Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Remembering Bess

Something made me remember Bess. Bess was a teeny tiny Shetland pony who came to us when her owner died. She was a bay and white pinto, with short little legs and an ATTITUDE!!!

I had assumed she had just been a pasture ornament as even a really small adult human was immediately bucked off and slammed to the ground, labeled an untrained old pony she lived a lavish life at EOTS.
One day a trainer tried putting a child on Bess, I warned against it, but as the trainer had her own insurance and was able to keep a tight grip on the pony, reluctantly I said Okay. As soon as that tiny person climbed aboard, I saw Bess begin to change. She squared her legs under her and stood like a stone, tucked her furry little chin, then – she showed us all – She knew everything!!

Two little girls received their very first riding lessons on Bess. When taken to the Bolton Fair horse show, she was entered in the walk-trot classes. All the other children in the class were over-horsed on their Mama's horses or big school horses. They galloped out of control or just stopped still, afraid their precious little riders might fall. Our little shaggy Bess jauntily trotted into her corners while her teeny riders posted their little butts off! They won the first and grand champion of the day!

I just stood their as proud as if I had hatched her myself- speechless and crying shamelessly! I guess she showed me!!
Two months later Bess died. She was 28 year's old. As she lay on the ground at the very end she was surrounded by deer. Wrapped in love we let her go.

Never, never underestimate the spirits and power of animals. Even after all these years, I still cry for our lost ones.

At EOTS we provide end-of-life care for those old or broke beyond repair. Horses that no one else would care to salvage, live here with us. They let us know when it is time for them to go. Until then we give them all that they need to comfortably go on living. We are, I guess, a hospice facility and they help to heal us. We are all broken too, they are our rescuers.

They all have a story. Most of the time we can only guess what it is. Then one day, like Bess, they reveal a little bit. Bess should have died at home with the family who loved her all those years ago, with the now grown-up children she had taught to ride, the ones she carried safely through horse shows, the ones she obviously loved enough to want to please them so well. They outgrew her and she disappeared into the world, only to end up with us at the end of her life. But with a last Ta-Dah she certainly showed us!! Pasture ornament indeed!

Return of Sugar Plum

After receiving a teary phone call from the foster mommy of our teeny black mini horse Sugar Plum, we brought her home. Her caregiver had developed Alzheimer's disease and could no longer keep her. This was a heroic and selfless decision for her to make as she loved the little horse very much.

It saddens me beyond words to see a beloved friend that I have known for forty years, be taken over by this horrible disease. Old age is, I believe, the worst repercussion of the sin of Adam. At some point we just fade into the masses of other aging humans and all that we ever were disappears.

Sugar Plum came to us a few years ago but was only here a little while before being placed in her new home. As usual we could never find out much about her past or where she came from. We can only guess sometimes. But Butterfly knew!! Butterfly, our little blind mini came from a herd of 600 others from NH!!! She has been with us since June 2004. When we turned the two out together Butterfly glued herself to Sugar Plum. From a horse that had always chose to be alone, who desired no friends – except Gabriel, our huge gray stallion, she could not stop touching Sugar Plum. She hugged, kissed, groomed and leaned against her all day. She followed her everywhere. These two obviously knew each other from the past, this wasn't a “Oh hello, you are my size, let's be friends” NO, this was a, “My dear best friend, I have missed you so much, I can't believe you've returned to me!”

We got Butterfly when she was 2 years old. We have had her for more than 8 years. Upon examining the teeth of the two of them I found them to be exactly the same age. I believe that when this group of 600 minis were dispersed, Sugar Plum was one of them. Not only were the two from this group but I believe they were born the same year and played together as children. And they Never Forgot Each Other!!
All over the world people are abusing, neglecting and murdering these incredibly brilliant, loyal, loving beings that are capable of things beyond our ability to grasp.
They choose to serve us stupid humans and forgive our incredible mistakes. When a partnership forms between our very different species you can almost here the click! One never, ever gets over the loss of the other.

A new family moved to the house Stormy was buried 35 years ago. I stopped by to tell them. Now that they are the caretakers of her grave, I asked them if they would please leave it undisturbed. As I spoke, tears streamed down my face. After all these years none have ever taken her place. The couple was very sweet and understanding. I can only imagine what they must have wondered when a sobbing old woman, stranger showed up at their house asking them to protect the grave of a horse that died 35 years ago.

Horses are willing to take us into their circle and love us all their lives, imperfect beings that we are – if we give them the chance. But it was also an absolute fact that they remember each other no matter how many years pass. As with Butterfly and Sugar Plum 8 years apart did not erase their friendship. Though Butterfly has very limited vision in her lefSut eye and is totally blind in the other, she recognized, somehow, her old friend. They will never be separated again.

