Category Archives: Horse Stories

You’ve heard about those wonderful people who are feeding the 450+ starving horses in Montana, but have you seen how?






By now, you’ve all probably heard about the very irresponsible and negligent owner (you can fill in your own adjective if you’d like – asshat comes to mind..) who lost his very large quarterhorse breeding operation and then just left all the horses to fend for themselves.

Yup.  He left all his domestic horses there to feed/water themselves during the frozen winter without notifying anyone or asking for any help.  Nice guy.

Anyway, here is what happened…

A CALL FOR HELP.

The ranch went into foreclosure and another party bought the 2000 acre parcel.

After a while, the new owners noticed that the horses, who were not theirs, were getting skinnier and skinnier.  So, they called the authorities.

When the officers arrived, they came upon dead horses and, ugh, a horse who had been hobbled – I’m not sure if they mean literally hobbled or if they are using that as a verb – with a broken leg for over a year.

Uh huh.  Nice.

Luckily, this scene really upset the officers and they stepped in to control the situation and bring the abuser to court.

Hungry horses on barren land

CHARGES

James Leachman of Home Place Ranch has been charged with five counts of animal cruelty.  I’m not even going to tell you his excuses because I don’t want you to spit up your coffee.

The abandoned horses roaming unforgiving land

YOU MAY HAVE HEARD

Sure, we all know that “they” are “dropping” hay to the horses.  That’s probably enough for all of us to be thankful and give them a nod.

But, who are “they” and what goes into simply “dropping” the hay?

THE FULL STORY – “Can’t we just feed the horses?!”

This idea brings me to my own line of work.  Often clients will say to me, “Can’t we just make a simple change…”.  I’ve grown to snigger everytime I hear “Can’t we just…”.

Even though it is very wise to Keep It Simple, often there is no simplicity behind “Can’t we just…”.

OK, so first they had to organize.   Heading up the operation was Justin Mills of Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE) NILE Foundation.  I had never heard of them but now I love them.  Go to their website and click around if you’d like.

Yes, he had to get the hay donated and find a way to deliver it… but it wasn’t as simple as that.  They had to set up the phone lines, answer the phones, set up donation lines, organize volunteers, figure out how to get hay, coordinate the hay delivery, organize the best way to deliver the hay to the horses, find a helicopter service capable of the hay drop maneuvers and willing to donate their time/gas/equipment, round up men who were safety conscious and knew how to do this and then coordinate the effort – as well as find all the ground equipment.

Nothing simple about it…

This is why I wanted to show you these photos.  I wanted to show you so you can appreciate how they  “Just fed those poor horses”.

BRAVO NILE, YOU DONE GOOD AND I SUPPORT YOU!

Here is a phoblog of what I think happened in the order I assume it happened.  I haven’t spoken to anyone who was there; I am just surmising from the photos posted on FB.

Hungry horses at the fence

After organizing hay donations, they hay is trucked in

At NILE, the men contemplate the airlift strategies

In the meantime, water tubs are organized and calls are made...

Tractor arrives from somewhere, driven by someone wonderful in the very early morning hours

The rig arrives at dawn and the incredible volunteers and organizers go to work

The men lay out huge nets that they procured from somewhere...laying out tangled nets is always fun.

Shiny tractor heaves bale into the net

Meanwhile, the volunteer heli views the locations of the starving horses

Heli arrives

A.J. Blain of Billings Flying Service who donated his rig and his time

OK, what do we do?

Strapping the bale properly. Safety First.

Do we have it right?

"Gawd that chopper is loud." "My finger is caught!" "Hurry, we don't have all day!"...

Imagine the noise and tension at this time

"I got it, no worries"

Lift off! It worked!

View from helicopter as the horses rush to the hay drop

Yum

IN CONCLUSION

BRAVO ALL OF YOU INVOLVED!  250 tons of hay have been donated and $7500 dollars so far.  If you wish to learn more or read more or donate, please click these links.

NILE FOUNDATION

THE FACEBOOK PAGE FOLLOWING THIS STORY

ONE OF THE MANY NEWS ARTICLES

FUGLY BLOG ABOUT THIS NEGLIGENT OWNER

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JANUARY DROP IN THE BUCKET FUND:  THE PAIUTE ORPHAN FOALS
To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate the ‘Saved from Slaughter Orphan Foals’, please click HERE.




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An uplifting story for a Monday – SMOKE THE DONKEY!






Have you heard this story?  I found it on FB and I wanted to play it forward today.

SMOKE THE DONKEY

It started in Fallujah on a Marine Corp base in 2008.  There was a marine who decided to catch one of the many donkeys wandering the base.  Being an adept donkey catcher, the marine was successful and consequently tied the newly haltered donkey to the tent of his base Colonel.

