Category Archives: Bucket Fund Stories

A Sponsor’s Golden Heart.

Giving to horses in need is a very noble thing…  I honor anyone who helps the horses.

For me, I tend to dump my Piggy Bank when I hear of horses in desperate situations.  You know the type… THIS HORSE IS GOING TO SLAUGHTER IN AN HOUR or, THIS MARE IS GOING TO FOAL ON THE WAY TO MEXICO or, THIS HORSE WHO WAS A KIDS’ PONY IS GOING TO THE KILL BUYERS TONIGHT!…  You know the drill.  The ones in immediate peril usually pull on my purse strings.

But, what about all the other horses who need ongoing help?  Who helps them?  Who are the tortoises in the human group, eh?  Who are the people who drop a coin in their horsey bank account day in and day out?   The Sponsors.  Those who sponsor a horse have decided to put their pennies together for the slow and steady long haul.  God bless ’em!

It is the sponsors who guarantee the rescues.  It is the sponsors who pledge to keep the sanctuaries running.

So, today, I’m going to tip my hat towards a couple of wonderful sponsors of THE GOLDEN CARROT, our Bucket Fund Equine Charity for this month.  (If you’d like to learn more about THE GOLDEN CARROT, a sanctuary for the old, sick and abandoned horses, please click here.)

Now, onward to these very moving stories of why these women help…

First up, in her own words Shela tells us why she sponsors both Cha Cha and Duke.  Cha Cha is a 34 year old Appy mare whose previous owners called her anorexic because she was losing weight in a paddock with three other, younger horses who were stealing her food.  Luckily, with the great care at TGC, Cha Cha recovered from her “anorexia” as soon as she was fed alone.

Duke is a 22 year old QH who is very crippled but is thriving at TGC.

“I came to TGC about 6 months ago…only at the request of a disabled friend who had heard about it and wanted to see the horses.  The person who left the ranch that day was a different person than the one who entered it a couple of hours before.  I had no previous experience with horses…I’m a dog person…and a little intimidated by the bigger guys.

Cha Cha, the "anorexic" 34 year old Appy mare...

But, there I was, in the middle of a herd…having a tour…seeing horses that had been worked to the point of injury, used-up and discarded…some would see them as broken-down old nags…I saw beauty, grace, dignity, spirit, love, gratitude, trust.  Their stable area, which is more about function than form and Casey jokes about its less than pristine appearance…well, I saw a clean, safe place to have dinner and spend the night out of the weather.

Duke, the old but handsome, crippled gentleman

And the woman with the long strawberry braid down her back…she had so much to teach, I could tell…the way the horses responded to her…her skill with them…the mutual trust.  I didn’t want to leave this place. What happens there is something quite extraordinary.

I first thought of sponsoring a TGC horse as a Christmas gift for my grandniece, so it didn’t start out as being about a particular horse. I went to Casey’s website to read about each of the horses…which one needed us the most?  I chose ChaCha Native Dancer because she was very old, a little scraggly looking and somewhat aloof…I guess no one else had thought her particularly appealing.

Shela and Duke

She is beautiful to me…and I don’t mind that she doesn’t want to nuzzle…it’s not about me, after all.  This old gal has enough spirit and leadership qualities to compensate for her disabilities and oversees the other mares with confidence.  I respect and honor her.

Later, as I got to know more of the horses as individuals, I chose Duke because I didn’t want him to leave us without a sponsor. He’s so old and disabled, yet you can see his desire to keep on moving through each day, one at a time.  He’s kind and sweet and patient…I’ve spent hours grooming him…and he allows me to hug him.  I adore this horse and feel so privileged to know him. I’m very grateful to Casey for watching over him and allowing him to spend whatever time he has left with dignity and knowing he’s loved.  When it’s Duke’s time, he will let me know which of his friends he’d like me to sponsor in his place, and I will do it in his memory.”

Let’s help her out, eh?  Let’s support TGC and their sponsors who love the unwanted horses…
Next up we have Margaret who sponsors Sara, the 21 year old Belgian/TB mare.
“I had a horse when I was a kid.  But was stupid and let my high school activities come between Bayla and I.  My father sold her to someone.  Who, I do not know.  My horse “bug” was dormant for years.  I got back to horses when I was watching the Kentucky Derby when Eight Belles went down.  For some reason her death really bothered me.  I went online to search for information on her.