There are so few truly beautiful moments for me in life, but this was one. For their gift to me, my gift to them will be forever, for once, a happily-ever-after.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Storm

As I sit in my truck in the driveway waiting for the hurricane to end I realize just how small and insignificant we all are. I managed to get eleven stalls cleaned before I was no longer able to get to the manure pile. At 7:30 PM we lost power, until then I sat on my stool in front of my TV, across from Gabriel and Tim's stalls all day, terrified to a stand still – I prayed non stop through it all. Earlier I had climbed up on the roof with a cinder block to hold down the metal roofing over Pink's stall as it banged in the wind – a band aid – Every gust of wind made my heart pound, adrenaline shot through me, I am so afraid for my horses. I could not leave them – I would not leave them. After a while the cinder block didn't work anymore. I was not going up there again. Had it only been me I could have crawled into a hole and pulled a blanket over my head, but I have all these lives in my care.
I know there are so many people in harms way. I tried to pray for them too – butmostly I just prayed for us.
The human race thinks they are superior. Leaders of nations think they are important, that the things they do and say are so spectacular. But you know what? All it takes is a natural disaster and poof!All they ever were – gone.
At Luke 21:25-26 Jesus described this kind of storm. I don't know exactly if he meant it this way, but he surely described it perfectly to me – look it up in your own bible.
We are just tiny bits of dust – our lives are so short, we waste so much time on meaningless crap.
I was so scared. If something awful happened like the roof blowing off, there was no place to run to – no where to hide. In that screaming vortex of a storm, I was alone – but not really alone. I prayed for “the peace of Jehovah that excels all thought”, when I finally allowed myself to except that peace, I was less terrified. The horses were all so quiet, so calm. I prayed that they too would have that peace. I believe my prayers were answered. Hour after hour the storm raged on. Whenever there wa a lull I would run to the front barn to check and care for Rose and Belle. Though Belle is extremely claustrophobic and is a perpetual stall walker, all was snug and tight over there. We all endured.
My friend Catherine Marguerite we owns Belle and is my helper, broke her ankle three weeks ago, prayed for us and kept in touch, but we just needed the storm to be over. No one could help us – except the creator of the universe – and he did.
Ironically it was Tim, Solomon and Gabriel who physically comforted me. I am a “mare person” and have never really identified much with the boys, but both Solomon and Tim wrapped their necks around me when they could and gently nudged me and Gabriel who is generally obnoxious and noisy, planted the softest loving kiss square on my face. They all said “all is well, we are here with you, don't be afraid”.
I hate to be afraid. Hate to have no control. I spend too much time being afraid. One of these days my adrenals are just going to meet down and that will be the end of Nina – if it's possible to die of fear, I probably will.
And then – just like that – it was over. Looking for damage, I found none. Not a tree down, not a shingle blown off. A few light things had blown around a bit, but all was well. The earth had been washed clean. Wet things sparkled and the mud was quite excessive, but out dear old barn held up. We were safe.
In my prayers I said if this barn held together during this I would stop whining about how we need our own farm and know that this was where we needed to stay until otherwise directed.
And so, here we stay. We need to do a great deal of work to shore things up for another winter here. I don't think the rotting sills will survive another 31 inches of snow on the roof. But w have the best well in the word. No matter what – we have water!
I pray for all those everywhere who were effected by this storm, but it should be a wake up call for all of us that we are but specks of dust in the wind. Make your instant in time mean something. May Jehovah's will take place in your lives -

I love heroes. Those amazing coast guard people willing to go out in that raging storm to pluck those ship wreck survivors from the ocean in a helicopter were some of the bravest people I've ever seen. The greatest thing that any person can do is risk or give their own lives to save another. That is what Jesus himself did. I believe these are very, very special people. I am grateful that there are such ones. I know they will be blessed.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fundraiser for Eye of the Storm Equine Rescue!

Rain or Shine!!
We're having a part! Come join us at the greenhouse of Applefield Farm at 728 Great Rd. Stow, MA, on Sept 22nd. Starting at 5pm well known local musicians Tom Yates will play for us, from 5-6pm, “Country Kimberly” will be playing from 7-9pm. Then music will play for the rest of the evening. There will be a beer and wine bar and tons of food! Dancing! Barbeque!
Framed artwork by Nina Arbella will be there for viewing or purchase, compliments of Star Custom Framers of Stow. Susan arson, author, will also be there to sign the Next Best Seller “Sam, a Pastoral”. A percentage of sales will got to Eye of the Storm. This book is a must read for all all children who want a horse of their own and their parents!
Eye of the Storm is a horse rescue that has become sanctuary to many completely unplaceable horses. Our mission is to educate the public on all equine issues in this country, especially the plight of the unwanted horse. We are funded completely by public donation. We need your help. We invite you to attend out fun part! Come and celebrate the lives of beings that down through history have loyally stood beside us in war and in peace. Our 15 horses represent the thousands of unwanted horses in this country. Those thousands are typically slaughtered for pet food or human consumption. This will never happen to our precious horses. They will spend their lives here at Eye of the Storm. To be spoiled by the young girls who volunteer their time to care for them. We love our horses, they are safe with us. All profits from this event will go directly to their life long care and our continuing education work. Please join us. Thanks so much from Nina Arbella, the writer of the poem “A Song to Jack”, written for Jack (Jake) Fayton, many years ago.
$20 at the door. Check out our website at www.equine-rescue.com

Thursday, September 6, 2012

EOTS at Applefield Farm!

