Two Brave Mares and the Women who Helped Them…!






Mares.

Either you love ’em or you don’t… but there is no question who you want in the trenches with you.  The lead mare.  She’s the one who gets it done.  She’s the one who keeps things in order.  She’s the one who makes sure everyone is safe.  She fixes every situation.

I’m not saying that you have to like lead mares — or any mare, for that matter.  I’m just saying that there is a lot to respect about them.  And today, I want to speak about two mares in particular.  I wanted to tell you about them not because they need help (they don’t), but because of the help they received.  These two extraordinary mares were fatefully matched with extraordinary women.  Perfect.

OLIVIA’S LIVE BIRTH

I have to say that I don’t really know that much about Olivia.

The newly rescued Olivia

I know she was rescued and adopted from the Umadilla auction.  She is boarded at Ponytales Rescue.  I’ve read that she is a quarter horse.  And, I knew she was pregnant and about to deliver.  And, I knew about her from a thread posted on an equine forum I visit.  This impending birth notice was posted on the forum July 10th.  So, all of us interested strangers (thus being the way of the Internet these days…) were glued to the Mare Stare camera in her stall.

For those of you who wonder about the  “Mare Stare” camera, it is a video camera service, for pregnant mare

Ready to pop Olivia

owners,  that sends a signal out to a receiver which has a link.   So, anyone, anywhere can watch the stall.  The idea is to allow the owners to leave the barn and watch in the comfort of their computer area.

But, now it has become a community thing to watch if you want to witness a live birth of a mare you’ve come to care about, but maybe never met.

Since we all know how long it takes for any pot to boil, the camera company named it Mare Stare because that’s what you end up doing.  Bleary-eyed staring…

Mare Stare "Whoop!". Click here to view video

OK, so over the days since July 10th, many of the community strangers have been chatting on the forum as they wait to watch her foal.  They comment on the personality of the mare or how uncomfortable she must be or they take bets on what night she will foal.  It is a fun group of people who mostly only know each other through writing styles and signature fonts.

Anyway, as we have been staring at the mare for days now, people started to drift off.  I, for one, decided that most mares foal at night so I’d check the forum before I went to bed to see if there was any activity.  And, I’d check it in the morning to see if I missed anything.  Today, 10 days after the first post about a baby on the way, I missed the whole thing.

I had checked this morning.  Nothing.  So, I went riding.  Lo and behold, at around 9am PST, the baby was delivered.  I missed the entire thing!  When I saw that the thread had many more posts than normal, I knew something was up.  As soon as I logged in, I saw all these cheering, happy posts celebrating the delivery.  Whew!  All went well.

But then I read more deeply and realized that it hadn’t gone smoothly at all…   Luckily, there were several Aunties in Cyber Space huddled around their computers this Sunday morning, staring at Mare Stare.  You can read through the posts that a few start to think something significant is happening.  Then, it is clearly happening so one of them makes sure the owners/caretakers know that the birth was ON!

This is where it gets exciting!  The mare is in delivery and all of the Aunties are tittering on the forum.  All eyes are glued and hopeful, fingers flying across the keyboards with every move she makes.  But… the mare looked to be having trouble.  One leg was out but the process had stalled.  The mare was up and down and up and down.  The Aunties were getting nervous.

Now, I’ve been at most of my mare’s deliveries and having been there, it is always tough to know when to step in.  And, reviewing the tape, you can see the ladies there on site, struggling with the decision.  Do we help her?  Does she need us?  If you watch closely, you can see when they make that split decision to get in there and assist.  In fact, you can see one of the ladies yell, “PUSH” to the mare.  (I laughed out loud when I saw that… , of course, I knew it turned out OK so I could smile.)   Then you see the one woman get on her knees in the stall and pull the leg in rhythm with the mare’s contractions.  The woman looks like she is pulling against the mare with all of her power!  And, in a whoosh, the baby is out.

But the ladies are quiet.  One is quickly working to tear open the sack while the other is frozen in the moment.  Her hands cover her mouth.  All the Aunties are holding their breath.  And then, THE VERY BEST PART OF ALL, simultaneously, as the ladies realize the baby is alive, they whoop and raise their hands!  It was incredible.  I cried at that moment.  (You can view the video link here.  The “whoop” is at around 5:32)

This poor maiden mare was trying to deliver a whale, we now have learned.  The baby taped out at 106lbs!  As one Auntie declared while musing over his spoon shaped blaze, “It’s shaped like a spoon because he was cooking for so long!”  Ha!  Probably!