Sara, the very sweet BIG older gal...

I found the Alex Brown discussion forum and began to read.  What an education I received.  I learned for the first time about the horrors of slaughter.  I learned about horse rescues and rescurers.  I learned about horses who were thrown away when they, for whatever reason, became inconvenient to their owners.  One day I read on that forum about a horse that had been abandoned in a California desert and about the rescue that took him in.  I found that rescue’s website and started reading.  I read about Casey and the residents of The Golden Carrot.  Then I saw the picture of Sara.  Oh wow!  She looks a LOT like my Bayla.  I read about her.  Oh wow!  She crashes through things, just like my Bayla did.

Sara nudging Margaret, the carrot lady...

I contacted Casey to see if Sara was unsponsored.  Low and behold, Casey still needed a sponsor for Sara.  Unfortunately I do not earn enough money to do a full sponsorship of Sara.  But each month I send what I can.  I told Casey that I wanted to sponsor her FRONT half!  I also have a “Spare Change For Sara AKA Miss Piggy” jar on my desk.  I throw my coins in it and when I get to $20, I send it to Casey to use however she needs.  I work at a music store and several of my coworkers and customers add their change on occasion.

I had the opportunity to visit TGC last year to meet Casey and Sara.  That was the first time I was in the midst of a herd of horses just wandering around.  I loved it!  I was covered with horsey slobber!  What a wonderful experience that was!  I am hoping to get back there one day, possibly to actually ride Sara.

Thank you HORSE AND MAN, for picking TGC as your Bucket Fund recipient!”

I know the horses at TGC are already “saved”, but care doesn’t end there…  I really want our July Bucket Fund to help shoulder the load for these folks who take in the abondoned horses during their golden years.

Please let’s band together and fill the Bucket with our appreciation. I’m asking you to donate to the Bucket Fund now.   Just put a drop in the bucket (anything from $1 to infinity) to hold the hand of those lovely few who carry the weight each month.

Thank you, everyone, for caring about the forgotten ones! It is so appreciated.

If you feel moved by this and wish learn about all the levels of sponsorship, please click here and meet the older horses that need you.
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Meet Hershey, the deaf and blind horse who, miraculously, was healed!

The Miracle Worker.

Did you ever see that movie?  Anne Bancroft played Annie Sullivan and a very young Patty Duke playing Helen Keller.

This isn’t a story exactly like that, but sort-of.  Hershey was deaf and blind.

Meet Hershey.

He is a 15′, 24 year old quarter horse.  Gorgeous.  Dark brown with a lovely blaze.  Hershey spent his younger years as a lesson horse.  He is described as incredibly kind and gentle.  He even took his previous owner on trail rides up to her 8th month of pregnancy!  Hershey got along with every other horse she had.  In fact, his previous owner ran all 7 of her horses together and they all loved Hershey.

And then, suddenly, Hershey was struck deaf and blind.  All of a sudden, with no preceding illness or upset, Hershey could no longer see or hear.  He wouldn’t come in when he was called nor did he respond and come in at feeding time as did all the other horses.   Hershey just stood there out in the pasture, not moving. His previous owner was distraught.

So, she contacted The Golden Carrot because she knew that TGC was known for taking in the old, forgotten, dumped aged and otherwise manageable but disabled horses.  It was worth a try…  After all, Hershey was such a good horse, was up to date on all of his shots and was otherwise a healthy gelding… he deserved a home to live out the rest of his life.

At first, when TGC  heard about Hershey, they were reluctant.  Yes, they took in many disabled horses, but they had no experience with blind horses let alone blind AND deaf horses.  And, donations have been down in this bad economy so taking in another without sponsorship was a risk.  After consideration, Casey from TGC declined taking Hershey in, but did offer to help re-home him.

In the ensuing weeks, Casey didn’t have any luck re-homing the deaf and blind Hershey… and she hadn’t heard back from the owner.  Hmmmmm.

