Of the 56 horses we helped save last month… all but ONE had a home – and today was the last day. OMGOSH, GUESS WHO IS COMING TO DINNER?!

OH MY GOSH, Hubby is going to kill me!

I sit here in shock!  …  You see, last month, when we were all trying our best to save the two groups of mare pairs, pregnant mares and young horses at the Fallon Auction yard, I made the off the cuff remark, “Well, if you get stuck trying to place all 56 horses in time, I can foster one…”

Well, lordy lordy lordy, be careful what you put out there in the universe because…

On Tuesday, Shirley (the genius who organizes the rescues and places all the horses) sent a message telling me that the homes for the last 6 horses fell through…   On Wednesday, I heard that 5 had been placed…  One was left.

Today, at 8:44am, I received a text from the rescuer on the ground, Marlene,  telling me that all hope had fallen through for the one last mare… today was the last day and Marlene was heading to the Auction yard to gather her and bring her to me.

OMG!  Wha?  Bring a horse to ME?  Hubby is going to kill me and my big mouth!

Remember this photo from the Rescue last month? The 4 year old pregnant mare coming here is hiding behind her mother and little sister.

Remember this photo from the Rescue last month? The 4 year old pregnant mare coming here is hiding behind her mother and little sister.


Shirley sent two photos… One was of her hiding behind her Percheron mother… the other was one of her alone.

Shirley said she was pregnant.

They also said that none of the horses were halter broke.


Hubby is going to be even happier now.

But, I cannot leave a horse out in the cold when I have room.  She has to land somewhere…

This is the other photo Shirley sent. Here she is in the Auction yard.

This is the other photo Shirley sent. Here she is in the Auction yard.  She is a big girl…


I felt incredibly excited but also really upset because I’ve been trying to cut down on the feedbill here… With MT and the other 11, I barely have time and money as it is…

So, I beat myself up about it for about 5 hours… telling myself all kinds of things about ‘shouldn’t’ and ‘bad idea’…  Where was I going to put her?  I went through all the paddocks in my mind to decide the best plan… and then I ran to Home Depot to get U-tacks so I could fix the wire fencing… to make everything secure for a very large, half Percheron, untrained, pregnant mare.

What the heck was I doing?!  Fretting.

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As I was running around doing errands frantically, my UPS guy flagged me down… he had a package for me.

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So, I stopped on the side of the road and he made his delivery to my car.  I was amazed by this.  I didn’t know they could deliver to your car.


I figured it wouldn’t serve the mare or myself to be all worked up about another horse arriving…. I had to come to some sort of peace with it.   It was done.  She was coming.

And then… quite oddly…  I found 3 Praying Mantis bugs in very unusual spots today.   One I nearly crushed as I leaned against the door jam.  He was huge and brown and gave me the ‘what for’ when he realized that I had almost smashed him.

The next one was – wait for it – ON MY SOAP DISPENSER IN THE KITCHEN!!!  How in the world did that happen??  I have never seen a bug that big in our house… And on the soap dispenser in the kitchen??  I took him outside – still on the soap dispenser – and took a photo.

The last one was hanging on MT’s gate lock.  He was exactly where I unlock MT’s gate.  Right there.  I could not have missed him.  Another big brown one.

So, I figured these were signs that I needed to chill like the Praying Mantis bugs.  They take everything in stride.  They only move when they need to.  Perhaps they were trying to tell me to go with the flow.  Who knows what amazing things could happen by opening my door to a horse with no home.

So, I relaxed and decided that I was done fretting about it.  I decided that some wondrous good would come from opening our place to this homeless mare.

This was the 2nd Praying Mantis I saw today - and I never see them. He was on my soap dispenser IN MY KITCHEN. How could this be?? I took him outside, still on the dispenser, and took a few photos. I couldn't believe it.

This was the 2nd Praying Mantis I saw today – and I never see them. He was on my soap dispenser IN MY KITCHEN. How could this be?? I took him outside, still on the dispenser, and took a few photos. I couldn’t believe it.

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I then put him against the wall and he finally left the dispenser and climbed onto the outside wall. HOW DID HE GET IN MY KITCHEN?  I decided I just needed to chill and go with the flow.


I had told Marlene to let me know when she was on the nearby road.  When she texted me, I hopped into my car to meet her and lead the convoy back to my place.

Marlene brought Sam to me in 2008.  But she had a much smaller rig back then!

Anyway, she made it up my driveway and parked exactly in front of the correct paddock without me even telling her.  Such a pro!  She said, “I saw the gate open to that paddock so I figured it was the one!”

She was right.

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These are the lights of the huge rig behind me as I led them into my place. We have no street lights – you can see how dark it is.

In the darkness, Marlene made a perfect trajectory right into the correct paddock. Amazing!


The mare (nameless right now) didn’t want to come out of the trailer.  Her mother and sister were in the front.  She felt secure.

So we waited and waited.  Finally, after Marlene had touched her all over with a safety stick, she asked me if I had a large halter.  We were able to put that on her using the stick.

She seemed to understand (sort of)  so I think she was haltered as a baby…

When Marlene pulled, she came out!

We shut the gate to the paddock, shut the trailer and they left!  Marlene still had several horses to drop off in other parts of the state.


This was my view for about 25 minutes. you can see her auction number on her hip.

This was my view for about 25 minutes. you can see her auction number on her hip.