Come join Eye of the Storm at Applefield Farm for a great night of fun, food and Country music by Country Kimberly! 100% of the $20 donation will go to Eye of the Storm to support the horses. Saturday September 22nd, from 5pm and on. 722 Great Road, Stow, MA!! There will be food and refreshments. See you there!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Frog With No Name

Nine years ago a friend gave me a spring peeper that had hopped up to him one day. I made her a beautiful terrarium home. She lived in my living room. She was teeny and round as a shiny little grape. She ate crickets that I bought at the pet store, and some summers I brought her to the barn to eat flies – her favorite! On her tiny perfect little hands and legs she would stalk her prey – then – jump – gulp – swallow the whole bug – gone! She had brght perfect little golden eyes – a little jewel of a creation. The same bone structure, almost, as a human only teeny, tiny.
I don't know how long frogs are supposed to live but this one lived with me for nine years. Last year one of her eyes clouded over but it didn't seem to bother her – she still carried on. During the winter we lost power once and my brother brought her terrarium to his apartment, covered is with blankets and placed her in front of the fireplace. She did just fine. But she just kind of started to fade away during April 2012. One morning I found her sitting motionless in her little frog position but her life force was almost gone. When I tipped her over gently, she did not right herself, but was close to death. I carefully put her in a little jar and brought her to the barn. I set her in a comfortable frog position on top of Noogie's grave so she could finish her life free and could go back to the earth.
I know this seems like a silly story, but now that she is gone I realize home much time I spent with my perfect little friend. She never roared and thumped at me, never screamed for food or demanded my attention, never made me lose sleep with worry about where her next load of food was coming from, or how I would pay her vet bills. She was just this silent little presence that gave me something beautiful to sit with and rest my eyes on after a long day of slaving for the horses.
I really, really miss her. This perfect little innocent creation gave me a few minutes of peace every single day for nine year. Thank you Jehovah for creating spring peepers -

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dance of the Seasons

Isn't it amazing that every thing just knows what to do? What was just dirt a month ago is now abundant plant growth. Flowers everywhere – bugs where there were no bugs. Birds with nests full of chicks – dragon flies follow the horses around feeding on the flies and mosquitos. Everything in it's place in time, programed to perform it's duties on schedule. Like a perfect clock, a choriographed dance of the seasons.
The horses are part of this dance. In February the geldings spar for dominance, though they can no longer be fathers, their spirits remember. They mess around over the fences and yank each other's halters off. At EOTS we try not to put the boys next to each other in spring and we just take their halters off. We are aware of their part in the dance.
The boys settle down by April or May and the mares come into season. It's their turn on stage. They get noisy and holler to each other. They perform for the boys and are generally juicy and frustrated. Their bodies are prepared to be impregnated. The boys have that “Gee you smell good, but now what do I do?” look on their faces. By July everyone settles down and just eats and doses in the heat of the summer.
In October the mares start again calling to each other, wanting to be together. Winter is coming and they know there is safety in numbers and their phantom foals will need to be protected by the”herd”.
And so it goes – every living thing goes through the cycles of life performing the dance. We humans watch, we are amazed – those of us who notice- without any help from us – it all endures. We are all just onlookers with no real control over anything. Without us, it would all go on.
There is a time for every season under heaven. - Ecc 3:1-8

What about those Tennessee Walkers?

Many of you have seen that appalling video of the vicious training of Tennessee Walker for the “Big Lick” class at shows.
I have been saying for years that the animal rights activists have been focusing on the wrong issues. The slaughter thing, the premarin industry. Etc. yah- yah -bad stuff. But the worse issues of cruelty are in the “show horse” world. Almost every horse that is shown in a “breed” class undergoes horrendous torture to get there. I can go on and on about each breed, but lets start with the Tennessee Walker. We have been praying for justice for horses and all the innocent beings in the hands of horrible people. We are so happy to see this vicious group of people finally exposed. The video of that savage, piece of crap, “trainer” crippling and beating that beautiful TW on the face with a 2x4 should be executed. What was the freaking purpose of that?? The caustic chemicals applies to these horses legs are poison. One of the favorites is Copper Tox (a thrush remedy that I don't even allow in our barn!) and DMSO!! DMSO carries everything it is mixed with through the entire body. It is one of the few things can pass through the blood/brain barrier and takes what ever it is mixed with along! How many of these horses end up neurological??
The appalling spectacle of these poor horses crouching on their hind ends and throwing their poor front hooves out in front of them to avoid the excruciating pain on their pasterns at anything touching them makes me so sick I want to rip those riders off their horses and take a hog shocker to them until they stop breathing. Shocking the horses on the face is also part of these vicious “training” methods – WHAT?! One of theses horses was so sore that he cantered on his hind legs, never even allowing his front legs to touch the ground, he just punched them out in front of him!
How can anyone love horses and do this – what about the freaking spectators? Don't they get it?!
Can you believe that people actually pay that torturing fool to “train” their horses? WHAT??
What on earth possesses people to do this?!
TW are a gentle, passive breed of horse. They are silky smooth to ride and are one of the best long distance horses because they are bounceless. You can ride for hours and never get sore or tired. They are spectacular for people with back problems and are extremely gentle, for the most part. So I don't understand. What was the first maniac “trainer” thinking when this “Big Lick” spectacle was created? Those ridiculous giant shoes are another thing that I just don't get – maybe I'm just stupid?
But this is one absolute fact – the creator of horses does not approve of this treatment of these most precious beings. We can not change the awfulness of most of the badness in the world. But we can change this – First of all – pray for justice for the innocent ones. Your prayers will be heard – then do something about it! The public is a very powerful influence. Exposure is important – make laws – make sure they are enforced – fire the judges that are pinning there horses – send them to jail! You have the power to do this.
Now our Creator Jehovah would not approve of me wanting to execute anyone but sometimes my old warrior heart just wants to handle it on my own. So forgive me. In this case – your prayers, and legal channels will work.
Another thing, what happens to these toxic horses when they die? Anyone who can do this I'm sure has no problem sending them off to slaughter. Who, or what is eating their meat? Maybe it is some form of bizarre justice if humans are eating poisoned horse meat, but I don't want our cats or dogs eating it, do you?

