Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mascot Justice Bailey

Kim Dorman, who is currently providing Bailey's home and care, sent these recent pictures of our mascot, Justice Bailey. Isn't he a cutie?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Small Horse World

Two wonderful older geldings, Traveller and Dandy, were recently adopted into a loving home. One of the people who was reached in the email forwards from one horse person to another about these horses responded with this information.

"I am quite sure that the Mandy's Jim Dandy gelding is a gelding that Penny and I purchased at the sale in Powell in 1984. I rode him that summer as the range rider for a ranch here in Sheridan on their FS Allotment in the Gravellies Mountain out of Ennis. We did sell the gelding that fall to some friends of Char Steele that lived out of Stevensville. Glad to hear he is still alive and doing good. Was a nice travelling horse with a excellent disposition. He was broke to saddle by young lady at Powell. I don't remember her first name, but her Dad was a good friend by the name of Leonard Foxworthy, who has since passed away. If I remember correctly the young lady taught him to lay down. Pete"

It IS a small world - especially for horse people.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Native Jet Goes Home

Linda Perry-Turner tells the story of her adoption of Jet below. Thanks to Linda for giving Jet such a good home and to Eva Melody for taking such great care of Jet and getting her ready to go home.

On Adopting Jet
Linda Perry Turner, Ph.D., D.V.M.

Cassie lost her mother, a 25-year-old gray Arab named Q.T., in the spring of ’08 due to a strangulated intestine. Q.T. was Cassie’s best and only friend in our 1-acre pasture where Cassie was born on Easter, 1989. We all did some grieving but eventually my husband, Dan, and I began the search for a pasture mate for our lonely mare. Due to rising hay prices, I was leaning towards a pony or mini-horse (Cassie’s a small, 14 hand quarter horse cross) but the Bitterroot grapevine failed to turn up a suitable substitute for her missing mother. Finally, we looked at a 16-year-old gelding that turned out to be too large and much too dominant for our little girl and a 28-year-old mare with the opposite problem, being too submissive for our half-Arab with attitude.
On February 10th this year, I attended Dr. Corey’s presentation on “The Unwanted Horse” sponsored by Shawn Gleason, D.V.M.. After the talk, I chatted with Kim Dornan and Theresa Manzella about our continuing search and I learned about Jet. Dan and I met Jet the following weekend at Eva Melody’s place, where Jet was being fostered, fattened, and vet-checked. We found her to be a gentle 23-year-old ex-barrel racer paint mare that hadn’t been able to compete for the limited food resources available to her former herd. But she hadn’t lost her spirit and was responding well to Eva’s care and good nutrition. She seemed perfect.
A week later, Eva, her friend Beth, and their generous neighbor, Jane, trailered Jet to our house. Eva led Jet into a corral within the pasture while I held Cassie, who was obviously excited at the prospect of a new companion. We’d already bought some of the same hay that Jet had been eating at Eva’s place plus the ingredients for a special mash recommended by Dr. Gleason. A new halter and feed bucket completed our preparations for Jet’s adoption. The first meeting of the two mares stimulated some snorting and posturing over the corral fence but they soon settled down to grazing from the hay buckets we’d made available to each of them. Within an hour they were nose-to-nose over the fence getting to know each other and urinating constantly with excitement. Within two hours they were taking turns sticking their necks between the rails for a closer look and smell and then Cassie began nuzzling and licking Jet’s neck. If one moved to a different area of the corral, the other followed. Introductions were going well.
I haltered Jet and led her out of the corral to show her the pasture, the barn, and her new fence line. Dan walked Cassie beside us to add some control to this new situation. All went well until we led them to the feed trough filled with hay at each end. After a little shifting around, Jet kicked out at Cassie and Cassie kicked back-nothing serious but an indication that Jet was feeling threatened over food. So we separated them for a few more hours and let them out to roam the pasture together only after they’d been hayed and grained one more time. It’s been just over six hours since Jet arrived and they’re a team already. Cassie has a friend. Jet has a new home. Thanks, everyone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Update on Crystal Peaks "Hero"

The following is an update on the story of "Hero" as sent from Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. If you do not know the beginning of this story, you can see it here. Hero is another horse like Able, whose will to live and forgive inspires us to be better people.