Upon rising, Colonel Folsom found the donkey.  Of course, the Marines fell in love with the little burro… they fed him and patched the wounds on his legs.  He was their mascot.  They named him SMOKE because of his color and his sneaky donkey way of snatching ciggys, lit or not.

The troops loved him!

REGULATIONS

Sadly, pets are not allowed in a war zone…  My Hubby has many sad stories about pets/animals in Iraq when he was there.  So sad…

Anyway, of course the men were very attached to Smoke and he definitely boosted morale.  So, Folsom helped arrange for a Navy lieutenant to clear the little donkey as a therapy animal – and he was allowed to stay.

CARE PACKAGES

Smoke was so popular, people from home started sending him care packages.  He would receive treats and burro blankets.  The men continued to write home about Smoke… this little guy was stealing hearts and keeping spirits up.

GONE

Eventually, the troops left.  Smoke couldn’t come with the troop so he was left in the care of an Army major who gave the donkey to a sheik, for whatever reason.

BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

In October of 2010, Folsom decided he wanted Smoke back in the USA.  Folsom had left the Marines and was now the head of Wounded Warriors Family Support, a non-profit that helps the families of service members who do not come back from war.

Folsom went to great lengths to track down the sheik who had Smoke.  Greedily, the sheik wanted $30,000 to release the burro.

Ummm.  Folsom told the sheik that as long as the donkey was happy there, all was good (called his bluff).

I guess the sheik thought about it and decided to give back Smoke for free.  Hmmmmm. Imagine that…

Smoke grazing as he awaits his flight to his new home

SHIPPING, PLEASE

The challenge, of course, is clearing Smoke for travel to the US  – and arranging (paying for) the travel.  So, Folsom contacted Operation Baghdad Pups program which is run by the SPCA International.  They agreed to provide transport.

Since Smoke is a large animal, he has to be transported by Cargo plane.  And, from what we hear, Smoke should be on terra firma by the end of January.  At this moment, he is awaiting a flight out of Arbil, Iraq!

When he lands here, he will live at TAKE FLIGHT FARMS in Omaha.  This is a group who help children and adults cope with disabilities and psychological ailments.  Since Smoke was such a wonderful cure for all the Marines in Iraq, it is thought that Smoke will do wonders at Take Flight Farms.

SMOKE ON FACEBOOK

Smoke barely has a page on Facebook, but you can follow his “discussion” on the SPCA page.  Here is the link.

JOHN D. FOLSOM

I wanted to share a bit about the man who initiated bringing Smoke home, Colonel John Folsom.  Wow.  He seems like a great guy… Part of his program for the families of not returning soldiers is to bring them to Florida for some heart lifting fun.  You can read about his program via this link.

Here is a small part of his bio.

“Colonel Folsom’s military decorations include the Navy-Marine Corps Medal for heroism, the Bronze Star and Meritorious Service medals awarded for his meritorious service in support of Operation “Iraqi Freedom”.”

You can read more about him here.

Colonel Folsom

DONKEYS ARE WONDERFUL AND EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ONE, IF THEY CAN

My sentiments are that donkeys are really easy, they are hearty, sweet, protective, smart and wonderful.  If you have the room, the time and the resources, PLEASE add a donkey to your herd.  You cannot help but fall in love with them.

After all, would a horse have as much success with an entire troop of men?  Maybe… But a donkey was surely successful because he KNEW.  Very wise, very kind and very gentle.

Rescue a Donkey today!

–look on your local Craigslist

–contact the BLM and find an adoption date, location or online adoption

–inquire at a Donkey rescue, here are a few (or google for your area…):

Amberwood Sanctuary, Leary, GA
(912) 792-6246

Crossroads Donkey Rescue. Grayling, MI
donkeygirl13@hotmail.com
www.crossroadsdonkeyrescue.com

Longhopes Donkey Shelter, Bennett, CO
www.longhopes.org

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue
www.donkeyrescue.org

Redwings, CA
www.redwings.org

Terra Patre Rescue and Wildlife Preserve, Belen, NM
Quillonflyingfox@netscape.net

Turning Pointe Donkey Rescue, Dansville, MI
hodson@netnitco.net
(517) 623-0000
www.turningpointedonkeyrescue.com

Wild Burro Rescue, Olancha, CA
www.wildburrorescue.org

Forever Homes, Arizona:  www.foreverhomesdonkey.com

Donkeys are WONDERFUL!


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

JANUARY DROP IN THE BUCKET FUND:  THE PAIUTE ORPHAN FOALS

To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate the the ‘Saved from Slaughter Orphan Foals’, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

The end of the month is drawing near! Please help!




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