What To Do
Absolutely never put yourself in harms war. Get pictures, videos if possible. Confronting individuals will not help the greater cause. Seek out these shows as a spectator, be discreet. All these TW breeders and show people are aware of this, though they cry innocence, obviously they themselves have not stopped this horrible “Big Lick” class. It is usually the last class after the reputable people have left. There is no point in reporting it to local authorities, they've heard it all before and these “Big Lick” people are good at evasive action. Just try not to cry, get pictures and submit it to the media. Let the whole world know what you have found – then watch your prayers be answered!
There kinds of cruelties take place in many different breed shows, not just TW, so wander around, play stupid, take pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, in this small way, you can change the world. This is a cause to fight for!!

As I forced myself to watch that “Big Lick” Tennessee Walker video, I noticed many things. These horses can't talk – I will be their voice. First of all, no horse on earth naturally moves that way. In almost all cases I saw heavy riders sitting way too far back, just in front of where the horse's hips where there is no support of the rib cage but directly on the one part of the back that has only muscles and digestive organs under it. Perhaps that is why these horses crouch so low on their hind legs. Their tails are carried high and unnatural, in many gaited breeds they put ginger in their anus to burn them so much that it hurts to carry their tail against their body, perhaps that is why they move like they're being goosed. People in the ring run along side the riders for some reason. Perhaps after being hit in the face with a board and shocked on the nose with a hog shocker while cross tied in a stall with a wall at their backs and no where to escape, has taught them that a side walking person with something as small as a twig in their hand is enough to cause them to throw back their heads and rise off their front end as they were “trained” to do. After all exagerate “head bobbing” is part of the show, though you'd think being tortured and mutilated on both front legs would sufficiently cause enough head bobbing.
I wonder if horses ever break their ankles falling off these “shoes”. Years ago I went to a barn that showed TW. Two beautiful horses were in very dark stalls. They dragged heavy chains about 3 feet long that were attached to their pasterns. Even then this was seriously against the law. But I was a child and though I told the people there that it was wrong, all it got me was thrown out of the barn and 'No Trespassing” signs were hung.
So after polishing and shining and grooming the poor hideously tortured horse has light little bracelets made of wooden beads or decorative chains placed around his pasterns. Tacked up and mounted by it's rider. I don't think these horses can even stand still with the pain – I'm sure the mounting experience is just awesome!! And off they go careening around the ring. When the little bracelets tap the back of their pasterns they throw their legs straight up and out to get the beads off the horribly painful areas, you see only the rear of the pastern is poisoned, so while the leg is in the air only the unpainful front are touched by the beads. But now the other leg hurts so up it comes too. Unfortunately the front leg has to come back down only to be yanked back up gain. The one horse that figured out that he could avoid some of the pain by remaining on his hind legs and was able to handle the pain a bit better by not letting his fronts touch the ground probably got the ribbon that day. The most tortured one wins I guess-
Back at the barn, I'll bet the losers paid the price for not being “good” enough. Imagine living through years of this torture. At what point do their minds just break? The author Diana Gabaldon said it all when she wrote”you can make anyone do anything if you are willing to hurt them enough.”
What has happened to these people that makes them so willing to do such horrible things. They are no better – maybe worse than dog fighters or bull fighters. At leadt for those animals the fight is short and they usually die. But these horses live with this for years and years and years. Every day of their lives they must be in pain and so afraid, no espace – except death.
Pray for justice – to the creator of horses, pray for his kingdom to come – when no one will ever suffer again. Amen