So, three cheers for an unknown, pregnant Quarterhorse mare who was saved from a meat auction, named Olivia and embraced by hundreds of benevolent Aunties, while she braved giving birth to a very big and healthy boy.

And, three cheers to the Ponytales Rescue owner and Board Member who got down and did the job they had to do in the moment they had to do it.  They fixed it for Olivia.  Bravo.

Mares.

TROLLEY

This one just kinda makes you a bit ill.

However, the mare doesn’t seem to mind so we shouldn’t mind either…

Trolley was rescued from an auction.  I won’t say which because injured horses aren’t supposed to be at an auction.  But, if that particular auction house hadn’t bought this injured mare, she would not have been placed with this rescuer who was notified of this mare by the auction owner.  And, if the auction owner hadn’t alerted the woman to come save this mare, the mare would have probably gone back to where she came from.  We all know where that got her…

Now, what you are looking at is a horse with a hole in her head and a sock super-glued into it.

Hold on, hold on… that super-glued sock might have saved her.  If the sock hadn’t been applied immediately and sealed in there, flies would have laid eggs… and you know what that means.  Enough said.

OK, I’m not saying that this horse shouldn’t have received medical care from her previous owners.  What I’m saying is that if you aren’t going to give the mare medical care, “put a sock in it” may have been a fairly good, temporary solution.  Of course, putting a sock in it and then running the mare through an auction — sucks.

Now, this wonderful woman named Anouk, who I don’t know at all, rescued this mare and named her Trolley.  (The mare has a FB page linked here with tons of pics.)  Anouk is from another country and “Trolley” means something back there…  Anyway, this woman either runs a rescue or assists in rescue efforts.  I’m not sure.  But, to me, to take in a mare immediately with such a devastating injury and then get the mare the attention she needs, this woman is a saint.

St. AnoukMaresaver.

OK, now back to the graphic images – (there are many more on her page).  Once I got over the initial shock of the photos, I read through several of the posts regarding Trolley.  From what I can gather, the vet DOES NOT think it was human inflicted.  The vet thinks that the mare ran into an uncovered metal post or Tpost.  Luckily, she survived. The amount of damage isn’t known until she undergoes surgery.  And, that cannot happen until her quarantine is up.  So, while we wait, the vet has done an excellent job of cleaning the wound.  And, St. AnoukMareSaver has done the daily work of keeping Trolley comfortable and tended.

And, from the photos, she’s comfortable indeed!  She should be called Princess Trolley!  The fashion on this mare is beyond your average mare care…  Look at the fly deterrent get-up!  She looks like Paris Hilton!  Of course, the poor girl  has to have those flies away from her wound, but this foster Mom has outdone herself!  Whoohoo!  From rags to riches!

Everyone is holding their breath until after the surgery, but if Trolley continues to improve, her future looks good.  Trolley’s aftercare will be

St. AnoukMareSaver and Trolley

determined and then she will be placed in her forever home.  Evidently, there are several parties lining up to care care of this very brave and strong mare.

So again, a very brave and tough mare needed help and a very strong woman braved the auction to rescue her.  Together, they are fighting through the pain to heal and move forward.  St. AnoukMareSave stepped in and fixed the situation for poor Trolley.

Mares.  Gotta love ’em!   (The equine kind and the human kind.)

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
July’s Bucket Fund will benefit the charity THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY.  To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate $5,  please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)




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



Bicycles and Green Horses on the Trail Together… Oh My!






Yesterday I thought would be a great day to take BG out on her first trail ride.  We were ready!

I prepared by deciding to leave really early to beat the heat.  I also wanted to leave early so there would be less people and fuss at the nearby horse-friendly State Park.

I went alone because no one else was willing to get up that early to join me…  So, all excited, I got up early, found my mount, popped her into the trailer and set sail to the park!  Yeehaw!  We were on the road and the new day was looking to be beautiful!

BY THE WAY…

BG is the TWH mare that I spoke about recently… she is new to riding.  Some of you may remember BG from a post I wrote a few weeks ago.  It was about me walking her around my friend’s House of Horrors (according to BG) equestrian training facility.  You can read the post here.