Earlier, I walked into the barn to get a water bucket for her and I saw Mama Tess cowering in the corner.  I am sure she thought the trailer was coming for her.  The last big trailers that have arrived here, have come to bring her to and from the hospital.  Poor girl.  I gave her huge hugs and love and told her that she was stuck here with me forever and that I was never, ever going to put her on a big van again.

And as I comforted my old mare, the truth hit me… the magnitude of saving all of these lives last month… I knew that opening my doors to this mare was the right thing to do.  This girl is giving me the opportunity to give her life back to her.  What a gift!  Clearly, the joy is in the giving.

As I type, I can hear her calling.  My horses are gently calling back.  No one is fretting.  All are calm.

It as if I can hear them saying, “Make like a Mantis, new horse, and chill, you’ve landed well.”

Marlene gave me this photo of the mare loading on the auction yard - without a halter. She stepped right in. From there, she came directly here. 3 hours and 15 minutes.

Marlene gave me this photo of the mare loading on the auction yard – without a halter. She stepped right in. From there, she came directly here. 3 hours and 15 minutes.  So far, I’ve only seen her shadow in the darkness.  I am awaiting the morning light!


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10 comments have been posted...

  1. Coachella Valley Horse Rescue

    You are a very kind soul and your husband will be okay. She may end up being a great mare for him. We have a rescue horse at our ranch with the same breeding and let me tell you that she is the biggest gentle giant! She was adopted and resides at our ranch. She is very sweet and willing every day!
    We turn her out with her favorite pony and 3 miniature horses. She loves them as if they were all hers. You helped me raise funds for Storm’s surgery a horse that was on her way to the slaughter just like your pregnant mare. Shirley and Marlene were able to rescue 5 pregnant mares and Storm was one of them. She had a healthy colt even though she was still a filly herself. Your efforts are amazing for these animals in need and this mare will bring you blessings…. Thank you for sharing her story and I can’t wait to hear about her as time goes by. I do believe in signs and the praying ones are best!

  2. dawndi Post author

    All very thoughtful remarks! And useful! We do have a draft cross here already – Bodhi. So, I agree with you and know the drill!
    With MT and all that I’ve learned, diet is everything – me included!

  3. Sarah

    You have no idea what you are in for but it is ALL GOOD! You will absolutely LOVE the draft cross temperament. I have one – have been around them – these are very, very wonderful horses. They tend to think before they react, they consider situations thoughtfully, they are kind. Drafts and draft crosses are also very, very smart. The ones I have been around are not only smart and easy to train, they are very careful around their humans and other horses. I think they really are aware of their size – contrast with ponies who think they are bigger, usually, and don’t give a darn if they squish your foot under theirs (on purpose, probably – ponies being ponies). The best thing about the drafties I have known and love is that they pay attention – they are present in the moment and not spazzing out over every little thing in the environment every single moment , e.g., they are not what I would call hypervigilant like some individuals from certain “hot” breeds (and I’ve had just about every breed through my barn and in multiples over the decades I’ve had horses; I try not to generalize but there really are some consistent breed characteristics).

    One thing I would do if I were you. Because even draft crosses have different types of muscles in different proportion to light horse breeds, you might want to contact Dr. Beth Valentine at Oregon State University, for some tips on feeding. Big as these horses are it is unfortunately very easy to overfeed and there are some things they probably should not have. Dr. Valentine writes for Rural Heritage (the magazine and the website) and her articles are free and online. She is great about answering e-mails so you might want to inquire about a feeding program for your new Perch cross.

    Good source for draft horse halters, affordable ones, they will tell you how to measure: chimacum tack.

    Once you decide to do saddle work you will likely need a different saddle and there’s a saddle maker in Albany Oregon who makes draft saddles to order at very reasonable prices.

    You’re going to LOVE this mare!!

  4. Heather Janzen

    So excited for you and yours! Can’t wait to hear what has been happening – when you have the time!

  5. Christine Stone

    Dawn your an Angel for fostering this mare. Christine, England. xx

  6. Deborah

    BLESS YOU for opening your home and pasture for this gorgeous lady who had nowhere else to go! I’m sure Karma will pay you back 3-fold for the love and care this girl and her unborn babeh will receive from you. Maybe you should name her Karma, Karmah, or even Karmamel (in case she turns out to be as sweet as I think she will!) I can hardly wait to follow your adventures with her. I hope Hubby can forgive you for adding another mouth to feed, but I’m betting he will- all she had left was you and your generosity. Looking forward to seeing the first photo of you planting a big kiss on her velvety muzzle!!

  7. Kathy

    Oooh, another exciting adventure for you! I think it would be so awesome to rescue a horse like this, or to adopt and train a mustang. I don’t have the money or facilities (or, let’s face it, the knowledge) to do it in this life, but maybe in the next? I look forward to seeing photos of the new girl, and hearing about your new relationship with her.

  8. Mary Lu Kennedy

    A new adventure for you! This is so exciting and you will be able to share it with all of your readers and we
    will learn and share the excitement. You did good! The universe wanted you to have this mare at least for awhile. Enjoy her and I am sure she will teach you many things.

  9. Ina

    I feel pretty sure she will be a delight to you. Before I had Morgans I had a half Perch mare in my care, and she was the most sensitive, intelligent, gentle mare I had ever had. She was grateful for her care and did her best to reciprocate it to me. She was great- here is hoping the new girl is that way as well. You did right, and hubby will understand. Sides when saddle trained she can carry him with ease!


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