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dreamin' and Trust

        Our pony Diamond lays down five or six times a day. He curls into what we call “a little sleeping dragon position”. All of our male horses sleep like this, I have never seen any of the mares do it, they all sleep flat on their sides.
        As he lay there his friend Rhia groomed and braided his mane (she is human-). With his little nose smoonched in the ground he fell into REM sleep and began to nicker quiety! He was out cold but talking in his sleep, with a little human child right beside him touching him. Horses are, for the most part, terrified of being helpless and unable to escape. They have a strong flight or fight instinct. Horses don't ever lay down to sleep unless they feel safe. We will often see four or five of our of horses down while a few are standing and watching out for “predators”. The sleepers feel safe, then they swap around.
        Diamond had grown up from a very early age with a family who loved him. Though he was a bit of a leader himself in that family, he knew what love was. He hung out with his humans. He would go under the fence in the morning to eat breakfast with them and was generally a beloved family member. He spent that part of his life with an old mare and lived with out conflict from others. He learned to trust that humans and other horses were good and that he was safe in his space in time.
         He came to us when his beloved family lost their home. His ancient mare friend was euthanized, rather than moving her away from her life long home as she was blind and very ill with age related problems. This was a supreme act of kindness on the part of her family. The choice was difficult but she was given the last gift, a peaceful end of life in the loving arms of her friends.
         Diamond is a young pony and it seemed that he might be happier with a new family, as our horses are all geriatric, blind, crippled or mentally damaged. Not a lot of fun for such a guy. He was not getting much attention at EOTS either as the healthy ones are less demanding and tend to need less time from us humans.
So he was placed with a trusted friend who has three huge geldings. To make a long story short – geldings are not very nice to each other. They constantly spar for dominance, the lead horse bullies the others. There is a pecking order and the low man out is constantly pounded on by the others. Our little diamond was second to last in the order, and though he got in some good kicks on the bottom dude, it was a bad situation. In the end, I believe because he never got to sleep, he became grumpy and exhausted. When asked to do anything for humans, he rebelled, he began to bite when asked to do pony rides for the children. The one leading him had to constantly avoid his teeth. After one last act of violence to a human, he was returned to us. Labeled a “bad spoiled pony”, he will never leave again.
         At first we were very cautious around hm, waiting for him to be “bad” again. But after dealing with Moon and Gabriel and our two other resident “bad boys”, Diamond was a walk in the park. We found that he was pretty beat up from his time away from us. A lot of places on his body were sore to the touch and a hoof shaped indentation in his rib cage told the story.
         At EOTS we have determined that good fences make good neighbors. Horses should never be allowed to fight – not ever.
         Our horses groom each other over the fence, but except for those who prove they can get along as a group, they have their own little turn outs where they do very well. Their own little territory where they eat in peace, and nap when necessary, with out being pounded on by others. They each have their own stall which is cleaned daily, with food and water readily available and no controversy from others, they are a very happy bunch.
          Even though our farm is a ramshackelly little place, no where near as beautiful as his temporary foster home, Diamond is content with the simple little things in life. He shares a two-stall barn with Jessica's premarin “foal” Tank and they are good friends. He comes and goes in his own little area and socializes with the others who are turned out around him in the day time. Horses are simple- they really don't need much- but sleep is terribly important.
         If your horse seems grumpy, maybe he's just tired. Mare sure he has a place to sleep undisturbed, where he feels safe. We have some horses that never lay down in the presence of humans, so you may never actually see them sleep. The tell tale signs though is bedding in their hair or manure stains. You may find though, that your horse is much happier after a good night's sleep. Just like us, it is easier to work when we're not exhausted.
           So Diamond will spend his life with us as he is now considered a liability and can not be “trusted” out in the world. That is not a problem with us – he can just join the ranks of the rest of us damaged souls at EOTS.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Dry Season

Hello friends! We at Eye of the Storm would like to say thank you all for your continued support – but this is our dry season. We are officially out of money with just enough supplies for a few days. We recently spent our last tiny windfall on getting Tim's feet trimmed again! He is doing SO well!
Thank you all!

Friday, April 20, 2012

More Thoughts

     Consider this as just one of hundreds of potential scenarios. Your child has outgrown his/her pony. You think passing the pony, we'll call Truffle, on to another child would be the right think to do. After all, the pony is young, well trained and could be a fine ride for someone of the correct size. So you give/sell Truffle to a trusted friend, after all your child can still visit and hop on for a little ride. As the trailer containing Truffle pulls away your child cries inconsolably and begs you to her her keep her. You lovingly hug and hush the child and tell her you will be getting her another to take Truffle's place. She can progress in her riding skills on a more suitable horse.
       Time passes your child does well as a rider, horses come and go, but there is never another Truffle. Some night she dreams of Truffle who comes and takes her for rides.
Truffle is passed from hand to hand as each child outgrows her until she is lost in the world. But your child, now a grown woman still remembers the pony who dried her tears in her mane. The one she sat with (or on) in the field as she did her homework, read a book, or just day dreamed. The one who was her constant, her very best friend.
        Where Truffle ends up, no one knows.
        As an adult, your child starts to search for Truffle. She wants to bring her home, no matter what the cost, she wants her best friend to live in peace with her for the rest of her life. You never outgrow your first pony/horse. There will never be another that you love like that.
The chances of finding Truffle are slim. But if you had the forethought of micro-chipping her before you sent her away, perhaps that might increase the odds.
        I believe that the possibility of a very lucrative business could be on the horizon. If someone found Truffle anywhere, I believe your child would pay any price to get her back. You see love and loyalty is priceless.
A buyer strolling through a sale barn with a micro-chip reader could contact a person, name his price and deliver the beloved one to your door. They would be much more valuable to the finder than the few hundred they would get from a slaughter house. That person would be a hero, not a murderer.
       What do you think people? Perhaps that is the way to go. We aren't going to stop people who have historically eaten horses, but at least we may be able to save our family members.