AHEM

Anyway, you might  surmise by the title and my lead-in, what I’m going to speak about today…

Green horses and numbskulls, idiots, evil doers, arrogant sods, asshats, discourteous bikers — together on trails.

MOUNTAIN BIKING IS GREAT!

First of all, let me declare, I love to ride a bike.  Hubby mountain bikes as often as he can!  I think it is a great form of exercise.   And in our area, we have fabulous trails.  So, I’m not against bikes.  I’m against people on bikes who purposefully will not yield to a horse especially when they can obviously see that the horse is very nervous about them approaching at XGame speeds.

COMMON SENSE

When you enter a State Park, usually, unless vandals have ripped it off, you will see a sign that says who can be there and who has the right of way.  You’ve all seen them.

Common sense would tell you to read those signs because they are probably erected for a reason.  Basically, even if you didn’t have any common sense, some one out there decided to help those with this short fall by placing big ol’ signs at the trail heads.  So, if you didn’t really get it in your own head what the right and safe thing to do on the trail would be, there would be a nice sign that tells you how to act cooperatively and safely.

IGNORANCE

OK, maybe some bike riders are illiterate.  I think that is why they made the signs with pictures.   Or, you could say that some people may miss the signs when they get onto the trail head.  And it could be true that some bikers have never seen a horse on a trail.

So, what does one do when they see a 1200 lbs animal on the trail for the first time?  Hmmm.  I would thiiiiiink that most people would stop and ponder.  You’d think…

And, if one stopped to ponder, the equestrian would most likely thank the biker for his courtesy (or they should) and the biker would learn that stopping for a horse was a good idea.

ARROGANCE

Now let’s talk about the select few bikers that refuse to yield to any horse.  Their argument goes something like this:  Why should we yield to a horse?  We have just as much right to be in the park as the horse.  And, we ride really fast because that is what mountain biking is… and it would kill the buzz to slow down.  “Fuggem” is their war cry!

HERE’S WHY

I totally get why it would be a bit upsetting to the biker to have to stop when he is going along at a nice, fun clip. I know that I don’t like having to stop my horse when I’m flying along the trail, too.  I dislike having to whoa-up when I see another horse who might not appreciate me coming up fast behind or coming up fast in front.  It doesn’t matter.  I need to stop and consider the state of mind of the other unknown horse and rider, even though it isn’t fun for me.

The reason?  This seems like a no-brainer… It is dangerous.  Simple.  Would you rather put a stranger at risk for your speed buzz?

Terminal consequences for a fleeting choice…

WHAT HAPPENED TODAY

I wish I had the time to take out my camera and snap a photo of the schmuck biker I met today on the trail.  But, with my horse doing the reverse stampede doesey-doe snortalong, I had no leisurely time to retract my heart that had jumped out of my mouth, let alone my camera phone.  And, If I did have my hands on my phone, taking a picture is not what I would do with it… Besides resisting the desire to call my Uncle Guido to break his kneecaps (and bike), I’d probably throw my phone directly at his smirk.

But, I didn’t do what I would have liked to have done.  Instead, I tried to commonsense him.

Courteous Bikers

Let me tell you how it went down…  I was riding along, alone, for the first time on a trail with my green horse.  She was doing very well, I would say.  She was alert and doing her job.  But, I could feel the rubberband tightness under her “I’m on duty” hippity hop.  She was listening, which was good, but she was barely touching the ground as we walked along.  I could see her brain scanning the hillside, sure there were mountain cats or gorillas or some huge beasts in those dense woods.

I was singing.  I kept assuring her that she was alright.  And  the best part, she was believing me.  I was relaxing her.  She was settling in and feeling confident.  She trusted me.  I was the leader and she was my trail buddy… And then…

WUUGGA WUUGA, SCHREEEECH, FLAPPY FLIPPITY FLAOP…

A bicycle was coming very fast and straight at us from about 200 yards.   OK, well, I’ll just call out a friendly, Hello! and he/she will stop and wave me on.

Nope, he kept flying towards me, looking straight at me.  WUGGA WUGGGGGA SHOOSH SHOOOOOSY SHOOSH…

I tensed a bit but told myself to relax.  It didn’t work.   BG amped into the OHMYGOD-WE-ARE-GONNA-DIE mode.  Crabbing sideways up the hill and slipping, I yelled at the cyclist to PLEASE SLOW DOWN!.

