Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reality check

Thank you everyone who has sent words of support for the neighbor horses. I wish I could write more of what is going on with them here but I need to respect the privacy of the family that had them. I spent a lot of time on the phone today talking to various people about the different options. Tomorrow is a vet evaluation and we'll see where it goes from there.

In finding a good situation for these horses, all the issues we're facing both in the horse world and the larger issues like the economy have become very real to me. I spent a lot of time talking to people who have made it their life's work to take care of the horses that individuals can no longer care for. It looks nice that I'm sitting in a big pasture with my three horses but the reality is that if we aren't the ones who need help, then our neighbors are. Let's not wait until it takes things as big as deaths, earthquakes and tsunamis bring us together.

Please take a moment if you own a horse and think about what would happen if you died suddenly. Will your horses be taken care of the way you'd like? I know we all try our best to take care of the horses we have now, but it takes some extra planning to help assure that they continue to be cared for once we're gone.

If you breed horses please take an even deeper look at our situation. Of course nobody wants horses to go extinct, but if breeding were stopped for even one year, or better yet, two or three years it would probably impact the entire horse world in a positive way. Breeders might have more room to take in horses whose situations have been compromised by the loss of so many jobs and the value of a horse would again rise from what it is now. Also consider the emotional costs of having to send a horse to an auction or having him humanely put down. The fact of the matter is that there just aren't enough good homes for the number of horses we have.

To complete this circle, instead of looking for a young horse from a breeder, consider rescuing a horse. Just because a horse is "rescued" doesn't mean that he or she necessarily has any problems. If you are looking for a horse to rescue and want to work with the horse in the ways I do (see The Path of the Horse video if you don't know what I'm talking about) send me an email. I get offered free horses who would love this type of work frequently.

On a lighter note, I am gaining an even bigger appreciation for the support team I have here. It's an amazing brand of magic my friends can work by asking what seems to be a simple question that somehow has the power to turn all my previous thinking upside down and inside out. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I've ended up here.

After all the phone calls I was able to take in some of the extraordinary beauty of the spring.

The oak leaves are just starting to emerge...

The redbud trees are budding...

Poison oak is showing its colors...

And I had to look twice when I saw one of the Scotchbroom plants blooming today. Usually they aren't blooming until May!

I have no idea what these little guys are but they sure are beautiful.

And here's Patrik blooming in the pasture.

JD came out and took a short video of me, Patrik and Sunny running. We did a lot more work together before JD came. I still haven't figured out how to be in the space of working with the horses and taking pictures at the same time. I doubt it's possible.

More ticks on Sundance today. I'm getting to know her body language when she feels these little buggers crawling on her. I found two unattached on her udder area and this one between her foreleg and chest.

I thought this would be an interesting thing to show. The lines are the evidence of an abscess Sundance had in her hoof last November. The abscesses typically come out the coronary band and are very unnoticeable (other than the extreme lameness in the horse). Once they come out, the horse is sound again and then the evidence that there had been an abscess grows down the hoof wall until about a year later it is all grown out.

Sunny and Sundance ... dancing in the sunset.

Here's a relic we found in the pasture.

Drinking in the transition from day to night. Sunny is tuning in.

One of the people I met on the phone today was Donna from Home At Last sanctuary. She is a wonderfully dynamic woman who has the task of caring for 55 horses. She and her husband have dedicated themselves to this mission in their retirement years. Once a horse goes to Home At Last, that's where they will live out their days. Donna also works with NorCal Equine Rescue, a rescue organization started by a woman named Tawnee when she was 18. If you are looking for a place to give money or time to support horses in need, these are two that are really walking their talk. If you breed horses especially, I urge you to check out these organizations to get a look at where your horses may end up if they are lucky enough to avoid an auction.


  1. I feel more hope on this post, that's good news.
    I am hoping for a happy ending in this story.

    Thank you once again for the photos and videos of spring and happy horses!

  2. The cute little purple flowers are called dark throated shooting stars. Here is a link with more info: http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-calrecnum=2761

  3. Thanks Sandie. I'm not sure if knowing the names we humans have given to plants adds to our ability to know that plant on a deeper level. I suspect it doesn't. But there is something in me fascinated with knowing the name.