More About Microchips

     I have been thinking about horse slaughter, and I wonder why some groups of horses bothers me more than others. As I thought of the Premarin industry and their throw aways, I realized why they bother me less than thoroughbreds and other used up riding or working horses. For years I wondered why, on 3/26/2012 I found the answer. Foals born to the Premarin group, if they aren't rescued, for the most part, are probably turned out in a pasture to live out their short lives. They eat they play, they hang out – until the day they reach the proper size. Then they are gathered and sent off to die. Their meat consumed by the horse eating humans on earth somewhere. They are the same as the beef cattle burgers that we eat in our beef eating USA. No one ever loves them, they are never halter broken or ridden. They are never slaves to humans. They have value as food animals and are treated accordingly.
       The others, those who have been loved, nurtured, cared for, ridden and partners to humans, it is almost like cannibalism. Now that seems like a bit much, but think about it. It is a betrayal beyond measure. I have had and do have now, horses that are almost extensions of myself. With Faith and Fancy, I don't know where they end and I begin. The thought of my never loving them again, to send them off to be murdered and eaten, is beyond my ability to grasp. How can such a thing be allowed to happen?
      These horses are like children. They depend on us for everything, food, shelter, comfort, and yes,love. They respond to love, return it to us, and become our friends and family members. They have daily schedules that they instinctively keep track of, and always know what time it is, such as feeding time (ask Faith about that, she always knows). They recognize us as their very own human. I was at a horse show once and left Stormy in the care of a friend. From the other side of the show ground she heard me talking to someone - I'm pretty loud, being Italian and deaf. She managed to escape from my friend and very carefully, without anyone noticing she was a loose horse, she gently nudged her way through the crowd to stand at my side. With a soft nicker she said “Hi, I'm here”.
       The loss of Stormy, the best friend, next to Jehovah God, that I have ever known, was so profound that after thirty-four years I still miss her. Stormy loved me so much that nothing on earth mattered more to her. I still can't believe she is dead. This was a partnership that has continued beyond death. She is the reason that EOTS exists. I know exactly where she is. She is safely dead. She never was away from me. She was never entrusted to anyone else. She was never lost in the world to end up in some horrible murder factory to be eaten by humans or as pet food.
       She died too young. I still don't know what killed her. The pain I felt at her loss, the empty place that was her spirit joined to mine, is still there.
       All horses are capable of this kind of relationship. When I think of all the horses who were slaves or partners to us, I see betrayed children. I think of the, possibly, one person that loved each, until, under whatever circumstance they were lost to each other in the world. I think of the many humans who so loved their first horse, ones who would move mountains to bring that one home to live out his/her last days. Why can't we make that possible? If these horses were micro-chipped we would always know where they are. You can be sure of one absolute fact, the horse will remember you!They never forget their friends.
And so, there is a difference. Maybe the term cannibalism is extreme. But that's how I feel about my family members. Imagine Stormy waiting in line in a horror murder parlor. Looking over the heads of the other condemned souls – looking for me to come and save her. Picture your own horse, your child's first pony – wouldn't you perhaps agree that I am not that far from the truth?


Thursday, March 29, 2012


           At 12:22pm beautiful Tim lay snoozing in his stall. As I watched him, his lips and nostrils began to tremble. His dead eyes flickered around in their sockets. He nickered softly in his sleep, his legs moved gently. What could he be dreaming about? Tim has lived almost 30 years. He wasn't always blind. Where he has been and what he has done in all those years is a mystery to us. No one wants to tell us, no one responds when we ask.
          Did he herd cattle? Jump fences? Was he a show horse or just a bum with a little girl to love him? Is he dreaming about his momma in a field of grass, himself a gorgeous spotted baby? Is he calling to the friends who have died before him? He really loved Snowdrop. He fought Solomon for her and actually won her before I could break them up. Is he dreaming of his lost love? The fact of the matter is that he is dreaming. He is talking in his sleep. He, and all horses are much more than they appear to be. They know and see things that we can't even begin to imagine.
          I am so honored to know these special beings, to be their caretaker. They teach me something every single day.
I'm sure Tim is not blind in his dreams. -