“I HAVE JUST AS MUCH RIGHT TO BE HERE ARE YOU!”, was his ignorant rebel yell.

Well, if we had been having a calm discussion, I would have replied, but at the moment, I was preoccupied with my mare who was now on two feet and circling to find a way out of the path of the psycho thing coming right at her.  What was this idiot going to do?  Ride over us?  I was now really, really angry.

I wheeled BG around and planted right across his path.  I was so angry at the accident he nearly caused that I glared right into his ridiculous goggles and did not let my stare leave his until I had burned a new laser line through his equally ridiculous speedracer cap.

Both BG and I were eagle-eyed on him.  I was actually proud of her.  Somehow, in that instant, she went from fright to indignation, just as I had.  We stood there and glared at him as he pedaled away.

He stopped.  He turned around and yelled something at us.

(Now I know he’s a fool.)

What did you say?, I inquired, still standing rock solid and quiet.

“What the eff are you starin’ at?”  (ooh, I hate incorrect grammar…)

YOU.

“What’s your problem?”

YOU.

“Oh really, how’s that?  I’ve got as much right to be here as you do!”

Yes, that is correct.  Did you read the RIGHT OF WAY signs when you entered the park?

“So.  You shouldn’t be here if your horse can’t take it.  You should train your horse.”

(I’m about to get off and bite him…)

-gritting my teeth- Do you have a minute?  Because I would like to share with you some horse and bike information.

“Eff off, Lady.”

OK, well, let me put it to you this way…  (He was straddling his bike being very confrontational as I continued…) Horses aren’t born with an innate understanding of wheeled objects.  And, they are live animals, just like you.  They have brains and they think and they have fear.  You, who also has a brain and can think and has probably been frightened in your life — I would suspect that you, with your fine brain, could recognize fear in another animal.  So, if you saw an animal with a human on it and the animal was obviously frightened,  you would take your understanding of fear and consider the other human sitting on top of a 1200 lbs frightened animal.   Or… you could, as in this case, decide that horses should automatically know not to be frightened when a bike comes flying directly at them without even a hint of granting space or slowing down.   Actually, let’s say you were riding your bike and a CAR came barreling down on you playing chicken?  Don’t you think you’d be a little upset with the driver of that car?

“Whatever bitch, you should train your horse if you want to come here…”

(thinking of having my friend the Sheriff pay him a visit, but instead I said…)

How about this then… Maybe this would be easier for you to understand.  Consider your Mom or daughter or sister or Loved One was learning how to ride a horse on a trail designated for horses – kinda like this one.  Then along comes some biker buzzing up behind her and the horse steps sideways to avoid the bike.  The horse is perfectly trained but he is startled.  Your Loved One goes flying and is gravely injured or killed…  Are you going to think the bike rider was perfectly in his rights?  Or, are you going to go to a lawyer with guns blazing saying that the stupid biker should have heeded the  YIELD SIGNS in the park.  After all, the signs are posted, right?  Shouldn’t that biker have yielded to your sister/daughter/mother/girlfriend’s horse?  Aren’t you going to say that your Loved One was injured because that idiot biker was being negligent not to stop when he saw the horse was spooking?  Why didn’t the biker heed the posted warning signs and let the novice rider or novice horse be safe?  You’d say there isn’t a judge in the nation who wouldn’t string up that biker…  Right?  Huh Mister?  Tell me that.  Tell me that you wouldn’t wish that the jacknuts biker who wouldn’t stop while your Mom was getting dumped by a frightened horse — should spend all of his remaining days wishing he had made a different choice on that fateful day.  Right?  You’d want that biker to rot in jail thinking what he should have done instead of what he did…

“Eff off, Lady!”

Fine.  But, at least you will always remember what I’ve just said to you today.  And I bet you are going to think about what I’ve said and you’re gonna stop your bike when you see a horse.  If not, you are a fool and let whatever happens to you, happen to you…  I did my part to shine the light on your ignorant self.  You’d had your warning.

He said nothing.

And with that, BG and I rode off.

She had learned about bikes and I had learned that she was a very solid girl.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
July’s Bucket Fund will benefit the charity THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY.  To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate $5,  please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)




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