A month later, Hershey kept popping into Casey’s mind so she contacted the owner to see how Hershey was doing…  The owner answered the phone and said that Hershey was the same.  She offered to send a photo of Hershey to Casey to help with re-homing him.

Casey got this photo from the owner…  Not good.

The photo Casey received about Hershey's condition...

Heartstrings a tuggin’, Casey immediately agreed to take Hershey.  She guessed it was time to foray into the world of blind and deaf horses!  At least, she thought, with all the older gentle horses at TGC, somebody would hook up with Hershey and be his eyes and ears.

So, Casey met Hershey.  Hmmmmmmmm.

Hershey upon arrival gets a trim. Skinny skinny.

He didn’t seem blind.  He also didn’t seem deaf.  But, he did seem really sickly and really skinny.  Hmmmmm.  This was all very odd.  On a hunch, Casey separated Hershey from  the other horses at TGC, which she would anyway with a new horse, and whaddyaknow… he watched her bring his food, had no trouble finding it, and ate every last speck.  In fact, he ate like a crazy horse. He ate everything.  He ate and ate and ate and ate…

He wasn’t blind or deaf.  He was simply the lowest guy on the ladder rung.  He wasn’t getting enough to eat and he became weak.  He couldn’t fight the other horses for food (and I guess the food wasn’t separated) so he didn’t bother any more.  Hershey just gave up. He was resolved to not eat and just wither away.  He was deaf and blind to the world around him because it had turned on  him.

Oy.  None of that!  “We will make you well!” was Casey’s battle cry!  No wonderful old school horse who has given his life to teaching kids and giving rides to pregnant ladies is going to die such a miserable and lonely starvation death!  Here is a direct quote from Casey:

Rear View after just one month at TGC!

Hershey has no vision or hearing problems – when it’s time for his bucket, he could find me if I was in Afghanistan. He has blossomed with 4-5 buckets a day, spread out over the day. After 5 days, he was looking to join the herd, although still freaked at the numbers facing him. He is slow to heal the little booboos he gets but is tolerant of being treated; he had a little fungus going on in his coat so has had a nice medicinal bath and a soaking with anti-fungal solution has stopped his tail rubbing. He did get some fly eggs laid in his right eye, and under the influence of some mighty drugs, he stood quietly while Dr. Zadick cleaned them out and injected his eye tissue with antibios and steroids. After a few days, he started to be impatient with the daily application of antibio ointment in his eye, so now I have to enlist the help of my neighbor. Once caught, he stands resignedly…. Dr. Z also had me give him another dose of Ivermectin to prevent fly eggs laid in his booboos from burrowing in ….. at this stage, he’s just too frail to fight off the usual stuff.

And, look at Hershey now!

Hershey now! Fit, happy and working his new job!

No longer deaf and blind… Hershey has filled out and is just getting better and stronger with each day!  The herd has assimilated him easily and he eats well with them.  And, he has fallen in love with Savannah.  Wow!  Nothing like good food and a new love to give one a fresh start in life!

Oh, and Hershey has a job!  As a school horse, he reigns SUPREME!  As the number one academic at TGC, Hershey truly is a lovely older gentleman that has lots of life left to bring to the children.  In fact, Casey has used Hershey to help a young girl who was shattered by a horrific horse accident.  Riding Hershey has rebuilt her confidence.  Atta Boy, Hershey, Atta Boy!

I tell this story because I would love for you to support THE GOLDEN CARROT this month.  As you know, TGC is our Bucket Fund Charity for the month of July.

Hershey, the misunderstood horse, saving another little girl from dispair.

Any amount (from $1 to infinity) helps and will be added to the bucket to create a combined donation at the end of the month.  To read more about THE GOLDEN CARROT, here is their website. And, here is the story we wrote about them previously.

Please click the DONATE button and help the wonderful owners and volunteers at The Golden Carrot who take in the old and forgotten horses.  Many of their sweet and forgotten 35 horses need support and sponsorship.  Please consider sponsoring (here is the link to TGC page for all the horses who need sponsoring) or donating here.  Bless The Golden Carrot for doing what most would rather not…

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!