Through the Years

           Sometimes they can't be fixed. Some of them are broken beyond repair. All of them are absolutely beautiful. They all want to live. Most of them can. Their infirmities are like ours. With the help of friends, they can go on living. They are so brave, so willing to go on. Love can carry them for a very long time, all the money in the world can not fix them physically – but love helps them endure.
We have a unique group of horses that have found their way to EOTS, all of which will never leave, because we don't care if they can't be fixed.
          So many who have lived and died here have taught us priceless lessons of loyalty, endurance and friendships. They have taught us compassion, about loving – and letting go.
When Snowdrop, Willie and Sun came to us, they were so broken that in any other place they would have been euthanized because of their infirmities and the inconvenience of their care. What we saw was powerful spirits in bodies that – well – weren't doing so well. They were old and completely used up. But they wanted to live! So we helped them to so – until they told us it was time to let them go. Snow and Willie lived with us for years, but Sun was just passing through – he stayed for a little while, but he was safe and loved with us until congestive heart failure ended his life. I was with him, the vet brought an end to his pain. When he came to us he was starved almost to death, he had been a school horse. When he became neurological and developed narcolepsy he was given to a teen age girl who neglected him. He was a beautiful little gaited Spanish horse. He had panic attacks which would cause him to try to run away from his terror which would cause his heart to pound. It was a vicious circle. He could not stand on three feet to get his hooves trimmed. As he lay napping I would try to trim his hooves a little at a time. If we tried to back him up or turn him too quick he would fall down. When narcolepsy struck he would fall to the ground with a crash and gallop off into REM sleep, nickering to the friends he met in his dreams. Many would think he was having a seizure, but I recognized it for what it was because beautiful Nessa also had this ailment, as well as a human friend of mine. Someone I know had a horse that developed narcolepsy after receiving a rabies shot. Not recognizing what it was, they euthanized her. Such a shame – I tried to tell them – but what did I know?
          Willie was a victim of what I believe to be “horse tripping”. The catastrophic injuries to his hind legs could only have happened by this. It is an event in Spanish style rodeos, where they get a riderless horse galloping as fast as he can in fear and they rope either both front legs or both rear legs and the horse crashes to the ground. It is a hideous cruel spectacle. Willie's hip was completely dislocated and the ligament that held the ball in the socket was torn away. The other hind leg's tendons were torn in a way that only his toe touched the ground. We did not know how badly injured he was for years. His muscles help the hip socket in place and he tottered around with his other gelding friends! He was Tim's eyes (Tim is our dear blind appaloosa). At the end of Willie's life he began to fade away. He stopped eating and we hand fed him. He laid down and couldn't get up so we helped him. When he couldn't lay down on his own to rest, we laid him down on a memory foam mattress. He fell asleep immediately. When he woke, he was afraid, we would lay with him until he felt safe. We “kept away the wolves”. When he was refreshed, we lifted him to his feet. Off he would go to hang out with his friends – and so on.
           Willie had one last wonderful summer. He was never alone – we showered him with love. He lost so much weight that his muscles were no longer able to hold his hip together. We always thought it was the other leg that was bad – we were wrong. In an x-ray we saw the truth – nothing could fix Willie.
He was very, very tired – so the next time we found him down, in his stall, we did not help him to his feet. We washed him with love. So many friends were with him on the day we let him go. In the pitch black of night we carried him to his grave to rest forever beside his friend Cassie who died the following year, another ancient beloved one.
           Our dear Shetland pony June Bug was glued to each of there ones as their lives came to the full. She covered their backs and guarded them from the “wolves” - such a friend is June Bug – she always knows who needs her help.
           Snowdrop was a ballerina like Arab mare. Soft and sweet with a core of iron. She suffered silently for so many years. We paid $1,200 to rescue her from slavery. She too spent the last days of her life with June Bug. These two were joyous to find each other again! They actually came from a farm where they were together years ago! So happy they were! Happy! How can anyone believe that horses are stupid? They knew and remembered each other! The rest of Snow's life was spent with her best friend June Bug – every single day.
           When we were no longer able to manage Snow's painful laminitic hooves, she said, “please, may I go now? I an finished with my work here.”
They let us know – they just do. It is our job to care for them as best we can until then. We are all part of each other here. This is the circle of the Eye of the Storm.
           I know there stories seem sad, but they're not! Snowdrop was 27 years old, Willie in his 30s and Sun was probably in his late 20s. And they were Here, with us, among friends, not in some horrible slaughter house, not starving to death in someone's back yard, not slaving for anyone – HERE at EOTS – where we love them - “Till death do us part.” Yes what started to be a rescue has become mostly a sanctuary. All of our horses are broken beyond repaid, but so are all of us who care for them here. We find sanctuary too, among them, because, you know what? They love us too. Their loyalty, and trust just blows my mind. You can't live with them and not see it! Horses are brilliant! So what if they can't be ridden – I don't want to ride them any more, I just want to be with them. They Heal Me.
           Their friendships to each other never end and they never forget. When Snow and dear old Czardas found each other again at EOTS it was a reunion so beautiful to behold! They too had been together years and years ago in their hay days on the Arab show circuit. All of that time ago they still remembered each other. We only found out later that this was the case – but they knew!
And so among the horses at EOTS I have witnessed, love, compassion, loyalty and life-long friendships. I have seen horses dreaming in their sleep, they talk and gallop, they even have nightmares. They have memories that last all their lives – and they know how to love us humans, far better than we can love each other.
          Horses deserve to have life long partnerships with their very own human being. But at least here at EOTS we give them peace.