An Update on Our Hero
By Kim Meeder
God is so amazing. Only He can take what should be the end of us . . . and have that same hardship be the axis by which our entire life rotates toward greater depth and fulfillment in Him.
We have discovered that Hero's rescue was not the 'happy ending' of his story but, instead, it has become the very beginning.
Now we know that 'avalanches' are not only restricted to falling snow! Since the release of the 'Hero Story,' we have been BURIED under a wave of pure, white compassion. In response to your kindhearted encouragements and inquiries, we wish to give you an update on how our little Hero is progressing.
After four weeks in the intensive care unit at Bend Equine Medical Center, the devoted veterinary team that was caring for Hero determined that his blood volume had finally reached a safe level for them to remove his destroyed left eye. Once Hero was sedated, Dr. Wayne worked on his eye and head, while Dr. Wendy attempted an aggressive skin stretching procedure to help close the wound on his leg.
Our little Hero has since come home to a real hero's welcome. His story of undying hope reached across the Northwest and beyond. While pulling up the ranch driveway with my sweet boy in tow, I could hardly believe the sight that greeted us! Tears streamed down my cheeks as I drove through a cheering hallway of waving arms all reaching out to welcome us. Over 300 people had gathered from all over the Northwest and Canada to hail this once abandoned horse into his new family. A large contingent of media was also waiting to cover this inspiring story. Hero was finally home.
While slowly maneuvering through the applauding crowd, I was so deeply moved by every bright and cheering face. Amongst the crush, Hero backed out of the trailer and turned around to survey the scene with his one remaining eye. He was not afraid, he was not nervous. His only expression was one of pure awe. I wondered if he might be contemplating if this is what it feels like to finally enter Heaven. Surrounded by your beloved, many clothed in tears of joy at your long awaited arrival, cheering, clapping, and embracing . . . because you've finally come home.

Within these past months, we have seen a tremendous amount of healing that has taken place. As this restorative season continues, we are learning more every day that only a small portion of this renewal has actually occurred within our little horse, the majority has taken place within your hearts, lives and families. Individuals across the nation have been profoundly moved by this brave horse that just kept choosing to never quit. The mountain of cards, letters, emails and phone calls all give unique testimony to this fact. In an effort to help Hero, a small group of children from Paisley Middle School participated in a student-led 'walk-a-thon' and raised $1,200 to help buy the expensive bandages his leg wound requires. A young man sent his sincere encouragement - from Holland. A five year old boy opted to forgo his birthday right of receiving presents and chose instead to give his 'birthday money' to Hero. Held within a brown paper sack, was delivered his winsome gift of several bandages and fifteen dollars. News of Hero's story made headlines in nearly every local newspaper and to our incredulous surprise, even made the front page of The Oregonian on Christmas Day! Within the stir of publicity around this kind, little horse, hundreds have contacted us with their own beautiful story of renewed hope inspired by Hero. One envelope came to the ranch containing nothing but a Post-It note. The message was simple, but earnest. Without name or identification, it merely said, "I was thinking of ending it all, until I read about Hero. I have decided to change my mind . . . thank you."
The message of Hero's life is straightforward, 'If I can make it . . . YOU can make it. If I can survive miraculous odds . . . so can you.' His life is a testimony to the fact that we have a Miraculous Lord. Like a great scale, it is often out of our deepest tragedies that our greatest hope, our greatest joys arise. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 gives testimony to this truth. Our suffering isn't something that happens because God isn't paying attention. On the contrary, our suffering has great purpose. The all-encompassing comfort that the Lord gives us in our time of need is powerful enough to not only heal our heart - but also those around us who are suffering in a similar way. God's comfort in our time of distress is so prevailing, that His healing hope not only fills our heart, it overflows to all in need.
Amongst a steady steam of visitors, our sweet boy is settling in very well. His leg wound, though severe, is slowly closing. He is making new friends within our herd and is enjoying life simply as a horse, never again to be confined to a stall or sequestered away from his own kind. At the sound of my voice, he answers with a high pitched call in return. While changing his large bandage, I have learned to feed him a small amount of grain to quell his curiosity and keep him from licking the back of my coat, chewing on my hair, or stealing my hat. He doesn't seem to know that he should be depressed, sad or full of rage at the injustice he has endured. Hero just never has a bad day. Instead, he is bright. He is joyful. He is incredibly playful. Yet, most of all, he has clearly chosen to simply be . . . happy.

By his example, he inspires me, along with countless others - to do the same.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Unwanted Horse - Dr. Douglas Corey

Dr. Douglas Corey will speak on February 10, 2009, at 7:00 PM at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton, Montana. The seminar is free.

Dr. Corey practices veterinary medicine in Walla Walla, Washington. As the 2007 president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Dr. Corey chaired the committee on Equine Welfare as well as the Development of Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities. He has been the chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Committee and has been involved in the American Horse Council and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

Please do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this informative evening. For more information, contact Dr. Shawn Gleason at 406-961-1321.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bailey's First Hoof Trim

From Kim Dorman:

Bailey had his first ever hoof trim and he did great!!! Wonderful Rick Peverly gave him his trim free of charge.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Young Justice Bailey

Meet Justice Bailey...our new mascot and poster child. Wha da ya think? Ain't he something!? What a face...Huh?

Justice Bailey represents living proof that our program of helping horses by helping the people who own them and preserving their dignity is working. He's already a local celeb - see Tuesday's article in the Missoulian:
"Advocates Name Horse 'Justice Bailey' After Abuse Trial".

