toys.
     We feared at first that he would climb a fence and get in with one of our pony mares and breed them so he was kept in his stall until that chance passed. On the day we turned him out though, he gently introduced himself to all the other horses in the surrounding turn-outs. He did "baby mouth" to them and they knew he was a baby! There was no striking or screaming, as seen when adult horses meet. He was just absorbed into the group as one of us, and that was that!
     Fancy was terribly excited at first she would gently nicker to Mr. Baby Pony then run over to me and holler "It's a baby! A BABY!" This colt looks so much like her brother Viking, who she spent the first twelve years of her life with, it was almost as is she thought it was him! (Viking died July 4, 1999 at 10pm)
     The three mares that have been mothers take turns standing next to him - standing guard maybe - remember their own lost babies. And so, our sweet new Baby Poy is going to learn all the right things. He is never going to be terrified into a "safe spot", galloped in a roundpen until he "submits" or have some repetitious crap done to him over and over again. He is going to learn to do things because he wants to - because he loves us. He is going to love his job as therapy pony because it is the right thing for him to do. Every single day he will be reminded how good people can be - he will be our partner in the endeavor.
     We'll keep you informed -

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pictures of Pretty in Pink Getting Down and Dirty

Please see the donation button on the left to help support Pink and her friends.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Photos around the farm, including the chickens

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pictures of Tim and a Friend

Please see the donation button on the left to help support Tim and his friends.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pictures around the farm - flowers and pigs

Friday, May 27, 2011

Letting Go

                I have decided that because I am old, broken and very tired, on Oct. 1, 2015 I will be retiring as “Fearless Leader” of Eye of the Storm. In the next four and a half years most of the horses I have pledged my life to care for, will be taken by their angels. They are all in the twenties. I will have fulfilled my obligation to them. All that will be left of the original group will be most of the ponies, Baby Faith, and hopefully my own horse Fancy, though she will be twenty-eight at that time.
                I will still be an active member of the organization as executive director for a while longer. I will continue to share the things I have learned here as a life-long “horse observer”. But the physical stuff is just getting to be too much.
                I was always afraid to let go. Who would carry on this work? How could EOTS go on without me? I have had many volunteers come and go. Most have gone on to bigger and better things. But one has stayed with me since she was fourteen years old. She is the only one who has absorbed everything I have ever tried to teach. She is my apprentice. She is the only one in all these years that understands the point I have tried to make. She has become an extension of me, though a much nicer person than I am. She is now twenty-one years old. Eye of the Storm will live on.
                And so my friend Jessica M. will be taking over the reins. I am so relieved to know that I have such a one to carry on this precious work, that the circle of EOTS will be safe. Our program will be refined and changed a bit in the hands of modern young people, but only for the better, as I have been left behind in this technical era. So much more will be accomplished without me in charge.
                In the meantime, stalls must be cleaned, horses cared for, and money still needed to buy feed, bedding, vet and hoof trimming.  Our educating horse owners about responsibility to their horses for life continues. This is the “dry period” for us. The only money coming in is from donations from you. We need your help right now. I thank you for all of your past support and I hate begging for money from friends, but the horses must be fed.
                Again thank you so much, Nina

           And so, I introduce to you, Jessica. Please Jess tell a little about yourself.
           Nice to meet you! I’m Jessica M. I’ve been volunteering at Eye of the Storm for the past seven, very eventful years of my life. Though I’ve been to many different barns and have begun working at numerous more, EOTS is where I learned almost everything I know about horses on the ground. When I was a child I made the decision to stop taking riding lessons and start volunteering at a rescue, I never imagined how much more I’d learn just working with horses. Horses have a lot to teach, and Nina has a life full of horse observing to pass on to me.
In the past seven years I’ve seen horses come and go in all ways. I have many a sad story to tell about the horses at EOTS and their sad passing’s, but I’d rather tell you about the joys of new arrivals and breakthroughs in recoveries. I remember holding Czardas’s head through her experimental surgery in her hoof. I remember the first time going out on a trail ride on Solomon (what a thrill!). Oh! And my favorite arrival day was the day Nina greeted me in the driveway and brought me to a stall that was previously empty. She motioned to be quiet as she opened the top door. Out came this beautiful pink Spanish horse who preceded to reach down and drink a gulp of my iced coffee!  
Through my time at EOTS I’ve learned there is so much more to horses than anyone could guess. They are each individual loving creatures. I’ve learned all the basics of daily care for the horses. How to measure feeds, which feeds different horses need including the supplements. I’ve learned how to tell when something is wrong, and then how to translate horse to human what the problem is (though it often takes us silly humans a few guesses while the horse impatiently waits for us to get it right). I’m now going on to learn things about how to write grants and how to fund-raise.  
I’ve been working the past few years driving horse drawn carriage tours and I’ve discovered how much I love teaching people the wonderful things about horses! So I did a 6 month internship and acquired my Mass State Riding instructor’s license, teaching kids who love horses all the interesting, different things about horses is a ton of fun. During this internship the riding school I interned at also offered therapeutic lessons on a different day, I loved this. So I began interning with that group of students. Students with special needs get something more out of riding and working with horses, I think, more than anyone could understand. Horses provide self confidence, physical coordination, they help teach students to focus and think before they act, they help students control impulses and all in a very positive and exciting way! I just love working with these students. I long thought how wonderful it would be to see horses who have come from hard situations helping students who have come from equally difficult situations. This has become my dream.
My dream is to carry on Nina’s work at EOTS where we will continue to take in horses who need rescuing or sanctuary. But I would like to add on to that and help humans who need it as well. I’m currently working on my NARHA therapeutic riding instructor license so I can continue to learn more about different special needs students. In the meantime we have begun the transition of EOTS with our newest rescue. His current name is Mr. Baby Pony, we hope he will tell us his real name as he grows up. He is a one year old Gypsy Vanner/Shetland pony cross, in other words, he’s adorable! Not just that, his conformation and attitude is perfect for a therapy horse.  I’m in the process of making a blog following his progress (link coming soon).
And so I am Jessica, Nina’s friend and apprentice, and I hope to make EOTS even more wonderful than it already is. I want to make EOTS a sanctuary for horses and humans alike.
                Nice talking to you!