And in the End

          These are sweet, sad, beautiful stories about Sun, Snowdrop, and Willie. Horse slaughter for human consumption in this country is a terrible thing, but for those horses there is a great deal of humane laws in place, as well as the fact that they must arrive at the slaughter house in good flesh and undamaged. Their care and treatment falls under the European Union guidelines, which, as awful as the idea is, they have a value and must be cared for properly. But, you see Sun, Snow and Willie would not have been acceptable for human consumption. They and all the other underweight, old, sick, and seriously damaged horses go somewhere else. Somewhere that is so awful that I can't let my mind dwell on it. That would be the rendering plant for pet food. There are no laws, no guidelines, no end of life care. They don't even have to be alive. The dead ones are the lucky ones.
          No favors were done for the unwanted horses by closing the slaughter houses for human consumption. All it did was make them worthless. The outcome was starvation, neglect and abandonment, nation wide, OR the dog food slaughter plants.
It is time to STOP the over breeding of horses. People need to be responsible for the care of their horses for life – if they can't do that, they shouldn't own horses. Don't feed the breeding industry by encouraging the birth of future unwanted horses.
          I propose that all foals born from this day forward be micro-chipped. Who ever is responsible for their birth should be responsible for their end of life care. In the mean time laws must be made, where slaughter is not an option. We will know who that person is because of the micro-chips. A breeder gets a few of their horses back and he/she will be wondering is it's worth it to continue.
As nice as that would be it's probably not likely. The only way to end horse slaughter in this country is responsibility. When there are no more horses to go to slaughter, there will be no more slaughter houses.
I know the animal rights people mean well but most have no idea what's really going on. We need to police ourselves within the industry to deal with this problem. We need to come up with some solution. There needs to be a plan. There needs to be responsibility.
          There is no place left for these horses to go. The rescues are full. We are underfunded and overworked. We do our best – but these are so many!
I pray often for justice for the horses. They are so innocent. If they are never born, they will never be unwanted.

          So, in conclusion, for all who feel the need to help, make sure humane laws are in place nationally. The end of these horses lives doesn't need to be horrible. These laws must also be enforced. Lets make sure the pet food industry abides by the rules. Most of all be aware that your cats and dogs are being fed animals who have died horribly. By feeding cheap pet food we are enabling this to continue. Find out where the raw ingredients come from. Human grade food is the best.
          I don't know everything so this is where your own research is important. Pet Source in Stow and Concord, MA is extremely careful where their products come from. So maybe you could start there.
This is an ongoing issue that will be addressed more thoroughly in the future.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb 1, 2012

I start each morning watching beautiful Steve Irwin on “Crocodile Hunter”. This day it was about the plight of the Sumatran Elephants. At the end of the show he was with a tiny baby elephant named Naught who's mother was poisoned. She was an orphan and was dying as well. As Steve gently caressed her, with her tiny trunk, she wiped the tears from his face.
I sob each morning over the death of this beautiful man. I do wonder how he had managed to survive so long though. I often had to change the station as he handled poisonous snakes, especially spitting cobras. I know they didn't kill him, but just the same, I found it disturbing. In the end he was killed by a stingray.
I watch his sweet little boy face and start my day with tears over the loss of one who loved the creation in such a way. My heart breaks for his family. I pray for them often
So with tears streaming down my face, the show ends, and on comes Jon Stewart. In the blink of an eye he has me laughing. Without bias he picks apart the speeches of those seeking the presidency.
It was like watching “Steel Magnolias”. I'm not sure sobbing in sorrow then laughing hysterically in a matter of seconds is good for the heart! Though in their own way these politicians mean well, they say what they need to say to gain their audience at each group of individuals, true or not, then go on to the next group, beating the other candidates up verbally at every step. So flawed is the human race. I'm not sure why anyone would want to be president at this time in history, but I guess someone has to do it
Comparing the gentle wonder of dear Steve Irwin to the petty crap of the political stuff going on, helps me realize that this truly does need to take place at this time of the end. In a strange way it comforts me. Some one does need to be “in charge”. In the Bible it stresses that we are to be in subjection to the leaders of the nations. Otherwise there will be chaos. And so be it. Whoever wins the battle of the presidency I will submit to. As it is no one man can fix the mess going on in the world today. Romans 13:1
And so, instead of concerning ourselves with politics at EOTS we are planning a resurrection party for Steve Irwin! Luke 8:53 and Isaiah 26:19
I want to be there to tell him that never again will elephants be poisoned for invading farm land. That there is no need because there are no more hungry people on Earth (Red. 7:16,17). I want to be there when he wakes up on a restored Earth – a paradise – where all creation is at peace. Where all the animals he strived to protect are now safe! Where food will grow in deserts and on mountain tops! The animals he so loved were such an unlovable bunch – yet he taught us how important they are. He will be so happy! (Isaiah 65:20) All of us “keepers of the animals” will just have to find ourselves new jobs. But I think maybe we can rest for a while and just rejoice that such work is no longer needed. And the politicians? Well they won't be needed either. Let God's Kingdom come – Tim 1:17 and Mt 6:9,10


Monday, January 16, 2012

Sick Horse and Vet Bills

Over the past few days we've been dealing with a Very sick horse. Rose (our Thouroughbred mare) had a very severe impaction (colic). It took about 2 and a half days of and about 5 vet visits before it finally relieved itself. We are very happy to say that Rose is better but the vet bills are going to be big. We will definitely need help paying them off, if you can help even a little bit it would be greatly appreciated.
I'd also like to thank all the volunteers that came to help get all the work done while Nina was dealing with Rose and the vet. It took a load of worry off Nina to know all the other horses were safe and cared for. Thank you!
If you're interested in helping out you can go to this link: http://eyeofthestormequine.blogspot.com/2009/10/how-you-can-help-horses.html or donate Via Paypal (the top right link on the page) Thank you!