I met him a month or so ago when I delivered a ton of hay to his owner. Recognizing that he really needed to get out of their, I offered to buy him at that time, but she declined. After having some time to think about it and realizing that she really does have too many mouths to feed, she called me Fri night ... the night of our big court victory ... hence his name ... Justice. We added Bailey to commemorate the Judge that gave the Heydons 2x's as much jail time as the prosecutor recommended. Now that's justice! Do you think Judge Bailey will be honored? Maybe Justice Bailey will make him proud in time. She drove a hard bargain, but we managed to procure him by trading hay. What a deal! She needs the hay to feed the rest of her herd while she tries to sell them and find them homes .. and she didn't need the horse. She did the right thing ... and I believe we did too.

Justice Bailey will be treasured and cared for by Kim Dornan and Sharon Wyche until such time as he is ready to receive formal training under saddle. At that time, he'll come to my house to live. We'll be keeping you posted as to his progress and hopefully we'll be seeing improvement in his body condition as pictures are taken from month to month.

The Minis Go Home!

Here is Holly's and Mattie's adoption story - told by their new Mom!
Arriving at our bodyshop, Two Rivers Autobody, on a Monday morning is never my favorite. I'd rather be drinking coffee, smelling the wonderful barn smells, and listening to my horses eating their breakfast just like the day before.
I flipped the lights on, turned on the computer and downloaded my emails. There it was, another email from Jeff Hudson forwarded to me from Theresa Manzella, sending me pictures of horses. These were not just horses looking for a better life as before, these were minis. Everyone in St. Ignatius knows I want a mini. Not a purebred or show quality or something fancy, just a mini. Just another warm body to hug and squeeze and just maybe a horse I can bring to work just like my dogs. I dreamed of using my mini as a lawn mower on our front lawn of the shop as an excuse to have it with me.

After reading the email and cursing Jeff in my mind because I knew he put me on a mission - how was I going to tell my husband Pat that I want to bring home yet 2 more horses. You see, last winter my herd grew from 2 to 5 because of neglect, abuse, and a divorce. My husband Pat loves every one of them and wouldn't trade their mischevious ways for anything but often warned me that he was at his limit. And truthfully, I agreed. But this was different - they we're real horses, they were minis! Monday came and went and with our workload I didn't find a way to break the news to my husband that I really really wanted to bring them home.

Wednesday was a long day at our shop in St. Ignatius. My airbrush project was finally done and being shipped out of state. It was late, around 8pm and we were still at work winding down. I sat down in front of the computer and called my husband in. I found the email and showed him the pictures of the minis. He read the words and looked at me and said " Whatever!" To me that was a - YES! He said it was a good deal (I'm sure to justify it in his own head) and walked out of the office.

The next morning I was on the phone to everybody, Jeff Hudson, my business neighbor, Donna Morton, and my daughter. A call to Phyllis in Butte I rambled a quick list of references over the phone she told me she would get back to me. The following morning Phyllis emailed me and told me that I was approved from the owner and to come get them as soon as possible. I was so excited! The days crawled like a snail on an upward slope in the snow. I kept myself busy arranging an enclosed trailer to keep the elements off them on the long ride home and I sent my truck out for service. Trailer arrived on Friday afternoon and not longer after that my truck was delivered back to me.

By Friday afternoon every available space in the truck was spoken for. Saturday morning I woke up before 6am (and for those who know me know thats totally unnatural for me - I'm definitely not a morning person) . By 8am the truck was loaded with trailer, my daughter Jessi Clarkin, Donna Morton and another good friend and fellow animal lover Sara Udall. A quick stop at Cenex in Missoula for some diesel and a few bales of straw and we were on the road. The drive was effortless. With laughter and stories the trip went real fast. Around Drummond, Sara got a call from her daughter Stacy who is in college in Dillon. She wanted to meet us to see the minis. By the time we reached our turn- off in Butte, Stacy was traveling right behind the trailer. We stopped at a gas station, left her car, and crammed her into the already full truck. Fifteen minutes later we're pulling up a windswept driveway and saw the owner leading the girls out to our trailer.

There was a lot of screeching with excitement and admiration as we piled out of the truck and ran to the minis. As I talked to the owner we switched halters and decided it was time to go as I could see the emotions rising in her. She knew we would take the best of care and once again I guaranteed her it was so. We loaded them up and dropped off Stacy at her car and headed home.

By the time we arrived home, my husband Pat had cleaned the pen, found a shorter bucket for water and lowered the feeder to an appropriate height. We tucked them in and stared at them for hours until the darkness and cold sent us inside. Sunday found us and friends standing around in their pen playing with them. A neighbor who has a student from Russia, Anna, that has never seen a mini horse came to enjoy them for a few hours. When everybody left I cut a hole in our garden fence so they could have a direct route to our backyard so I could enjoy them even more. I have been warned though, "They are not to come in the house." We'll see.

Kathy Clarkin ( new mommy of mini's )